Gibson credits parents for modeling life of faith


Bishop Hayes has chosen clergywoman Connie Gibson to lead the Wichitas District, beginning in June. She describes her personal, lifelong walk with God in this article.

by connie gibson

I ‌grew up in First UMC, in Bixby, the church where ‌my mother also grew up. I was baptized there as an infant, and was nurtured, supported, and shaped by that family of faith throughout my childhood and as a youth.

While my parents didn’t talk a lot about their faith in God, they lived out that faith through their quiet, behind-the-scenes service and care for others. Being at church and being involved in church was a regular part of our life.

Gradually my understanding grew of how God was at work in my life as well as my personal faith and trust in God, and during a youth revival at the church, I publicly professed my faith in Christ. I then became more personally involved in the youth group and in our Sunday evening worship services.

All of this has provided a solid foundation for my spiritual journey throughout my life.

After graduating from high school, marrying my high school sweetheart, Gary, obtaining an accounting degree from Oklahoma State University, beginning a career in accounting/finance/information systems at an oil and gas company, and starting our family, Gary and I returned to my home church in Bixby.

My trust and faith in God continued to grow, with the encouragement of a powerful prayer warrior/Sunday School teacher and through close Christian relationships developed in Sunday School and Bible studies. The faithful proclamation of God’s Word and spiritual leadership of loving pastors, a mission trip to Russia, the Walk to Emmaus, and a faithful prayer partner provided a foundation for a deeper love of God to grow in me, along with a desire to be involved even more in ministry and in the church.

When the oil company for which I worked decided to relocate to another state, I knew my family and I were not supposed to move. I volunteered for more ministry at our church. I served as volunteer staff, coordinating ministry teams and assisting in long-term building plans.

During that time I clearly felt God’s call to "help build my church" — not to build physical facilities, but to be in full-time ministry to grow and strengthen God’s church and God’s kingdom.

I enrolled at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, and as I was preaching my very first sermon in my first preaching class, God’s call was confirmed upon my life, to pursue full-time ministry as an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church.

The people with whom I have had the privilege of serving in ministry have helped my faith and love of God continue to take shape, at Tulsa-Harrison Memorial, Tulsa-Rose Hill, Trinity UMC in Muldrow/Roland, and, for the past seven years, at OKC-Southern Hills.

A faithful, loving God has certainly been at work, step by step, in my journey of faith. I was surprised and humbled when Bishop Hayes provided the wonderful opportunity to serve in ministry with the people of the churches in the Wichitas District. I am excited about moving forward together with them in helping build/grow God’s Kingdom for the glory of God.


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‘As I was preaching my very first sermon in my first preaching class, God’s call was confirmed upon my life’ — Connie Gibson

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