Pastor – Larry Varvel
Senior Pastor Larry Varvel was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 1959. His family moved to Tulsa in 1971 and Larry graduated from Tulsa Memorial High School in 1978. Larry then attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman as a National Merit Scholar where he was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Letters in 1981 and a Master’s degree in Philosophy in 1983.
In 1983, Larry moved to Pasadena, California to attend Fuller Theological Seminary. While in California, Larry met and married his wife Jeanine, a Pasadena native. Larry graduated from Fuller with a Master’s degree in Divinity in 1986 and was ordained as a United Methodist pastor that same year.
Prior to his coming to Broken Arrow in 2003, Larry served as the Associate Pastor at Wesley UMC in Oklahoma City (1986-1988), pastor of the First UMC of Atoka, OK (1988-1990), OK; pastor of Quail Springs UMC in Oklahoma City (1990-1997), and Senior Pastor of the First UMC of Ada, OK (1997-2003). While serving in Ada, Larry was awarded the Denman Award for Excellence in Evangelism by the United Methodist Foundation for Evangelism.
Larry has an extensive background in musical theater and drama. He has appeared in productions at OU and Theatre Tulsa, and has written and performed biblical monologues and short plays. His hobby is collecting comic books and super-hero memorabilia in general, and Batman memorabilia in particular. He has been written into comic books; the fictional ‘Rev. Larry Varvel’ in DC Comics’ Supergirl is based on Larry.
Jeanine Varvel has a degree in child development from California State University and has worked in each of their churches in the area of children’s ministry. Larry and Jeanine have three children: Patty Deras, a graduate of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater who teaches at Lynn Wood Elementary School in Broken Arrow and lives here in Broken Arrow with her husband, Andrew Deras; Lainie Varvel, a graduate of OSU in Hotel and Restaurant Administration who is a manager at Cheddar’s Restaurant in Tulsa; and Andrew Varvel, a student at the University of Oklahoma in Norman majoring in Education. Patty and Andrew Deras, Lainie Varvel and Andrew Varvel have all won national championships with the Pride of Broken Arrow Marching Band.
The Varvel family enjoys vacationing in the mountains, at the beach and snow skiing. They have two cats, Max & Daisy.
Associate Pastor – Desi Sharp
Desi was born in Tulsa and raised all over the state as part of a United Methodist pastor’s family. She graduated from Clinton High School before moving to the Oklahoma City Metro Area where she remained active in The United Methodist Church, working with youth in a variety of settings.
After committing to her call to ordained ministry Desi began attending Oklahoma City University’s Wimberly School of Religion where she attained her Bachelor’s Degree in Religion in 2011. While at OCU she was inducted into Theta Alpha Kappa, the national religion honor society, and was awarded the Pritchett Scholarship toward furthering her education.
Desi then moved to Boston, MA to attend Seminary at Boston University School of Theology where she received a Masters of Divinity in 2014. While at BUSTH she served as the School of Theology Student Association Secretary in 2012-13, and as Vice President from 2013-14. She was also involved in the Wesley Student Association as Secretary in 2013-14, and as Vice President from 2013-14. She was given the Student Leadership Award in 2014.
Desi was commissioned as a Provisional Elder in The United Methodist Church at the 2014 Oklahoma Annual Conference. She was appointed to serve as the Associate Pastor for First United Methodist Church, Broken Arrow at that same time.
Desi loves to travel. She has so far been to South Korea, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Mexico, and if you count the briefest of layovers (which she does!) Germany and Canada. She has also been to much of the United States. Her goal is to see as much of God’s creation and to meet as many of God’s people as possible.
Director of Student Ministries – Graeme Collett
Graeme Collett joins our staff on January 1st, 2014, as Director of Student Ministries. Graeme previously served three and a half years as Director of Student Ministries at the First United Methodist Church of Sand Springs.
Graeme is married to Jetonne Collett, who is finishing nursing school and will be working at St. Francis South Hospital. Graeme was born in Manitoba, Canada, raised in Nebraska, and graduated from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, where he met Jetonne.
