Pastor Vep and Lavone Ellis

Vep Ellis, Jr. and his wife Lavone are the senior pastors of Sheridan Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pastor Vep Ellis has a great heritage of gospel ministry and music. He was the Minister of Music at Sheridan Christian Center for 14 years then went on to serve as the Music Director and Dean of Music for the Kenneth Hagin Ministries and RHEMA Bible training center for eight years. In 1984, he returned to Sheridan as Senior Pastor. While at RHEMA, Pastor Ellis formed the RHEMA Singers and Band and recorded several albums. Pastor Ellis is the son of internationally known V.B. “Vep” Ellis, Hall of Fame songwriter and recording artist. Vep Jr. and his brothers occasionally tour the country promoting their own CD’s of their Dad’s music. They have sung at the Palace in Branson, MO; Lee University; and other venues. They were recently invited to appear on the Bill Gaither videos.

He and his wife Lavone have two beautiful daughters, Tiffani and her husband Barry Owens and Tara and her husband Rodney Crum, and five wonderful grandchildren who live in the Tulsa, OK area.   Eleven years ago Lavone was diagnosed with a serious liver disease and was given 2 years to live.  She was at the point of death many times, but through a miracle of prayer and faith in God’s Word, she received a liver transplant in 1994 and is a living miracle.

E-mail: Pastor Vep and Lavone


The History Of Sheridan Christian Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Pastor Glen Millard, a noted leader in the Assembly of God history books, started Sheridan Christian Center in 1951. With the aim of starting a new, small, very friendly church, his first service was held in a one-room garage. But as friendly churches often do, Sheridan Christian Center quickly grew and soon offered a seating capacity of over 700. And now, 54 years later, the church is roughly the same size, not a huge church in today’s standards by any means.

What makes this church so important to Tulsa’s Christian community is their heritage of growing Christian leaders and planting new ministries. With no desire to become a mega-sized church, they have always been more interested in helping others to do so.

Directly, they helped start Victory Christian Center, Grace Church, and Eastland Assembly of God, three large and important churches. Indirectly, their roots extend to countless ministries. This list impressively includes such names as Willie George (Church on the Move), Carlton Pierson (Higher Dimensions), Kenneth Copeland (Kenneth Copeland Ministries), and John Osteen, father of Joel Osteen (Lakewood Church, Houston). Other notable leaders who have come through Sheridan Christian Center include Terry Law, Dave Legette, Steve Pringle, Fred Price, Larry Dalton and David Grothe.

In addition, important Christian colleges began in the Sheridan Christian Center. These include Victory Bible Institute, Trinity Bible College and RHEMA Bible Training Center. Combined these schools have been instrumental in training thousands of ministers, who have then started thousands of churches all over the world. 

Through the years, it has been common for all of these men to keep close association with Sheridan Christian Center. As did internationally known preachers like Lester Sumrall and Charles Capps, they routinely return to the church of their roots.

Pastor Vep Ellis, Jr, with his wife Lavone, has served as senior pastor of the church for 17 years and as music director for 13 years. He also served as Dean of Music at RHEMA Bible Training Center for 6 years. Vep is the son of Vep Ellis, Sr, a nationally know evangelist, pastor, singer and songwriter.

Journey: Tulsa's Century Of Christian Faith, Leadership, and influence by Tom McCloud and Tara Lynn Thompson

E-mail: Sheridan Christian Center


The Ellis Brothers

The Ellis Brothers: four men with a devotion to their father and a passion for music. David, Vep Jr., Richard and Ward love their dad’s music. So much, in fact, they’ve made the past part of their present day mission: to sing those famous V.B. “Vep” Ellis songs of yesterday to audiences today.

The ministry of Vep Ellis spanned fifty years of writing, arranging, publishing, recording, performing, and preaching.  He was born on March 11, 1917, in Oneonta, Alabama and went to heaven on April 30, 1988, in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the age of 71.  His music has touched thousands throughout the years and around the world. There are over 500 songs to his credit: gospel songs, hymns, convention songs, spiritual choruses, and even a few love songs. He recorded 200 of his gospel songs.  In the 1960’s, Ellis served as crusade soloist for the Oral Roberts Ministries. 

The sons of Vep Ellis have each been involved in church music and pastoral ministry all of their lives.  The entire Ellis family presents their father’s music not only as a loving tribute, but also to remind us all of what we can accomplish when we yield our talents to our Creator.

The Ellis Brothers have recorded 45 of their father’s gospel songs onto 3 albums: The Happy Side of Living, Ain’t It Grand to be a Christian, and Won’t Bow to Idols. Occasionally touring the country promoting their CD’s, the Ellis Brothers have sung at the Palace in Branson, MO; Lee University in ??; and many other venues. They were recently invited to appear on the Bill Gaither videos.

David E. Ellis, with his wife Wanda, son Vep Raymond, daughter-in-law Rhonda and three grandchildren live in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  David is Pastor of Calvary Temple and the Northeast Regional Vice President of the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers.  Also to his credit are several well-known gospel songs including Love is Why and God Will Supply, which he co-authored with his father.

Vep Ellis, Jr. and his wife Lavone have two beautiful daughters, Tiffani and her husband Barry Owens, Tara and her husband Rodney Crum, and four wonderful grandchildren who live in Tulsa, OK.  Vep Jr. is presently senior pastor of Sheridan Christian Center.  For 23 years he was minister of music for various churches including The Kenneth Hagin Ministries, leading music for camp meetings and crusades.  As Dean of Music at RHEMA Bible Training Center he created the RHEMA Singers and Band and produced three albums.

Richard Ellis, his wife Margery and their sons Evan and Eric live in Vancouver, Washington.  Richard has sung leading and supporting roles with numerous opera companies throughout the United States, made five solo gospel recordings, regularly sings the National Anthem for the Portland Trail Blazers and was recently recognized by the "Singing News" magazine as possessing one of the most amazing solo tenor voices in the world.

Ward Ellis and his wife Ann live in Seminole, Florida.  They have two children, Joanna and Aaron and one granddaughter.  For ten years, Ward served as Minister of Music at Harvest Temple in Largo, Florida, a congregation of 2,500 members where his father pastored for 16 years. Ward is following in his father's footsteps as a composer and soloist.  Two of his well-known choruses are Let The Redeemed Of The Lord Say So and There's No One Like Jesus.  His latest CD recording is entitled, "The Heart Of The Father".  Ward has an exceptional lead tenor voice.

To purchase Vep Ellis music or the Ellis Brothers CD’s or to book the Ellis Brothers, contact Vep Ellis and Sons Music, P.O. Box 35945, Tulsa, OK 74153-0945; 918.838.9996.

E-mail: The Ellis Brothers