Michael Vallandingham

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Dr. Michael Vallandingham accepted the call to pastor Eastern Heights in May, 2010. Michael was saved and baptized at the age of 8 years old in Wetumka OK. He surrendered to full-time Christian service when he was 17 years old while attending Falls Creek. He married Tara Sledge, August 13, 1994, and their partnership in ministry began immediately. Michael served bi-vocationally as youth minister at First Baptist Church of Greenfield, OK and as pastor at First Baptist Church Red Rock, OK. Michael accepted his first full-time pastorate in 1997 at First Baptist Church of Wister, OK. Following his ministry in Wister he served as Chaplain at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. He then pastored Vamoosa Baptist Church for five years before pastoring in his hometown for six years at First Baptist Church in Wewoka, OK. Michael graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion. He graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2002 with a Masters of Divinity. In addition, he graduated from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2009 with a Doctorate of Ministry. Michael and Tara have four children. Their daughter, Jordan, was born in 1997 and their son, Jonathan, was born in 2000.  They adopted Abel and Ruby in 2016.  They were born in 2009 and 2011. They also have three foster kids who are 4, 1, and 1.


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Associate Pastor of Youth and Families

Lucas Smith

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Lucas joined our staff in December 2016 after serving for 5 years as Youth Pastor at FBC Pryor.  Lucas and his wife Cheri have two children, Levi and Caris.

Worship Leader

Ryan Forrest

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Ryan has been on our staff since February 2017.  He and his wife Rachel have two children, Raley and Rory.

Administrative Assistant, Care Team Leader

Cathy Tennell

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Cathy celebrated her 35th Anniversary of serving in the church office in 2017. She volunteers in many roles in the church.  Cathy serves on the Stewardship Team, Care Team and Decorating Team.

Church Secretary

Jennifer Hines

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Jennifer is a long time member of Eastern Heights.  She serves in many roles including preschool coordinator.  She is married to Gene Hines and they have two children, Hayley and Brandon.

Adult Ministry Team Leader

Brian Buford

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Brian began this new ministry opportunity ofter serving as a children's LifeGroup leader and volunteer in the Preschool Extended Session and WorshipKids.  He is a leader in Bounce which is a disaster relief agency out of Texas that uses youth to help bring restoration to those afflicted by natural disasters.  As Adult Team Leader he oversees Son Seekers, Women's Ministry, Men's Ministry and LifeGroups.

Children's Team Leaders

Dwayne & Cassie Conner

Chairman of Deacons

Barry Miller

Missions Team Leader

Chantel Gray

Stewardship Team Leader/ Treasurer

Debbie Laroche

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Property Team Leader

Gene Hines

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Gene serves as Property Team Leader and well as others areas in the church.  He serves as a Trustee, a member of the Stewardship Team, and Life Group Bible study leader.  His wife Jennifer is the Preschool Team Leader and volunteers in many areas of church ministry. 

  September 2018  
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