I (Tim) wanted to take time in the initial weeks of our existence as a community to introduce a special family. Jamie and Carrie Stolp, with their son Timothy and daughter Micah-Anne made the amazing move from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Oklahoma City in late July 2012. It wasn’t just any move…it was a calling to join what God was doing with this new church plant.
Three years ago I met Jamie at a student ministry conference in Chicago and our first conversation was about what builds healthy ministry instead of just what builds a large ministry…a great conversation. Since that time Jamie and I have built a friendship through serving together in Lead222 (a mentoring & coaching ministry). Christie and Carrie have also been able to build a friendship. I never imagined what God would do with a simple friendship that was several states away.
In May of 2012 Jamie called and asked me if Carrie and he could be praying about moving to OKC to join our efforts to plant a church. This absolutely shocked us and we immediately began joining them in prayer about this possibility. God overwhelmingly moved and confirmed his call on their life to be a part of this in a period of about a month. After seeing their house sell in less than 24 hours and God providing Carrie with a job in matter of days they knew God was up to something big—so amazingly they are now here to serve as leaders of OKC Community Church!
Below is a short introduction written by Jamie—sharing a little about their family and experience moving here.
There is a song that plays on the radio that I have enjoyed but I didn't know much about until recently. One morning I noticed my son was singing the chorus to this song very loudly. Timothy likes to sing but this time he was rocking out, which he typically doesn't do for an audience of just dad. I asked him if he liked the song—the answer was obvious. The song came on again two days later and we decided to really listen to the lyrics and see what we were singing about. (Christian music doesn't mean you can always understand the words.)
“Cause if you never leave home, never let go
You'll never make it to the great unknown
Till you keep your eyes... open my love”
These are the words of the chorus of "Keep Your Eyes Open" from Needtobreathe. Lyrically the song is a message of what God has been speaking to our family.
This song turned into a conversation for Timothy and me about our family leaving home (South Dakota) for Oklahoma, which happened July 30th.
Our family left home for a great unknown. We have never lived outside of South Dakota. We’ve always been within an hour drive of our parents, grandparents, and many other relatives who live in the same area as we did. Yet, God has called us to this great unknown. We came to Norman knowing the Mannins and only few others from a mission trip we took to Haiti in 2011. We’ve stepped into this great unknown believing in God's calling on Tim and Christie Mannin. We've come believing that our own calling is to be apart of OKC Community Church!
In Genesis 12 God calls Abram to an unknown land, and he goes on to tell him that in this land great things are in store. He promises relationships with new people that will be blessed by Abram and be a blessing to him. As we read the first four verses of chapter 12 we can't help but believe that this is what God desires for our family, but also for all of us, and our new church!
My wife, Carrie and I have been married for 13 years and we have two children. Timothy, who is ten, loves music, school, and books. Micah-Anne is seven and she loves dancing and clothes. Prior to our move, I was the youth pastor at our church for the past eight years and Carrie has been a teacher for 14 years in multiple grades. We are both graduates of the University of South Dakota with degrees in education. We met years before at a youth camp when we were 14 years old. So, we have been a couple for 21 years when you include our dating and marriage years!!
I was 16 years old when I received my calling into ministry, but I did not fully submit to it until I was 27. It was at that time that I took the youth pastor role at Celebrate Church in Sioux Falls. Currently Carrie is teaching in Moore and I can be found on 23rd street trying to be a blessing to people in a place that isn't quite so unknown now.
- Posted by Tim Mannin & Jamie Stolp