Reverend Bertha Potts
Bert, as our senior pastor, has been a pioneer in ministry since her young adult days. She shared in youth ministry with her husband, Mickey, who is a pastoral counselor and ordained, clergy in the Oklahoma conference. She has had experience in leading children’s choir and adult choirs and eventually in Christian Education. She graduated from Oklahoma City University in the early 70′s, took classes at Duke University and Duke Divinity School, and Kansas University. She has served small membership congregations, medium size and large size churches, has been an associate pastor and had the honor of serving at United Methodist Church of the Servant, OKC, in the area of Community Life for six years, dealing with belonging ministries and hospitality. She also has had Clinical Pastoral Education training.
She has been pastor of three congregations who were involved in building and expansion programs including Trinity UMC in Purcell, Sunny Lane UMC in Del City, and Quail Springs UMC in OKC. Before coming to Edmond First she served for five years as a district superintendent in the Stillwater District of the Oklahoma conference. While on the district she worked closely with Don Nations Associates, a coaching ministry which was offered to many churches in that district.
This coaching experience has been instrumental in the way Bert understands the value of vision, specialization and training of staff , the empowerment of laity as well as the importance of reaching for excellence.
er degrees include an undergraduate degree from Oklahoma City University, a Masters of Divinity from Central Baptist Seminary in Kansas City and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City.
She has served as a preaching coach for Saint Paul School of Theology in OKC for a limited time and presently serves on the Wesley Foundation Board at UCO. She also served with the spiritual program for the wellness initiatives at UCO.
She has had extensive service in the area of pastoral care for the Oklahoma conference, the Board of Ministry, parsonages, campus ministry and work with Epworth Villa retirement community and cooperating with others to provide training with Ken Callahan and other evangelism opportunities in the past years.
Bert and Mickey have a son, daughter in law and one grand daughter. Finding time to be with them is challenging but she seeks to share one afternoon a week, in which she and Mickey spend dedicated time with their grand daughter who is ready to start first grade.
She loves to do scrap booking, visit boutiques, do antique shopping, decorate, read, enjoys music, drama, and movies. She loves to eat out, especially at restaurants which understand the needs of those who are “gluten free”. She is a great believer in alternative medicine and wellness initiatives. She likes to visit sea shores and finds the sacrament of baptism to be a healing part of understanding our purpose in life. She loves meditative prayer and developing and leading worship. She also feels honored to share in the lives of people as a shepherd of a congregation.
Bert knows what it is like to blaze a trail, the sacrifices needed to be a leader and the absolute joy of seeing a vision and help it become reality. She and Mickey have a close professional relationship as well as an abiding love for each other. They have found meaning in being one of the few clergy couples in our conference to serve as a married couple with both being ordained. Early on this was a novelty, now every person and spouse is treated with respect and value in our conference. That makes it all worth while!
Bert is available mostly through her cell phone. She is in an out of the office, visiting and planning and would be happy to respond to your needs. She simply does not find it meaningful to sit at her desk and wait for someone to come. She continues to make time for prospective members and believes it is important to visit in a personal way with all those who are joining. Many new ministries are developing with laity leading our belonging ministries but she will always want to give a personal touch as often as she can!
At the present time she is the primary preacher for all three morning worship services on Sunday and coordinates the leadership of Experience 6:35 on Sunday evenings and our special liturgical celebrations as well. She is the “pastor in charge” and deals with administrative council, new building issues, finance, pastoral care , worship planning and is the leader of our staff.
Bert also leads a team of “Hospital Visitors” who visit hospitals in the metropolitan area, as a special part of her extended ministry, creating the path for everyone to receive a visit every day on behalf of our church, while they are in the hospital. She usually prays with those facing surgery right before their scheduled time. Do call and let the office know any care concern you have. She also seeks to visit and serve communion with the home-bound as often as possible.
Edmond First UMC is a dynamic, diverse, historical congregation with a mission to reach out to the geographical community around the church and to be part of the transformational ministries of the United Methodist global denomination. Several clergy, both deacon and elders, are affiliated with the congregation and empowered to be in ministry here.
The mission begins with FIRST U MEET CHRIST. We hope you will find your place here and never hesitate to contact Rev. Potts.
Reverend Samuel Powers
Although born in Minneapolis, I was raised in Tulsa and then later Sapulpa. I’m the youngest of three children and my parents still live in Tulsa. We were Assemblies of God until I was 8 years old and then our family transferred to Boston Avenue United Methodist Church. It was a big decision for us as the worship styles were so different. My parents appreciated the quiet reverence of the service as well as the United Methodist’s incorporation of context with scripture.
I was very active in the church growing up and when I went on to Oklahoma State University, I ended up living as a resident custodian at the Wesley Foundation there. I continued to feel God’s call upon my life to be a pastor but I was reluctant because I was not interested in weekly preaching!
After graduation, I worked at New Haven United Methodist Church as a youth minister for four years. God continued to work on me and I actually gained an affinity for homiletics. It was during this time that I met Sheryl Heaton, a life-long United Methodist whose grandfather, the Reverend Loren Heaton, was a United Methodist minister in our conference. We married and then moved to Atlanta, Georgia where I attended seminary at Emory while Sheryl got her MBA at the University of Georgia.
We returned to Oklahoma where I was ordained and served at Salem United Methodist Church in Drummond for 4 ½ years. We grew this church from 65 to over 100 in worship attendance, establishing a strong connection with the school and the church. Our children and youth programs thrived and we led the district in the number of kids we sent to camp our last two summers.
We moved to Piedmont in January of 2001 where the church had decreased in attendance to around 100. We began to grow again and eventually relocated our congregation to a beautiful new facility. This has allowed the church to continue to expand each year, averaging 276 in our Sunday worship attendance in 2013. This last year, we delved into video ministry and web presence as we seek to reach new people with the Good News. We recently started a partnership with Cashion United Methodist Church and provide video of our sermon for their Sunday morning worship.
As a leader, I believe in being a non-anxious presence. I am not a micro-manager and prefer to work with creative people who will utilize their gifts to expand our vision to share the hospitality of Christ with a world hungry to receive. Theologically, I am grounded in Wesleyan grace finding that prevenient grace especially allows United Methodists to gain inroads into a post-modern culture. My preference for worship style is traditional, but I also enjoy a variety of instrumentation as we sing together.
My vision of a healthy congregation is one that is multi-generational that grows in discipleship through weekly worship that reminds us that God is our center rather than ourselves; Christian education opportunities that push us to incorporate the Bible and our theology into our practices of daily living; and hands-on mission to the community where we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, and welcome the stranger. A healthy congregation is one where each person feels their value in Christ and seeks to share this faith with those they encounter through their words and actions. A healthy congregation regularly gathers in fellowship to strengthen our resolve to walk in Christ together. I look forward to our sharing in our faith journey as we live into God’s exciting future!
Reverend Don Vaught
Don is an ordained deacon. Deacons are called to help the local church meet its mission to go “beyond the walls” of the church and into the community and world. Don has a long history of serving the needs in the community of the homeless and unemployed. He was appointed to Edmond First as Associate Pastor in 2011.
His past appointments have included serving as Executive Director of The Education and Employment Ministry (TEEM) and Director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches. Don has degrees from Oklahoma State University (1979), University of Oklahoma Law School (Juris Doctor, 1982) and Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa (Master of Divinity, 2007), which included seminary work at Perkins School of Theology (SMU).
He shares pastoral care responsibilities along with our Senior Pastor.