Minister in Dallas, Texas
Minister in Dallas, Texas
Growing up in El Paso, Texas, Dr. Andy Stoker learned to appreciate people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and passions. 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 and Andy started seminary at Perkins School of Theology. 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 and Wesley. In 2008, Dr. Stoker received an appointment to the North Texas Conference as Associate Director of Connectional Ministries. From the Conference position in 2010, he received a Lilly Foundation Fellowship to serve First United Methodist Church of Dallas. In this position, Dr. Stoker learned large church systems and leadership competencies for a large church pastorate. This appointment launched Dr. Stoker to Walnut Hill United Methodist Church of Dallas. After a successful year at Walnut Hill United Methodist Church, the Bishop appointed Dr. Stoker to First United Methodist Church of Dallas.