Rev. Linzy & Carla Slayden
Senior Pastor Linzy Slayden, Jr. was called to pastor Friendship Baptist Church the third week of July in 1992. His experiences as a youth director, music director and associate pastor helped to prepare him to pastor this rapidly growing church.
Pastor Slayden was born in Moline, IL and raised in the Quad-Cities area until moving to the small farming community of Cambridge in his junior high years. It was there that he graduated from High School, and met and married his high school sweetheart, Carla.
Jeff & Kina Smith
Jeff joined the Friendship Staff in September of 2004. He is the Family Life Pastor who works with your families and also oversees the Outreach Ministry at Friendship Baptist Church.
Jeff grew up in Springfield, Missouri and was taught at an early age the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ. He felt God wanted to use him in ministry and attended Baptist Bible College. While there he met his wife, Kina. They both graduated college in 2000. Jeff received a Bachelor of Science in Youth Ministries and Biblical Studies, and Kina in Elementary Education.
Upon Graduation, Jeff and Kina moved to Melbourne, Florida where Jeff served as Student Pastor for 4½ years. While student pastor, the youth grew from 20 to 60 students. He also gained experience in many other ministries in the church.
In 2004, Jeff and Kina moved to Owasso, Oklahoma to accept a Student Pastor/Outreach ministry position at Friendship Baptist Church. They directed the youth ministry for 5 years. During that time, it was rewarding to see many students make life long decisions and commitments to full-time ministry. Due to growth at Friendship Baptist, a need for a Family Life Pastor became apparent. Jeff and Kina prayerfully transitioned to that position. It is Jeff and Kina’s desire to see young families thrive not just survive. There are many things that compete with the family in today’s culture. Families are important and need to be protected from all that want to destroy the family structure.
Jeff and Kina have three sons, Austin, Brenden, and Casen. Their family is also adopting a little girl from the Philippines. They are excited about the Family Life Ministry of Friendship Baptist Church and what God is doing for the young families, the church and for the great city of Owasso and surrounding area.
Mike & Lisa Gleason
Mike became part of the staff at Friendship in March of 2007. He oversees the music and arts department of the church.
Mike was born in Lansing, Michigan and grew up in a ministry oriented family. His parents provided many opportunities for him and his three siblings to use their gifts to serve the church and community. When he was a junior in high school at a youth camp, he surrendered his life to full-time ministry.
Upon graduating from high school, he went to Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College and studied to be a music minister. This is where he met his wife, Lisa, and they were married a year after Mike graduated in 1988. The Gleasons have spent the last 25 years ministering in churches in Colorado, California, Minnesota and in Oklahoma. They are excited about being part of this growing and mission oriented church.
They have 4 children; Seth, Aubrey, Trent and Ciara. They also have a dog named Pippin who is just like another child and keeps everyone entertained. They reside in the city of Owasso and look forward to serving this community in the future.
Richard & Brenda Edwards
Richard was saved February 1, 1978 after hearing the Gospel twice the same day from two sources while stationed in South Korea in the US Air Force.
He returned to the USA in May of 1978 and was stationed at McConnell AFB in Wichita, KS. He began attending Glenville Bible Baptist Church where he met and married his wife, Brenda. Brenda is a 1978 graduate of BBC in Springfield, MO. They have two daughters, Adrienne and Angela. Adrienne is married to Daniel Gibbs and they have two daughters, Taylor and Savannah. Angela is married to Daniel Eisman.
After 8 years in the US Air Force, Richard surrendered his life to full-time ministry and attended Word of Life Bible Institute and School of Youth Ministries from 1983-85 in Schroon Lake, NY. He was the Youth/Bus Director at Glenville Bible Baptist Church in Wichita, KS from 1985-1990. In 1990 Richard and Brenda moved to Jacksonville, FL where he served as Youth Director and Associate Pastor at First Coast Baptist Church. From 1997 to 2001 they had the privilege to serve as BBFI missionaries to Kenya, East Africa alongside Jon and Pam Konnerup. They returned to the USA in October 2001 to be on staff at First Coast Baptist in Jacksonville, FL. The church called Richard as pastor in September 2002, where he served in that role until January 31, 2017.
The Edwards arrived in Owasso, OK on December 16, 2018 and are very excited to serve in the Senior Adult Ministry at Friendship Baptist Church.
Reuben & Jordan Herrin
Reuben Herrin and his wife Jordan joined our staff in June of 2012 to lead the Student Ministry.
Reuben grew up in Lansing, Michigan in a Christian home. He was taught at a young age about the importance of a relationship with Christ, but it wasn't until he was fifteen years old that he truly understood his need for personal faith in Christ. Shortly after trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior, he felt the Lord’s leading in his life for full-time ministry. It was at Camp Chautauqua in Miamisburg, OH that he surrendered his life to ministry.
In 2010, Reuben completed his education at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO. During his time there he had the opportunity to travel with L.I.F.T Student Ministries as well as the BBC Rec Team. It was during those times that God began to impress upon Reuben the desire to serve in student ministry. Before joining the staff of Friendship Baptist Church, Reuben served as the Director of Admissions at BBC.
Reuben met his wife Jordan while at BBC and they were married in June 2011. They now have 3 children: Kage, Maverick, and Indie. Reuben and his family are passionate about leading students to know, love, and follow Jesus one step at a time.
Stephanie joined the Friendship staff in June 2009. Her ministry focus will be on children.
Stephanie is a life long Owasso, Oklahoma resident and graduated from Owasso High School in 2005. She accepted Christ when she was a young girl at a mother/daughter conference. Stephanie grew up attending churches with her family and as a teenager she joined the Friendship Baptist Church.
While Stephanie was a teenager in the Friendship youth group she felt God calling her into fulltime ministry, but did not understand the Lord’s direction until her first year at Baptist Bible College. While at BBC she felt God calling her into fulltime missions. During her college years Stephanie took missions trips to Salt Lake City, Utah, and two trips to Costa Rica. It was clear this is where the Lord was directing and confirmed His call upon her life to world missions.
Stephanie graduated from Baptist Bible College in May 2009 with a degree in Intercultural Studies. She graduated with honors including being the female recipient of the Key Award, the highest award BBC gives to a graduate. The Key Award is given to the graduate who excels in leadership, faithfulness, attitude and academics.
Stephanie married Jon Loderhose on November 7th, 2014. They are excited to serve together here at Friendship and see what God has in store for them both.
Mischelle was born in Independence, Kansas. She was the sixth and final child of her family. Her dad pastored in Neodesha, Kansas. At the age of 10 months, Mischelle’s family relocated to Winfield, Kansas where her dad assumed the pastorate.
At the age of 7, Mischelle accepted the Lord as her personal Savior. She grew up in Winfield, participating in church and school choirs and ensembles. She graduated from Winfield High School in 1985.
Following high school graduation she entered Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. She studied Children’s Church Education and Missions. While at Baptist Bible College, she traveled both nationally and internationally with a singing and drama group. She graduated from Baptist Bible College in 1989.
Following graduation, she married Stan Foster. She and Stan reside in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where Stan works as a nurse anesthetist. They have been blessed with three children, Ian, Gracen, and Maddisen.
Mischelle’s work experience centers around the office environment. She was secretary to the Dean of Students at Baptist Bible College. Following that position, she became the secretary to the Missions Director at the Baptist Bible Fellowship Mission Office. The birth of their son saw her making a career change to stay at home and be a full-time mom and homeschooler. With that, the opportunity to process prayer letters for missionaries from her home became available.
She has maintained that ministry to the present. She became Church Secretary at Friendship in 2013.
Mischelle’s hobbies include scrapbooking, crafting, and reading.