Compton Named Director of Student Ministry

Oklahoma Baptist University has named Odus Compton director of student ministry, Dale Griffin, dean of spiritual life, said Tuesday, Sept. 7. Compton has served as OBU's director of church relations since 2008. He previously worked in Baptist Collegiate Ministry at OBU from 1989-2002.

"Odus has been a valued member of our Campus Ministry leadership team for many years, and we anticipate great days ahead as he returns to full-time student ministry work," said OBU President David Whitlock. "He is a gifted communicator and a dedicated servant-leader with a vision for helping our students thrive as they grow spiritually. Odus is passionate about our mission of transforming lives through Christ-centered higher education."

Compton begins his new role effective Sept. 8. As director of student ministry, he will champion the charge from Scripture to "love each other," and provide leadership, training and management in the area of spiritual formation for the OBU student body. Reporting to Griffin, he will serve as a member of the Spiritual Life staff and as OBU's representative through the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma's Baptist Collegiate Ministry.

Compton earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from OBU in 1987. He earned a master's degree in biblical languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1993.

As a student at OBU in Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Compton said, "I was overwhelmed with a vision of what could happen if God captured the heart of the student population at OBU. I could see OBU students evangelizing and discipling all across the globe and multiplying themselves over and over again. I saw that happening as a result of intentional one-on-one and small group discipleship that challenged students to worship God through yielded lives of unlimited passion, unrelenting service, unwavering commitment and unshakable faith."

Following his graduation from OBU, Compton served as the Baptist Student Union director at Maui Community College in Maui, Hawaii. He returned to OBU in 1989, filling the role of assistant campus minister. He served as OBU's Baptist Student Union director and director of religious activities from 1992-2002.

"Over the next 10 years I had the privilege to watch God do some amazing things in the lives of students at OBU and the ripple of those student's lives is still being felt around the world today," Compton said.

He said the Baptist Collegiate Ministry that previously had touched roughly 10 percent of the campus grew to directly affect between 70-80 percent of the on-campus student population. Large-group worship and teaching gatherings grew to average more than 600 students, and more than 500 students were involved in small-group discipleship, with another 300 involved in community ministries. More than 300 students were sent on mission each summer with 100 of those serving overseas in some capacity. Between 10-18 Journeyman missionaries went out from OBU every year through Southern Baptists' International Mission Board, and another four to six served as US2 missionaries through the North American Mission Board

"The interesting thing is that I have not been released from the vision or the calling that God gave me as a student for OBU," Compton said.

As director of church relations, he has been responsible for working with churches, associations and denominational staff in Oklahoma, as well as coordinating special events and promoting church partnership and church staff dependent scholarships. Compton is active in preaching and teaching at various Oklahoma Baptist churches, conferences and events.

"Odus has committed his life to seeing individuals grow in their walk with Christ," said Dr. Stan Norman, OBU provost and executive vice president for campus life. "We are delighted to have him return to a key role in student ministry on our campus. He understands our focus and our history of equipping students to be godly leaders."

Compton was introduced to the First IV student gathering in the Geiger Center Sept. 7 as the new OBU director of student ministry. John Strappazon, BGCO collegiate ministry specialist; John Kelsey, BCM director from the University of Oklahoma; and Dr. Mack Roark, OBU professor emeritus of Bible, joined Griffin for the introduction. Roark spoke of his close relationship with Compton through the years, noting many people from OBU's past are rejoicing over Compton's appointment, and many will rejoice in OBU's future.

"Odus Compton has had the longest tenure of any student minister at OBU," Griffin said. "He has sent more Journeymen through the International Mission Board, more short-term students on mission, and worked with more individuals who are now ministry leaders in churches throughout the state. Jokingly, Odus has said, ‘I don't know if I can live up to my own reputation.' Thankfully, he doesn't have to. That was then, and this is now, and the Lord has promised to do ‘exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think.' I am confident Odus will follow the Lord's leadership as director of student ministry at OBU."

Baptist Collegiate Ministry directors from across the state also sent their best wishes for Compton's new role.

"I can think of lots of reasons why I think college students will love Odus Compton," said Steve Lewis, BCM director for the University of Tulsa. "No. 1: Odus loves Jesus. I have seen it. If students want to see an authentic worshipper, they can find a true worshipper in Odus. No. 2: Odus loves his family. If students want to see a man who shows true love and commitment to his wife and is a holy example to his children, they can find that in Odus. No. 3: Odus loves college students. Odus ‘gets' how cutting edge the ministry is to students. He knows and understands the decisions they will make while they are students, and how critical it is to allow Christ to guide them through every one."

Odus and his wife, Paula Kaye Paschall Compton, an 1989 OBU graduate, have eight children: Blake, who is an OBU sophomore; Caleb; Lindsey; Rachel; Micah; Nate; Noelle; and Charity. Compton stepped away from his OBU post in 2002 to co-found Heritage Property Holdings Inc., in Norman, Okla. He has served as the company's president, while residing in Norman. He and his family will move to Shawnee as he assumes his new role with the university.