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Rev.

Mark Whitley

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Rev. Mark T. Whitley

Rev. Mark Whitley was appointed pastor at Verdigris United Methodist Church in June 2011.  He is a compassionate shepherding pastor, and has a missional spirit to bring Christ's hope and healing to the least, the last, the lost, the broken, and the broken-hearted.  Mark is deeply sacramental in his worship style.  His greatest pastoral gifts are in pastoral care, spiritual formation, discipleship, teaching.  He is becoming a capable church administrator, and he has found his prophetic preaching voice.  Since his first appointment in 2003, every church Mark has led or served has paid 100% of its apportionments each and every year.

Mark was ordained as a United Methodist elder in full connection in May 2011.  He graduated in May 2008 with his Master of Divinity degree (with high honors) from Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa.   Mark began work on his Doctor of Ministry degree in Prophetic Word and Service in August 2016 at St. Paul School of Theology.  Previously he served as the associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Bixby from November 2007 to May 2011.  Mark also served United Methodist churches in student appointments in Verden and Waukomis, OK.  Prior to full time local church ministry, Mark was chaplain  and director of funds development at Epworth Villa, a United Methodist-affiliated retirement community in Oklahoma City from 2003-2005.  His first position in Christian ministry was as a planned giving officer for The Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation from October 2000 to June 2003.

Mark completed three years of training in 2012 with The Sojourn Institute of Tulsa, OK and is a credentialed Spiritual Director.  Mark and Susan have provided very active clergy leadership in three Walks to Emmaus communities in Oklahoma.  Mark and Susan have also provided clergy leadership for the Walk to Emmaus community in Hong Kong, China since 2012. 

Mark serves on the Oklahoma Annual Conference Council.  He served as the Chairperson of the Oklahoma Conference Board of Church & Society from 2012-2016.  Previously, Mark served as the Vice Chair of the Oklahoma Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry.  Mark also served for a time as Vice Chair of the Board the Wesley Foundation at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.  Mark is active as a clergy participant in Conference camping ministries, especially with the lower elementary-aged campers. 

Mark was a health-care professional for 26 years before entering into the ministry.  He worked the last 14 years in organ and tissue donation, and was at one time the Senior Technical Director (Acting) of the 34 local transplant programs once affiliated with American Red Cross National Tissue Services Program in Washington, DC.  Mark transferred to Oklahoma City in 1996 from Washington, DC with the American Red Cross after a year of supporting local recovery efforts in response to the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.  He has two Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA.  Here in Oklahoma, Mark found grace through the United Methodist Church and reclaimed his faith in God through Jesus Christ in 1996 at age 37 after being a professing atheist for 20 years.

Mark has been married to Rev. Susan Whitley for 37 years.  Susan is the pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Skiatook, OK.  Susan taught elementary school for 23 years until she began full time local church ministry in January 2006.  Susan was ordained as an elder in full connection in 2012.  Mark and Susan are from Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Mark and Susan take deep pride in their three children, Bryan (34), Chris (32), and Caitlin (25); all are married, are professionally successful, and live in the Oklahoma City area.  Mark and Susan are proud first-time grandparents with the birth of Chris' daughter Addie Whitley on December 20, 2016.

 

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