Oklahoma City University announced today a new vice president for university-church relations/dean of the chapel will begin his service at the university this summer.
The Rev. Charles E. Neff, currently senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of McAlester, will assume this role on June 1.
Neff has served as senior pastor of the McAlester church for seven years, which included a merger of two congregations in 2008-09 and construction of a $2.4 million campus in 2012.
“We are looking forward to having Dr. Neff’s proven leadership on campus,” said OCU President Robert Henry. “He has a breadth of dynamic church leadership experience, and as an alumnus with two OCU degrees he is already a part of our community.”
"The Oklahoma Conference is pleased that Dr. Charles Neff will serve as the vice president for University-Church Relations and dean of the Chapel at Oklahoma City University,” said Robert E. Hayes Jr., bishop of the Oklahoma Conference of The United Methodist Church. “He represents the finest the United Methodist Church has to offer, and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship between OCU and The United Methodist Church as he serves in this capacity.”
Neff was the associate pastor of Christian education and adult ministries at Faith United Methodist Church in Tulsa before transferring to McAlester. While attending seminary, he was a student pastor at Green Valley Chapel United Methodist Church in Ohio. He began ministry as a youth minister with stints in Blanchard and Oklahoma City, and then was appointed as an assistant to the senior pastor in establishing the Edmond Acts 2 UMC.
He holds five post-secondary degrees — Bachelor of Arts in religion (’99) and Master of Business Administration (’11) from Oklahoma City University; Master of Divinity (’02) and Master of Theological Studies (’03) from Methodist Theological School in Ohio; and Doctorate of Ministry (’07) from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Neff was a Bishop Scholar at OCU.
Neff was ordained an elder in full connection by the Oklahoma Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church in 2005, and he has served on the Ministerial Recruitment and Nurture Taskforce, the Annual Conference Council and is secretary of the Conference Committee on Finance and Administration. He has been a member of the McAlester District Committee on Ministry and has served as president and vice president of the McAlester Ministerial Alliance.