Sports and recreation ministry expert John Garner will lead Oklahoma Baptist University’s ‘Bison Way’ chapel Friday, Oct. 14, at 10 a.m. The event will take place in OBU’s Noble Complex.
Garner is a nationally known conference speaker, college and seminary adjunct professor, and author/editor of the textbook, “Recreation and Sports Ministry Impacting Postmodern Culture.” He is also the author and editor of “The Guidebook for Planning Recreation / Sport Ministry Facilities,” as well as the “Operating Manual for Recreation / Sports Ministry Centers.” He has authored more than 75 articles published in professional and education journals as well as ministry related magazines. He has been a featured conference leader and keynote speaker at Rec Lab, the Christian Recreation and Sports Minister's Association Conference, the Tennessee Parks and Recreation Association, and various national secular and religious recreation and sports ministry conferences.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in recreation from Mississippi College and a master’s degree in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an adjunct professor at OBU, teaching courses including Introduction to Sports Ministry, Foundations of Leisure Service Management, and Planning / Designing of Sports and Recreation Facilities. He currently serves as the Senior Pastor at Belmont Heights Church on the Campus of Belmont University in Nashville.
Garner served as ministry specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention in the areas of recreation/ sports and church ministries for 18 years. He also served as sports and recreation minister at churches in Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana before going to LifeWay, where he worked as a consultant and eventually department director for recreation and sports ministry.
John and his wife Judy have two grown sons, Jason and Jeffery; a daughter-in-law, Emily; and two grandsons. They live in Franklin, Tennessee.