Dr. Ray Crawford Senior Pastor
“One beggar telling another beggar where to find bread!” So D.T. Niles defined Christian evangelism. When we have found something that satisfies the deepest hunger within us, we want to share that good news with everyone! I prayed to receive Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord as a young man attending Memorial High School in Tulsa. I give thanks that the sense of joy and wonder I experienced long ago continues still.
I have found a tremendous sense of fulfillment, as well as great adventure, in following Christ as my Lord. One of my life’s greatest privileges has been to share Christ with others. We have good news indeed. Jesus Christ came to teach us about God’s love and grace, and to give us needed guidance. He died on a cross taking on himself the sins of the world, yours and mine. The third day he rose again, defeating the power of Hell and death. And, he’s still alive today! He promises to live within every human heart where is invited to do so. What are you waiting for? Take him at his word.
I’m pleased to be serving in the fifteenth year as Sr. Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Claremore. The congregation includes some of the finest people I have ever met. God is at work in our lives and in our community. We invite you to join us.
Favorite Bible Verse:
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33
Stephen Cagle Associate Pastor
I grew up and went to high school in a small town east of McAlester, OK, called Haileyville. I acquired a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tulsa and attended seminary at Asbury Theological Seminary where I acquired a Master of Divinity degree. My wife, Ashley, works as an RN at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.
In October, 2012, I began serving at FUMC Claremore and am currently working with young adults. I am pastor in the Open Table service at 11:00 on Sunday mornings. I also pastor the Bridge Service and meal at 5:45 on Thursday evenings, and Tuesday Night Live at Carl’s Coney Island.
I am really excited to be here and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us. God is doing great things in this church and I look forward to being a part of that!
Favorite Bible Verse:
“Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:26b-28
Jaimie Willis Associate Pastor/Director of Student Ministry
I am the Campus Pastor at Vessel Church, a satellite of First United Methodist Church. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Rogers State University. I have a passion for connecting people to the teachings of Jesus Christ in ways that are different and exciting. My wife, Jennifer, and I have a son who attends Southwestern College, and a daughter who attends Oklahoma City University.
Brent Youngs Executive Director
I have gained 20 years of business management experience before joining the team at F.U.M.C. In managing the internal operations of First United Methodist Church, my areas of responsibility span human resources, finances, technology, and facility resources.
Prior to joining FUMC in June of 2015, I worked in the IT and business management fields for 25 years. During these years, I developed awareness that helping people is a gift that I wanted to pursue in a different setting. I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and earned my B.S. degree in Management Science and Computer Systems from Oklahoma State University in 1985.
My wife, Lynn, and I were married in 1988. We have two daughters, Ashley and Nicole. We have lived in Claremore and attended First United Methodist Church since 1999. I have a passion for the outdoors, especially fishing and camping, and I love spending time with my family.
Lynn Youngs Children’s Ministry Superintendent
My name is Lynn Youngs and I am the Children’s Ministry Superintendent. I have a wonderful husband and two daughters, who are grown. I have lived in Claremore for 17 years and have attended FUMC for just as long. The last 15 years of my professional career has been in the public schools. I have a passion for teaching children and a passion for teaching children about how much God loves them.
Before joining the church officially as a staff member, I have always been involved in the children’s ministry in several leadership and volunteer roles. It is now my privilege to serve the Lord as one of the leaders over the children’s ministry. We have a great group of kids and a wonderful bunch of teachers who are committed to sharing God’s love. I feel very blessed to be a part of working with and assisting children in growing in their faith walk.
The desire of Kingdom Kids is that each child will come to know the amazing love of God in their life. We want to be able to encourage, inspire and challenge children to learn about the love of Jesus. We want to partner with parents to help our children build a solid foundation and relationship with Jesus Christ.
“Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs” Mark 10:14
Our children are the future of the church.
Carly Dipboye Director of Stepping Stones Learning Center
I am a graduate of Oklahoma City University with a BA in Religious Education and one of my biggest passions is working with and for children. One of my favorite bible verses is Mark 9:36-37, which says, “He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” It is my passion to love and value children the way that Jesus did, and to show them the light of God that maybe they don’t regularly see in their home lives. I am excited to care for the children of Stepping Stones this year and to be a source of compassion, respect, and kindness to their families as they give us their trust in caring for their children.
Susan Goins Elementary Ministry Coordinator
My name is Susan Goins and I am the Elementary Ministry Coordinator. I’ve been married to Roger since 1994 and we have 2 daughters. My oldest Liz is also on staff at the church. And my youngest Emma, is very involved in youth and Elevate. We moved to Verdigris in 1999, when Liz was just a few months old. I’m a long time Methodist, growing up at First United Methodist in Tulsa and transferred to our church from Verdigris United Methodist in 2009.
I’ve always loved working with children. One of my first memories was helping with VBS in 6th grade. Before being on staff with the church, I’ve volunteered working with children. Whether it was at school, church or soccer, I’ve always been most happy working with kids. I’ve been on staff for a little over 2 years and love every minute of it.
God has put together a great team of people that love children and want to help children learn about His love.