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Celebrity Attractions Founder Returns to OBU for Minter Lecture

February 28, 2001

A local entertainment industry entrepreneur will share insights on integration of business and faith during Oklahoma Baptist University's Minter Lectureship in American Business Practice, Monday, March 5.

Larry Payton, founder and president of Celebrity Attractions, will speak on "Faith, Faith, Faith - Where does it lead you?" during the 10 a.m. lecture in Yarborough Auditorium. The evening lecture and reception at 7 p.m. will be in the university's Geiger Center, 218-220.

For more than 17 years, Payton's Tulsa-based entertainment group has been presenting major theatrical, musical and family entertainment and overseeing marketing and group sales for national touring events.

He and his staff, which includes his wife, Kay, have hosted Broadway blockbusters such as Disney's Beauty and the Beast, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Riverdance -- The Show, The Will Rogers Follies, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Hello Dolly, starring Carol Channing.

In addition, Payton is a producer of the national tour of Godspell and has been involved in the administrative efforts of Broadway's Peter Pan, starring Cathy Rigby, Footloose, and You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.

Celebrity Attractions presents the Broadway series in six different cities: Tulsa; Oklahoma City; Bartlesville; Springfield, Mo.; Lubbock, Texas; and Little Rock; Ark.

A native of St. Louis, Mo., Payton graduated from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo., with a degree in physical education and obtained his master's degree at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

He and his wife have been married more than 25 years and have two children, Drew and Laura. Members of Parkview Baptist Church in Tulsa, the Paytons are actively involved in church, civic and social activities.

He has served on OBU's board of trustees since 1998.

The Minter Lectureship in American Business Practice is underwritten by 1940 OBU graduate Lloyd G. Minter of Bartlesville. The annual series began in 1991.

Minter built a successful 35-year career with Phillips Petroleum Co., rising to the position of senior vice president and general counsel before retiring in 1978. His desire to help OBU religious vocation students broaden their understanding of the business community led to establishing the innovative lecture series.

OBU annually has the largest number of religion majors among Southern Baptist four-year colleges and universities. The Minter Lectureship is designed to provide orientation and training for those students in the history and nature of the American economic system and to help the students understand and appreciate the business and professional community.

In addition to equipping the students with business knowledge for the institutions they will lead, the Minter Lectureship promotes proper management of personal finances.

Minter, who earned a law degree at the University of Oklahoma, currently is counsel for Boone, Smith, Davis, and Hurst of Tulsa. He has served five terms as an OBU trustee and two terms as a trustee of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.