Rev. Dr. Jirair Tashjian
Word and Table Pastor, OKC First Church of the Nazarene
Dr. Tashjian sensed a call to ministry as a young lad. When it came time to prepare for that, he enrolled in what is now Point Loma Nazarene University, and completed a bachelor’s degree in religion in 1964. He attended Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City and earned an M.Div. in 1967. After pastoring a church in Paradise, KS for 3 years, he and his wife were appointed to mission work in Taiwan, where his primary responsibility was to teach at the theological college there. After serving in that capacity for 8 years, he began Ph.D. work in New Testament in 1979 at Claremont Graduate University in southern California, finishing in 1987. In 1983, he joined the faculty of what is now Southern Nazarene University, where he taught biblical studies, particularly New Testament and Greek, until his retirement in 2008. In May 2013 he was invited to join the pastoral staff of OKC 1st Church of the Nazarene as pastor of the Word and Table congregation. He continues to serve in that capacity.
Rev. Ken Murray
Retired Pastor in the Church of the Nazarene
Rev. Murray served in active ministry in the Church of the Nazarene for 50 years. For most of those years he was the solo pastor in smaller churches. In 2019 he retired as office manager for the Oklahoma District Church of the Nazarene and accepted the ministry of Shepherding Pastor at OKC 1st Church. In that capacity he works to help local and district licensed ministers in the development of their individual callings. He and his wife Margaret have two children and five grandchildren.
Rev. Bill Kalfas
Pastor at Williams Church of the Nazarene
Bill Kalfas is a self-proclaimed Arizona Desert Rat, even though he has lived in Oklahoma for most of the past 25 years. A graduate of Northwest Nazarene University and Nazarene Theological Seminary, Bill has been pastoring since 1995. He has been serving at Williams Church of the Nazarene since 2010 as the Senior Pastor. Bill enjoys playing guitar and doing caricatures. He and his wife, Sheila, have been married since 1988 and they have three adult children: Christian (and Maddie), Zechariah and Hannah.
Rev. Dr. Monte Nabors
Retired Pastor, Church of the Nazarene
Rev. Dr. Nabors has pastored churches in Oklahoma and Texas. He and his wife own and operate a coffee shop in Fairfax, Oklahoma.
Rev. Jim Williams
Rev. Williams was born in Bartlesville, OK. When Jim was nine-years-old the family moved to El Paso, TX. Jim’s ten years in El Paso helped shape his multicultural worldview. During Jim’s sophomore year at college he met Kaye. The Lord made it very clear that He wanted Jim and Kaye to serve together as missionaries. From 1972 to 1975 Jim and Kaye were involved in pastoral ministries in Texas. From 1976 to 2016 Jim and Kaye served as missionaries. Jim’s primary ministry was training pastors and missionaries for service within complex cultural environments. Jim is now enjoying gardening with Kaye, lovin’ on grandchildren, serving as adjunct faculty, training pastors in two language groups through clergy development, and meeting his neighbors in a diverse residential area in Oklahoma City
Kaye was born in Shattuck, Oklahoma, but from the age of six months lived in Amarillo, TX. From childhood, Kaye knew that God was calling her to serve as a missionary at some point in the future. Following four years serving in churches in Texas, Jim and Kaye went on to serve in the Asia-Pacific Region for 40 years. Besides the responsibilities of the home and the children, Kaye always enjoyed serving in leadership roles of Women’s Bible Studies in the places they served. These days, Kaye is quite happy working in the garden, shopping, exercising, and spending time with the grandkids.
Rev. Dr. Doug Samples
Chaplain, School of Professional and Graduate Studies
Southern Nazarene University
Rev. Dr. Samples graduated from Olivet Nazarene University (1974), an MDiv from Nazarene Theological Seminary (1977), and a DMin from Fuller Theological Seminary (1995). After 30 years of pastoring churches in Ohio, California and Oklahoma, Dr. Samples has invested 22 years at Southern Nazarene University. He served as Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Director of the Ministerial Intern Scholarship Program and now serves as the Chaplain for the School of Professional and Graduate Studies.
