Tulsa pastor retires, new pastor's coming on board
TULSA, Okla. -- Lawrence Gregory is in the process of retiring from the pastorate of the Tulsa Church of God.
Mr. Gregory's decision to turn the responsibilities of shepherding the flock over to another man comes after almost 20 years in the Tulsa pulpit.
Stepping up to the plate will be 65-year-old Steve Andrews, a longtime elder in the Tulsa fellowship and before that a member of the Church of God International and Worldwide Church of God.
"I'm still a minister and still will be able to teach and preach and maybe some other things," Mr. Gregory, 72, told The Journal.
"The main reason I wanted to step down is I wanted to do it while I was still able to function clearly.
"This transition has been under consideration for a couple of years, but I was holding off until we found someone who could and would be able to serve as the pastor."
The new man, Mr. Andrews, is an engineer in the oil industry but will work as a pastor "full time in his part time," as Mr. Gregory put it.
Mr. Gregory has similarly stayed busy with two jobs over the years, as a family counselor in funeral homes while serving full time as the Tulsa pastor.
"Steve has been one of our regular speakers for years,"he said. "He and I conduct the Passover together. He, I and Barnabas Grayson, the three of us, rotate as speakers.
"Steve is a longtime member of the church. He knows what it's about: doctrines, sound principles of preaching and practice."
The Tulsa Church of God spun off from the Worldwide Church of God in 1979. It affiliated in the early ’80s with the Church of God International. In the ’90s, Mr. Gregory said, it dropped the CGI affiliation, "but we remain on good terms with CGI, as well as WCG and United and many of the groups."
The Tulsa Church of God is a founding member of the Churches of God Outreach Ministries, made up of several independent congregations.
The congregation has five deacons, five deaconesses and three elders as well as a 12-member board of directors.
"God has blessed us with good servants, good converted laymen," Mr. Gregory concluded.
For an article about Mr. Andrews going to prison for his religious beliefs, see "Heavyweight Champ Helped Spring New Tulsa Pastor in ’71," beginning on this page of The Journal. See also tulsachurchofgod.net.