WE ARE BODY OAK CLIFF

Our Team

Body Oak Cliff is directed by a local board of passionate people and staffed by a gifted team.

Joel Pulis 2

JOEL PULIS

community pastor / founder

I love Oak Cliff! And I love connecting and developing people. Over the years, these passions have led me to help catalyze multiple communities among a diversity of people: adults with mental illness, clergy and church leaders, addicts and the HIV-positive, young families and youth, and everyone in between. My work has been recognized by the Mental Health Association of Dallas, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and was once featured in People Magazine

The last 5 years have been some of the most transformative of my life! As I continue my journey, I’d love to walk with you.

To connect and/or learn more, click here.

Deb circle

DEBORAH CUNNINGHAM

coach / co-collaborator

I grew up thinking that I couldn't be a "real" Christian unless I went overseas as a missionary. I was drawn to Body Oak Cliff because it offered a vision of following Jesus in the everyday, right where I already was.

Since joining the team in 2013, I've gotten to exercise and grow in many of my passions, including:
  • Helping people experience God's love
  • Writing and developing resources for personal transformation
  • Living in intentional community
  • Coaching others as they grow in spiritual and emotional maturity

Have you ever struggled with what it means to be a follower of Jesus? Have you ever doubted God's love for you? I'd love to connect and hear your story!

Our History

Body Oak Cliff was founded by Joel Pulis in 2012. As a lifelong Oak Cliff resident, he has been a pastor in the area since 1999. From 2002-2011, he had the joy of leading The Well Community and pastoring a congregation of adults with serious mental illness. The Well is a unique church - mixing everyday discipleship with daily missional opportunities among a marginalized people.

In 2012, Joel handed off leadership of The Well and started Body Oak Cliff. Deborah joined the team a year later in 2013.

Body was born out of a desire to see cooperation among followers of Jesus in our neighborhood.

What would happen if, instead of letting the walls of the church divide us, we came together for the good of the community?

This question guided our early work, but it quickly became evident that opportunities for connection weren't enough. We began to see that before we could address the brokenness around us, we needed to address the brokenness in ourselves.

It was this realization that led us to focus our attention and energy on personal transformation and leadership development, which we do through an intentional process called Faithwalking. It's our belief that empowering people to experience and embody the love of God is the best way to bring about change in our community. We do this by leading retreats and seminars, coaching individuals, consulting with congregations, and pioneering missional ventures in the neighborhood.

As a pioneering organization, our hope is to continue to develop and evolve based on the needs of our community and the leading of the Spirit. So even though our underlying purpose will remain steady - to see God's love break through in Oak Cliff - our processes and tools will continue to grow and change. Check out our work and let us know how we can empower you to make a difference in your context.

Our Impact

Our work addresses some of the deepest relational needs of our day - our relationship with self, with God, and with others. Since most everybody struggles in at least one (if not all!) of those areas, our work connects with a wide variety of people. We've worked with businessmen, homemakers, high school students, clergy, single mothers, non-profit leaders, PhD students - you name it!

We've had over one hundred people go through our process, and here is some of the most common feedback we get about the impact it has. People report that they...

  • feel less shame and anxiety
  • have a deeper sense of their belovedness
  • relate to others with more compassion and less judgment
  • are more authentic with family members
  • can more effectively manage their anxiety in the workplace
  • can hear God's voice more clearly, or for the first time
  • are able to be defined and connected in difficult relationships
  • have a clearer sense of purpose and direction
  • feel hope about the future