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Brandon Blacksten

Religion, 2008 

MDiv, Vanderbilt University, 2011

Currently 

Pastor, First United Methodist Church of Tuttle, OK

Briefly describe your career path. 

Following graduation from OCU, I attended Vanderbilt University Divinity School, receiving my Master of Divinity degree in 2011. I worked as a case manager for people recovering from the 2010 Tennessee floods, then served as part-time pastor of Eno and Oak Grove United Methodist Churches in Dickson, TN. In June 2012, my wife Courtney and I moved back to Oklahoma, and I began serving as pastor of Hydro United Methodist Church. In December 2015, I was appointed to First United Methodist Church of Tuttle, where I am currently serving.

In five sentences or less, describe what an average day for you might be like. 

On Sundays, I'm up early to go over my sermon, then greeting folks as they arrive for Sunday school, and leading worship at 11:00. An afternoon nap follows lunch if I'm lucky, and then I'm back at the church for youth group or Bible study. On a typical weekday, I'm doing research for a sermon, doing administrative work, getting to know people in the community, or visiting people in the hospital.

Find opportunities to work or volunteer in the church, and especially seek out effective and innovative leaders to learn from.

What advice would you give your college self about pursuing work in your current industry? 

Find opportunities to work or volunteer in the church, and especially seek out effective and innovative leaders to learn from. Remember that while your academic, church, and student organizational work are important, attending to your spiritual life is the most important work you can do.

What is a lesson learned at OKCU that you have been able to apply to your career? 

Working as an intern at the Wesley Foundation with Rev. Jennifer Long has had a tremendous impact on the way I lead worship today.

What is the most significant thing that’s happened to you since graduating? 

In 2010, I married Courtney Thompson, a fellow Star, and in 2015, we had a daughter named Elsie.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

I hope to be still serving a church in Oklahoma, using my gifts to help people glorify God, love their neighbor, and do the work of God's kingdom.

What is your favorite OKCU memory? 

Any class with Dr. John Starkey.