Pastor Kayla Bonewell

E-mail Pastor Kayla Bonewell

Rev. Kayla Bonewell was born in Oklahoma City.  She earned a BA in Religion from Oklahoma City University (2002), a Master of Liberal Arts from Naropa University (2004), and a Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California (2008). Ordained in the United Church of Christ (2010), Kayla has ministry experience as a hospital chaplain, campus minister, social justice activist, youth minister, and associate pastor. Her personal mission statement is “To empower community, through experiences of the divine, to lead lives of deep meaning, while cultivating health, peace, and beauty in our world.” She is passionate about relevant worship, spiritual growth, and community engagement. Kayla is a member of the inaugural class of the UCC’s “Next Generation Leadership Initiative,” a 20-year focus on energizing and sustaining younger, emerging UCC local church pastors. She lives with her wife Dana Johnson, who is an artist.


Carman LaRue

Administrator / Bookkeeper

Carman LaRue has been with us since 2012. She started as our bookkeeper but in the past year has added administrative office manager to her list of duties. She keeps our church office running smoothly and efficiently. Her hometown is Altus, Oklahoma. She lived in Wichita, Kansas for 14 years, where her children were raised. Carman’s experience and knowledge of office work is vast. She has served as a paralegal, data analyst, and worked with medical records. These are only a few of the jobs she held while employed with the Department of Defense. Her greatest enjoyment is her four grandchildren whom she says keep her “young”.

Sarah Pool


Originally from Arlington, Texas, Sarah Pool is a Music Director and Pianist in the Vocal Coaching master’s program at OCU this year. She started the degree in the 2014-2015 school year – she spent two years as the Music Directing Intern at PCPA on the central coast of California and then spent this past summer as a Music Director at the Post Playhouse in Nebraska – and now she’s back to finish. Sarah grew up attending church in Arlington and has always loved providing her musical talents for worship. She is very excited to be joining the team at Open Arms and looks forward to meeting everyone!

Susan Dillard

Choir Director

Susan Dillard, a recent graduate from Oklahoma City University’s Master’s program in Musical Theater, is proud to be entering her third year as director of Church of the Open Arms’ choir. When not making music at COA, Susan is adjunct voice faculty at the University of Science and Arts in Chickasha, Oklahoma, and at OCU. She also teaches a Music Appreciation class at Oklahoma City Community College. Susan loves to perform as much as she enjoys teaching and she has found so much joy through singing and leading choir rehearsals at Open Arms and is so grateful for the family she has found at our church. She looks forward to all the opportunities that OKC and COA have in store. In the meantime, come sing with us! All are welcome!

Lay Leadership





President:  Jim Stovall

Vice President:  Pam Schonauer

Past President:  Mindy Hellwege

Secretary:  Debbie Kennemer

Treasurer:  Shannon Haggard

Financial Secretary:  Sandra Hoyt

Building and Grounds:  Ron Bashant

Care Ministry Team:  Hank Roberts

Community Life Ministry Team: Hank Roberts

Christian Education Ministry Team:  Lisa Wolfe

Finance & Stewardship Ministry Team: Mike DeArmond

Greeters & Hospitality Ministry Team: Linda Herndon

Food Pantry Ministry Team:  Bo Wright-Bass & Laura Choate

Social Justice Ministry Team:  Nathaniel Batchelder & Donna Compton

Worship & Music Ministry Team:  Gloria Weiss