Justin Blankenship has been Rotary President twice, Citizen of the Year, chaplain for the fire department, and a member of the hospital board in Purcell, Oklahoma. With all of that, Justin has pastored in Purcell for the last 15 years. With all these accomplishments and contributions, his humility and fun personality portray his heart for Jesus and his community.
Justin grew up in Mississippi and came to Oklahoma to attend Southwestern Christian University in 1999. Throughout his life, Justin has continued a family legacy: he is a 4th generation IPHC on both sides of his family, and his parents attended and met at SCU.
After graduating in 2003, Justin went to work at the Global Ministry Center (GMC) for Evangelism USA for four years. While there, he helped with church planting, and in 2008, he moved to Purcell to become the pastor at the local Pentecostal Holiness Church which was later named Landmark Church. In August, the church will celebrate 100 years!
Landmark Church’s mission is to transform lives through relationships, and Justin embodies this mission. When he began, the church had 40 attendees, but Justin had faith that God would reach the community, and God has shown His goodness: the church to an average of 600. This growth is a result of the relationships and commitment the church has given the Purcell community through different ministries including prison ministries, Rob’s Ranch which helps men who suffer from substance abuse, Women’s Hope Center whose mission is to lead addicts and their families to be fully devoted followers of Christ, and the public schools with a Back 2 School Bash that will offer 1,000 backpacks this year to students in need.
Landmark Church is also growing in missions. “We love missions, and in 7 years, we have had 4 mission trips to see and minister to other places.” They just recently sent their first mission team to Belize. While there, they began building a church and ministering in a kids’ crusade at Maya Mopan South First Pentecostal Holiness Church.
As a pastor, Justin is especially excited about the change people are able to experience after finding the Lord. In just one Sunday, his church had 32 baptisms! He loves seeing people whose lives come from nothing and how God transforms them: many who have given up on God, but He restores them, and Justin is proud to be part of their renewal.
Justin is also a husband and father. When he began pastoring in Purcell, he was single but was married at 33. However, just 12 weeks later, his wife passed away. The denomination rallied around Justin through his loss. Throughout his grief, Justin internalized Psalm 27:13: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” As we know, God is true to His word, and 3 years later, Justin married Sarah who he sweetly refers to as his “reward,” and they have two handsome sons: Benjamin and Boston.
Thank you to Justin for his and his family’s dedication to the denomination, Landmark Church, and the people of Purcell.