Joe Ligon, pastor at First Baptist Church of Marlow, Oklahoma, and newly elected president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, will deliver OBU’s Winter Commencement address Friday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. The event will combine commencement ceremonies for graduate students from OBU’s College of Graduate and Professional Studies and undergraduate students.
Ligon grew up in Seminole County. He did not grow up in church. At the age of 22, he was saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Within a year, he was called to serve in the ministry.
He went on to earn a master’s degree in secondary education from East Central University and a Doctor of Educational Ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary while continuing to move up in the field of education.
For many years, he served as a bi-vocational pastor for various Baptist churches in the region. He served as interim pastor at Addington Baptist Church while working fulltime as the superintendent of Marlow Public Schools. He spent a total of 19 years in various roles in public education.
In 1999, First Baptist Marlow called Ligon to be their senior pastor. It was his first full-time ministry position. The church allowed him to attend Southwestern as he completed his doctorate.
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the 2016 BGCO Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City, a new slate of BGCO officers were nominated and elected by messengers, and Ligon was elected BGCO president. He was nominated by Alton Fannin, pastor of Ardmore, First, who emphasized the unique career path of Ligon, who prior to becoming a pastor, served as a school superintendent.
Ligon and his wife, Gayla, have two sons, Andrew and Aaron.