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Costanzo Delivers Founder's Day Chapel Message Feb. 3

February 3, 2021

OBU held its annual Founder’s Day chapel Feb. 3 in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. The event is held each year near the beginning of the spring semester to commemorate the University’s incorporation in 1910. Founder’s Day is also dedicated to honoring those who have faithfully served as faculty and staff at OBU in the past.

Dr. Eric Costanzo, lead pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church, delivered the address via a recorded video message. Costanzo earned a bachelor’s degree from OBU in 2001. He then earned both a Master of Divinity and Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written several publications including “Harbor for the Poor” and has a new book scheduled for release from InterVarsity Press in 2021. He is actively involved in international mission work and helps lead, an organization with initiatives to help marginalized people become full participants in their communities. He and his wife Rebecca have four children, Adin, Noah, Abigail and Kynzleigh. View Eric’s publications and other info at

The University gave special recognition to the late Dr. Tom Wilks. Costanzo highlighted his personal relationship with Wilks and the impact made upon his own life. Wilks served as lead pastor at several churches throughout Louisiana and Missouri before joining the OBU staff as chaplain in 1980. He then spent the next 27 years on Bison Hill, teaching, caring for students, researching and writing. He retired in 2008 from his post as the Jewell and Joe L. Huitt Professor of Applied Ministry and was named Professor Emeritus of Religious Education in 2010. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana College, a Master of Theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a doctorate from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Three professors were installed into academic positions during the service. Dr. Mario Melendez was installed as the Auguie Henry Chair of Bible; Dr. Matthew Emerson was installed as the Floyd K. Clark Chair of Christian Leadership; and David Greenwell was installed into the Bill and Twylah Horne Professorship in Accounting.