OBU will host four in-person panel discussions during the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, June 14-16. The events will take place at the OBU booth in the convention hall. The discussions will also be recorded and posted following each event on the OBU Facebook page and YouTube channel.
The first panel discussion will take place Monday, June 14, at 9:30 a.m. and will cover the topic, “State Conventions and the Local Church.” The panel will include Dr. Hance Dilbeck, executive director/treasurer of Oklahoma Baptists; Dr. David Manner, executive director of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists; and Dr. Nathan Lorick, executive director of Southern Baptists of Texas.
The second panel discussion will take place that afternoon at 2 p.m., themed, “Evangelism in the 21st Century.” The panel will include Johnny Hunt, senior vice president of evangelism and leadership with the North American Mission Board; Dr. Eric Thomas, senior pastor of FBC Norfolk and chairman of the Board of Trustees of NAMB; and Dr. Heath A. Thomas, OBU president.
The third panel discussion will be held Tuesday, June 15, at 9 a.m., on “Rural Church Planting and Revitalization.” The panel will include Nathan Akin, executive director of Baptist21 and associate director of Pillar Church Planting Network; Dr. Jedidiah Coppenger, lead pastor of Redemption City Church in Franklin, Tennessee, and Baptist21 board member; Dr. Ronnie Parrott, lead pastor at Christ Community Church in Huntersville, North Carolina, and Baptist21 board member; Dr. Matthew Y. Emerson, dean of theology, arts and humanities at OBU; and Dr. Heath A. Thomas, OBU president.
The fourth and final panel will take place Wednesday, June 16, at 9 a.m., covering the topic, “The Hobbs College Library and Discipleship in the Local Church.” Panelists will include Dr. Malcolm Yarnell, research professor of theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Dr. Chris Thompson, associate vice president for academic administration at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Dr. Matthew Y. Emerson, dean of theology, arts and humanities at OBU; and Dr. Heath A. Thomas, OBU president. Yarnell will host a book signing following the discussion.The University will also present two special awards during the course of the week, the Herschel H. Hobbs Award for distinguished denominational service as well as the J.M. Carroll Award for outstanding denominational service in the state of Oklahoma. The winners of those awards will be announced live during the week and shared via the OBU website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.