OBU’s ‘Saturday in the Park’ to Feature Writer, Rapper

OBU’s seventh-annual community and worship event “Saturday in the Park” will feature a Christian author/professor and a Christian rapper on Aug. 27 in Shawnee’s Woodland Park. The free celebration, sponsored by the OBU Campus Ministry office, is intended for new and returning OBU students.

The theme for the 2011 Saturday in the Park is “ENGAGE,” said Christie Clark, an OBU junior from Frederick, Md., who is chairing the event. Clark is an interdisciplinary major focusing in anthropology, cross-cultural ministry and business administration.

“Our desire is to see all of our classmates engage in everything OBU has to offer – engage socially, spiritually, intellectually, locally and globally,” Clark said. “Engaging in OBU and Shawnee’s community is the only way one will grow as a whole person at OBU.”

OBU students will enjoy a free picnic beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the park. At about 6 p.m., the evening program will begin. The featured speaker for the evening will be Dr. Christian George, and the headline musician is Christian rapper KB.

“Saturday in the Park is the event that transitions our students from Welcome Week into the full academic year,” Clark said. “It is a celebration of a new year. It is the first event of the year that is open to the whole student body and is a great way to connect upperclassmen to the incoming freshman.”

Featured speaker Dr. Christian George serves as assistant professor of religion at OBU. Clark said the event’s planning committee chose him to speak because, just like the freshmen and transfer students, George can relate to being new on Bison Hill.

George received his Ph.D. in theology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and is the author of five books including “Sex, Sushi, & Salvation” and “Godology.” For more information about George, visit his website.

“I hope to communicate how OBU will challenge students this semester to grow in three primary areas: UP (theology), IN (spirituality) and OUT (missionality),” George said. “Through the study of each discipline, students will have opportunities to know God with their minds, love God with their hearts and serve God with their hands.”

Kevin “KB” Burgess was a middle-class teenager cast into a life-changing situation following his parents’ divorce. A successful student, his declining academic performance reflected his change in status and attitude.

“I was losing the will to live; life was becoming meaningless, and I was becoming progressively more empty,” KB states on the website of his label, Reach Records.

While in school, a classmate introduced KB to Christian rap. Although he already identified himself as a Christian, KB said he wholeheartedly trusted and believed in Jesus after listening to a rap song proclaiming the Gospel. He said his emptiness, depression and meaninglessness were exchanged for grace, rest and forgiveness.

“The planning committee decided that we wanted a different type of performer than previous years,” Clark said. “We liked that KB is a rapper but, more importantly, is a rapper who loves the Lord with an amazing story.”

About 250 students attended the first Saturday in the Park, and 500 are expected to attend this year. Years later, the event is still going strong, having hosted guests such as Chasen, Shane and Shane, Charlie Hall, Kristian Stanfill, Jami Smith, Robby Seay Band and speakers such as Afshin Ziafat, Symon Hajjar, David Edwards and others.

For more information about Saturday in the Park, contact the OBU Campus Ministry office at (405) 878-2377.