The Reverend Dr. Kevin Tully is a native of Shawnee, Oklahoma. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Oklahoma City University, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University. He has also done additional postgraduate studies in the field of pastoral psychotherapy at the Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy in Oklahoma City and through Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa.
A college sophomore when he received his first pastoral appointment, Dr. Tully has served churches in Oklahoma, Texas, and in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. He has been senior pastor at Bartlesville First Church since June, 2008.
In addition to his work in the church, Dr. Tully has also served as a parenting group facilitator for the Parent-Child Center of Tulsa and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater OKC. Western Heights School District (Oklahoma City) honored him as Western Heights Academy’s “Volunteer Patron of the Year,” where he served as mentor to elementary and junior high students in the Western Heights Alternative School. He is a member of the Bartlesville Downtown Rotary Club, serves on the board of Green Country Village Retirement Village and is a trustee of the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation.
Kevin and his wife, Georgia have three children: Paige (Mrs. Colin) Chenault of Dallas, Kyle, and Drew. Kevin enjoys golf, guitar, cycling, triathlon, reading, and gardening.
An Okie since she was 5 years old, Tari graduated from Ponca City High School in 1983. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism from Oklahoma State University, and a Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University. She has served as the assistant pastor and youth director at Dewey United Methodist Church, the pastor at Copan United Methodist Church and most recently held the position of associate director of institutional advancement at Saint Paul School of Theology. Having traveled and been away from her family for four years, Tari is thrilled to be “home,” meaning home with her family, home in the Bartlesville community and home serving a local church.
Tari is married to Kent Carbaugh, an Information Security Specialist with ConocoPhillips. They have two daughters; Rusty, who is a junior at Newman University in Wichita, and Loni, a senior at Dewey High School. Besides being with her family, Tari loves horses (really all critters), reading, outdoor activities and making friends everywhere she goes.
Favorite Bible Verse: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Buz has served on the staff of First Church since June 1994. Currently, he is serving as the associate pastor of care. Buz is a 1975 graduate of Colorado State University – Pueblo, Colo. with a Bachelor of Science degree in automotive service management. He did his graduate studies at Oklahoma City University and completed his seminary studies at St. Paul’s and Perkins. Buz was ordained a Deacon in the United Methodist Church in 2004.
Buz has been married to his wife, Patty, for over 35 years. They have three grown children, Alicia and her husband, Chris, of Allen, Texas; Kyle and his wife, Mary, of Silver Spring, Md.; and Kevin, a graduate of Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kans., who now resides in Tulsa, Okla. with his wife, Amber. Buz and Patty have four grandchildren; Julian, Ava, Ella, and Tyler.
Buz enjoys spending time with Patty, traveling, working in the yard and tinkering with his classic Chevrolet.
Favorite Bible Verse: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Patrick Andrus is director of student ministries (youth and college-age) at First Church.
Patrick is a native of Mustang, Okla., where he graduated high school before entering the University of Central Oklahoma. He graduated from UCO in 2006 with a degree in communications, and began full-time work in youth ministry.
It was while working as contemporary worship leader at First United Methodist Church of Port Orange, Fla. that he met his wife, Christina. Christina is currently continuing her education as a full-time student. They have a dog, Daytona, and a true love for ministry.
A Bartlesville native, Celeste graduated from Sooner High School and Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance. After spending seven years in Los Angeles, studying voice and opera, she went to the Zurich Opera as an apprentice. After a year and a half in Switzerland, she joined the Hagen City Theater, in Germany, where she sang for 18 years. She returned to Bartlesville in 2001 and taught at Tulsa University. She currently is adjunct professor of Voice at Oklahoma Wesleyan University as well as director of music ministries at Bartlesville First Church.
Favorite Bible Verse: For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor heights nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Becky Burruss has been cooking for the people of First Church since 2011.
A graduate of College High School in Bartlesville, Becky says she has years of experience cooking for her three children. In fact, it’s been her dream to own a café named "A Little Piece of Heaven."
Years ago, when Becky was homeless and pregnant with her first child, her grandmother inspired her by teaching her to cook and sew. Now Becky strives to be an inspiration to each of her four grandchildren.
Becky loves her job and the people that God has placed in her life. She enjoys feeding people and sharing God’s love through food.
Tracy Doss joined the staff of First Church in 2013 as director of Kids First Child Care.
Tracy brings with her a broad experience in the childcare field. Prior to joining the staff at First Church, Tracy taught in a George Kaiser Foundation –funded classroom at Tri-County Technology Center. Before that, she was teacher and later site director Delaware Tribe’s Child Development Center in Bartlesville.
She brings a keen interest in helping parents and families gain greater understanding into their child’s development, as well as helping our teachers recognize and claim their immeasurable opportunity and impact as teachers.
Tracy is a mother of two grown sons. She has extensive experience, an obvious passion and impressive understanding of the field she’ll be working in here at First Church.
