SHAWNEE — Continuing its tradition of reaching out to ministers in Oklahoma and beyond, Oklahoma Baptist University's Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry will host the 2013 OBU Pastors' School July 15-17.
Sessions begin at 1:30 p.m. July 15 and end at noon July 17.
The theme for the 2013 school, designed to provide an opportunity of ministry development for Baptist pastors, is “Preach the Cross,” based on 1 Corinthians 1:18.
Sponsored by the OBU Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry, The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma and local churches in the state, the school will feature three Baptist scholars and pastors: the Rev. Nick Garland, pastor of First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow and president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma; the Rev. Tony Merida, Ph.D., author, pastor and professor; and Robert Smith Jr., Ph.D., longtime professor of preaching at Beeson Divinity School.
“Years ago, when I began as a bi-vocational minister, I sought out opportunities to strengthen my preaching and pastoral abilities by attending OBU's Ministry Training Institute,” OBU President David Whitlock said. “I also began attending a summer pastors' school in another state and was so appreciative that, upon arrival at OBU, I was anxious to have a similar program.”
He said the OBU Pastors' School is a revival of summer programs offered at OBU from the 1940s through the 1960s.
During this year's Pastors' School, Garland will lead the morning devotions. Merida and Smith will expound on the theme with practical teaching, encouragement and application for ministry of preaching at churches of any size.
About the leaders
Merida, a pastor, professor and father of five, has become a leading evangelical voice on the importance of Christ-centered exposition, global missions and orphan care. Merida is the lead pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C. He also serves as associate professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously served as pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Miss., as well as dean of the chapel and assistant professor of preaching at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned a doctorate in preaching. His books include “Faithful Preaching” and “Proclaiming Jesus.”
Smith joined the Beeson Divinity School faculty in 1997 and teaches Christian preaching. He earned his bachelor's degree from Cincinnati Bible College and his master's degree and doctorate from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also received an honorary doctorate of sacred theology from Temple Community Bible College. He is the author of “Doctrine That Dances: Bringing Doctrinal Preaching and Teaching to Life” and co-editor of “Our Sufficiency Is of God: Essays on Preaching in Honor of Gardner C. Taylor.” He served as pastor of New Mission Missionary Baptist Church in Cincinnati for 20 years.
Garland has served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow since October 1986. The son of a pastor, he has been preaching since age 19. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from Florence State University in Alabama and a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. The first 15 years of his ministry, he served as pastor of Southern Baptist churches in Alabama, Arkansas and Texas.
The Pastors' School also will feature breakout sessions, including those taught by OBU professors from the Hobbs College: Alan Bandy, Ph.D.; Bobby Kelly, Ph.D; Ish Mudliar, Ph.D; and Scott Pace, Ph.D. They will bring their expertise to the fore as they explore additional insights from their fields of study for preaching the Word.
In addition to devotions, Bible studies, breakouts and plenary sessions, the OBU Pastors' School includes housing on campus for two nights, two evening meals, two breakfasts and one lunch.