Dr. Emerson Falls, Native American ministries specialist with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, delivered the chapel message Wednesday, Nov. 7, at OBU in Shawnee. The service took place in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium.
Falls spoke over several passages including Revelation 5:9. He recited the passage and emphasized that Jesus’ blood purchased, “persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.”
He spoke of his Native American heritage and his childhood as a Christian growing up in the Native American culture. He shared that it was difficult being a Christian and a Native American at that time, as his fellow Native Americans viewed Christianity with suspicion due to the cultural baggage that often accompanied Christianization. He shared his burden for Native American people, that they would come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
“I believe that because Jesus came, we have the power to change the world,” he said. “I believe that we have the power to change society.”
“When I look back and I see the great social problems and the things that we have had to deal with in history, it has been the church that has made the biggest impact in society,” he said. “Where God’s kingdom is, we are salt and we are light and we can make a better world. So, I believe that there is going to be a great awakening in America.”
Falls is a Native American of Sac and Fox and Choctaw descent. Born and raised in Oklahoma, he left to attend Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in California where he earned both a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. For many years, he pastored churches in California and Arizona. He is currently the pastor of Glorieta Baptist Church in Oklahoma City.
In 1989, he was the founding director of the Rocky Mountain Campus of Golden Gate Seminary, located in Denver, Colorado, and he has served as president of Cook College and Theological School. He was the first elected Native American to serve as president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. He currently serves as president of the Gathering, campaign chairman for Indian Falls Creek and chairman of “Native American Christians.”
He is married to his wife, Shirley, who is a talented musician. They have two children and three grandchildren.
To view this or other chapel messages, visit OBU Spiritual Life.