Rev. Adam Ricks
Adam Ricks is the founding pastor of Connect United Methodist Church. Rev. Ricks has over 10 years of ministry experience in the United Methodist Church. Pastor Adam received his bachelors in religion degree from Oklahoma City University, and his Masters of Divinity at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. Pastor Adam is happily married to his wife of 10 years and has a 2 year-old son that keeps them busy. Since June of 2010 pastor Adam has been working to establish Connect United Methodist Church. In September of 2011 the dream became a reality with the launch of Connect Church. Pastor Adam’s story is below.
I first experienced my call to ministry at the age of seventeen. After feeling called by God, I began to find the best place to acquire the training I needed to be an effective minister of God’s word. I found Oklahoma City University and studied religion. After graduating from OCU, I went on to earn my Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. During college at Oklahoma City University, I received the position as youth minister at Chandler First United Methodist Church. The church was wonderful and ready to do the work to grow a youth ministry program. During my time at Chandler, we were blown away by how God worked in the community. We were able to grow a youth program from 6 teens to over 30 on an average Wednesday night.
After being in Chandler for 2 years, I married my wife, Jacinda, and we moved to Elmore City, Oklahoma. I became the senior pastor of Elmore City First United Methodist Church. The community in Elmore City received us graciously as we did God’s work together. The church grew in numbers and in spiritual maturity. We worked to establish several community mission ministries, which impacted the community. We also were privileged to lead in establishing a youth ministry at that church, which touched the lives of several young people.
After two years in Elmore City, we went to serve in Ardmore First United Methodist Church. The church was in need of someone to lead in youth ministry, and help establish another Sunday morning worship service. The youth ministry was already healthy, which we were privileged to continue. The new worship service, that I was asked to lead, was a Sunday morning contemporary service. We put together a team that would help run a worship service and reach an underserved demographic in Ardmore. Immediately after launch, the service had success. People were encountering the Holy Spirit and numbers were growing. It was a great act of the Holy Spirit and I was humbled and privileged to be a part.
After a few years in Ardmore, Jacinda and I began to think and pray about planting a church. In 2008, the United Methodist Church declared its intention to begin starting many new churches in the denomination. I put my name in the hat to be considered when Oklahoma began to start new churches. In the fall of 2009, I heard that Acts 2 United Methodist Church had a desire to mother a church in North East Edmond. The District Superintendent sent me to New Church Leader Institute where Jacinda and I were guided through the discernment process. Today Connect is a thriving church that is actively engaged in the community and we are looking forward to opening the new church building in late 2016
Matt Austin is Connect Church’s Associate pastor. Matt has been working at Connect since 2012 and is a great addition to our team. A graduate of Saint Paul School of Theology, Matt knows how to connect with youth and and children to help nurture their spiritual growth.