February 3, 2012
OBU will celebrate its 102-year history during a special Founders’ Day chapel service Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 10 a.m. in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium.
The purpose of Founders’ Day is to remember and give thanks for the founding and the founders of OBU. Highlights of the day will include a message presented by Dr. John R. Bisagno, a 1955 OBU alum and pastor emeritus of Houston’s First Baptist Church.
The program will feature special music presented by the University Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Brent Ballweg, Burton H. Patterson professor of music and director of choral activities in OBU’s Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts.
Bisagno served as pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church, which has 25,000 members, from 1970-2000. He previously served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Del City, Okla., from 1965-70. He received an honorary doctorate from OBU and a doctor of letters from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. He earned a doctorate from Houston Baptist University, where he serves as a trustee and a chair of evangelism is named in his honor.
He is the author of 30 books, including the best-seller, “The Power of Positive Praying.” He served as president of the Southern Baptist Pastors Conference and gained national recognition as a crusade evangelist and Bible teacher. He was the first preacher on the Southern Baptist ACTS Television Network.
He has spoken at the Southern Baptist Convention, the World Congress on evangelism, and every major state convention and state evangelism conference. He has conducted 37 international evangelistic crusades, lectured at every Southern Baptist seminary and serves on the adjunct faculty of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been a guest lecturer at 17 Billy Graham schools of evangelism.
In 1980, “The Houston Chronicle” named Bisagno the “Man of the Decade in Religious Life.” In 2000, the “Texas Baptist Standard” named him one of the 50 “Most Influential Texas Baptists of the Century.”
Bisagno made a profession of personal faith in Christ in 1952 at Falls Creek Baptist Assembly. Fifty-five years later, the new 7,250-seat Falls Creek Tabernacle worship center was named in his honor.