Rev. Emily L. Robnett was appointed as an Associate Pastor at Bartlesville First Church on June 28, 2020. Emily is a native Oklahoman, born and raised in Ada where she was an active member of Ada First United Methodist. She studied at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English Education and received her Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Before serving at BFC, she served as Senior Pastor at Enid New Hope United Methodist from 2017-2020.
As a member of the Oklahoma Conference, she currently serves as Chair of the Commission of the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) and as a member of Minority Local Church Concerns (MLCC). She is passionate about OKUMC Summer Camps, and usually attends LEAD and district camp.
Emily is happily married to Rev. Michael Robnett, who also serves at Bartlesville First; they are expecting their first child in August 2020.
Rev. Michael Robnett was appointed as an Associate Pastor at Bartlesville First Church on June 28, 2020. Although Michael was born in Connecticut and raised across most of the East Coast, he considers the New Orleans/Slidell, Louisiana area his true home. He studied at the University of New Orleans, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law Studies and received his Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Before serving at BFC, he served as Senior Pastor at Christ United Methodist Church in Enid from 2017-2019, and as Associate Pastor of Youth and Modern Worship at First United Methodist Church Enid from 2019-2020.
Michael is happily married to Rev. Emily L. Robnett, who also serves at Bartlesville First; they are expecting their first child in August 2020.
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.
Volunteer Worship Leader
Now retired from the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church, Rev. Paul Overholt serves at First Church as a volunteer worship leader.
In her elementary years, Patricia was quite the world traveler. Her roots finally found a home in the hills of West Virginia where she spent her more formative years and most of her adult life. Patricia graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelors degree in Sociology and a Minor in Spanish. While attending WVU she also found a passion for religious studies and took as many religious courses as her field of study would allow. After graduating, Patricia entered the corporate world. While she enjoyed the fast pace and challenges afforded by this environment she was not happy with having to sacrifice time and life away from her family. Around this time she felt a call to ministry as a lay employee at her local church. She worked there as the Director of Finance and Administration for several years. Prior to working here at Bartlesville First Church, Patricia held another position steeped in ministry as the Vice President of Operations for an adventure travel company whose target customer base was church youth groups. In June of 2019, Patricia and her husband Jason moved to Bartlesville from their tiny town in West Virginia where they had lived and raised their family for the last 15 years. They have 3 children: Jacob, Claire, and Tala. In addition to spending time with her family, in her free time – when she has it, Patricia enjoys reading, baking, playing video games, snowboarding, and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Director of Children and Family Ministries
Jena Barber comes from Dewey United Methodist Church, where she has been assisting her husband, the pastor, with children’s and multi-generational ministries. Before that, Jena spent years in different United Methodist churches serving in a wide range of capacities from preschool ministry to women’s ministry and everything in between. Jena was educated at Lyon College and is currently working toward an elementary education degree online. Her work experience, centered on nonprofit development and event planning, lend creativity to her work; her years as a yoga teacher keep her centered. Jena and her husband Jinx have two daughters, Kali and Cadence, three dogs, a cat, and a bearded dragon. When she’s not working with kids, you’ll find Jena cooking or reading.
Laley is a graduate of Oklahoma City University with a bachelor’s degree in Religious Education and a minor in Mass Communication. She attended OCU on the Bishop’s Scholarship and graduated in December 2019.
Laley’s Methodist journey first began at Claremore First United Methodist Church. While at Claremore FUMC, she began regularly volunteering in the youth worship band, leading small groups, and participating in leadership roles at summer camp. Laley was later able to attend Oklahoma City University (our United Methodist-affiliated university), work at the Oklahoma United Methodist Conference Office in the camping department, and serve as the Christian Education Director and Ministry Administrator at Bridgeview United Methodist Church in Norman, Oklahoma.
Laley and her husband Koleson are currently living on Brookside in Tulsa with their three fur babies: Two cats, Nora and Fitzgerald, and a dog named Auggie. Aside from serving in ministry, some of Laley’s favorite things in life include sipping iced coffee, spending time with family, friends and pets, and sitting outside during thunderstorms.
