AN OPEN LETTER FROM PASTORS TO OKLAHOMA'S POLITICAL LEADERS

On the importance of educational options for parents

© Copyright 2019

Oklahoma School Choice Coalition

TO: Governor Kevin Stitt, State Senators, and State Representatives

It is our strong conviction that parents have the responsibility and the moral right to direct the upbringing of their children. Whether parents choose a public school, a private or parochial school, homeschooling, or some other option, parents are ultimately responsible.

Many of the parents in our congregations, committed to bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, believe that a traditional public school, a public charter school, or an online public school is the best option for their children.

Other parents, equally committed to their children’s spiritual well-being, believe that a private school, a religious school, or homeschooling is the best choice.

Recognizing that you are God’s servants (Rom. 13:4), we thank you for your service and we respectfully ask you to give due consideration to public policies which respect the rich diversity of educational approaches in Oklahoma.

  • We commend our state’s leaders for the enactment in 2014 of the Parents’ Bill of Rights, which, among other things, gives parents a greater say when it comes to things like public-school curricula and activities, parental access to public-school records, and more.
  • We commend our state’s leaders for the passage in 2018 of a $6,100 (on average) teacher pay raise and we encourage continued investment in our state’s public education system.1
  • We commend our state’s leaders for the creation in 2010 of state-funded private-school scholarships which are now benefiting special-needs students, foster children, and children adopted out of state custody. We encourage you to expand eligibility for these sorts of scholarships so that more and more taxpaying parents can afford to raise their children in accordance with their consciences.2
  • We commend our state’s leaders for the creation in 2011 of an education tax credit program which is benefiting students in rural public schools and is also financing scholarships to private and parochial schools. We urge you to help even more students by raising the cap on this successful program.3

Thank you for your consideration and for your service to the people of Oklahoma.

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Rev. Philip Abode
Crossover Bible Church (Tulsa)

Rev. Denise J. Abston
Edmond Free Methodist Church (Edmond)


Rev. Raymond K. Ackerman
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (Edmond)


Pastor Bobby Allison
The Home Church (Sulphur)


Rev. Joseph H. Arledge
St. Peter Catholic Church (Woodward)

Fr. Rex Arnold
St. John Nepomuk Church (Yukon)


Pastor Kevin Baker
Martha Road Baptist Church (Altus)


Pastor Paul Blair
Fairview Baptist Church (Edmond)


Rev. J. Richard Bradley
St. Pius X Church (Tulsa)


Pastor Jim Brown
Friendship Baptist Church (Altus)

Rev. Brian Buettner
Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church (Lawton)

Pastor Niral Burnett
Kingdom Keys Ministries (Tulsa)


Pastor Gary Butler
Gospel Lighthouse Church (Anadarko)

Pastor Joe Cannon
Crown Heights Baptist Church (Oklahoma City)


Pastor Rusty Canoy
First Baptist Church (Lexington)


Rev. Nathan Carr
St. James Episcopal Church (Oklahoma City)


Pastor Dick Chapman
Altus Christian Fellowship (Altus)


The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley

Archbishop of Oklahoma City

Rev. Joe W. Colaw

First Wesleyan Church (Bartlesville)

Pastor Paul Collins
Maranatha Free Will Baptist Church (Ardmore)

Pastor Jonathan Cook
DestinyLife Church (Owasso)


Rev. Stuart Crevcoure
St. Brigid Catholic Church (Tahlequah)


Fr. Kelly L. Edwards
St. Francis Xavier (Enid)

Pastor Mitchel Fitzgerald
First Assembly of God (Antlers)


Pastor Mark Fuller
Abundant Life Church (Moore)


Rev. Timothy Fuller
St. Philip Neri Catholic Church 

(Midwest City)

Rev. Msgr. Patrick Gaalaas
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (Tulsa)

Dr. Michael Gabbert
Evergreen Baptist Church (Bixby)

Rev. A.W. Gamblin
Saving Grace Refuge (Keota)


Danny Gandara
Sunnylane Southern Baptist Church (Del City)


Rev. Matthew Gerlach
St. Anne Roman Catholic Church (Broken Arrow)


Rev. Jack Gleason
Church of Saint Mary (Tulsa)


Rev. James A. Goins
St. Thomas More University Parish (Norman)


Rev. Guadalupe Gonzales
Iglesia Samaria (Altus)


Fr. John Grant
St. Catherine of Alexandria (Tulsa)


Rev. Daniel Grover
Corpus Christi Catholic Church (Oklahoma City)

