Matt has been a pastor since 2005, and believes his calling is, “to love God, to love people, and to teach the bible in ways that are easy to understand and applicable in the lives of everyday people.”
Away from ministry, Matt enjoys sports, especially the NBA and college football. He also loves to read, listen to music, and spend time with his family. He and his wife, Nanci, have three children: Emma, Caleb, and Blake, and you can usually find them somewhere between a soccer field, a basketball court, or a band event.
Following graduation from Buffalo Valley High School in Talihina, OK, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from East Central University in Ada, and then spent two years completing a graduate degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. After answering the call to full-time Christian ministry, he then served as mission director and junior high youth director at Chapel Hill UMC in Oklahoma City. Later, he earned a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary, and his Doctor of Ministry degree is from Drew University.
Prior to coming to McAlester First UMC in 2014, he served as a pastor at two other charges: Quinton/Canadian in the McAlester District, and Church of the Servant in the North Oklahoma City District.
Matt is an avid sports fan, especially Oklahoma State Football, the Dallas Cowboys & the Texas Rangers. He and his wife, Shelby have been married since September of 2014 and shortly after moved to McAlester. Matt is from Ada, OK where he graduated in 2008, and afterward attended OSU and East Central.
He has served in many ways in youth ministry; as youth intern in Ada, youth director in Sulphur, & Jr High youth minister in Ada.
Mary’s passion is helping children experience God through creative teaching experiences and intentional conversations. Her experience prior to starting at McAlester First UMC in 2014 was teaching in private Christian schools and as a volunteer missionary in China. She works hard to make sure the children of McAlester First UMC can grow up knowing that the God who created them, with the love that flows from His heart, loves each of them individually and has a big plan for each of their lives.
Prior to coming on staff at McAlester First, Mary Anne worked in Little Rock as a 5th grade teacher for 8 years. She has a Masters degree in education and is a Nationally Board Certified teacher. Her passion is working with kids and sharing her faith with them during this critical phase of their lives.
Linda has been with McAlester First UMC for more than a decade in the capacity of organist and choir director. She taught music in the public schools for 21 years prior to this tenure. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Northeastern State College in Tahlequah, and has completed graduate work at both NSU and the University of Tulsa. Her first position as organist was at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Tulsa at the age of 12.
Kay joined the McAlester First staff in 2012 as receptionist. She worked previously as an office professional at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Quincy, Illinois, before moving to Wilburton, Oklahoma with her husband, Greg. Kay’s ministry involves handling countless administrative tasks, while also helping provide assistance for others through our food pantry.
June coordinates our nursery on Sunday mornings and during special events, overseeing our caring staff of paid and volunteer nursery workers. June has an extensive background in child development and has been a part of our staff since 2008.
Cara is our financial administrator. She hails from Arkansas and is still greatly involved with the family business there. Her husband is a judge, and she has two children, Eli and Ryli. Cara is very active in the community, serving on many boards and committees.
Donna maintains our facilities throughout the week. She is a native of Indianola, has a daughter Laura, and a granddaughter Kenley.