The Rev. Tom Dahlman, Priest
Fr. Tom is the Rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church. He studied at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin Texas, where he graduated with an Masters of Divinity. He also has an M.A. in Ministry from Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, and a B.A. in History from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson TN, where Fr. Tom also played on the golf team. Before coming to Emmanuel Fr. Tom worked with Saint Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Broken Arrow, OK.
Prior to becoming an Episcopalian, Fr. Tom was a Minister in the churches of Christ for 10 years, working as an Associate Minister and a Youth and Family Minister. Tom grew up in the churches of Christ, specifically the Garnett church of Christ in Tulsa, where he learned the simple beautiful truths of the Christian faith. Fr. Tom has a strong Shawnee connection. His mom was born in Shawnee, but grew up on the family farm in Wanette with her 11 brothers and sisters.
Fr. Tom is married to Alexis who is a Registered Nurse working in surgery. They have two amazing children and have been married for 18 years. Fr. Tom is also the co-host of the Fundamentally Drained Podcast (https://fundrainpod.podbean.com). Tom can get very excited about good coffee, authentic Mexican food, a round of Golf, Belgian Beer, and great theology or History books, but he is especially thrilled when he has the chance to share with the seekers and burned out Evangelicals the treasure of faith and loving welcome he found in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
The Rev. J. Michael Matkin, Priest
J. Michael Matkin has a degree in history from the University of Tulsa and did graduate work in early church history at Regent College in Vancouver. Prior to being received into the Episcopal Church, Michael worked for twenty years in ministry in Pentecostal and evangelical churches including four church planting teams. In 2004 he founded The Brendan Center, an urban missional center in downtown Bellingham, Washington. He is also the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Gnostic Gospels and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Early Christianity.
Michael’s partner in crime for almost thirty years is his wife Christine, a pharmacist. Their oldest daughter Emily will be attending Texas A&M in the fall and their youngest, Elaina, is in high school. When he is not at home being outnumbered you can often find Michael in the nearest coffee shop looking for a good conversation. He is an avid player of tabletop games, an unrepentant lover of all things scifi & fantasy and perpetually failing to learn how to play guitar. Most of all he loves sitting alone or with others in silence, listening for questions and prayerfully waiting on the Lord’s presence. Michael is eagerly looking forward to serving as the Curate at Emmanuel and coming alongside the mission of the community.
The Rev. Dr. John Belzer, Deacon
Dr. Belzer retired as an Assistant Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Oklahoma. He received his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University, and was commissioned an officer in the United States Army through the ROTC program. He served in Vietnam and retired as a Colonel in the Army Reserves. He was the Training Officer for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for over seven years. He holds two Masters Degrees in Counseling Psychology and Secondary Education and his Ph.D. in Education from the University of Oklahoma.
He was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church in 2005. Recently he has met the state requirements to be a Divorce and Family Mediator. He and his wife Alma co-chair the diocesan Committee on Senior Ministry and both serve on a national committee on Senior Ministry for the Episcopal Church.
The Rev. Nathan Johnson, Deacon
Nathan was born in Ada, Oklahoma and grew up in Oklahoma City. He graduated from East Central Oklahoma University in 1980 with a degree in music education. He started working at Sears Roebuck and Co. in 1975 and worked there 30 years. Currently he works for the Oconnor Company. On July 7th 1981 he married the love of his life Evaughna Joy Johnson. They have two grown children Guy and Blair.
Sears transferred us to Shawnee in 2000. and in about 2001 Evaughna and the kids start attending Emmanuel. Shortly after them Nathan started attending and Guy, Blair and I were baptized together. Over time at the church Nathan became involved with outreach, adult and youth education, finance, vestry and lay ministry. In 2015 I entered the process and education for the Diaconate and was ordained June 29 2019.
The Rev. Gary Kirby, Deacon
Gary and his wife Rachel and have been married for 11 years and have four sons. The oldest is 25 and the youngest is 19. They have one grandchild who is 2 years old and is an absolute joy to have around. Besides their sons they also have 2 dogs (Hershey and Godiva) and one very demanding cat named Jasmine, who Gary reports is free to a good home provided you don’t tell Rachel.
Gary has worked at Boeing for four years and he is a 25 year retired veteran of the United States Air Force. While in the Air Force he also worked with both the Midwest City Police Department as well as the Harrah Police Department as a reserve officer for over 15 years. He says that this combined experience along with multiple tours of duty to various parts of the world have given him, “a pretty good understanding of just how diverse and beautiful this blue marble we live on really and truly is.”
Beth Canaday, Youth & Family Minister
Beth Canaday came to Emmanuel Episcopal on Palm Sunday, 2009, and quickly fell in love with God and our church family. She was raised Church of Christ and Roman Catholic, which she acknowledges is a strange mix- but one that she feels is a part of God’s plan in her life. She has studied early childhood education at Oklahoma City Community College and has been a Girl Scout Troop Leader since 2006. She is serving as the Girl Scout Community Service Team Director and Events Coordinator for Pottawatomie County, and has been since 2010. In 2019 Beth received the Saint George award for service to youth and community. Beth is passionate about working with children and lifting them up so that they can realize their dreams and become the leaders of tomorrow.
Cindy McVey, Bookkeeper
I am not a cradle Episcopalian, I think I was 2 or 3 yrs. before I was baptized at Emmanuel. Bookkeeping was my second job and I have kept at it off and on for 48 years. I’ve been involved in oil, shipping truckloads, nursing home software and accounting software support, and advertising. I quilt, play auto-harp and dulcimer, sing and read, but mostly I play Pinterest.
If you have any questions about Emmanuel’s budgets, or your contributions, call me at the Church!
Serita Bell, Parish Secretary
Serita was born and raised in Shawnee and at age 23 moved to Tulsa for 27 years. Her two children attended Holland Hall School where Serita was the Publications Assistant for 10 years.
She attended several different colleges before finally getting an associate degree in Computer Programming at O.J.C. and a B.S. degree in Organizational Leadership from S.N.U.. She also has earned over 350 hours of continuing education credits from Landmark Education in Dallas.
Her various work experiences include opening up Shawnee’s first gymnastics school in 1974, working at Shawnee Public Schools, Oklahoma Baptist University, Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Willow Estate Planning in Corpus Christi, & managing Bill Brown’s private Jazz school in Tulsa. At her last job she was the co-manager of the sales and marketing department for PracticePro Software Systems, Inc. in New York City.
Serita was invited to visit Emmanuel in 2014 and was attracted to the many ways Emmanuel gives back to the community. She now calls Emmanuel “home” and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in the capacity of church secretary. In her spare time she plays pickle-ball, takes yoga & Pilates classes and spends lots of time shopping at health food stores.
Dr. Ron Lewis, Organist & Director of Music
Ron Lewis, Professor Emeritus, Oklahoma Baptist University where he served over 30 years on the Piano Faculty. His music degrees are from the University of North Texas and the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Lewis is presently teaching piano privately as well as working part time as an RN for a local Home Health Agency.
He is a past president of Oklahoma Music Teachers Association and was the recipient of the Music Teachers National Association Foundation Fellow in 2013. Professional membership include OMTA/MTNA, American Guild of Organists and American College of Musicians. His wife, Jo, also a musician, supports, or tolerates, his many endeavors and sings in the choir at Emmanuel. Ron and Jo have two grown sons, and one lovely granddaughter.
Director of the Emmanuel Choir\