When Jerry Fielder retired after 20 years at Oklahoma City, Southern Hills, he was followed by Doug Melton, a man without a previous pastorate, ordination or seminary training. After graduating from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1983, Melton worked for 14 years in admissions, development and then as dean of students at his alma mater.

“It is a story of God’s grace and also a story of a church that was truly walking by faith,” Melton said. “I will be eternally grateful for this church family. Their calling me to be their pastor is still an amazing thing to me to this day.”

Melton also directs the Send Oklahoma network of church planting, a North American Mission Board role, and he is a trustee for the International Mission Board.

Of the international mission trips he’s taken, perhaps the most riveting one, Melton said, was his first. It was to Cambodia, where he saw a Buddhist woman wearing a prayer belt to ward off evil spirits ask to talk with the pastor after a service. After a few minutes of quiet conversation the pastor asked her if she wanted to pray to follow Jesus. She said yes, but then stopped him to first throw her belt to the ground.

“It was just a beautiful picture of turning from her old life and turning to Christ,” Melton said.

About the pandemic, Melton said, “It has given us a golden opportunity to help people see their need for Christ.”

Married to Lana for 36 years, parenting four grown children and now grandparents to six under age 8, with two more on the way, Melton has words of wisdom to the youngsters he plays with regularly:

“The absolute best life is a life lived for the glory of God. Waiting on the Lord for the right person in your life is worth it all.”

Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together. Learn more at www.oklahomabaptists.org/CP

Doug Melton was featured in the 2021 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. To see Pastor Melton’s prayer requests, visit www.oklahomabaptists.org/cp