Each year, Oklahoma City University presents the Bishop’s Scholar Award to deserving students as a part of its effort to identify and support academically advanced United Methodist youths who are committed to careers in Christian service to the church. We are very proud to announce the 2012 Bishop’s Scholars, who will join us as freshmen on campus this fall.
As the daughter and granddaughter of United Methodist ministers, Taylor Barnett has always been intimately connected with the life of the church.
As a child, instead of playing house or dress up, she was performing "baptisms" in the swimming pool. Now she is seeking to become a third-generation United Methodist clergyperson.
Taylor has demonstrated leadership skills through serving as senior class president and editor of the school newspaper at Carl Albert High School in Midwest City. Her activities extend to show choir, community service agencies, and mission trips with her church youth group.
Wickline United Methodist Church member Linda Hodge commends Taylor for her sensitivity to the needs of others and her willingness to help the most vulnerable. Taylor’s heart is drawn to help the people of Africa, especially children who have lost one or both parents.
At his high school in Ringling, John Hiller played football, basketball, and baseball, served on the student council, was a member of the honor band, and captained the academic team. But it was his involvement in the church that shaped his chosen career path.
His participation in the youth activities of his local church and the Ardmore District led to opportunities to be a ropes course facilitator and counselor at Cross Point Camp and invitations to preach.
In 2009, as a youth delegate to the Annual Conference, John began to sense the call to ordained ministry. At the 2011 Annual Conference, he was elected as a lay delegate to General Conference.
Alex Costea, John’s pastor, wrote that he has been "consistently impressed with his quiet determination to lead with integrity, serve with passion, and be a constant example to his peers as to what genuine Christian living is all about."
Philip Younts has been involved in church all his life. His father, Bob Younts, pastor of Yukon-First UMC, noted that, since an early age, Philip has shown special receptivity to issues of faith and discipleship.
His desire to serve others has been expressed through mission trips to Beaumont, Texas; New York City; Mexico (twice); and Youth Force (three times). His understanding of leadership was strengthened through participation in J.E.M Camp for two years and CYME Camp the past four years.
Philip excelled in the classroom at Moore High School, where he also ran cross country and track. Sheri Stone, Yukon-First youth director, wrote that Philip "interacts well with people whether he just meets them for the first time or has known them for years."
We urge all UM clergy and laypersons to identify youths in your congregations who express interest in ministry. Encourage them to apply for the Bishop’s Scholar Award and other scholarships that OCU offers. Rev. Maggie Ball, vice-president of OCU University-Church Relations, notes that many forms of scholarship assistance are available. www.okcu.edu