Dear Oklahoma Baptists,
I am sure many of you are aware of the news that a tornado hit the Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) campus on Wednesday night, April 19, causing extensive damage on campus as well as parts of the Shawnee community. This is the worst natural disaster that OBU has faced in its 113-year history. I am so grateful to report that there have been no casualties or even reported injuries. OBU’s Emergency Response System worked as it should, sending alerts and instructions in plenty of time for students and staff to get to safety. All students, faculty and staff are accounted for. We thank the Lord for His protection!
Pictures are just a small sample of the wide-spread damage throughout campus. Every building has been impacted. Four buildings have structural damage, including Raley Chapel and Shawnee Hall. I must admit, this is hard news for me personally. It seems as though I have spent half my life in those two buildings as a student and teacher. OBU administration is working with expert professionals to address structural damage, roofs and the cleanup process. A significant amount of work clearing the campus of debris has already taken place. As usual, our Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief teams were on site immediately and have made a huge difference in the opening hours after the crisis of this storm.
Students on campus are safe and being cared for. Any students who have been displaced from their campus housing have been provided temporary relocation. OBU leadership is actively working on a plan to move forward in the coming days and weeks as the semester comes to an end. Updates and more information will be posted on the OBU website and social media channels as it becomes available.
OBU President Heath Thomas and his team are doing an amazing job leading through this crisis. I would ask that you commit to pray for Dr. Thomas and his team as they have difficult decisions to make and work through the weariness of long hours. Oklahoma Baptists and OBU are a strong family. Together, with God’s provision and direction, we will rebuild, repair, and renew the OBU campus. Buildings may have been damaged, but the spirit of Oklahoma Baptists and our trust in God will not be hindered! Join me in praying that God will be glorified and the gospel advanced even in the midst of this tragedy. God bless OBU!
Serving Jesus with You,
Todd Fisher, PhD
405.942.3800 x. 4524
For the latest updates about OBU, visit okbu.edu.