Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

MLCC cultivates multicultural ministry with the Summer Internship Project


Students, mentors and members of Minority Local Church Concerns (MLCC) stand together at the start of the internship. Back row: Rev. Elvyn Hamilton, Rev. Fuxia Wang, Rev. Michael Long, Rev. Jen Logsdon-Kellogg. Middle: Tayvion Devereaux, Rev. Bessie Hamilton, Jazlyn Yarbrough, Rev. Victoria Lee. Bottom: Rev. Valerie Steele, Suyeon (Sue) Kim, Rev. Erica Thomas.

A summer program is helping ethnic students develop leadership skills in a multi-ethnic setting. The Summer Internship Program pairs a Wesley Foundation student with a mentor of the same ethnicity and teaches them to connect with a congregation of a different culture to develop and complete a ministry project.

Though each intern is shadowing an ethnic pastor, the focus of the program is for students to develop their leadership skills using their own ethnic background as well as personal passions and gifts.

“Our desire is to assist the interns in thinking about what they were created to do and the steps needed to get there,” said Rev. Bessie Hamilton, associate director of connectional ministry for multi-ethnic initiatives for the Oklahoma Conference. “The focus is developing each intern spiritually, personally, and professionally.”

The interns are Suyeon (Sue) Kim from the University of Oklahoma Wesley Foundation, Jazlyn Yarbrough from the University of Central Oklahoma Wesley Foundation, and Tayvion Devereaux from the Langston University Wesley Foundation. Rev. Fuxia Wang is mentoring Kim, who is serving at OKC-Quayle with Rev. Elvyn Hamilton; Rev. Erica Thomas is mentoring Yarbrough, who is serving at OKC-Charis Alive with Victoria Lee; and Rev. Michael Long is mentoring Devereaux, who is serving OKC-Quail Springs with Rev. Valerie Steele.

“Working in the cultural aspect of things, you see how everything has involved in your culture,” Yarbrough said. “Working with a different culture is very interesting because you have to learn things and introduce you to life from a diff person’s perspective.”

Kim said having jeong (정), a Korean word for moving the heart of others through actions which can also mean compassion, is an important part of her leadership skills. For her ministry project, she introduced the OKC-Quayle congregation to Tongsung Kido (통성기도), a practice where everyone speaks their prayers out loud at once.

“Prayers can be very personal and stuff, so I was worried that they not participate or it might be awkward for others to hear their problems,” Kim said. “They said they will push this forward as an ongoing ministry, and that made me really happy.”

Yarbrough’s project, the Romans 15:7 Project, focuses on hospitality in evangelism. It involves connecting with people and offering care packages to new members.

“It is a multicultural project, and you are crossing into the border of a different project,” she said. “It made me realize the word is interpreted differently from different people, but you have to see the light in that. What it shows me is that God is universal, and He is here for all of us, and the end goal is for all of us to be yoked together.”

Yarbrough said it’s been a heartwarming and a blessing to work with OKC-Charis Alive, especially since it’s a newer church plant. Kim said though she knew that all churches worship with the purpose of giving glory to God, it was good to experience it in a different way.

“It’s a lesson I will carry on with me until I die,” Kim said. “It doesn’t matter how we worship or how we do things differently. If we all have the same heart and love the lord God with all heart, soul, and mind, then God will be pleased and call us good and faithful servants at the end.”


Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World

Contact Us

1501 N.W. 24th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73106-3635
Phone: 405-530-2000

Sign Up For the Contact

Connect With Us