Larry Bauman, who begins service in June as a new district superintendent, writes here about his personal faith journey.
Rev. Bauman has been appointed to lead the Ardmore District. He has been pastor at Sunny Lane UMC since 2008. He was ordained in 1990.
Superintendent Greg Tener will move from Ardmore to the South Oklahoma City District, which has been led by Superintendent Frankye Johnson. She is retiring.
By LARRY BAUMAN
Like Oklahoma itself, I am a child of many nations and influences. My Swiss Lutheran great-grandparents helped found the Hulen Methodist Church after they received 160 acres in the territorial land lottery of 1901. Sadly, I don’t know the story of how my Cherokee great-grandmother came to live in Choctaw about that same time. However, I truly was blessed to grow up within 5 miles of both sets of my grandparents.
I was baptized as an infant at OKC-Pennsylvania Avenue UMC and raised in southwest Oklahoma City. We later transferred to OKC-Asbury UMC for its Scouting ministry, through which I earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
In my youth, during a Lay Witness Mission at Penn Avenue Church, I first publicly professed my faith in Christ. Yet, during my college years I found myself searching for meaning in the wilderness of this world.
I never lost my faith, but I certainly lost touch with who Christ had called me to be.
Thanks be to God, the Lord continued to pursue me, and the Holy Spirit led me to rededicate my life to Christ’s service over 30 years ago. Not long after that, I was filled with the Holy Spirit and felt God’s call to pursue full-time ministry.
I’ve been doing my best to answer that amazing calling ever since, while falling short far too often.
While in seminary at Oral Roberts University, I served as pastor of the people of Delaware UMC. From there, I’ve been blessed to serve in ministry across 27 years with the people of Ada-First, Wynnewood, Lawton-St. Paul’s, Enid-Willow View, Tulsa-St. Mark’s, Mustang, and most recently Sunny Lane in Del City.
I’m very thankful to all of them for their love, encouragement, and prayers!
I’ve been shaped by my experiences with all these people of God, the Walk to Emmaus, our summer camps, missions in Mexico and Bolivia, and my work in the Oklahoma Conference. I’m thankful to have been in the Beeson Pastor Program at Asbury Theological Seminary.
Local Kiwanis and Rotary Club involvement also helped keep me sensitive to the needs beyond the walls of our churches.
My wife, Sheryl, is a wonderful partner in life and ministry. We have four children – Jason, Jenna, Anna, and Alexandra – and two grandchildren, Jacob and Addison.
Sheryl and I were surprised, humbled, and honored to be asked by Bishop Hayes to serve the people, churches, and pastors of the Ardmore District. My earlier experiences there have always had a special place in my heart. We very much look forward to renewing friendships in southern Oklahoma and making new ones. We ask for your prayers as we continue striving to grow in Christ, honor our Lord, serve God’s people, and reach new people for Christ!
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