Oklahoma Baptist University

Thompson to Present Gaskin Lecture Oct. 3

OSU professor speaks at 14th annual event

Dr. Michael Thompson, professor of religious studies at Oklahoma State University, will present the 14th annual Gaskin Lecture at Oklahoma Baptist University Oct. 3.

Thompson will present his first lecture at 10 a.m. and the second at 7 p.m., both in the upper level of OBU’s Geiger Center. His morning lecture will be, “In the Steps of J.S. Murrow, a pioneer missionary to the Eastern Tribes of Oklahoma,” and the evening lecture is “Mission Cameos from the Indian Territory.”

A native of Ponca City, Thompson graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in education. He received his master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1980, and his Ph.D. degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in 1989.

His Ph.D. thesis is titled, “The Holy Spirit and Human Instrumentality in the Training of New Converts: An Evaluation of the Missiological Thought of Roland Allen.”

Thompson was appointed to the faculty of Golden Gate Seminary in 1982 and taught at the seminary for 20 years, finishing his stint as associate professor of historical studies. He has taught at OSU since January, 2003.

Thompson served as minister to college students at First Southern Baptist Church in Del City, Okla., from 1973-77, and also served as associate pastor and minister to single adults at Fielder Road Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, from 1977-82. He is the founding pastor of Novato Christian Fellowship in Novato, Calif., serving from 1989-93.

A veteran lecturer, Thompson has delivered speeches at Mississippi College and William Jewell College. He has served as religious week lecturer at Mississippi State University, Texas Tech University, California Baptist University and Southwest Baptist University.

His other speaking engagements include being the keynote speaker at national collegiate conventions and state collegiate conventions in 18 states. He also served as a pastoral conference lecturer in Calcutta, India.

Friends of Dr. J.M. Gaskin and advocates of the preservation of Oklahoma Baptist history and heritage established the J.M. Gaskin Lectureship. The objectives of the lectureship are to provide and sustain a series of lectures which will preserve and promote the study of Oklahoma Baptist history and heritage. These lectures are made available to students at OBU, many of whom will be future leaders of churches in the state. Others interested in Oklahoma Baptist history and heritage also are invited to attend these lectures.

The lectureship also is designed to honor and recognize the significant contributions of Dr. J.M. Gaskin, Oklahoma Baptists’ first Historical Director. Known as "Mr. Oklahoma Baptist History," he led in forming the Oklahoma Baptist Historical Commission in 1952 and was elected as the organization’s first historical secretary in 1953. He also was founding president of the Oklahoma Baptist Historical Society in 1956 and has been the only editor of the Oklahoma Baptist Chronicle, which was begun in 1958. In 1976, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma employed Gaskin as director of history for the convention’s Historical Commission.

Gaskin has written 15 books about Oklahoma Baptists. He provided the major impetus for Oklahoma Baptist research and publication over the last four decades. The lectureship recognizes his contributions in the preservation and promotion of Baptist History and Heritage.

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