In 1956 Jerry and Marian Arnold, a Methodist and Southern Baptist respectively, met in the traveler's map department of Conoco Oils in Ponca City, Oklahoma. They married and had two sons - my brother Jeff Alan was born in 1957 and I (Rex Arthur) came along in 1961. The family spent the 60s and 70s in Comanche, OK where we were actively involved in the First Baptist Church.
After graduating high school in 1980 I moved to Edmond on a trombone music scholarship at UCO (CSU), where I invented the "10 1/2 year program." Five years and three majors later, I "stopped out" to pursue a life in retail with Foley's Department Stores in Oklahoma City. I set three goals for myself: 1. Get an undergraduate degree in something. 2. Get into management. 3. Check out the Catholic Church.
In 1991 I became an Area Sales Manager with Foley's, graduated from SNU with a Human Resources degree and started RCIA classes at St. Eugene's Catholic Church. The real impetus to investigate the Church came from an invitation from my next door neighbor in The Village, who said that the music was really good at St. Eugene's; she was right. I also discovered that Fr. Bill Pruett was also an amazing homilist, as well. I was Confirmed on the feast of Christ the King, Christus Rex, and I've always celebrated Christ the King with great joy as my "Catholic Birthday."
Five years later my dad died of cancer on January 25th, the Feast Day of the Conversion of St. Paul, where he was knocked off his high horse. My dad's death knocked me off of mine and I started attending daily Mass where they prayed for an increase to vocations (at the time I thought that was a Catholic vacation).
Feeling called to live a more charitable life I finally told Him I would do whatever He wanted me to do. Of course priesthood was not included with that most noble prayer. Finally I applied for seminary and was sent to Conception Seminary in Missouri for two years of pre-theology and then Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans for theology. I was ordained June 4, 2004, serving as Parochial Vicar at St. John the Baptist before moving to be Pastor at Clinton/Cordell. In 2013 I was made Pastor of St. John Nepomuk in Yukon and now Christ the King in OKC.
I love God for all of this. And together I hope we learn to love Him even more.