October 6, 2009
Dr. David W. Whitlock, president of Oklahoma Baptist University, will present the 18th annual J.M. Gaskin Lecture in Baptist History and Heritage on Monday, Oct. 12, at 10 a.m.
The topic of the lecture will be "J.M. Gaskin: An Oklahoma Baptist Historian." Whitlock also will facilitate a discussion forum at 7 p.m. Both events will be presented in the upper level of OBU's Geiger Center.
Whitlock began his tenure as OBU's 15th president on Nov. 1, 2008. A longtime college administrator and faculty member, he is noted for his emphasis on the integration of faith and learning. He previously was associate provost, dean of graduate studies and dean of the College of Business and Computer Science at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. He joined the SBU administration in 1999, and also was a professor of business at the Missouri Baptist institution. Prior to his work at SBU, he taught for 14 years at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
In addition to his academic work, Whitlock served in a bivocational role as co-pastor of Wellspring Baptist Fellowship in Bolivar, Mo., from 1999 until his move to OBU. He was bivocational pastor of Silo Baptist Church in Silo, Okla., from 1996-99, and Hendrix Baptist Church in Hendrix, Okla., from 1993-94. He was licensed to preach by the First Baptist Church of Durant and ordained by Hendrix Baptist Church.
A fifth-generation Oklahoman, Whitlock was born in Purcell and graduated from Wayne High School. He completed a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Southeastern, a master of business administration degree from Southeastern and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Oklahoma.
Whitlock is author of the book "Opportunity: Introducing Free Enterprise and Business." He has been co-author or editor of three books related to business: "A Noble Calling: Devotions and Essays for Business Professionals;" "Psalm 15: Integrating Life and Work;" and "Solomon Was a Businessman: Advice from the Wealthiest Man on Earth." He also has been a contributing writer for numerous works.
Whitlock and his wife, the former Dana Searles, were married in 1987. They have four sons and one daughter-in-law.
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. In addition to students, faculty and staff, others interested in Oklahoma Baptist history and heritage are invited to attend the lectures.
Gaskin served as the BGCO's 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 was the editor of the Oklahoma Baptist Chronicle, which was begun in 1958, until spring 1998.
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 to the preservation and promotion of Baptist History and Heritage.