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From Gangster To Pastor

The Oklahoma Conference held its 2022 Oklahoma Youth Rally, “Most Wanted,” at Adventist Fellowship in Tulsa from October 20-22. The speaker for the weekend was Pastor Rome Ulia, originally from New Zealand and now living in Washington state. Over the weekend, he shared his testimony with youth who came to Tulsa from across Oklahoma. Pastor Rome inspired youth and adults alike about how his life dramatically transitioned from gang life to spreading Jesus’ love to others by witnessing through his weight-lifting activities.

The youth rally included a community service project for the high school students of Tulsa Adventist Academy (TAA). On Friday, they partnered with Up With Trees. They went to one of the public high schools in Tulsa and for several hours planted trees and spread mulch. On Sabbath afternoon, TAA high school math teacher Larry Seery took some of the youth on a hike at Turkey Mountain. There, they enjoyed the beautiful weather and each other’s company.

On Sabbath morning, Pastor Rome made a call to baptism after his sermon. That evening, after the closing sermon, Travis Ham and his brother Levi, along with Dawn Rimpley, were baptized. Travis and Levi were baptized by their father, Adventist Fellowship church elder Brian Ham. Dawn was baptized by Kevin Mather, another church elder and lifelong friend of Dawn.

Many youth were blessed and positively impacted by Pastor Rome’s sermons. He shared that no matter how far down you fall down it’s never too far for God to reach you. Oklahoma youth would gladly welcome Pastor Rome back to hear more about his ministries and how God changed him from gangster to pastor.

By :: Madison Bokovoy and Emily Beyreis

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