I am so excited to be Pastor at Muskogee St. Paul United Methodist Church (now in my fifth year). I often describe our church as a friendly, energetic, body of believers, who are seeking to be disciples of Jesus Christ ourselves and lead others into discipleship.
I can’t wait to see you in worship, and introduce you to the great Sunday School classes and activities at Saint Paul. You will find our doors open most every day and evening providing education and services to those in the Muskogee region. Everyone in Muskogee knows that our church is here to serve others and we want you to come and join in that effort. Come and see us!
David graduated from Central High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and earned his Bachelor of Theology from Oral Roberts University and his Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. He is happily married for 40 years to Ann Singleton Burris, who holds a Master of Religious Education from Asbury Theological Seminary. They have one adult son, Matthew.
Before ordination, David served as youth director for three years, chaplain of Waikiki Beach in Hawaii for one year, youth minister at First UMC Wheaton in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, for a year, plus a year as Associate Pastor at Crestwood United Methodist Church in Crestwood, Kentucky.
David has extensive Ordained Ministry experience, including two and a half years at Turley UMC in Tulsa, four years at Hennessey UMC in Hennessy, seven years at Tonkawa UMC in Tonkawa, four years at First UMC in Okmulgee, five years at First UMC in Tahlequah, five years at First UMC in Moore, and four years at Will Rogers UMC in Tulsa. He served five years with Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr. as Woodward District Superintendent.
David served as a reserve delegate to the 2000, 2004, and 2008 General Conferences of the United Methodist Church, and a delegate to the 2000, 2004 and 2008 South Central Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church.
His Oklahoma Conference leadership experience includes 8 years on the Board of Ordained Ministry (four of those years as Conference registrar); 8 years as chair of the Oklahoma Board of Global Ministries (later named the Mission Service Ministry Team including Church and Society, Global Ministries and Interreligious Concerns); six years as Chair of the Oklahoma Conference Committee on Congregational Development; many years as a member of the Oklahoma Annual Conference Council; and 16 years as a Trustee Board member (four years as chair of the Board) of the Lydia Patterson Institute, a school of over 420 students in El Paso, Texas. He now serves on the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation Board and the Oklahoma Conference Episcopacy Committee.
David has led volunteers in mission construction, medical and VBS teams to Alaska, Zimbabwe, Slovakia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Russia, Old Mexico, Boys Ranch, Puerto Rico, and Cape Town, South Africa.
David is a coach for Natural Church Development, trained in 360 Readiness Training, and completed VIM Leader Training. He has led five classes of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. He has taught 10 Advanced Lay Servant trainings in the Woodward District. He served as camp leader for three years at the CLEW District Youth Camp at Canyon Camp, and he recently completed a 32-hour training in conflict transformation and meditation skills. David is active member of the Muskogee Ministerial Alliance and a member of the Muskogee Rotary Club.
Ineta Bebb, Director of Music Ministries – Ineta oversees the choir programs and the maintenance of the church’s organs, pianos and handbells. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education and her Masters in Vocal Performance at Kansas University. She’s served as the Director of Music Ministries at St. Paul since 1982. Prior to that, she taught music at university and public schools. She and her husband Martin have two grown children, Stephanie and Michael, who each have families of their own.
Margaret Wagner, Learning Tree Director – Margaret received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at NSU. She has 34 years of teaching experience with Muskogee Public Schools. Her husband, Steve, is deceased. They have two daughters, Lynne and Laura, and five grandchildren, Kate, Jack, Stephen, Poppy, and Wagner.
Lynnette Lewis, Business Administrator – Lynnette is in charge of the church’s financial records, and oversees the church buildings’ maintenance and repairs. She has her Associate degree in Medical Office Management and Medical Transcription. Her experience includes managing medical offices, bakery, property and real estate. She and her husband Cameron have four children: Ben, Gideon, Michaela, and Jessica; they also have a granddaughter, Emma.
Joanne Nilsson, Administrative Assistant – Joanne received her Associate of Science in Business Administration from Bacone College. She has over 25 years experience working in the church office and the administration field. She and her husband Mark have two grown children, Adam and Megan, and four grandchildren, Tessla Gail, Arcadia Mae Kameron Kurtis, and Kooper Wyatt.
Rhonda Beard, Organist and Director of Children’s Choirs – Rhonda serves as organist for Sunday and special services, funerals, weddings and children’s choirs. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Oklahoma State University and her Master of Education at Vanderbilt. She has served as organist in several churches from high school through graduate work. She and husband Ken have three children, Cassie, Vann, and Kyle.