Johnny Hunt, vice president of evangelism and leadership at the North American Mission Board, delivered the chapel message Wednesday, Feb. 27, in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. Hunt is an author; former senior pastor of First Baptist, Woodstock, Georgia; and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
His message focused on Luke 9:23.
“Then Jesus said to them, if anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and come after me.”
Hunt shared his personal testimony about dropping out of high school, and told about his past addictions to gambling and alcohol. He detailed the story of how the Lord carried him through those addictions and that only by God’s mercy was he saved.
Hunt shared that he grew up in a broken home and didn’t grow up going to church. He also talked about the powerful grace and forgiveness of God.
“I’m not going to heaven because I’m better than you,” he said. “I’m going to heaven because I look to Jesus and He pardons my sins.”
He encouraged students to look to God and ask Him to show them what in their life is not of the Lord, just as he learned to do.
“I would pray daily, ‘God, show me anything in my life that doesn’t resemble you and take it away.’”
Hunt was born in Lumberton, North Carolina. He is a member of the Lumbee Native American Indian tribe based in North Carolina. His father left the family when he was seven years old. He became an alcoholic and gambler at a young age, dropping out of school at 16 and managing a poolroom. He then experienced a radical conversion to Christianity during this time, which he details in his book, “Out of the Poolroom.”
Following his conversion, he was mentored by several men from his home church in Wilmington, North Carolina, and came to the realization that God had called him to ministry. He has earned degrees from Gardner-Webb College and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has also received honorary doctorates from Immanuel Baptist Theological Seminary, Covington Theological Seminary and Tennessee Temple University.
To view this or other chapel messages, visit www.okbu.edu/student-life/spiritual-life/chapel-messages.
With its campus located in Shawnee, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 88 fields of study and five master’s degree programs. The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 2,011, with students from 37 states and 40 other countries. OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 regional colleges in the West by U.S. News and World Report for 27 consecutive years and has been Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 25 consecutive years. OBU is one of three universities in Oklahoma and the only private Oklahoma university listed on Great Value College’s rankings of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest. The Wall Street Journal ranks OBU second in the nation for student engagement among all U.S. colleges and universities. Forbes.com consistently ranks OBU as a top university in Oklahoma and the Princeton Review has named OBU one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States for 14 consecutive years.