Above: OBU President Heath Thomas speaks at the Pastors’ Conference, an event that kicked off activities affiliated with the OBU homecoming celebration.
SHAWNEE — Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) hosted a pastors’ conference October 21-22 at its campus in Shawnee. About 55 pastors, church staff and members of the OBU community attended the free event. The conference kicked off the activities of “The Weekend”, the OBU’s reunion celebration in Bison Hill.
Guest speakers included Todd Fisher, pastor of Shawnee, Emmanuel and president of Oklahoma Baptists; Heath A. Thomas, president of the OBU; and D. Hance Dilbeck, President-elect of GuideStone Financial Resources.
Fisher taught the first session Thursday night, followed by a free fish fries dinner, sponsored by GuideStone. Thomas then led the second evening session. Dilbeck led the third session on Friday morning, after a breakfast also sponsored by GuideStone. The conference ended with a panel discussion at 10 a.m.
Fisher has been appointed to serve as the next executive director-treasurer for the Oklahoma Baptists. He has 30 years of pastoral experience and has held several leadership positions in the life of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), including his current term as President of the Oklahoma Baptists. An OBU alumnus in 1992, he continued his studies at Southwestern Seminary where he obtained a Masters of Divinity in Biblical Languages in 1996. In 2001, he received a Doctorate in Ministry from Midwestern Seminary and later a Doctorate. and Th.M. of the Southern Seminary. He has taught for OBU, Southern Seminary and Southwestern Seminary and has also served on various boards, including serving as Chairman of the Southern Seminary Board.
Thomas is the 16th president of the OBU. Prior to assuming the Presidency, he was Dean of the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry and Associate Vice President for Church Relations. He has also served as Floyd K. Clark President of Christian Leadership and Acting Dean of the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Language and Literature Divisions. Before joining OBU, he held the post of doctoral director. studies and associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Southeast Seminary. He received a BA in English Literature from OBU in 1998. He then received an MA in Divinity from Southwestern Seminary and a PhD. in Old Testament from the University of Gloucestershire in the United Kingdom.
Dilbeck is the President-elect of GuideStone Financial Resources at SBC. Prior to assuming this 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 at Southwestern Seminary where he obtained both a master’s degree in divinity and a doctorate in ministry. He has been an active participant in religious life, serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the OBU, Southwestern Seminary and the International Mission Board, as well as Second Vice Chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention. He will assume the role of President and CEO of GuideStone in the first quarter of 2022.
For more information on the Hobbs School of Theology and Ministry at OBU, visit okbu.edu/theology.
For more information on the OBU, visit okbu.edu.