A native of the Texas Panhandle, Wayne has been director of accounting at First Church since June 2000. A graduate of West Texas State University with a BBA in finance and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a master’s in religious education, Wayne was in the banking industry for many years before attending seminary.
Wayne is married to Lexa and they have two grown sons, Shelby and his wife, Jennifer of Midwest City and Maury and his wife, Ashley of Phoenix, Ariz. roud grandparents of Toby, Holly, Brady and Katherine Ford.
Favorite Bible Verse: But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Lori Hibbard has served as the administrative associate since August 2005, although she has been a member since December 12, 1993. When she’s not busy trying to meet the needs of the pastoral staff, she can often be found working behind the scenes with the youth department. Lori and her husband, Warren, were married April 21, 2007. Between them they have 5 children; Alex, Michael, Shannon, Adam, and Benjamin.
Favorite Bible Verse: And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:14)
Desira is a native of Nowata, Okla. where she graduated high school in 2003. She graduated from Tulsa Community College with an associate's degree in business. Desira and her husband, Clay, were married in 2007. In January 2010 they welcomed their daughter, Jerika, and in April 2012 they welcomed their son, William.
Susan Mueller is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a degree in music education and Southern Methodist University with a master’s in choral conducting.
She taught vocal music for five years in the Jenks Public Schools, and for 20 years at Bartlesville High School. During those years, her choirs were awarded many superior ratings, gold awards, sweepstakes awards, and sweepstakes plus plaques. Susan also taught both choral music and music education courses for several years on the college level - at Oral Roberts University and Bartlesville Wesleyan College (now Oklahoma Wesleyan University).
In 2006, she was selected as Bartlesville High School’s Teacher of the Year, and in 2007, was chosen the Director of Distinction by the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association. In 2008, Susan was inducted in to the Oklahoma Music Education Association Hall of Fame.
After retiring from the Bartlesville schools in 2008, she continues as conductor of the Bartlesville Choral Society and as pianist at First Church.
Mark joined the staff of First Church in October of 2007. He is a 2008 graduate of Bartlesville High School and a recent graduate of the greatest university in the STATE.
Favorite Bible Verse: For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
CJ was raised in Gilmer, Texas where she spent loads of time learning and worshipping at First United Methodist Church. Her college years were spent at Texas A&M University and Texas A&M Wesley Foundation. She says that the Wesley Foundation taught her about service projects and true acceptance by the church.
After college, CJ taught junior high and high school math in Center Point, Bandera, and Giddings, Texas. She also worked in Christian education part time in United Methodist churches in Boerne, Bandera, and Mason, Texas. CJ was very active with United Methodist Women while living in Texas—she served as a conference officer for eight years and a district officer for four years. She learned about the International Christmas Market through UMW and has been continuing that ministry for over 20 years.
CJ moved to Bartlesville in 2005 to teach math at Nowata High School. She joined First UMC in July 2006 and began working with the children’s music in August 2006. CJ is part of the missions committee, United Methodist Women, and the Sanctuary Choir at First UMC. CJ’s family includes her cat, Milo.
Favorite Bible Verse: We know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to God’s purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Laura Wooden is delighted to serve in ministry at First Church as director of children and family ministries.
Laura was raised in the United Methodist Church and has taught pre-school aged children at Lake Junaluska United Methodist Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina and at Southern Hills UMC Early Childhood Program in Lexington, Kent. She has also served in Children’s Ministries at Children’s Center Lighthouse in Tallinn, Estonia, where she enjoyed leading Vacation Bible School for children in need of an alternative to life on the streets.
Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Southwestern University and enjoys running, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
Favorite Bible Passage: People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16)
Dr. Thompson was raised in the Washington, D.C. Suburbs of Maryland and received the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees in music from the University of Maryland on scholarship and full fellowship.
Though a clarinet major, he studied organ at the university during the school year and then at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N. J. in the summers. His main organ teachers included Joan Lippincott, George Markey, and Pat Partridge. In addition to studying organ at the University of Maryland, he was the chapel organist there for the protestant and catholic services for seven years.
He became professor of music at the College of Charleston in South Carolina in 1974 where he headed the instrumental music division. While in Charleston, he was principal clarinet and assistant conductor of the Charleston Symphony, music director of the Charleston Opera Company, and music director of the Spoleto Festival All-State Youth Orchestra. He was a finalist in the East-West International Artists competition in New York City and Third Prize Winner in the National Orchestral Conducting Competition held in LaCrosse Wisconsin in 1981.
Randy came to Bartlesville in 1985 and became a Diaconal Minister in the Oklahoma United Methodist Church. Since 1998, Randy became full-time professor of music and administrator at Oklahoma Wesleyan University. At OWU, Randy served as department coordinator, humanities division chair, Associate Dean for academic assessment and as vice president for institutional development. Randy also plays clarinet in the Bartlesville Symphony and Tulsa’s Signature Symphony in addition to being First Church’s organist.
Favorite Bible Verse: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – not because of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2: 8-9)