About the Author

About the Author

From the i10841165011131CDPntroduction to Houses Divided:

I overheard the Bible being read from the womb. I have known no other way of life than one that involves a relationship with Jesus Christ. Actually, as a student of my own genealogy, I can tell you that five generations ago, my ancestor William Knott was one of the trustees who helped establish a Methodist Church in Pennsylvania. The chairs around my mother’s table were purchased from my great-grandfather Philip’s Presbyterian church in Arkansas.

That said, I spent thirty-five years of my life working as a public servant at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. I started as a caseworker in 1969 during the onset of the Great Society, retiring in 2004 as the administrator of policy, planning and research when the phrase “faith-based initiatives” was in vogue. I believe in this country and the principles on which it was founded. I have walked the tightrope of the separation of church and state in practice as well as in theory. Since my retirement, I have obtained my credential as a commissioned minister in the Christian church (Disciples of Christ) and worked full-time for eight years as an assistant minister, seeing firsthand the failures and successes of both the church and the state in response to human need. My hope and prayer is that my sharing experiences and insights might be a catalyst for conversations on church and state among Christians and beyond.

I grew up on a farm but have lived in urban areas since 1974. My Bachelor of Science degree is from Phillips University, Enid, Oklahoma and my Master of Social Work, from the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado.

I completed the Licensed Commissioned Minister Program provided by the Christian Church in Oklahoma, in February 2008 and became a Certified Spiritual Director through HeartPaths Spirituality Centre in 2009.

While my parents have both died, my brother and sister are wonderful friends as well as family.  They have graciously provided me with seven nieces and nephews and they have now added another generation. All of which bring great joy to my life.

I am active in my local church and justice issues; love drama and music, and the Oklahoma City Thunder Basketball team as well as following both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma University sports; and work out week days and do yoga most days.