Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Conference continues commitment to connect with young people


As one cohort of young leaders completed their service in local churches, another celebrated its beginning. The Apprentice Project, a partnership to train young adults to serve in ethnic churches different from their own background, completed its work with a closing ceremony on July 31. On Aug. 6, eight young adults were commissioned to serve as staff members at eight local churches across the conference.

The Apprentice Project

The worship service celebrating The Apprentice Project featured each intern offering their own unique element of worship. Suyeon Kim, who served at OKC-Quayle with Rev. Elvyn Hamilton, played a musical selection; Jazlyn Yarbrough, who served at OKC-Charis Alive with Rev. Victoria Lee Ting, presented a liturgical dance; and Tayvion Devereau, who served at OKC-Quail Springs with Rev. Valerie Steele, shared a poem. Each of the three churches that participated expressed interest in continuing the programs created by the interns.

“The congregation responded positively to the program Tayvion put together,” Steele said. “What I saw from both congregations (Quayle was in attendance to support Tayvion) was a desire from both churches to connect with one another through worship and perhaps even in mission or outreach. This could lead to a pulpit swap of clergy, choirs, etc. for both churches.”


Where the Apprentice Project was a summer-long program, ImpactOK2 is a two-year residency at a local church. Joint funding from the local church and the conference legacy fund provide the resident with a full-time salary while they are with the church. The ImpactOK2 resident will then work with the church to connect with young people in that church’s community through ministry, outreach and other opportunities. Viafaith McCullough, one of the program’s residents, spoke about the purpose of ImpactOK2 at the 2022 Annual Conference.

“You have to keep planting seeds,” McCullough said. “If you don’t keep planting, you know what you’re going to get. You’re going to get washed out. And if that happens? Plant again.”

The residents for ImpactOK2 are McCullough, DeRon Gabriel, Diandra Nelson, Jacqueline Guajardo, Kloe Young, Sara Martin, Ja’Lyn Yarbrough and Hannah Thompson.

For more information about ImpactOK2, contact Rebekah Hasty, associate director of connectional ministries, at rhasty@okumc.org.


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