Dallas Horsley, OKWU graduate, is currently helping with the ministry of Sooner Wesleyan Church. His degree is in Pastoral Ministry with a minor in Youth Ministry. In January, Dallas plans to move to Medford, Oregon, to take a position as a youth and children’s pastor.
As a senior in high school, Dallas recalls having “no idea” what he really wanted to do. He says of the time,
“I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be a Pyrotechnic or go into ministry. Pyrotechnic means you make fireworks and blow stuff up. So that was my other option.”
Through the influence of OKWU ministry teams at his youth camps, Dallas made the decision to attend OKWU, cementing the decision to choose ministry (since Pyrotechnics is not currently one of the approved degree programs).
Eagle: How has your OKWU experience influenced you?
Dallas: Honestly in every way possible. When I came here I had been homeschooled for twelve years so, I guess you could say I was fairly awkward…Then I moved…and lived with some awesome people and actually made some really good friends so that was a way I mentally and socially developed: being able to make friends and being around people who are genuine and loving.
Spiritually…honestly it’s just incredible how much I have grown since I have been here. Actually encountering Christ and being around [leaders] that love Jesus more than themselves, just feeling truly loved by the leadership and seeing Christ’s love being greater than even that. It has also helped me grow educationally. Dr. McNall, Dr. Jarmola, Dr. Turner, I’m trying to remember to leave out Dr. Weeter so that he feels hurt, just kidding I love Dr. Weeter!
Eagle: How did you come to Christ and how did it change your life?
Dallas: I came to know Christ through my parents mostly. My mom and dad are incredible people who love Jesus and held me second and that defined every aspect of my life growing up. So I came to Christ at a very young age…and throughout the years it’s been a journey just to get to know Him more and more. There have been huge events in my life and awesome youth pastors. Coming to OKWU really helped me grow. I grew just having relationships here. Different people who knew me and cared about me and truly showed me Christ through their actions towards me.
Eagle: What are some of your favorite things when you think about Jesus? (Question suggested by Dallas)
Dallas: I think Jesus is incredibly funny. So one of my favorite things is when I look at comic strips and see like, this preacher guy saying, ‘hey Jesus hey Jesus’, you should tell them about that time when you fought that dragon off with the Holy Scriptures. And the preachers like, ‘no Jesus says that’ and Jesus says, ‘hey preacher man, tell him about that time that I fought that dragon. And the preacher man’s like, Jesus that didn’t happen. And he goes, ‘tell him anyway’!
I see Jesus as that kind of person who is always messing with people, just really funny and I believe God created humor so it doesn’t makes sense for him to be funny.
I’m really good at saying serious stuff in a funny way. But I’m not very good about talking about funny stuff in a funny way. But then when your write it down it just sounds serious and serious.
Eagle: What was your most memorable moment at OKWU?
Dallas: I really liked when me and a certain group of people dressed up as Teletubbies for Famous Duos. Also throwing everything in Jacob Harms and Barry Thomas’s room up in one corner. (You can put that down on the record). Another great memory was living at the Chi house with Micah Klumb. Going to New York City and being a champion at Crochet. [And] Making the best cardboard boat in the history of OKWU and putting nine people in it (including Dr. T with his cell phone). We had a dragon head on our boat and everything.
Eagle: What piece of advice would you share with OKWU students?
Dallas: … Honestly there is never a time when I look back and wished I had studied more. But there are times when I wish I had hung out more. Don’t fail, then you don’t get to hang out anymore. Go to classes, do your homework, and then have fun. Make a time for studying and fun.
I think probably my biggest thing that I learned after these past four years was:
don’t let other people’s relationship with Christ define your relationship with Christ.
I think most of my four years I was comparing how spiritual I was and how spiritual other people were, and I don’t think there’s anything more damaging than that. When you think, ‘oh man I need to be closer to Jesus, then people will see me as being more spiritual’. ‘I need to read my bible more, so people will see how marked up it is’, or ‘I need to pray’. Honestly, it’s like the Pharisees in the Bible…all that really matters is that I am loving God and loving him and my relationship with God is my own. Don’t let other people define you and your relationship with Christ.