Rev. Dorothy Whipp
Edmond Church of the Nazarene
Rev. Whipp is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. She is an Associate / Children's Pastor at Edmond Church of the Nazarene where she has had the privilege of serving for the past 11 years. Dorothy finds joy in being the District Director for Children's Ministries for the OK District. She loves the church and the strength that comes from us living out the life of holiness, peace and love that God has called us to and equipped us for. (2 Timothy 3:17)
Rev. Lee Copeland
Director of Talent & Business Growth
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce
Oklahoma City, OK
Rev. Copeland spent over twenty year in full-time pastoral ministry in the Church of the Nazarene in congregations in Texas and Oklahoma. After an additional 5 years in Christian Higher Education, he’s now doing Kingdom work through Economic Development as the Director of Talent & Business Growth for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife have raised four adult children, including a son with Autism, and enjoys thinking about thinking and restoring vintage items.
Rev. Dr. Robin Stephenson-Bratcher
Retired U.S. Air Force Chaplain
Church of the Nazarene
Oklahoma City, OK
Dr. Stephenson-Bratcher, a prior enlisted Air Force aircraft mechanic and Army reserve transportation specialist until 1991, returned to serve in the Air Force as a Chaplain from 1998-2014. However, in the timespan between her enlisted career and becoming an officer, she served the Church of the Nazarene and the United Methodist Church in the capacities of a Youth Pastor, Singles Pastor, Educational Pastor, and Senior Pastor. She has also served as a Licensed Therapist for Humana Healthcare Hospital in Oklahoma City and lead CISM debriefs for first responders/victims of the Murrow Building bombing.
After re-enlisting, Robin served as an in-residence chaplain at Wilford Hall Medical Center (WHMC) on their pediatric, PICU, and ICU units as well as weekly rotations in the WHMC Emergency Rooms and Brooks Army Medical Center on their burn unit caring for civilians and veterans of all services. Additionally, served as a chaplain for the Wounded Warrior missions at the Aeromedical Staging Facility at Andrews AFB; has deployed three times, and was the go-to counselor/instructor for primary and secondary trauma, marriage and family, leadership and team building, and spiritual growth at all her bases.
Rev. Josie Busby
Blackwell First Church of the Nazarene
Rev. Josie Busby is an ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene. She was called to service in the church in 1991, at St. Luke’s Church of the Nazarene in Ponca City, serving as Youth Pastor, Children’s Pastor, and Community Life Pastor. Rev. Josie was active on the Northwest Oklahoma District NYI Board serving as Vice President, President, Zone Representative, and District NYI Camp Director.
In 2007, her family moved to Saudi Arabia for seven years, where God opened the doors to a totally different world of service and ministry. There, she served as a Sunday school teacher and Director of the Board of Women’s Ministries, planning and coordinating local outreach events and bible studies, for an expatriate community of women from 55 different countries.
Currently, Rev. Busby is the Lead Pastor at Blackwell First Church of the Nazarene, and is also serving on the Board of Trustees for Southern Nazarene University.
Josie and her husband Russell have four grown children, Veronica, Rita, Katie and Tyler.
Dr. Neal Gray
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Dr. Neal Gray was born and raised in Oklahoma City. After graduating from Southeast High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. During his 4-year enlistment, he repaired ground-to-air communications devices, serving in the USA and a tour in northern Germany.
Coming back home, he met, dated, fell in love and married Vicki. They have one child, a daughter who still resides in Oklahoma.
Using his Veteran's benefits, he attended and graduated college. Landing his first professional job near Dallas, Texas he continued his college career, too.
Neal's jobs have included: systems engineering, corporate trainer, adjunct professor, senior pastor (30 years), and chaplain. He is still employed full-time as a chaplain, and teaches college quarterly.
He enjoys spending quality time with his wife, and they like to travel to sunny, beachy areas.