Brad Graves, senior pastor at Ada First Baptist Church, shared the online OBU chapel message Wednesday, Sept. 9. His message was titled, “A Call to the Upper Room.”
Graves has many ties to OBU. His son, Noah, is currently a senior and also the vice president of the Student Government Association. His future daughter-in-law, Taylor Seacat, is a recent graduate and current admissions counselor at OBU. Many OBU faculty and staff are close friends of the Graves family.
Graves taught from the chapter six in the book of John. He discussed the challenge that college students face in maintaining and growing their faith during their college years. He shared that while he gave his heart to Christ while in college at the University of Arkansas, and while his faith grew and was strengthened during his remaining college years, that he had many friends in college that fell away from the lord.
He shared how Jesus worked his ministry in a manner counter to the way we tend to do so today.
“Jesus Christ could have packed out stadiums of people to hear his message, but he did the opposite of what our society tells that we need to do to be successful,” he said. “He spent more time with fewer people. Jesus knew that what he needed was a core group of people.”
Graves then talked about how we are tempted just as the people were in the book of John “to be more liked, than more right.” We are often tempted by the world and we do not proclaim our belief in Christ because we do not want to stand out from the crowd.
He then shared that God is the only one worth following. He encouraged the students to take heart that while in this world they may never feel like they are enough, in the kingdom of God they will always be enough.
He urged students to make sure they are passionate about the gospel and to be careful not to put their own causes above that of Jesus Christ.
Graves has been the senior pastor of Ada FBC since June 2016. Before coming to Ada, he pastored, planted and served in churches across the country including Arkansas, Virginia, New Hampshire, Ohio, California and Missouri. He and his wife Becky have served together on many international mission trips as well. He has taught various courses on church planting, evangelism and church revitalization. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Arkansas and then went on to study at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.