Dr. David Whitlock, who was introduced as Oklahoma Baptist University's president on Oct. 10, began speaking in state Baptist churches and associations two days later. The former Oklahoma pastor and educator returned to pulpits in three parts of the state shortly after OBU trustees elected him as the university's 15th president.
Whitlock served as a bi-vocational pastor in Oklahoma churches and was a professor and administrator at Southeastern Oklahoma State University before assuming his most recent post as an academic dean at Southwest Baptist University in Springfield, Mo.
"Dr. Whitlock demonstrated by his time and heartfelt passion that he is committed to Oklahoma Baptists and Oklahoma Baptist churches, as he spent his first two days of 'unofficial' employment as OBU's president by traveling to two annual associational meetings, an associational pastors conference and by preaching in one of our Oklahoma churches," said Odus Compton, OBU director of church relations.
Whitlock preached at Southern Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City on Sunday morning, Oct. 12, at the invitation of OBU graduate Doug Melton, the church's senior pastor. The church prayed for Whitlock and his wife, Dana, as they begin their service at OBU.
"We are thrilled you are a native Oklahoman. We are thrilled the Lord has led you back to this place, and on behalf of this church family, we pledge you our love and support," Dr. Melton said.
Enon Association welcomed Whitlock to their annual meeting at the First Baptist Church of Ardmore that evening. Whitlock was introduced to the association by Dr. Alton Fannin, pastor of the church, chairman of the OBU board of trustees, and president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
On Monday, Oct. 13, Whitlock and Compton attended the Bryan Baptist Association Pastors' Conference in Durant. Whitlock spoke briefly before about 15 pastors in attendance prayed for him and his work as OBU president. Whitlock said he considers Bryan Baptist Association his "home" association, having served as a bi-vocational pastor for more than 10 years at the First Baptist Church of Hendrix, and the First Baptist Church of Silo.
On Monday evening, Whitlock was introduced to the messengers of the Bryan Baptist Association during the association's annual meeting at the First Baptist Church of Calera. Following Whitlock's message to the group, Terrell Suggs, the association's director of missions, invited pastors and messengers to gather around Whitlock and pray for him.
"It was a powerful time to see Dr. Whitlock commissioned by the pastors and churches that he began his ministry among," Compton said.
Whitlock officially begins his term as OBU President on Nov. 3.
Dr. David Whitlock (center) greets Jared McIntire (left) and John Heath (right). The men represent three "generations" of Christian believers. Heath served as Baptist Student Union director at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, and had a great influence on Whitlock's decision to become a Christian. McIntire, in turn, served on staff with Whitlock at First Baptist Church, Silo, Okla., and considers him a great influence on his life. McIntire currently serves as pastor of Lakepoint Community Church in Durant.