Above: OBU President Heath Thomas speaks during the Pastors Conference, an event that kicked off activities affiliated with OBU’s homecoming celebration.
SHAWNEE—Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) hosted a Pastors Conference Oct. 21-22 on its campus in Shawnee. Around 55 pastors, church staff and members of the OBU community attended the free event. The conference kicked off activities for “The Weekend,” OBU’s homecoming celebration on Bison Hill.
Guest speakers included Todd Fisher, pastor of Shawnee, Immanuel and president of Oklahoma Baptists; Heath A. Thomas, OBU president; and D. Hance Dilbeck, president-elect of GuideStone Financial Resources.
Fisher taught the first session Thursday evening, followed by a free fish fry dinner, sponsored by GuideStone. Thomas then led the second evening session. Dilbeck led the third session Friday morning, following a breakfast also sponsored by GuideStone. The conference concluded with a 10 a.m. panel discussion.
Fisher has been nominated to serve as the next executive director-treasurer for Oklahoma Baptists. He has 30 years of pastoral experience and has served in a number of leadership roles in Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) life, including his current term as president of Oklahoma Baptists. A 1992 OBU alumnus, he continued his studies at Southwestern Seminary where he completed a Master of Divinity in biblical languages in 1996. In 2001, he earned a Doctor of Ministry from Midwestern Seminary and later earned a Ph.D. and Th.M. from Southern Seminary. He has taught for OBU, Southern Seminary and Southwestern Seminary and has also served on various boards, including as chair of the Southern Seminary board.
Thomas is the 16th president of OBU. Before assuming the presidency, he served as dean of the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry and associate vice president for church relations. He also served as the Floyd K. Clark Chair of Christian Leadership and interim dean of the Divisions of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Language and Literature. Before coming to OBU, he served as director of Ph.D. studies and associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Southeastern Seminary. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from OBU in 1998. He then earned a Master of Arts in theology from Southwestern Seminary and a Ph.D. in Old Testament from the University of Gloucestershire in the United Kingdom.
Dilbeck is the president-elect of GuideStone Financial Resources of the SBC. Before assuming that role earlier this year, he served as executive director-treasurer for Oklahoma Baptists. He previously served as senior pastor of Oklahoma City, Quail Springs. He graduated from OBU in 1987, continuing on to Southwestern Seminary where he earned both a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. He has been an active participant in denominational life, serving as chairman of the Board of Trustees at OBU, Southwestern Seminary and the International Mission Board, as well as second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He will assume the role of president and chief executive officer of GuideStone in first quarter 2022.
For more information about the Hobbs School of Theology and Ministry at OBU, visit okbu.edu/theology.
For more information about OBU, visit okbu.edu.