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University Hosts Kingdom Diversity Panel Discussion Sept. 21

September 22, 2022

B.J. Glover, interim vice president for university culture, led a panel discussion during chapel Sept. 21 as part of Kingdom Diversity Week at Oklahoma Baptist University. The discussion focused on the diversity of God’s creation and the importance of kingdom diversity.

The panel discussion included LaShane Hill, director of OBU’s Kemp MFT Clinic; Dr. Mario Melendez, Auguie Henry Chair of Old Testament and assistant professor of Old Testament and biblical studies; and Dr. Joy Turner, director of global mobilization and professor of Christian ministry.

Glover shared the central verse for Kingdom Diversity Week from Revelation 7:9, “After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”

The event also included a call to worship by the Native American Student Association (NASA), scripture read by the International Student Association (ISA), prayer by the Latin American Student Association (LASO), and worship led by the Black Student Union (BSU).

Hill has spent more than 25 years serving in ministry, missions and church planting in multi-ethnic, multi-lingual communities. For more than 12 years she has provided mental health crisis response services to diverse populations.

“We were literally designed to manifest something for purpose on this earth,” Hill said. “And we will limit ourselves in either being a giver or receiver of that something just because a person doesn’t look like us, but yet God approved them.”

As a self-described multi-ethnic Christian (Filipino, Cajun French and Spanish), Melendez has served as a multi-ethnic ministry specialist in English, Asian and Hispanic Churches and has been a guest lecturer on multi-ethnic ministry topics. Having grown up in a deaf community in south Louisiana, he spoke about what has encouraged him.

“For the first time the deaf people have a Bible,” he said. “The Deaf Bible Society has been interpreting the Bible, translating and putting it out to all different communities for the deaf so they can now know the name Jesus.”

A 1987 OBU graduate, Turner is originally from England and served as the director of international ministries with the Oahu Baptist Network through the North American Mission Board for 20 years before returning to OBU to serve in the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach.

“There are billions of people that have never heard the name Jesus,” she said. “At OBU, we are thankful for a mission statement that says we will engage in a diverse world, and we’re trying to do that locally here in Shawnee, in Oklahoma City, throughout the United States and throughout the world.”