OKWU is pleased to award one of the 2018 Outstanding Service awards to OKWU “Power Couple” Jamie (’97) and Barb (Wahl, ’96) Prescott. This award recognizes individuals for outstanding service to the Church, community, and the University. Samantha Peterson, Vice President of Enrollment Services and friend of the Prescotts, said, “Their passion for doing life with young teens and helping them find their identity in Christ is truly remarkable.”
Both raised in Wesleyan churches, the Prescotts came to OKWU pursuing degrees in Pastoral Ministry (Jamie) History (Barb). The couple married while they were still students at then-Bartlesville Wesleyan College, and now have three children: Garrett (college sophomore), Layne (high school senior), and Keat (high school freshman). They began their career in youth ministry right after college, when Jamie became the youth pastor at Fairview Wesleyan Church in Cottondale, Alabama. After the birth of their eldest, the couple moved to Lawrence, KS, and Jamie took the role of youth pastor at Connect Church, where they have been for almost 20 years now. Barb also serves a number of roles at Connect, and became the Creative Director in 2015.
In addition to local church ministry, Jamie served as the Kansas District Youth President for over a decade, served on Wesleyan Youth Conference executive teams, and has also been site director for Never the Same Camp at OKWU. Both the Prescotts have a passion for supporting the Wesleyan Church, and Barb has been a member of the Kansas District Board of Administration for the Wesleyan Church and is on the District Board of Ministerial Development. While their service record is impressive, both say their greatest accomplishment is successfully “raising three teens who love the fact that their dad was also their youth pastor.”
By raising their children and ministering to others, the couple has learned they need to “love God with everything we have and love others unconditionally…In our own strength, we would exhaust ourselves doing this, but we’ve learned that our own relationship with God fuels our ability to love others.”
These foundations of their ministry started with OKWU, and some of the couple’s best memories of being OKWU students revolved around the faculty. Both said their professors “taught us to view and question the world through the lens of scripture, and definitely had the greatest impact in teaching us how to be mature adults. Often it was how they lived and treated us, more than specific words they spoke or lessons they taught, that showed us what it meant to live out Scripture, and to show the love of Christ…We both had several professors who cared deeply about us … and knew us well enough to ask how they could specifically pray for us.”
One specific memory illustrates this show of Christ’s love: During their junior year, Jamie’s father passed away. “It was obviously a very difficult time,” said Barb, “and Jamie couldn’t focus on academics. One day he went to class, knowing they were taking a test he had not even begun to study for. After several minutes, Jamie turned the test in completely blank, not caring that he would have to take a zero on a test. Later that day, the professor called him into his office, expressed his sympathy, told Jamie he wouldn’t let him sabotage himself, and set up a time to retake the test.”
Jamie and Barb have taken those same lessons of Christ-like caring to heart and spent their careers showing Christ’s love to youth, to their community, and to their family, representing their alma-mater with excellence.
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