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Alumni Honored at OBU Homecoming

November 9, 2006

Six distinguished alumni of Oklahoma Baptist University will be honored during OBU's Harvest Dinner at 6 p.m., Friday Nov. 10, in the university's Geiger Center.

Longtime Oklahoma Baptist ministers Robert Hammonds, '51, and Joe Williams, ex '60, will receive the Alumni Achievement Award. Homebuilder/designer and real estate investor Jeff Click, '98, and attorney Rob Duran, '98, will receive the Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Alum of the Year Award.

Two alums also will be inducted into the OBU Athletic Hall of Fame during the dinner. Darrell Barnett, ex '95, a standout guard for the Bison basketball teams which reached back-to-back Fab Four appearances in 1993 and 1994, and Jamaal Jackson, '02, a 22-time track All America honoree for the Bison will join the hall of fame.

The OBU Alumni Association's Alumni Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by the association. The award is given "in recognition of outstanding life service which has brought honor to the individual's alma mater."

The Graduate Of the Last Decade (GOLD) Alum of the Year Award is presented annually to a young alum of OBU who, in his or her life and career, "has demonstrated outstanding achievement and brought pride and honor to the university."

Hammonds has invested his life in local church ministry in the state of Oklahoma. He retired in 1993, following 44 years in the pastorate. In retirement, he has continued to assist churches in interim roles.

Born in Shawnee, he graduated from Seminole High School and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1946-48 before enrolling at OBU. After earning a bachelor of science degree on Bison Hill, he completed a bachelor of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1954.

Ordained to the gospel ministry in 1949, he was pastor of Onapa Baptist Church while an OBU student. He then was pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Lawton from 1951-57 before starting a 19-year pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Clinton. He returned to Seminole's First Baptist Church in 1976 and served as pastor until his retirement in 1993. He has completed several interim pastorates since his retirement, including a year as full-time interim pastor of the First Baptist Church of Seminole in 2004.

Filling a variety of roles in Baptist life, Hammons has served five full terms on the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma's board of directors, and has served on numerous BGCO committees. He also worked internationally as pastor of East Bavaria Southern Baptist Church in Grafenwohr-Vilseck, Germany in 1995.

Hammons has taught as an adjunct professor at OBU and taught in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's extension program. He also has worked as a field supervisor for students from OBU and the seminary.

Hammons and his wife, the former Ella LeMaster, '50, have been married for 57 years. They have five children, Sam Hammons, '72; Cynthia McMains, '74; Diana Nieto; Robert Hammons, '82, and David Hammons, '84.

Williams has served as chaplain to the Oklahoma Division of the FBI since 1991. In that post, he has played a key role in counseling victims of terrorist attacks and in training response personnel.

Before his work with the FBI, Williams was a pastor of Baptist churches for more than 30 years.

From 1986 to 2000, he was jointly employed by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and the North American Mission Board. He and his late wife, Dorothy, were appointed home missionaries in 1987. He worked as a chaplaincy ministries specialist,

In the aftermath of the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, he assisted in the coordination of 225 chaplains at the site. He spent 19 days at the bombsite that included three days in the basement of the Federal Building. In February 1996, he and fellow chaplain Jack Poe founded the Critical Incident Workshops. Williams served as the program director until October 2001. The workshops were conducted monthly, providing trauma therapy for rescue and recovery personnel, victim families and survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing. Williams is a certified compassion fatigue specialist and field traumatologist.

In 1998, he was the first chaplain to receive the FBI Director's award for Exceptional Public Service, which is the highest civilian award given by the bureau. In 1998, he received the John A. Price Excellency in Chaplaincy Award from the International Conference of Police Chaplains.

He worked with victims of the September 11 attacks in New York City for more than 16 months, first working with the FBI, then with the North American Mission Board. His duties included working with emergency responders, the Disaster Relief Funding Taskforce, victim families, survivors, and the Metro New York Baptist Association. He has worked with victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita since last fall.

Williams and his wife, Linda, have been married for two years. He has four children, Michael Williams, Lori Miller, Linda Crammer, and James Williams; and five grandchildren.

Click operates Jeff Click Homes L.L.C., which he started at the age of 22. The Edmond-based company has built more than 200 homes in the greater Oklahoma City area and is one of the top 20 residential construction companies in the area.

A native of Oklahoma City, Click earned a bachelor's degree in telecommunication from OBU. He also has completed work toward an M.B.A. degree at the University of Oklahoma.

He is a member of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association and currently is chairman of the association's Parade of Homes committee. He was chosen by the COHBA to build the 2004 Benefit Home for the "Home Builders Care" organization. The home raised a record total of more than $70,000 for 5 local children's charities.

Click and his wife, Deziray, have one daughter, Alessondra. They are members of in Oklahoma City, where he volunteers in video production.

Duran is a litigation attorney in the Dallas offices of Baker and McKenzie LLP, one of the world's largest law firms.

Before joining Baker and McKenzie, he was an attorney with Hartzog Conger Cason and Neville in Oklahoma City from 2005-2006. He previously was an attorney with Fulbright and Jaworski LLP in Houston, Texas, from 2001-2005.

Duran is a member of the American Bar Association, Texas Bar Association, Oklahoma Bar Association, and Dallas Bar Association. He also serves on the board of directors with Harvest Farms in Shawnee.

Duran completed his juris doctorate from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2001. He is married to the former Kellie Sperry, '99. They have one daughter, Kaitlyn Grace.