Founder, Executive Director
Marcus Abernathy is a survivor of heroin addiction. In 2015, he earned his master’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles, where he focused on addiction and recovery. He moved to Arizona and worked as a primary therapist at Red Mountain Sedona, Crossroads Recovery Center in Phoenix, and Elm Tree Recovery in Tempe. In 2018, he moved back home to Tulsa to start Sangha.
“I have lived in and managed a number of recovery residences. I have seen what works and what doesn’t, and I wanted to combine all the best elements into one program.” says Marcus. “My lived, educational, and professional experiences in this market give me a unique perspective on how to best serve those in early recovery. I love this town, and this is my way of giving back to it in the best way I know how.”
In May 2021, Andrew became Sangha’s full-time director of programming. A graduate of Tulsa’s Bishop Kelley High School and Northeastern Oklahoma College in Miami, Andrew has a large family that includes his wife, Candace, four children and four stepchildren, whom he loves spending time with. Andrew loves to work out and, in fact, spent all of 2019 training for strongman competitions, lifting weights upwards of 800 lbs.
Andrew helps oversee day-to-day life at Sangha, working closely with our residents, assisting them on their recovery journey, and helping them become successful members of the community. “I love Sangha’s vision and what it stands for, which is community,” he says. “I really like the impact that Sangha has already made and will continue to make in helping these men become the best versions of themselves. I am fortunate that I get to be a part of it.”
With a passion for learning and growth, Melissa graduated from Watonga High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies (business, kinesiology and theater) and master’s degree in sports management at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Psychology degree in sports and performance management.
Melissa is a single mom of four biological children and two bonus children. She’s involved in youth sports throughout the Tulsa area and continues to pursue her own sport interest, Parkour, which she has been coaching for more than five years. “With a heart to serve others, Sangha has offered me the opportunity to merge my business background and my desire to serve my community,” says Melissa. “I look forward to growing with Sangha and the community of Tulsa.”
In loving memory: Geoff Patterson
Geoff moved back to Tulsa from Prescott, Arizona, in 2020 for the specific purpose of formalizing and implementing a more robust life-skills program for Sangha. He did exactly that, and more. From resident intake through the day of graduation, Geoff created the protocols, processes and practices that make the Sangha program what it is today, and what it was always meant to be. Geoff brought an energy to our case-management and peer-support services that helped our team and our residents alike approach life with excitement, respect and compassion.
Sadly, Geoff lost his life in September 2022—way too soon. The impact he had on Sangha will remain for years to come, and we will forever be in his debt. Geoff will always be our biggest fan and brightest light. We miss you, man.