As Oklahoma Baptists’ senior associate executive director, Joe Ligon’s job involves “keeping the nuts on the bolts.” Hance Dilbeck, executive director-treasurer for Oklahoma Baptists, casts the vision and Ligon implements it, he explained.
“I serve as chief of staff for the state organization,” Ligon said. “I provide oversight for the day-to-day operations of our state organization, oversee our support services group, provide guidance for our conference centers, and I do whatever else needs to be done or whatever I am asked to do.”
When the COVID pandemic began eating away at churches’ offerings, Ligon led the Executive Board last spring to reduce the 2020 operating budget by 27 percent. This included canceling men’s and women’s retreats and – the most difficult decision of all, Ligon added – summer programming at Falls Creek. The student ministries team substituted Falls Creek with a “road show” condensed version in different areas around the state, he added.
“When you experience stress, you do your best to stay close to God and the Word, your believing wife, your children and your friends in the Lord,” Ligon said. “There’s something beautiful and encouraging about going through even the most difficult times with Christ-followers.”
Ligon and his wife Gayla, married 37 years and the parents of two grown sons, celebrated the birth of their first grandchildren in December: twin girls.
“She puts up with me, demonstrates her love for me all the time,” Ligon said. “She’s a great Christian lady, loves to minister to other ladies, is a great mom and loves being grandma to our twin girls.”
Ligon said he stays close to the Lord “with the discipline of a daily quiet time.” For several years he reads through the Bible chronologically. “It’s probably my favorite way to read through the Bible.”
His ministry takes Ligon on the road for several hours each week, visiting pastors and directors of mission. “Iron sharpens iron,” Ligon said. “We are better and stronger when we hang out with Christ followers.”
Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported, including church planting in Oklahoma and across the country. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together.
Joe Ligon was featured in the 2021 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. To see Ligon’s prayer requests, visit www.oklahomabaptists.org/cp