Assoc. Director of Student Ministries – Paige Gaither
Paige Gaither is our Associate Director of Student Ministry here at FUMCBA. She grew up at First United Methodist in Edmond, OK and went to college at Oklahoma State University. Paige spent her time in college serving on the LifeChurch.tv youth ministry team. As a volunteer, she worked with the 6-7th grade girls and oversaw the leaders who served in the middle school small groups. Paige graduated with a degree in Human Development and Family Science and a minor of Religious Studies in May of 2014. Soon after graduation she married her husband Ryan and together they moved to Broken Arrow where Paige joined our team in June 2014.
Children’s Director – Karen Lawless
A life-long Methodist, Karen is passionate about the growth and development of children and feels very blessed to help nurture their spiritual growth as well. Karen has long been active in children’s ministry at First Church; serving as a volunteer and as the associate director since 2005, and also teaching within the DLC.
Karen moved from Texas in 1998 where she was an elementary teacher and assistant principal in the Garland and Rockwall ISDs. She holds a B.S. from Baylor University and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from East Texas State University, as she was a Meadows Fellow within the Meadows Principal Improvement Program.
Karen and her husband, Lane, have been married since 1996 and have been members of FUMCBA since 1998. They have one daughter, Morgan. Karen’s interests include being with her family, crafting, and keeping up with her Bears.
Assistant Children’s Director – Lisa Rutledge
Lisa was born and raised in Tulsa, and is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Psychology. After college she served with Americorp in Baltimore, MD with at risk youth, then returned to Tulsa to work with the homeless population and community outreach with the Mental Health division of Family & Children Services. Upon returning home she met her husband Billy in the Southeast Tulsa Jaycees, a civic organization and married in 2004. In 2005, she began her 10 year career at The National MS Society where she worked with health care professionals and program planning.
Lisa lives with her family in Broken Arrow and they have been members of the church since 2005. They have 2 sons, Jacob and Owen, who attend Broken Arrow Public Schools and Lisa is active in the schools’ PTA organizations. Her passion is her faith, family, community and friends. She is thrilled to continue her work with children and to continue helping others.
Contemporary Worship Leader – Adam Heare
Adam leads the 9:45 service worship band and the youth worship band on Wednesday nights. He also oversees the college, young adults, and A/V ministries. He holds a degree in Worship Arts from the Conservatory of Worship Arts. He is married to Kate and they have 3 children: Gwen, Jackson, and Nora.
The new worship album from Nine Forty Five has just arrived! You can purchase a CD at the church for $10 or on iTunes for $9.99.
Care Ministry – Francie Pardee
Francie Pardee grew up in this church. She is a wealth of information about the history of FUMCBA and people who have worshipped here through the years.
Francie has a wonderful gift of making people feel welcome, which makes her the perfect person to serve as our Care Ministry Coordinator. She also works with the scheduling of life events here at the church.
To contact Francie either phone the office at 918-258-1505 or email her at francie.pardee[at]fumcba.org.
Business Administrator – Kathy Glassco
Kathy first came to Tulsa from Texas when she attended and graduated from Oral Roberts University. Kathy worked in various fields of accounting, auditing, management and construction before she came to work at FUMC – BA.
Kathy is a lifetime Methodist. She and her family continue to serve their faith in the United Methodist Church in Tulsa. Kathy’s husband, Kurt, is a Judge in Tulsa, County district court.
When she is not at church, her interests are her daughters, Molly & Jenny. In her spare time, Kathy also loves to paint.
Financial Secretary – Tammy Lind
Tammy is a 1986 graduate of Broken Arrow Senior High School. She previously worked as an Administrative Secretary for First Christian Church, BA, and has previous accounting experience. As your Financial Secretary, Tammy is the one you contact if you have questions regarding your gifts to the church.
Tammy and her husband, Bill have three beautiful children and two beautiful granddaughters. Erica, Kaitlyn Ruth & Avery Claire live in Kansas. Erica is enjoying raising her two beautiful daughters; Bobby is an Airman in the Air National Guard and is attending OU working toward a Health and Exercise Science degree; and Jacque is attending Oklahoma State University working toward a Physiology degree. Tammy enjoys spending time with her family!
