Our Staff

Pastor - Joseph Highley flcsponcacity@gmail.com 

Pastor Joseph Highley took a roundabout route to the pastoral ministry, having worked at Expedia.com and also selling leather supplies at Tandy Leather, both in Springfield, MO, before finally going to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis for pastoral education in 2016. 

After graduating from Concordia Seminary in 2020 with his Master's of Divinity (MDiv), he then spent another year at the seminary making progress on his Master's of Sacred Theology (STM). In April of 2021 he received his first call to First Lutheran. He was ordained and installed at First Lutheran on June 26th, 2021. 

Joseph is married to Rachell Highley who has a degree in Spiritual Care and Deaconess Studies from Concordia Seminary. She currently works remotely for Coalition for Life - St. Louis. Joseph and Rachell have been married since 2015 and are blessed to have two little kids, James and Elisa (Ellie). 

A jack of all trades, master of none, Joseph has a variety of interests. He enjoys all things athletics, both playing them (poorly) or following as a fan. The Kansas City Royals and Chiefs, and Missouri State Bears make up his world of fandom. Joseph also enjoys all things Lord of the Rings and rarely meets a board game or card game that he doesn't enjoy. The outdoors, with a special nod to fishing are also up his alley. Joseph loves being a dad and spending time with his wife and kids. Above all this, even above his love of being a husband and dad, Joseph has a passion for the Word of God and sharing its truth with others, that Jesus died for you and saves you from your sin.

Pastor Joseph is always eager to meet you and get to know you. He is happy to discuss our Lutheran-Christian beliefs with anyone and is excited to be serving the people of First Lutheran in Ponca City.

Principal - David Birnbaum

David has served in Lutheran education for twenty five years in Florida, Texas, and since 2013 in Ponca City Oklahoma.  He has a Bachelors in Elementary Education from Concordia University - Austin, Texas in 1990, and a Masters in Administration from Concordia University - Seward, Nebraska in 2000.  

"I have been a bashful person in life and that doesn't work well in my position so the bible verse that gets me through difficult situations is from Philippians 4:13 'I can do all things through Him (Jesus) who gives me strength.' I pray that God will continue to give me the strength to serve all His children." 


Director of Celebration Ministries - Chris Schelp 






Accountant and human Resources - Toni Cloud  (flcsacct@gmail.com)

Toni started working for FLCS in 2004.  However, she is no stranger to First Lutheran as she has been walking the halls of First Lutheran since 1975 as a student in our school.  She is a graduate of Ponca City High school and University of Central Oklahoma.  She is married to her husband of twenty five years, Shane, and they have three awesome boys and one precious daughter who are also graduates of FLS.  Her favorite pastime is encouraging women through moms groups, bible studies and websites she has created using social media to brighten the days of others.  She is a member of Ponca City Assembly of God but feels doubly blessed to also call First Lutheran her church family.   Her ministry at FLCS includes human resources, accounts payable and receivables, recording contributions, reconciling church and school bank accounts church offerings and processing various financial reports.

Next Generation Coordinator - Jennifer Heitman (flcsnextgen@gmail.com)

Jennifer began working at FLCS in 2019. Before that, she was a teacher at FLS and served as the Cheer Coach for First Lutheran School for a total of 7 years. She graduated from Midwest City High School in Midwest City, OK, and received her Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. She is currently enrolled at Concordia Irvine University. She is married to her husband Jason, and has three daughters who are all graduates of FLS. They joined the First Lutheran Church family in 2015 when her husbands job moved them to the area. She enjoys spending time with her family outdoors, organizing gatherings for FLY (First Lutheran Youth), taking part in local theater companies, and volunteering her time where she can. Her ministry at FLCS is to stimulate and direct ministry aimed at the next generation of Christians and leaders in our congregation, particularly aimed at junior high age youth and high school youth, as well as young adults (20-somethings, millennials) to about age 35. Her purpose is to seek out and train up the Next Generation (NexGen) of Followers of Jesus Christ.

Church Secretary-