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Kearns, DeGiacomo, Fullbright and Sanders serving as lecturers in student ministry

September 18, 2023

Oklahoma Baptist University is excited to announce that Dr. Matthew Kearns, Dr. Jeffrey DeGiacomo, Dr. Aaron Fullbright and Dr. Todd Sanders are serving as lecturers in student ministry in the OBU Hobbs School of Theology and Ministry.

Kearns earned a Bachelor of Science in mass communication/ public relations from Southeast Missouri State University. He then earned a Master of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary before completing a Doctor of Ministry in discipleship, missions and leadership from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before coming to OBU, he served as transitional and senior pastor at Woodcrest Chapel in Columbia, Missouri. Prior to that role, he worked for the Missouri Baptist Convention as student evangelism, leadership development and making disciples catalyst. He has previous experience working as a student evangelism associate at the North American Mission Board and as both an associate pastor and youth pastor as well. Kearns began in ministry as a summer youth worker at Faith Baptist Church in Festus, Mo., in 1991 and has worked with students and families for almost 30 years.

DeGiacomo, senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee, was born and raised in Inola, Okla. He embraced a full-time vocational ministry in the summer of 2000 and attended OBU. Graduating in May 2006, he pursued a Master of Divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, completing it in May 2015. Later, he embarked on a Doctor of Ministry degree journey at Gateway Seminary, earning his doctorate in May 2020. His ministry journey started in 2004 as a youth intern at Highland Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, which eventually led to a minister of students position. After four years, he and wife, Laura, were called to serve as the junior high and recreation pastors at First Baptist Church, Ada, Okla. In 2011, they moved to Quail Springs Baptist Church, where he became the middle school student pastor. In the summer of 2013, DiGiacomo transitioned into the student pastor position and then the role of associate executive pastor in October 2020.

Fullbright is a passionate Next Gen Ministry advocate, having dedicated six years to serving as a student pastor. He has been actively involved in mentoring parents and students, collaborating with other churches and leaders. For the past 11 years, he has been associated with Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee, Okla., where he serves as student pastor and associate student pastor. He holds a Doctor of Ministry in Next Generation Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, along with a Master of Divinity in Christian Ministry and a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Ministry, youth emphasis, from OBU.

Sanders serves Oklahoma Baptists as Falls Creek Youth Camp program director and collaborative lead for the Oklahoma Baptists’ youth ministry staff. He strives to encourage believers and equip the Church through training, teaching, and preaching the Word of God as he resources Oklahoma Baptist churches through Sunday school, discipleship, small groups, leadership development and disciple making.  Sanders has served in and with the local church for over 30 years. He served on church staffs around the state until joining the Oklahoma Baptists staff in 2009, becoming Falls Creek program director in 2019. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Oklahoma State University before completing his Master’s in Christian Education through Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned his Doctor of Ministry in Strategic Leadership and Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a PhD in Christian Leadership from NOBTS.

Dr. Matthew Emerson, OBU dean of theology, arts and humanities, is grateful for the knowledge and leadership skills each of these individuals bring with them to share with OBU students.

“Reaching the next generation for Christ is always imperative for the church and her mission,” Emerson said. “Our BA in Ministry to Students and Families equips OBU students to do just that through biblically rooted, theologically faithful, and practically relevant ministry training. Drs. DeGiacomo, Fullbright, Kearns, and Sanders bring a wealth of student ministry experience as well as an unwavering commitment to our Triune God and his Word. Alongside Dr. David Gambo, assistant professor of Christian ministry, they will provide a world-class education in ministry to students and families.”

Learn more about the  Herschel H. Hobbs School of Theology and Ministry.