NEO Team Update

NEO Team Update

I am so thankful for the wonderful team of pastors we have in Northeast Oklahoma. Our pastors are heroes. We have especially been appreciative of the incredible work of our pastors during this pandemic. NONE of our pastors were ever trained for, nor have they ever had to lead ministries during a pandemic. Yet, they rolled up their sleeves, innovated, learned, and creatively put into place new practices so the work of ministry could continue.

I have been hearing of some of the creative ways our churches have honored pastors during the month of October. We still have one more Sunday and I would encourage you to add one more method of expressing appreciation. I would ask every layperson to approach your pastor(s) this week, look him or her in the eyes and say, “I am so glad Jesus put you here!”

We give thanks for Dr. Russell Human,  District Superintendent Emeritus

Dr. Russell Human, NEO District Superintendent Emeritus, was lifted out of his pain into the loving arms of his Savior on Saturday morning, October 16. We extend our deep sympathy to Ruth and all of the family.

Dr. Human was an outstanding preacher of the Word, a faithful servant of the cross, a distinguished pastor (1977-1985, Tulsa Central), Missionary to Swaziland and District Superintendent in Minnesota and Northeast Oklahoma (1992–2000). He was made District Superintendent Emeritus by the NEO District Assembly on June 5, 2001.

Our District family knows Russell and Ruth Human as a caring pastoral team who lovingly served our district churches. Russell was a pastor to our pastors! One pastor described him as a “trusted and competent advisor”. One mentioned his appreciation for Russell’s “determination to make sure all of his pastors had lots of preaching material.” Our lives have been deeply touched by Russell and Ruth Human.

Dr. Human’s memorial service will be on Saturday, October 30, 1:30pm at Tulsa Central Church. Let’s continue to surround Ruth with our prayers and encouragement.

One part of my vision for the 21-22 Church year, The Path Forward, is a focus on discipleship and the denomination’s new discipleship initiative, A Journey of Grace. As the Board of General Superintendents said in a letter to the Church, we must recognize discipleship is a journey. “Discipleship is not a set of Bible studies that ‘when you finish these studies, you have graduated from discipleship.’ No, discipleship is a lifetime journey that begins at birth and continues through all of life! Bible studies, crisis moments, and fellow journeyers all contribute to our journey, but they are NOT the journey. Rather, the discipleship journey is better defined as humankind connecting with the story of God and being transformed by God’s amazing grace.”

Many NEO churches have been engaging in A Journey of Grace together during October. I look forward to hearing stories of how God used this emphasis to continue his transforming work in our lives.

Other News

Dr. Russell Hosey resigned as Pastor of Bartlesville First Church and has accepted the pastorate of the Caney, KS Church of the Nazarene. We pray God’s best upon Russell and Linda and thank them for a decade of service to BFC and the Northeast Oklahoma District.

Rev. Carl Brown has accepted the responsibility of Mission Area Coordinator for the Northwest Mission Area, filling the vacancy created by Dr. Hosey’s departure.

Dr. Clark Howe will be serving as the Transitional Interim Pastor (TIP) at Bartlesville beginning the week of Nov. 7. Dr. Howe is an experienced Executive Pastor with a demonstrated history of successful church administration and growth and we welcome him to the NEO District Team.

Homecoming at Southern Nazarene University will be on Nov. 12-13. One of our own, Larry Snowbarger, a member of Core Church, will be honored as Alumnus of the Year at the Main Event on Saturday, Nov. 13.

We lift up our pastoral families who have lost loved ones recently, including the passing of mothers of Rev. Steve Brown, Rhonda Lester, and Carol Stevens. May God be extra close to you and give you peace.

NEO Grandparents

Dave & Gloria are excited to announce the birth of their newest grandson, Shepherd David. Also, Rev. Jim & Christy Thornton recently welcomed their granddaughter, Charlotte Rae. We celebrate these new lives!

SNU Names Vice President for External Relations

After an extensive search, Dr. Keith Newman, President of Southern Nazarene University (SNU), is pleased to announce the selection of Rev. Larry Morris to serve as Vice President for External Relations. Larry has served as pastor at churches in Oklahoma and Texas, most recently as Lead Pastor of Houston Living Word Church of the Nazarene.

Earning his Bachelor’s in Theology from SNU in 1990 and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Leadership in 2017 from Olivet Nazarene University, Larry serves the South Texas District as a member of the District Advisory Board, General Assembly Delegate, and as clergy representative to the SNU Board of Trustees.

In this new role, he will give oversight to Church Relations, Alumni Relations and serve as University representative to various civic and government organizations. His 30 years of pastoral leadership on the South Central Field along with his long-standing experience leading community-focused congregations in the Church of the Nazarene has prepared him well for this assignment.

Larry and his wife, Kristi, have two adult children, Hope and Jason (SNU Class of 2022). Larry served two churches in NEO as Lead Pastor: Bristow from 1991-1995 and Broken Arrow First from 2002-2012.

NEO Ladies Retreat 2022

Click HERE for information and registration