John Brown University
B.S. Church Ministry
Northwest Missouri State University/ Missouri Southern State University
M.S. Ed. Teaching
In the spring of 1996 I answered God’s call to ministry as the first Children’s and Youth Ministries Coordinator at Henryetta UMC. Since that time I have served in children’s, youth, and young adult ministry in United Methodist Churches in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas. I also served as a pastor in the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church for two years. I relinquished my license as a pastor because the policies of the United Methodist Church prohibit clergy who are homosexuals from serving as pastors. I support the United Methodist Church as a beautiful expression of the body of Christ. Not all United Methodists are of the same mind when it comes to full inclusion and equality for LGBTQ persons. For that reason, I also stand with the LGBTQ community as a voice of hope in the church.
My passion in ministry is to help those who are disconnected from God, or feel disconnected in the church find a connection with God and community in faith. I believe we grow in our faith and understanding of God through community. Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment. His reply included loving God fully, loving your neighbor completely, and loving yourself correctly (Matthew 22:34-40). Entering into this community of love brings growth in our unity and maturity, enabling us to becoming more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:13-16). This process of growth toward maturity is found in the unifying community of the body of Christ. I want to partner with the church community and with God in bringing reconciliation and hope to those who have been hurt or feel rejected by the church.
I have had the privilege of helping five teenagers answer God’s call to ministry. I have also mentored three youth ministers and two children’s ministers in their first few years of ministry. Throughout the years, I have been involved in launching two new children’s ministries, two new youth ministries, a new college ministry, and an off-site worship and young adult ministry. I have consulted with churches on launching youth ministries, using technology, teaching effectively, leadership, and developing small groups. Some of my other accomplishments include organizing and leading a church leadership summit, consulting with churches in the areas of ministry and technology, writing curriculum, speaking at large and small youth ministry gatherings, leading and speaking at Summer youth camps, writing for www.youthministry.com, and contributing to the book “Answers to Teenagers’ 50 Toughest Questions” by Simply Youth Ministry. I have also taught in the Information Technology department at University of Arkansas Fort Smith.
If you are interested in having Tony come speak at your church, organization, or group, or you just want to connect with him please complete the contact form here.