Jakob Topper is senior pastor of NorthHaven Church in Norman, Oklahoma.

  1. Where did you grow up?

In the Texas Panhandle, a small town named Borger, which exists to serve the oil industry.

  1. What is your favorite verse, book or story in the Bible? Why?

Jesus turning 160-ish gallons of water into wine.

This work really is a lot of fun sometimes.

  1. What is your favorite movie? Why?

“Country Strong.”

It’s like an old, sad country song turned into a movie, and it helps me feel the complexities of love and pain, as well as the resilience of the human spirit.

  1. Who are three people you admire?

Dorothy Day, Desmond Tutu and Osip Mandelstam, a Russian poet who resisted Stalin, loved deeply and paid for it with his life.

  1. What is one little-known fact about yourself?

I was a cage fighter (mixed martial arts) through my undergraduate and seminary years.

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