Rev. Dr. Greg Tener was appointed as the Senior Pastor of Bartlesville First Church on June 1, 2018. Greg is originally from Moore, OK where he was an active member of First UMC. He holds degrees from Oklahoma City University, Southern Methodist University, and Saint Paul School of Theology.
Greg worked for Southwestern Bell for sixteen years before entering ordained ministry. Since 1993, he has served the churches in Wilson, Loco, Putnam City (OKC), and Poteau. Greg also served as the director of the Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry in Weatherford. In 2012, Greg served as the District Superintendent in the Ardmore District, followed by the Heartland District.
As a member of the Oklahoma Annual Conference, Greg is serving on the Board of Ordained Ministry. He is a supporter of the camping and campus ministries of the conference.
Greg and his wife, Judy have two children, Bryan (Angela) of Piedmont, OK, and Melissa of OKC.
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.
Alex Rivera has been the organist and choral accompanist at Bartlesville First Church since 2016. He graduated from Bartlesville High School. He then graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education – Voice with Special Distinction.
In addition to serving at Bartlesville First Church, Alex is one of the Choir directors at Bartlesville High School where he teaches Choir, Introduction to Music Theory, and Advanced Placement Music Theory. In 2017, Alex was awarded the Outstanding Young Music Educator Award for the state of Oklahoma from Oklahoma Music Educators Association. He is also on the chairperson committee for Oklahoma Choral Directors Association Junior High All-State Honor Choirs.
Alex and his wife Callie have 3 beautiful children, Eli, Zeke, and Ella. They are foster parents through Circle of Care who often welcome children of varying ages into their hearts and homes.
Director of Operations/Director of Communications
A native of NW Oklahoma and a graduate of Coldwater High in the small south-central Kansas town of Coldwater, Kirk is passionate about helping people and making a difference. Kirk’s career path includes managing information technology systems and people and professional ranch management, where he originally expected to spend his career after graduating from OSU with a degree in Animal Science and Ranch Management. Most recently, he has helped people and made a difference through his 17-year career as an insurance agent and financial advisor. He and his wife, Ashlie, currently own an Allstate agency here in Bartlesville.
Kirk is also passionate about ranching and helping kids. He has visions of creating a foster parent community on his working ranch, Resurrection Ranch, where he and Ashlie raise cattle and hair sheep.
His other interests include spending time with his and Ashlie’s six kids, Paittan, Kelsey, Korbin, Sean, Noah and Ethan and their granddaughter, McKenzie, watching college football (BIG OU FAN) and following Noah’s bruin football career!
Kirk joined the First Church team in October 2018 and looks forward to combining many of his passions and interests in his role as Director Of Operations & Director of Communications, making a difference for God’s people in God’s kingdom.
Director of Accounting
A native of the Texas Panhandle, Wayne has been director of accounting at First Church since June 2000. A graduate of West Texas State University with a BBA in finance and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a master’s in religious education, Wayne was in the banking industry for many years before attending seminary.
Wayne is married to Lexa and they have two grown sons, Shelby and his wife, Jennifer, of Midwest City and Maury and his wife, Ashley, of Oklahoma City. Wayne and Lexa are the proud grandparents of Toby, Holly, Brady and Katherine Ford.
Gretta first became of member of First United Methodist Church (now known as Bartlesville First Church) in 1965. Due to her husband, Doug, being transferred to Kansas City back to Bartlesville and later to Colorado and once again back to Bartlesville she has jointed First United Methodist Church a total of three times the last being in 1988 when she and Doug returned to Bartlesville for the final time. Doug and Gretta were high school sweethearts and have what is called “A long term marriage.” They have two sons, Stephen and Mitchell, who are both married. Stephen and his wife, Erika, live in Castle Rock, Colorado while Mitchell and his wife, Brandy and their three daughters (Jasmine, Cheyenne, and Savannah) live in Guthrie, Oklahoma. When she is with her granddaughters her name is Gigi and it makes Gretta so happy to finally be able to do girl stuff with them.
Gretta’s employment with Bartlesville First Church began in 1990 as a full time employee in the Accounting Department. She has continued working in the Accounting Department but now she works part-time. Working part-time, she says, gives her the best of both worlds. She treasures the friendships she has made while working at Bartlesville First Church and finds fulfillment in her job responsibilities. When she is not working, she and Doug are season ticket holders to TU home football games; Broadway Plays which comes to Tulsa and Tulsa Town Hall speaking events all of which she enjoys very much. She collect antiques, enjoys seasonal decorating her home, gardening, exercising, participating in special organizations she is involved with and reading a good book. She is currently building a seven (7) room doll house and is looking forward to completing the building part and begin furnishing it.
When asked to share she favorite Bible passage said she doesn’t really have a favorite, but finds herself when reading the Bible thinking “Gee, I really like what I have just read”. She does have a very special devotional book she reads daily and that is “Jesus Calling” and recommends the book to all who are interested in establishing a loving relationship with Jesus.
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.
Director of Student Ministries
Cyndi joined the First Church family February 2016. She has served in youth ministry for over 17 years. She and her wonderful husband Jerry have two little boys Jonah, and Elijah. Cyndi’s passion for ministry is rooted in her years as a student growing up in the United Methodist Church. Cyndi studied Biology at OSU-OKC. Prior to moving to Bartlesville, she served as a Pharmacy Technician, Bank Teller, and Secretary in the Oklahoma City area.
Director of Spiritual Formation and Christian Education
Shalon joins Bartlesville First United Methodist as a Certified Candidate for Ministry, actively pursing her call to become a Deacon. In addition to her responsibilities with the church, she is a full-time student at Asbury Theological Seminary, attending classes both online and at the Asbury Satellite Campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before receiving her call to the ministry, Shalon was a high school principal for six years and a secondary English teacher for ten years. She holds a B.S. in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English and a minor in religious studies from Oklahoma State University and an M. E.D. in Educational Administration and Curriculum Supervision from the University of Oklahoma. Shalon and her husband David were married in 2001. They currently have one son, Benjamin, who is a very active elementary student. They were also blessed with the opportunity to be foster parents to three, now grown, productive adults. Shalon enjoys doing philanthropic work with her off-road Jeep club, Jeepers Anonymous and spending time traveling with her family. Her favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
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.
Building & Grounds Associate
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.
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!
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.