.W. Shannon learned the values of faith, family, hard work, and personal responsibility in the pews of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Lawton, Okla. He still serves there today as a Sunday School teacher.
A champion for limited government, T.W. first was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2006 from his hometown of Lawton.
Chosen by his Republican House colleagues, T.W. became Oklahoma’s youngest and first African American House speaker. He is also an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation.
When T.W. became speaker of the House in Oklahoma, he advocated for policies that could break the devastating cycle of government dependency, instead helping people move toward self-reliance. He understands the key to helping people who are dependent on government assistance restore their dignity is to break the cycle of generational poverty. He continues to be a leading voice in Oklahoma politics for State’s rights, and has been coined by many “the most conservative Speaker in State History.