Joe Ligon was approved to serve as Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) senior associate executive director, with a unanimous vote by the BGCO board at the Baptist Building in Oklahoma City on Feb. 5.
Ligon, who has served as pastor of Marlow, First since 1999, will begin his tenure with the BGCO in March 2019. Hance Dilbeck, BGCO executive director-treasurer, noted how he believes God has prepared Ligon for the role.
“God has uniquely prepared Joe Ligon to serve Oklahoma Baptists at this key time. He has a powerful testimony and calling. Joe’s experience as a school administrator and years of service as pastor of one of our great churches give him great insight to serving Oklahoma Baptists,” Dilbeck said. “Oklahoma Baptists know Joe and trust him. He’s a proven ministry leader and pastor, and I’m grateful the Lord has called him to this work.”
In addition to his experience as pastor, Ligon has served in a number of leadership roles, including as BGCO president in 2017 and 2018. A native of Wewoka, Ligon grew up in Seminole and followed his passion into educational work. After making a profession of faith in Jesus when he was 22 years old, Ligon would later be called by God into vocational ministry.
Ligon then spent 19 years in various roles in public education, even as he served in a variety of bi-vocational positions in several Oklahoma churches, including Konawa, First and Ada, Oak Avenue.
In 1999, Marlow, First called Ligon to be their senior pastor, his first full-time ministry position. During his tenure, the church has grown, been active on the mission field, been very involved in local ministry projects, helped plant churches in Phoenix, Ariz., expanded facilities, and launched two satellite campuses. The church’s membership grew from fewer than 400 attenders to more than 1,300.
Ligon holds degrees from East Central University, and he earned his doctorate in educational ministry at Southwestern Seminary.
Ligon will function as the BGCO’s chief of staff, establishing service culture in the organization, setting agenda for leadership staff and facilitate Executive Staff meetings.
As an extension of the BGCO Executive Office, Ligon will supervise associate executive directors, the chief financial officer, Baptist Collegiate Ministry director, among others. He will help lead the organization in development and fundraising efforts and spend time cultivating relationships between the BGCO and churches.
Members of the BGCO Board spoke enthusiastically about Ligon during meeting and expressed how they believe God guided the decision process.
BGCO President Blake Gideon, who serves as pastor of Edmond, First, said, “Joe is loved by the pastors of this state, and he has mentored many men and served well.”
Mike Keahbone, pastor of Oklahoma City, Cherokee Hills, said, “Joe’s heart for pastors and the local church make him a great fit for this role.”
Joe and his wife Gayla have two grown sons—Andrew, who works in computer programming, and Aaron, who works in the construction industry, each of whom are married. Ligon’s official first day at the BGCO is March 1.