Oklahoma Baptist University will hold its 2018 Spring Commencement Friday, May 18, at 3 p.m. The event will take place in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium on the OBU campus in Shawnee. Tickets are required for admission, but a video stream will be available at www.okbu.edu.
The Rev. Dr. John A. Reed Jr., senior pastor of Fairview Missionary Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, will present the commencement address. Reed recently spoke at OBU during a chapel service in October 2017. In addition to presenting the commencement address, Reed will receive the Honorary Doctor of Divinity from the University.
Reed was born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, as the second of eight children, to the late Rev. John A. Reed Sr. and the late Mae Ella Reed. After graduating high school, he pursued education at Oklahoma State University before transferring to Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma. His higher education was put on hold in 1959, when Reed was inducted into the U.S. Army. Following an honorable discharge in 1961, Reed returned to the Oklahoma School of Religion at Langston University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in theology. He has completed further studies at the University of Central Oklahoma and Midwest Christian College.
Two Doctor of Divinity degrees were conferred upon him, one by the University of Central America in June 1989, and the other by Jackson Theological Seminary of North Little Rock, Arkansas, in May 2000. The Tennessee School of Religion conferred upon him the Doctor of Humane Letters in August 1994, and in 2004, his alma mater, the Oklahoma School of Religion, also conferred upon him the Doctor of Humane Letters.
Reed answered the call to ministry in August 1957 and was issued a license to the Gospel ministry from Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He was ordained in 1961 and began service as an assistant to the pastor of Fairview Missionary Baptist Church in 1963. Reed became the senior pastor of Fairview in 1975, a role he has held ever since.
In 1974, Reed was elected president of the Oklahoma Baptist State Congress of Christian Education, a position he held until 2000. During his time leading Fairview, Reed has seen tremendous growth resulting in the construction of a new sanctuary. In 1999, he led the church in the dedication of the Donald E. Burns Educational Center and Fellowship Hall.
Reed has held several leadership positions within Baptist institutions. In 2000, he was elected president of the Oklahoma Baptist State Convention and as the fifth vice president of the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education, an affiliate of the National Baptist Convention, in 2008. In 2009, Reed was recommended by the parent body of the National Baptist Convention to serve as one of five vice presidents for the 7.5-million-member body. In that capacity, Reed oversees and provides leadership to the western region.
During the annual session of the convention, a new president was elected, and Reed was affirmed by the parent body to serve another term as vice president. Due to his experience, he was chosen by the new president elect to serve as part of the transition team for the new administration.
Reed has reached across the nation, conducting seminars, revivals and workshops. His aim in life is to serve God and mankind. He was married to the late Patricia Ruth Fisher, and together they have two daughters, LaShai Yvette and Johnneese Shree. LaShai is married to Reverend Anthony Rhone who pastors the Galillee Baptist Church in Shawnee. Shree, the youngest daughter, is married to Reverend Derrick Walter Sr., who is the assistant pastor at Fairview.