One of the first acts of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma upon its founding 102 years ago was to establish a committee to consider the founding of a college. It was clear from the beginning that Oklahoma Baptists wanted a school that would educate young people in multiple disciplines-a liberal arts institution that would train teachers, businessmen and women, medical professionals and ministry leaders. All fields of study would give emphasis to a solid biblical and spiritual foundation.
In 1910, Oklahoma Baptist University opened its doors. It is the Baptist university of Oklahoma. For almost 100 years, we have provided academic instruction with a spiritual foundation. OBU has sent thousands into the workplace to impact society through a deep Christian commitment. At the same time, we have trained generations of pastors, church musicians and other staff leaders. OBU has graduated more present-day International Mission Board missionaries than any other school.
OBU, from its inception, has been distinctively Christian and unapologetically Baptist. While many church-related schools have left their moorings, OBU has remained latched to the people and denomination that gave it birth. OBU has consistently produced leaders for many areas of Christian service as well as developing leaders for our Baptist churches. OBU is a servant to the Baptist churches of Oklahoma.
As leader of our state convention, I am invited to give a brief word at each OBU graduation ceremony. I remind the students at every commencement that Oklahoma Baptists have supported their education through the Cooperative Program by giving more than $11 million to OBU during their four years. In return, we ask only one thing of the graduates-Go into your world and carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ wherever you go.
OBU is at a very strategic point. Over the next few months, the presidential search committee will recommend a new leader to the Board of Trustees. No decision is more important to the future of OBU. This individual will lead the university into its next century of impact for the Kingdom.
I am asking Oklahoma Baptists to pray for the search committee. Take time in church worship services and in your private prayer times to pray for God’s clear direction for the committee and the person they choose. Ask the Lord to unite the committee in its decision.
It is my privilege to serve as an ex officio member of the search committee. We need your prayer support. This is a monumental decision. We want to do only the will of God. We are not seeking our choice, but His.
Our heart’s desire is to see OBU become a university that is aflame with the power of the Spirit of God. We want OBU to develop champions for Christ who God will use mightily to impact business, government, education, church and denomination. The president of OBU will have much to do with the fulfillment of this aspiration.