Father Tom Dahlman, Rector
Fr. Tom 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 and fell in love with Jesus at the Garnett Road church of Christ in Tulsa. Fr. Tom has a strong Shawnee connection. His mother Emma was born in Shawnee, but grew up on the family farm in Wanette with her 11 brothers and sisters.
Fr. Tom is also the co-host of the Fundamentally Drained Podcast (https://fundrainpod.podbean.com) Fr. Tom is married to Alexis who is a Registered Nurse working in surgery, they have two amazing children and have been married for 17 years. 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 un-churched and burned out Evangelicals the treasure he found in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
Dr. 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.
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.
Prior to accepting her mission as youth and family minister, Beth was a substitute teacher for the McLoud school district. She 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 autoharp 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.
Cheryl Blankenship, Director of the Emmanuel Choir
Cheryl directs the choir at Emmanuel, leading them in their Wednesday night practices and leading them on Sunday mornings. She also works with the elementary age students at Emmanuel on Wednesday nights teaching them to sing and enjoy singing in worship. When not directing the choir she teaches music at Tecumseh public schools.