When we read Scripture, it is clear that God shapes and moves people and history to His desired end. As believers, much of our journey is designed to bring us to the end of ourselves and discover the joyful pathway of faith in our God. He wastes no experience in our lives. Each challenge and each opportunity prepares us for the next step of His plan. Even our sorrows tenderize our hearts and strengthen our resolve.

Through the study of the Word and God’s dealing with His people, Israel, and consideration of His work among the early churches, it is clear He raises men to lead. Men He has shaped and prepared in the crucible of life for the task of leading God’s people. So it should not surprise us that God does such a work among His people called Oklahoma Baptists.

The Executive Director-Treasurer Search Committee did not have the job of finding the next leader for Oklahoma Baptists. Their job was singular—they were tasked with seeking the face of God until He revealed to them the man He had prepared for this crucial role of leadership among His people. The committee approached their responsibility with deep prayer and unity of mind and spirit.

Next Tuesday, Dec. 11, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) Board of Directors will meet to hear the report of the search committee. The search committee will then recommend Hance Dilbeck, pastor of Oklahoma City, Quail Springs as the next executive director-treasurer.

The search has not been long, and some would see that as a negative. I would suggest the search did not need to be long. God has so prepared Dr. Dilbeck through his extensive leadership in both the BGCO and Southern Baptist Convention, and it was apparent he has the support of Oklahoma Baptists. The decision was clear. I rejoice that the committee unanimously concluded what God had spoken.

While I made no recommendation to the committee and took my place as a prayer partner for the committee, I can tell you that if I had made a recommendation it would have been Dr. Dilbeck. I know him as friend, fellow servant leader and as my pastor. He is a godly, skilled leader who has demonstrated his ability to lead as a pastor, president of the BGCO and chair of Oklahoma Baptist University Board of Trustees. His love for Oklahoma Baptists runs deep.

Dr. Dilbeck has all the credentials needed to lead Oklahoma Baptists. He is a respected and loved preacher of the Word. He loves people and places relationships above tasks. He has vision and an ability to communicate that vision in an articulate and clear way. He exudes stability in the midst of progress.

Besides, he is an Osage County boy like me. That has to count for something!

My heart is full. God has shown us His man. The future of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma will be in good hands. Our future is bright. Praise His Name!