DAVIS—A longtime Oklahoma Baptist event remains a time of connection, renewal and preparation for pastors. Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center hosted the Oklahoma Bible Conference (OBC), May 6-8, which has existed for approximately 50 years.
“The event dates back to the ‘70s,” said Brett Selby, pastoral leadership specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), about OBC. “It used to be held in B.B. McKinney Chapel (a former Falls Creek building) and is one of the events that we’ve done longer than most.”
OBC registered 61 pastors in attendance this year. The conference also featured a new approach in speakers. Selby said they decided to have Oklahoma pastors lead the sessions, as OBC covered the Book of Jeremiah, which has been designated for participating churches who observe a Winter Bible Study.
Selby said Bobby Kelly, Bible professor at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU), was unable to lead this year’s study because of schedule conflicts. The decision then was made to have different pastors share the role of teaching through Jeremiah.
“We’ve got some great guys in the state who are trained and experienced Bible teachers,” Selby said. “And with Dr. (Hance) Dilbeck (BGCO executive director-treasurer) leading us with a mission statement ‘We encourage one another to advance the Gospel,’ we thought we would put a team of pastors together and do just that—encourage one another, learn from one another, minister to one another. We had pastors teaching pastors.”
Those leading the study of different sections of Jeremiah included Russell Duck, pastor of Elk City, First; Tim Russell, director of mission in Grady Association; Mark Walters, pastor of Nicoma Park, First, and Selby concluded the sectional study.
Blake Gideon, pastor of Edmond, First and BGCO president opened this year’s OBC on Monday night, May 6, with a sermon based on Jeremiah 13. Heath Thomas, OBU dean of the College of Theology and Ministry, also spoke Monday evening, offering a theological overview of Jeremiah. Dilbeck gave a talk Tuesday evening, May 7, on preaching through the Book of Jeremiah.
“We had a great response. The reception was phenomenal,” Selby said and mentioned how OBC is helpful to pastors in other ways.
“The Bible conference is multi-faceted,” he said. “It is a time for pastors to get away and be renewed. Go be with other pastors, enjoy that fellowship. There’s some recreational elements that go on with the Bible conference, there on the grounds at Falls Creek. There’s also an equipping aspect to it, and that’s what the actual sessions are designed to do— help pastors prepare to teach the January Bible Study in their churches.”
For more information on BGCO Pastoral Leadership Ministry, visit www.bgco.org/ministries/leadership.