Children’s Ministry Associate (Volunteer Leader)
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, LaGrange and Giddings, Texas. She also worked in Christian education in United Methodist churches in Boerne, Bandera, Kerrville, La Grange, 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 25 years.
CJ moved to Bartlesville in 2005 to teach math at Nowata High School. She now teaches Geometry at Bartlesville High School. She joined Bartlesville First Church in July 2006 and began working with the children’s music in August 2006. She now works as an associate in Children’s Ministry helping in many different ways. She has been a site coordinator/supervisor for Project Transformation since it started in Bartlesville. CJ is part of the missions committee, children’s council, United Methodist Women, and the Sanctuary Choir at Bartlesville First Church. CJ’s family includes her cats Milo and Tenny.
Director of Media Ministries
Joel is a native Californian who transplanted to Oklahoma when his now wife got into Oklahoma State University’s Veterinary Medicine Program. They moved here in 2005 and are enjoying life here. Joel’s background is in concert sound production and live television production. In 2003, Joel was an audio engineer on the Vans Warped tour, traveling to 30 states and 3 Canadian providences, doing 45 shows in 51 day period.
After his “rock star” days, Joel met his now wife and gave up the tour life. After his wife, Sarah, finished vet school, they settled in Bartlesville, where she is originally from. They opened her mobile veterinary practice, 4 The Animals Veterinary Clinic in 2009. Along with the vet business they also do a lot of animal rescue, transport and outreach for animals within the community. Many times you can find a plethora of foster animals at their house.
In 2010 they adopted their 2 children from Ethiopia. Both kids have adjusted well to the American life style. Their son, Amanuel, plays competitive soccer and is quite the athlete in Basketball also. Their daughter, Demekech, is more the artistic type. She enjoys playing violin and wants to start acting. In June of 2016, Joel and his wife, Sarah, welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. Eden is growing quickly and enjoys spending time at the church learning the ins and outs of everyone’s job.
Along with working at the church, Joel still enjoys working freelance television. He predominately works for Cox, doing audio for their local broadcasts. He also fills in for Fox sports working with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Oklahoma State University and University of Oklahoma. He also enjoys video games and playing guitar, when time permits.
Trae Brown was born in Bartlesville, OK and graduated from Dewey High School. He attended college at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS from 2013 – 2019. He studied Communication, Broadcasting, and Film/Video Production. He received his Bachelor’s of Science in 2017 and Master’s of Art in 2019.
Heather has worked for Bartlesville first church for 13 years. She is a Bartlesville native. Heather graduated from Bartlesville High school in 1995, and then from Culinary Arts at Tri- County Tech in 1996.
Building & Grounds Associate
Assistant Director of Kids First Child Development Center
Born and raised in Bartlesville, Ashlie Darnell has been the Kids First Assistant Director since January of 2019. She has backgrounds in family business ownership, office management, insurance and organization but loves her job with Kids First more than any job she has previously had.
Ashlie is married to Kirk Darnell and together they have 6 children, Kelsey, Paittan (and husband Kyle), Korbin (and wife Julia), Sean (and wife Sidney), Noah, Ethan and four grandkids, McKenzie, Gracie, Avery and Caleb.
Some of her interests are spending time with her family, helping people, interior design, being outside and watching OU and Noah’s Bruin football teams.
Ashlie has a passion for helping others. She gave her heart to the Lord in 2007 and has been a member at Bartlesville First Church since October of 2018. She looks forward to continued Christian growth and sharing the love of the Lord to others.
Director of Kids First Child Development Center
Martha Sager has lived in Bartlesville since 1988. She is married to Gary Boorigie and together they have 7 children and 14 grandchildren.
Martha has her BS in Child Development and Family Relations from the University of Arkansas. She has owned and operated 2 childcare centers, helped start the Preschool for the YMCA. She worked many years in the financial field as a financial advisor and went on to be a VIP host and now has been employed by Kids First since October 2018. She started in the position of a teacher and is now holds the title of Director. Anyone familiar with the school has seen many changes and updates and will continue to see even more. It is the thrill of my lifetime to have this opportunity!
Martha has a passion for traveling the world over but the delight of her life is spending time with her grandchildren!