Communication Secretary – Katie Pulscher
Katie grew up in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. She attended the University of Oklahoma & graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Enterprise Studies. She has a fur-child, Wrigley, who is 7 years old. While in college, Katie attended and worked at McFarlin United Methodist Church as the preteens intern. She is also a member of the sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta. Katie also enjoys going to OU football games, cheering on her Sooners in other sports and hanging out with her friends and family.
As your communication secretary, Katie is the one to contact regarding room reservations, membership questions, bulletin information and any of our print and web materials.
Click here to contact Katie
Receptionist – Leann Jester
Leann was born here in Broken Arrow, and graduated from B.A.H.S. in 1999. She married her high school sweetheart after graduation. Together they have 3 very active children, Analyse, Madalynn & Wyatt. At FUMC-BA Leann serves on the “Fun” committee. She helps plan the annual picnic, advent workshop and fall festival. In her spare time, she enjoys baking and planning parties.
Leann will most times be working behind the front desk on Sunday mornings, and throughout the week. She can help with anything from directions and suggestions on a Sunday School class to new member information. She also helps with book sales and anything in between! If you have a question Sunday morning, ask Leann!
Orchestra & Bell Choir Director – Richard Fair
Pianist/Accompanist – Jeanine Magnuson
Jeanine has been a musical force with FUMCBA adult choirs since 1998. She currently accompanies both adult choirs, and soloists as needed. Jeanine loves to share God’s gift of music with the congregation.
She and her husband, Chase, have a blended family with 4 children, most of them grown. Their youngest son is a junior in Broken Arrow schools and will graduate in the Spring of 2016. Jacob is active in the FUMC youth group, attending weekly activities, youth camp, and mission trips.
Jeanine also teaches music at Highland Park Elementary in Broken Arrow.
Organist – Dawn Frederick
After moving to Broken Arrow in January of 1981, Jerry and Dawn joined FUMCBA in June of that same year. She has been one of our organists on and off since. Before coming to FUMCBA, Dawn was an organist with Trinity UMC in Omaha and First UMC in Norfolk, Nebraska prior to moving to Broken Arrow.
Dawn is retired from St. Francis where she was a Neo Natal ICU nurse. Jerry and Dawn have 2 daughters and 1 son who have blessed them with a total of 8 grandchildren.
Organist – Robin Weaver
Robin Weaver is one of the church organist for First United Methodist. Robin has been a church organist since the age of 16 years old. Robin previously played the organ at another denomination for 18 years before coming to First Methodist. Robin enjoys the music program at First and his family has become involved in this church family. Robin and Pam Weaver have two daughters and three grandchildren of which their youngest daughter and son-in-law along with two grandchildren attend First Methodist of Broken Arrow.
Liturgical Dance Director – Adrienne Teague
Adrienne was born in Tulsa, OK, and graduated from Nathan Hale High School in 1992. She earned a degree in Psychology and Adolescent Sociology at Oklahoma State University. Adrienne married Michael at FUMCBA in 1997 and they have two children, Christopher and Alyssa. She has danced since she was five years old and has led the Breath of Heaven Liturgical Dance group since 2003.
Children’s Choir Director – Karen Lawless
Audio Technician – Tom Martin
Tom graduated from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics in 1983 with an associate degree in Aviation Specialized Technology. In the summer of 1986 Tom was hired at American Airlines in Tulsa, OK. Tom has held several positions at American throughout his career. Tom’s pride and joy are his sons: Ryan, born in 1992 and Brandon, born in 1993. Tom is a lifelong Methodist and has been running the sound for First United Methodist of Broken Arrow since June 2007.
Lay Leader – Bill Johnnie
Bill is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. He is retired and has been a member of FUMCBA for seven years, Bill has previously served on the Adult & Family Committee, Trustees, Administrative Council and as an ex-officio member of the Finance Committee. He and wife Cheryl have been teaching First Grade Sunday School for the past two years.
As Lay Leader, Bill looks forward to getting to know each member of our church family and visiting with you. Please feel free to contact Bill at any time to discuss anything that could effectively enhance the church ministry through the congregation in the community.