Growing up in El Paso, Texas, Andy Stoker learned to appreciate people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and passions. With his grandparents living just two blocks away and a supportive blended family, he felt the love of God through lots of humor, love, humor, differences, humor, grace and humor. As a lifelong United Methodist, Andy found himself called more deeply to ministry with people. He heard God calling him to be a phenomenal weatherman, but that required higher math . . . Then, he heard God calling him to stand-up comedy, but that required a lot of years of Ramen noodles . . . Then, he heard God calling him to share the love of Christ to people who were weathering storms and needed a reminder that God loved them even when the laughing stops.
As Andy was discerning his call to ministry at Texas Tech University, he met a young woman who was in nursing school and working at a church as a youth and university intern. Her name was Megan Callahan; her knowledge of people and faith quickly impressed him. Megan and Andy became partners in ministry and soon found themselves considering partnership for life. After having earned bachelor’s degrees, on January 10, 1998, Andy and Megan were married. Megan began work at Children’s Medical Center, where she continues to work today, and Andy started seminary at Perkins School of Theology. Before completing seminary in 2001, Andy served a two point charge in Henderson, Texas, and Greenland Hills United Methodist Church.
In 2002, Andy was commissioned an elder in the North Texas Conference and appointed to First United Methodist Church of Denton. He served as associate pastor with youth, university students and young adults. He was ordained elder in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 2005. As he continued his work at FUMC-Denton, he found himself in a variety of other ministry areas in the church including adult education and mission ministries. While at FUMC-Denton, he completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Family Studies from Texas Woman’s University. His dissertation research focused on adolescent identity formation in “tweens” and “emerging adults.” More importantly, FUMC-Denton saw Megan and Andy grow their family with two boys: Alex, now eight, and Wesley, now three.
In 2008, Stoker received an appointment to the North Texas Conference as Associate Director of Connectional Ministries for Children, Youth, Family and Camping. From the Conference position in 2010, Andy Stoker received a Lilly Foundation Fellowship Grant to serve First United Methodist Church of Dallas. In this position, Stoker is learning large church systems and leadership competencies for a large church pastorate.
PASSIONS & INTERESTS:
I feel passionately about lifelong learning. I read classic and contemporary theologians, as well as contemporary and burgeoning family science texts. I read history, essays, novels. short stories and poetry to round out my learning. The boys and I love to go to the library and search and discover stories that make us laugh. Also, I love to teach; when I teach, I grow in my own knowledge of the subject. In the last few years, I have picked up regular exercise; it has been a true gift. Megan has introduced me to exercise and she really has had the heart and motivation as a registered nurse to stay healthy. I have a goal of running a half-marathon in the next year and a full marathon before I am forty. When I am not on the move, I had found that movies are an outlet for me. As a parent with young children, more serious films have taken a backseat to animated characters and inspirational musicals. Additionally, I love to play basketball, watch soccer and swimming.