Meet the commissioner: John Credle elected City Commissioner for Ward 2
When the citizens of Ardmore went to the polls last Tuesday, they selected John Credle, Jr. to be the next City Commissioner for Ward 2. In addition to his new role as city commissioner, Credle also serves as pastor for Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church and as a school counselor at Lincoln Elementary.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Credle is the youngest of four children and has three older sisters. After loosing his father at the age of 12, Credle said his mother’s brothers stepped in to become father-figures.
“I come from a very Christian family, and two of my uncles were pastors,” Credle said. “I also came up in a very rough neighborhood called Brownsville. Even to this day that neighborhood struggles with poverty and high crime, so just to survive was a blessing. I’m not exaggerating when I say that because statistically speaking, I should have been incarcerated by my 18th birthday or ended up dead before I reached my 18th year like some of my friends.”
Credle’s Christian upbringing and the influence of his uncles led Credle to become a minister himself, and he pastored two churches in New York before coming to Ardmore. In fact, becoming the pastor for Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist is the reason Credle ended up moving to Ardmore.
“My sister has been in Oklahoma for close to 40 years now, and my brother-in-law is the pastor here at Corinth Baptist Church,” Credle said. “So we spent many years coming out to Oklahoma to visit them. When he became pastor here in Ardmore, that’s when we started coming to visit here.”
In 2015, Credle and his family came to Ardmore for a two-week visit that ended up becoming permanent. He and his wife, Cheron, had already considered moving out of New York, but Oklahoma was not on their list of potential moves — even though by that time two of his sisters and his mother lived in the state. But then he found out that the role of pastor was about to come open at Mt. Zion.
“During that two week visit, I found out that the church was about to become vacant,” he said. “One thing led to another, and I ended up being invited to preach. Then they asked me to submit a resume, and here I am.”
In addition to his role as pastor, Credle also serves as a counselor at Lincoln Elementary.
“I’ve always been bivocational,” Credle said. “Even when pastoring in New York, I was an educator because I had my degree in school counseling. Because there weren’t any school counseling positions open I took a job at DHS because I still wanted to work with children. After I’d been there awhile I got a call from a school counselor at Jefferson who was thinking about retiring, and she said I should apply for the job. I ended up being hired, and that’s how I ended up at Lincoln, and I love Lincoln Elementary.”
In addition to his roles as pastor, counselor, and now city commissioner, Credle is also the father to four children. He and his wife have been married for 22 years, and their children are Joshua (20), a drama-theater major at Five Towns College in New York, Jordan (18), a restaurant and hospitality management major at OSU, Victory, a junior at Ardmore Highschool, and Zoey a 7th grader at Ardmore Middle School.