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The Rev’d Stephanie Jenkins
Rector

The Rev’d Stephanie Jenkins, Rector of Saint Andrew’s - Lawton, grew up in southwest Oklahoma, with both sides

of her family shaped by their Oklahoma roots. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma - BA Sociology (2000) and Episcopal Divinity School – Cambridge, MA - Master of Divinity (2010). Ordination followed July 2010. 

She has served as a curate, Saint Luke’s-Bartlesville, OK; assistant, Saint Peter’s-Weston, MA; Episcopal Diocese

of Kansas - Campus Missioner, in addition to mothering Henry, age 9, and Cora age 7.  

 

Oklahoma’s red dirt, open skies, rolling  plains, strong winds, springtime storms followed by summer heat and

the welcome cool winds of fall are home like no place else to Rev’d Stephanie.  Growing up, she was shaped by

the love filled community of Christ followers worshipping together at All Saints’ Episcopal Church at the corner of

9th & Cedar in Duncan in all their theological variety. There she experienced firsthand God’s unconditional love

and belonging.  


Were it not for the faithful at the corner of 9th & Cedar in Duncan, she’s not sure where else she would have gotten such an expansive experience of God’s all encompassing love growing up in rural southwest Oklahoma. This way of loving remains a crucial voice in our corner of the world, and is her greatest aspiration for Saint Andrew’s - to be an inclusive Christ centered community open to the power of the Holy Spirit right here in the Lawton/Ft Sill community. 

Rev’d Stephanie grew up playing basketball, studying, and going to church at All Saints’ - Duncan.  While the competitive aspect of basketball kept her out of “trouble”

and resulted in a college scholarship, she rarely missed youth group gatherings and trips. There she found a sense of acceptance and belonging, mostly absent in

competitive athletics. 

 

With college complete and little idea of what was next, she tried as many jobs as degrees declared throughout college. Getting far away from Oklahoma was the common thread through them all, eventually taking her to live deep in the bush of Zambia in 2003 & 2004 as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  The raw reality of sharing life as a volunteer

broke her open enough to be real.  She realized subconsciously she was still living life from the framework of competitive athletics - do the job or be replaced, a means

to an end.  Inherently, the “job” of a Peace Corps Volunteer could never be done; so, where did that leave her?  and other volunteers?  

 

This framework needed immediate rethinking. 

 

Somehow, she’d kept a loose connection to the Church and found herself drawing on the pattern of prayer she didn’t realize was present within. Praying at night by candlelight in her hut, she began to transform the lasting impact of being cast aside into an awareness deep within - each one of us on earth is uniquely irreplaceable

and inherently worthy.  Where had she glimpsed this unconditional love and belonging?  She knew it from somewhere.   

 

Without the sense of unconditional love and belonging experienced year in and year out, from the faithful at the corner of 9th & Cedar in Duncan, she’s not sure where

else she would have gotten such an expansive experience of God’s reconciling love growing up in rural southwest Oklahoma.  

 

It turns out that memory was buried so deep inside it took going halfway around the world to shake lose; in that discovery though, she experienced a way of life with a people with such a deep sense of place it reconnected her back to the red dirt, open skies, and love filled community of Christ followers worshipping together across the plains in all their theological variety she once ran from.  This way of loving remains a crucial voice in this corner of the world.  It is one she experienced the power of firsthand and it is one she’s honored to share in as we pursue glimpses of God’s kingdom right here in the Lawton/Ft Sill community as a part of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma and the global Anglican Communion.