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First Christian Church /  Meet Our Staff
Meet Our Staff

Each member of the team here at First Christian Church plays a vital roll in our community of believers. Here you can find just a little bit about each of them and what they do. Click on the “Read More” link to get more information.

 

Reverend Arnold Nelson, Jr. : Senior Minister

Reverend Arnold Nelson, Jr.

Senior Minister / Contact

Arnold Nelson, Jr. has served as Senior Minister of the First Christian Church of Duncan since late 2007, having served for several years in general and regional ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). At FCC his challenge is to lift up the traditions of the Disciples, and of this congregation, while helping the church reach out to the widest possible variety of people seeking a meaningful church home.

Born and raised in Clarksville, Tennessee, Pastor Arnold is a a graduate of Phillips University and the Iliff School of Theology. He is married to Kelly Painton Nelson and they have three daughters, one grown and two desperate to be that way.
Random Fact: Arnold plays golf, and the mandolin, equally bad.

Ryan Benton : Assistant Minister to the Well

Ryan Benton

Assistant Minister to the Well / Contact

Ryan Benton has been part of the team at First Christian Church since 2006. Currently, he serves as the Assistant Minister to the Well. Ryan teaches each Sunday morning at FCC's contemporary service at the Well and oversees all the activities throughout the week. He has served in ministry since 1998 in various capacities and has had the opportunity to be a part of several types of churches. Ryan's "Supermodel" wife's name is Amy and they have three amazing children. In his free time, Ryan enjoys hanging out with his family, eating, reading, making great friends, and living the dream.

Random Fact: Ryan has a weird infatuation with shoes and Apple products.

Drew Kirtley : Assistant Minister to the Youth

Drew Kirtley

Assistant Minister to the Youth / Contact

Drew Kirtley has been part of our FCC Family since 2013, and he loves serving as our Assistant Minister to Youth! Drew came to us from an adventurous background starting in the "Wheatheart of Oklahoma", a tiny town of 3,000ish people, called Tonkawa. From there, he earned a bachelor's degree in public relations at OU, spent 2 years at Northern Oklahoma College in campus ministry, 1 year of preaching exercise (what's that?), and has been in full-time ministry for the last five years. He is currently a student at Phillips Theological Seminary, a full-time husband, and a future full-time dad (His beautiful baby is due in August!!! YAY for Drew and Meghan!!!) After 23 years of school, he is about ready to relax and settle down... Yeah, Right!!! He once traveled all the way around the border of Oklahoma with only gas money and faith in his pocket, just for the experience!!!

Random Fact: "I could probably win American Idol if I wanted to..."

Tammy Ives : Staff Secretary

Tammy Ives

Staff Secretary / Contact

Tammy Ives has lived in Duncan most of her life. She has two children, Jason Haggard of Moore, Oklahoma, and Christopher Ives. She also has a grandson, Jackson.

Tammy feels blessed to have served in ministry at FCC with pastors, Dr. James E. Smith, Rev. Wayne Majors, Rev. Tracy L. Wilson and currently, Rev. Arnold Nelson, Jr. and Rev. Jennifer Steil. She began working at FCC as a volunteer, answering the phone, then she became a part-time employee and soon, a full-time employee. Apart from working at FCC, Tammy has worked as a Dental Assistant and obtained her Phlebotomy License. Tammy serves at FCC as the Staff Secretary and thinks, "The staff and the people of FCC are wonderful!"

Random Fact: Tammy loves football and Country Music.

Valerie Gracey : Business Secretary

Valerie Gracey

Business Secretary / Contact

Valerie Gracey Joins Our Staff

As sad as it may be to lose Pat Matthews as our Business Secretary, it’s a joy and relief to welcome Valerie Gracey.

"I feel blessed to have been chosen to fill the Business Secretary position at First Christian Church. It’s been delightful having Pat Matthews show me the ropes before she retires. I hope to meet and get to know you all as the months fly by.

Patty Jennings : Organist/Pianist

Patty Jennings

Organist/Pianist / Contact

Patty Jennings is working at First Christian Church as Organist, Duncan Public Schools and at as a Music Teacher. She has been married to Dale for 14 years. Her daughters are Julie and Kim. Julie's son is Truman and Kim's daughter is Gracie.
Dale's children are Courtney and Brad. Brad's son is Bryce and his daughter is Bella.

It may interest you to know that I took my first college class at the age of 21 and graduated at the ripe old age of 46. Of course, 25 years is a long time, but I was busy raising two daughters, working and living life. I took college courses whenever the opportunity presented itself, and it finally paid off. Now I have a Bachelor of Music Degree and can be involved in music full-time, which has always been a dream of mine. Follow your dreams! With hard work, perseverance and fortitude, you can see those dreams come true. I'm living proof.

I play piano, organ and keyboard for the choir, worship services, (including funerals and weddings), and other events as I am needed. It is my life's work, my calling and my privilege to serve our church in this way. Last year, I started taking care of the flower bed on the church's west side. That is also my passion - gardening and being outdoors. I can't wait until planting time this year.

Random Fact: Patty and Dale enjoy spending time at their trailer at Lake Texoma.

Kevin Zinn : Choir Director

Kevin Zinn

Choir Director / Contact

Kevin Zinn has lived in Duncan all his life except for 1984 to1989 when he lived in the St. Louis area. He is married to Machelle and they have 2 children, Anthony and Nic.

Kevin has a bachelors degree in Music from Cameron University and is the Vocal Music Director at Duncan High School. He has been a vocal music teacher for 22 years. Kevin has been at First Christian for almost 21 years now as the Choir Director.

Random Fact: Kevin is a Former Rock Star, not!!

Elizabeth Collins : Kitchen Hostess

Elizabeth Collins

Kitchen Hostess / Contact

Frank Timmins : Head Custodian

Frank Timmins

Head Custodian / Contact

Frank has lived in Duncan since 1978, raised in New England, he served in the US Army and is a Vietnam Veteran. He has been married for over 41 years and has 2 grown children: a son, and a daughter, and 2 grandsons.

As head custodian, Frank is in charge of building maintenance, repairs, cleaning, set up for church activities. He also help's out by running the sound system in the sanctuary. "I have been employed with FCC since 1991 & enjoyed every minute of it! Such great people and atmosphere. I Love my job & when I'm not doing that, enjoy motorcycling!"

Random Fact: Frank enjoys motorcycling in his free time.

Morgan Hawkins : Custodian

Morgan Hawkins

Custodian / Contact

Jared Smith : Praise Leader to the Well

Jared Smith

Praise Leader to the Well / Contact

Gwyn Gamblin : Daycare Director

Gwyn Gamblin

Daycare Director / Contact

2015 Board Members; Ministry Team Leaders

Here is a list of our Board Members and their positions. They can be contacted through our Church Office.

Marty Askins — Moderator

Suzy Bruner — Vice-Moderator

Jason Smith — Secretary

Max Daughtrey — Treasurer

David Hammond — Trustees Chairperson

Cynthia Corley — Elder Chairperson

Kathy Rogers — Deacon Chairperson

Fran Boyd — CWF (Christian Women’s Fellowship) President

2015 Ministry Team Leaders

Here is a list of our Ministry Team Leaders and their positions. They can be contacted through our Church Office.

Paula Toler — Care

Doddie Greening — Christian Education

Barb Beebe — Daycare

— Evangelism

Suzy Bruner — Fellowship

Jeff Henricks — Finance

Bill Cope — New Membership Development

Paul Craig — Property

— Stewardship

Elizabeth Collins — The Well

Vicki Vermedahl — World Outreach

Ron and Cynthia Corley — Worship

Holly Bailey — Youth