His retirement was reported in The Oklahoman in January. After 20 years of serving in the athletic department at the University of Oklahoma (OU), Kenny Mossman was making a career change to go into pastoral ministry.
“I think there are people who probably think I’m nuts,” he said during a recording for the Messenger Insight podcast. “There are people who love college sports in this state on a high level, and they might look at this decision and wonder about my sanity.”
Mossman has cherished thoughts of his time with the Sooners. He started his stint at OU as director of athletic communications and ended as executive associate athletic director for strategic communications.
“It was a pretty rewarding experience because you get to do and experience things at OU in the athletics realm that are very unique compared to other places,” Mossman said about working at OU. Overall, he worked in college athletics for nearly 40 years. “It was amazing. I had been to one bowl game before I arrived at Oklahoma. In my 20 years, we never missed a bowl game. If you can name a bowl game, there’s a good chance — at least of the higher profile games — I got to work it.”
He also mentioned being a part of four Heisman Trophy winners, men’s and women’s basketball teams reaching the Final Four and being the sports administrator for the OU softball team, which has won numerous national titles.
But now, Mossman is pursuing full-time vocational ministry. A faithful member of Emmaus Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, he has been a diligent adult Sunday School teacher. He also spent a lot of time with Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a state board member. However, for the last few years, he believes God was preparing him to be a pastor.
Mossman’s pastor, Owen Neese, said he too had a strong sense God was calling Mossman into pastoral ministry.
Once they talked about it, Neese set Mossman on a path of ordination, which consisted of taking seminary courses online and going through process at church. He also served in pulpit supply roles across the state and that definitely “fanned the flame,” Mossman said. “It was the confirmation that I needed from God that, yes, this was something I was called to do.”
Mossman was preaching on Sundays while also fulfilling his role on Saturdays at football games. Neese said this was not a total change for Mossman.
“He’s not doing anything completely different because he has always been committed to the local church,” Neese said. “There were away games OU was playing, and I’d think there’s no way Kenny would be there (at church the next day). But he was there the next morning. He’s always valued being involved and serving in the local church.”
Mossman then came to a point when he wondered if maybe he was experiencing burnout with his work at OU. However, he concluded it was holy discontentment.
‘God was changing my heart’
“I wasn’t getting fulfillment out of it anymore,” he said. “I found myself being in a full stadium and looking across the landscape of 80,000 people. My thoughts weren’t so much on how are we going to entertain these people, but honestly, I wondered to myself, ‘How many of these people are saved?’ When you start to look at things through an eternal lens, it will change your perspective in a hurry. It did for me. I just no longer felt that what I was doing there was as meaningful as I once thought it was. Now, as I look back, I know God was changing my heart and giving me a new desire. That desire was to more overtly spread the gospel.”
He did clarify that it is possible for a Christian to have a ministry no matter the occupation. “I did have a ministry,” Mossman said. “And that platform provided me many opportunities to go speak for Christ. But it escalated beyond that to a point where I could feel the Lord was calling me to be a pastor.”
And on Jan. 23, that calling was confirmed as he was voted unanimously to become full-time pastor of First Baptist Church Carnegie.
“It’s a small town of less than 2,000 people, but they took 71 young people to Falls Creek last summer and have 40 youth regularly on Wednesday nights,” Mossman said about the church. “They truly are ministering to Caddo County. They are a fun group of people to be with because they are not interested in sitting around and ‘playing church.’ They want to impact their area for Christ.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was written by Chris Doyle, and was originally published by The Baptist Messenger, newsjournal for Oklahoma Baptists.