Union President Featured Hobbs Lecturer

October 4, 2001

David Samuel Dockery, president of one of Oklahoma Baptist University's sister Baptist institutions, will present the 43rd biannual Hobbs lecture at OBU, Wednesday.

The Herschel H. and Frances J. Hobbs Lectureship in Baptist Faith and Heritage is OBU's first endowed lectureship, established in 1980 by friends of Dr. and Mrs. Hobbs in honor of the couple's outstanding Christian service. The chapel service is at 10 a.m. in the university's Raley Chapel with a luncheon for honored guests of the university immediately following.

In the five years since Dr. Dockery accepted the presidency of Union University in Jackson, Tenn., he has led the university in enrollment increases and growth in funds and academic resources.

A former pastor and educator, Dockery instituted Union's five-year strategic plan and 15-year campus master plan and launched a $60 million capital campaign. Under his leadership, Union has developed undergraduate majors in ethics, political science, physics, and sports medicine, and graduate programs in education and nursing. Union also opened a branch campus in Germantown, Tenn.

During his administration, enrollment has increased from 1,975 students in 1996 to more than 2,400 students. Gifts to the university almost doubled during 1996-2000 what they had been from 1985-95.

Dockery came to Union from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he had served as vice president for academic affairs, dean of the school of theology, and professor of New Testament theology.

He previously was general editor at Broadman and Holman Press and professor of theology and New Testament at Criswell College. He has served as pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., and as associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas.

Dockery has authored 10 books and has edited, written and contributed to numerous publications. He has been quoted in a lengthy list of national and state Baptist and secular papers, including Baptist Press, Atlanta Constitution, USA Today, and Christianity Today.

He and his wife, Lanese, have three sons, Jonathan, Benjamin, and Timothy.

Dr. Hobbs was pastor of Oklahoma City's First Baptist Church from 1949-72. A graduate of Howard College, Birmingham, Ala., he received master's and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. After completing his education, Dr. Hobbs served as pastor of churches in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky and Louisiana before coming to Oklahoma City.

Dr. Hobbs served as preacher for the Baptist Hour from 1958-79, a ministry which was heard over 400 radio stations across the world. Among the many offices he held was the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963. He is the author of 162 books and countless articles. He received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from OBU in 1986.

Mrs. Hobbs, who died Sept. 27, 1984, also was a graduate of Howard College and attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Women's Missionary Training School, both in Louisville. She served as secretary of the Southern Baptist Minister's Wives Conference and was a member of the board of directors of the Oklahoma Woman's Missionary Union.

Dr. Hobbs died on November 28, 1995 at the age of 89.