Q&A with Pastor David Hooks of Oklahoma City, Bryant Avenue

How did you get your start in ministry?

I started full-time ministry in 2001. I was pastoring a church in southeast Oklahoma, plus I was a chaplain at the Tyson plant in Broken Bow. God opened a door, and I was able to minister to a lot of people. Tyson had about 1,200 employees, and God used me to minister in that way.  I preached at funerals and loved on people when they were struggling.

In 2006, God led me back to Oklahoma City. I lived here from 1978-95. I started pastoring at Bryant Avenue in 2008. In June, I will be (at Bryant Avenue) for 16 years. When I started, I was a bi-vocational pastor and also drove a city bus for six months.

The church desired for me to be full-time, and the Lord worked through that to make it possible, and I’ve been full-time since 2009. It’s been a blessing.

You have served in several ways, including at the associational level. How did the Lord place you in these opportunities, and why is serving in Kingdom work rewarding?

I have been blessed to know past directors of mission in our association, and it’s been through those relationships that I got involved and had opportunities to serve. I got to see the heart of other pastors who are focused on building the Kingdom of God. I walked alongside these guys and learn from them and encouraged them.

I have served as moderator in the association and on the revitalization team and had other roles. It’s rewarding because you see people who have a heart for Jesus and get to walk alongside those people.

How are you and your church involved in serving the community and advancing the Gospel?

We had a free clinic that ran for more than 15 years. There were so many blessings that came out of having that clinic. I remember a lady who brought her husband to the clinic. He was diabetic and not taking his medicine. He was in so much pain. They treated him, and as they were leaving—I’ll never forget this—she said, ‘I feel like I have just won the lottery.’ Our people want to serve and meet needs.

We started doing a movie night for the community. Once a month, we offer free refreshments. We show a Christian movie and have an opportunity to share with people. We also serve local schools and offer gift bags to teachers. This past Christmas, we delivered 600 Christmas presents to students.

This gives us opportunities to minister to people, and even if people or kids forget my name or names of our church members, they will say, ‘Oh you’re the people from Bryant Avenue.’ It has made a difference in the community.

Why is it important for you and Bryant Avenue to support the Cooperative Program?

It’s important for us simply because we can do more together than we can apart. I know it’s important to educate people on the Cooperative Program and explain ‘This is why we give; this is where it goes.’ We may not give much, but we are able to minister to missionaries around the world. I share about Hope Pregnancy Center and other ministries that we support through Cooperative Program giving.

It gives us a bigger vision than just our church. This is Kingdom work. If we ever lose sight of that, then we are in trouble. We are a part of something bigger than Bryant Avenue or even Oklahoma. We make a conscious effort to support the Cooperative Program because God doing work all over the world, and we need to support what He’s doing.