Three new faces in district offices
The past year has brought new beginnings to three districts in the Oklahoma Conference. The Crossroads, Green Country and Heartland Districts each have a new member of the district’s ministry team.
Rev. Terry Koehn was announced as the incoming district superintendent for the Green Country District in February. Koehn officially stepped into the role on July 1 after eight years pastoring Elk City. Melissa Ramsey-Thompson, who goes by Mel, joined the Heartland District in September as the district’s new administrator after working as a paralegal. Patrick Andrus started as the Crossroads District’s new administrator in December after working at Paycom.
The Contact asked the new superintendent and administrators a few questions to help the conference get to know them better.
Rev. Terry Koehn
Green Country District Superintendent
What’s a favorite book or hobby? I have recently gotten into kayaking. I think everyone ought to read “The Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning.
What’s a favorite scripture verse? I love Isaiah 30:15 — it speaks to non-anxious faith in worrisome times: “In returning and rest you will be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” (NRSV).
What does faith means to you? Faith is a way of life, more than a set of beliefs. For a disciple of Jesus, faith–as a way of life–is Holy Spirit birthed and rooted in the biblical story of God’s creating, saving, and transforming work in the world.
How does working as a pastor and as a DS relate to your faith? According to the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:11-12, the role and work of a pastor is a way God uses to build and grow the church over time. In many ways, I have been nurtured and shaped over the course of my life to be one of the pastors in the body of Christ; it’s not been only my idea. As a DS, I see that certain aspects of pastoral work–especially administration–are called upon in an intense focus for a defined period of time; so, it’s not a separate role, at all. In addition, as a servant leader in the church, I value the opportunity to help create some part of the church’s future through this period of my work.
Heartland District Administrator
What’s a favorite hero, hobby, or book/author? My hero is my mother! She comes from a family of 19 siblings. She is the youngest of the girls. She is my hero because of her faith in God. No matter how hard things have been in her life, she always reminds me that God puts no more on you than you can bare.
What’s a favorite scripture verse and version? John 14:1–“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” (KJV) and Psalms 61:2–“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (KJV).
What does faith means to you? Faith means believing that God can do anything whether he does or not. It’s knowing that at the end of the day God has all things in control even when we don’t see a great outcome (so we think) over the horizon. It’s knowing that God knew me before I was formed in my mother’s womb and he will never leave me nor forsake me!
How does working in the Conference relate to your faith? I did not grow up Methodist, but the structure and discipline that is taught runs parallel to the way my faith was established as a young child, and I thank God for the Conference!
Crossroads District Administrator
What’s a favorite hero, hobby, or book/author? My favorite hobby is anything outdoors such as hiking or lake sports.
What’s a favorite scripture verse and version? Favorite scripture verse is Romans 7:15 in the CEV: “In fact, I don’t understand why I act the way I do. I don’t do what I know is right. I do the things I hate.”
What does faith mean to you? What is faith to me? Believing in something based on a feeling or gut notion rather than physical proof. Trusting completely!
How does working in the Conference relate to your faith? Working for the conference relates to my faith because I’m Methodist and have been since a child. I’ve looked outside the Methodist church for other places to worship but have always felt at home with the UMC.