Ministry Staff

Dr. Owen Nease, Senior Pastor -

Owen became the Senior Pastor in November 2015. He grew up in Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University. After OBU, Owen and his wife Amanda attended New Orleans Baptist The Seminary. Owen earned a Master of Divinity in Christian Thought, a Master of Theology, and a Doctor of Philosophy in New Testament/Greek at New Orleans. He most recently pastored First Baptist Church, Bay St. Louis, MS, and Crossroads Community Church in Kenner, LA (a suburb of New Orleans). In addition, he has served in various ministry roles at churches in Oklahoma and Texas, and as the Chaplain for the New Orleans Zephyrs AAA baseball team. Owen and Amanda have three young children.

Jim Lehew, Associate Pastor -

Jim became the Associate Pastor at Emmaus in 2001. His responsibilities include oversight of the staff and mobilizing the members of Emmaus for ministry inside and outside the church facilities. Jim leads the Sunday Night Adult Bible Study and gives oversight to the educational ministries of the church. Jim and his wife Brook have three children.

Jeron Young, Associate Pastor of Youth -

Jeron started on staff at Emmaus in September 1999 as the College and Singles Pastor. He became the Student Pastor in May 2006. Jeron is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jeron and his wife Kristine have two sons and have lived in Oklahoma City their entire lives. They pour into our students to make disciples who will impact schools and their community for Christ.

Courtney Ingram, Children’s Director -

Courtney became the Children's Director in April 2012. She is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, and has ministered at churches in Kansas and Oklahoma. She leads our kids and their families to engage in worship, discipleship, and missions.

Amy Halverson, Preschool Director -

Amy became the Preschool Director in January 2015, where she equips families and volunteers to minister to our youngest children. She previously ministered at another local church and helped to develop a week-day preschool ministry there. Amy and her husband Jeff have three children.  

Jeff Hemphill, Discipleship Ministry Director -

Jeff started at Emmaus in the summer of 2008 as a Student Ministry Intern. After leaving for Southern Seminary in January 2012 he returned the summer of 2013 and began working with our College Students and Young Adults. In the summer of 2017, Jeff completed his Master of Divinity in Christian Ministry from Southern Seminary and began serving as the Discipleship Ministry Director. He and his wife GinnyAnn have one daughter.

Carl Dean, Pastoral Associate for Senior Adults and Evangelism -

Carl has been a member at Emmaus since 2017. He, his wife Brandy and their 4 children live in Blanchard. Carl graduated in December of 2017 from Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth. Carl is leading our senior adult ministry and has a heart to share Jesus with everyone he meets.

David Hillis, Interim Music Minister -

David began as the Music Associate in 2009 and has served as the Interim Music Pastor for the past few years. David teaches at Heritage Hall High School, in addition to leading the choir, band, and ensembles at Emmaus. David and his wife Crystal have three children.

Support Staff

Jonathan Smith, Financial Administrator
Gwen Unruh, Comm. Assistant
Nathan Hurlburt, Technology
Jeff Meyer, Maintenance
Greg Elledge, Facilities
Melissa Stringfellow, Facilities
Preston Whitmill, Facilities
Todd Pepper, Facilities
Gail Hill, Facilities


Deacons are the Leading Servants in the Church. Every member is called to serve, but Deacons lead the way in organizing teams, caring for widows, making sure no one is overlooked, and displaying a life of humble care for those in need. 

With Acts 6:1-7, 1 Timothy 3:8-12, and 1 Timothy 5:1-16 as a foundation, Deacons:


  • Care for widows 

  • Meet physical needs that arise in the Church

  • Seek to preserve unity when points of division arise

  • Serve as examples of Christian character and witness

  • Assist the Senior Pastor and Ministry Staff in administration of the Ordinances, and

  • Lead service teams throughout the Church

Deacon Teams at Emmaus include Hospital Visitation, Lord's Supper/Baptism, Prayer Room, Hospitality/Greeting, Nursing Homes/Homebound, Support/Coaching, and Helps/Service.

List of Active Deacons

Anderson, Mark
Bynum, Bob
Corn, Greg
Darling, Larry
Elliston, Rich
Greenfield, Justin
Hardin, Tim
Hillis, Richard
Hinkley, David
Husted, Darrell
Ingram, Bruce
Kitchen, John
Laib, Brian
Loyd, David
McCoy, Dale
Meyer, Jeff
Neal, Arthur
Noble, Kenny
Raper, Dub
Robie, Brian
Shaw, Gary
Stewart, Dan
Stull, John
Vass, Eddie
Watford, Paul
Whitmill, Matt
Whitten, Dustin
Wilkinson, Bryan