Rev. Barrie E. Henke
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Edmond)


Rev. Gary E. Holdeman (ret.)
Victory Memorial United Methodist Church (Guymon)


Pastor David Houchin
First Baptist Church (Mooreland)

Pastor Randy Huddleston
Grace Bible Church (Pryor)


Pastor Chilles Hutchinson
Tri-City Worship Center (Newcastle)

Pastor Mike Keahbone
Cherokee Hills Baptist Church (Oklahoma City)


Rev. Carl Kerkemeyer
Sacred Heart Parish (Miami)

Rev. Robert Kim
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (Tulsa)


Fr. Michael Knipe
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church (Tulsa)

The Most Rev. David Konderla
Bishop of Tulsa

Rev. Mark Kuiper
Three Rivers Presbyterian Church (Grove)

Pastor Wendell C. Lang
Surrey Hills Baptist Church (Yukon)

Pastor Mang Lian
Guymon Seventh-day Adventist Church (Guymon)


Rev. Tommy McLaurin
SpiritLife Church (Tulsa)

Rev. Dave McKellips
Northeast Oklahoma District, Church of the Nazarene (Tulsa)

Pastor John McMinn
The Highway Church (Tulsa)


Pastor Murray McMurray
Thackerville Community Church (Thackerville)


Fr. David Medina
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church (Tulsa)


Dr. James D. Miller
First Presbyterian Church (Tulsa)


Rev. Mark Muenchow
Messiah Lutheran Church (Oklahoma City)


Rev. Todd Nance
St. Patrick Catholic Church (Sand Springs)


Rev. Valentine Ndebilie
St. Mark’s Catholic Church (Pryor)


Pastor Emeritus Mark R. Neely, Sr.
Calvary Chapel (Tulsa)


Pastor Roger Nix
Believers Church (Tulsa)


Rev. Francis Nguyen

Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church (Kingfisher)

Rev. William L. Novak, V.G.
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (Oklahoma City)


Rev. Celestine Obidiegwu
St. Monica Catholic Church (Tulsa)


Rev. Brian O’Brien
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church (Stillwater)


Rev. Jovita Okonkwo
Holy Family Cathedral (Tulsa)


Rev. Desmond Okpogba
Church of the Madalene (Tulsa)

Children’s Pastor Missy Ortegon
Riverside Church (Edmond)

Rev. Dr. Ray A. Owens
Metropolitan Baptist Church (Tulsa)


Rev. Gerald R. Peterson
Faith Lutheran Church (Durant)


Rev. Dr. Michael W. Philliber
Heritage Presbyterian Church, PCA (Edmond)


Rev. Jeffrey S. Polasek
St. Clement Catholic Church (Bixby)

Pastor Ryan Polk
Trinity Baptist Church (Norman)

Rev. Vera Radley
First Church of. the Nazarene (Del City)


Jeff Ray
DestinyLIfe Church (Claremore)

John Ray
DestinyLIfe Church (Claremore)

Pastor Rod Rieger
Driftwood Christian Church (Driftwood)


Rev. Tom Schulze
Calvary Free Will Baptist Church (Claremore)


Glenn Shaffer
DestinyLife Church (Claremore/Owasso)

Children’s Pastor Karola Sikes
Weatherford Church of the Nazarene (Weatherford)


Rev. Dr. William Sillings
New Hope Worship Center (Oklahoma City)

Pastor Michael Smith
First Seventh-day Adventist Church (Tulsa)


Pastor Andrew M. Spooner
Ketchum Seventh-day Adventist Church (Ketchum)

Pastor Norm Standfield
New Hope Baptist Church (Ada)

Rev. Cory Stanley
Prince of Peace Catholic Church (Altus)


Pastor Angela Stevens
Cross Church International (Muskogee)

Pastor David M. Stevens
Vinita Church of the Nazarene (Vinita)


Pastor Rick Stevens
Cross Church International (Muskogee)

Dr. James Taylor
Christ’s Church of Norman (Norman)


Shane Thacker
Inola Christian Church (Inola)


Pastor Garland Thomas
New Life Worship Center (Tahlequah)

Pastor Mark Thompson
First Baptist Church (Keyes)


Fr. Jose Thottathil
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dewey) and
St. Catherine Church (Nowata)


Rev. Corbyn Trentham
Glad Tidings Church (Altus)


Pastor Vernon Voth
Unity Free Will Baptist Church (Mazie)


Pastor Ray Wade
Trinity Chapel Pentecostal Holiness Church (Harrah)

Rev. Lance A. Warren, VF
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (El Reno)