Baptist conference to discuss sexuality

Oklahoma Baptist University will host the 2017 OBU Pastors’ School June 26-28 with the theme, “Sexuality, Human Identity, and the Church” (from 2 Corinthians 5:17).

The 2017 Pastors’ School will feature Mike Goeke, associate pastor of First Baptist Church of San Francisco, California; Brad Hambrick, pastor of counseling at The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, and adjunct professor of biblical counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Tony Rhone, pastor of Galilee Baptist Church in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

A spokesman said sex and sexuality is one of the most contentious issues facing the church and world today. At the heart of the issue of human sexuality is the deeper question of what it means to be human.

The Pastors’ School will explore key topics practically and biblically:

What is the purpose of human beings in God’s world?

How does sexuality fit with our humanity?

How is sexuality a gift, but not a god?

How does our primary identity of being “in Christ” and a “new creation” in 2 Corinthians 5:17 help us understand sexuality?

The sessions will also examine how church may effectively and faithfully minister biblical truth regarding sexuality in a confused and confusing culture.

The goals of the sessions include:

  • Gaining a biblical and theological perspective on human identity;
  • Gaining a biblical and theological perspective on the gift of human sexuality;
  • Learning pastoral helps for practical ministry regarding sex and sexuality, including helps engaging LGBTQI+ communities; and,
  • Creating space for conversation and prayer that will help in a variety of ministry contexts.

Biblical foundations, orthodox theology and practical help will mark the 2017 Pastors’ School.

Goeke has been in full-time ministry since leaving his law practice in 2001. He is a speaker and writer on issues related to life, Christianity, culture and sexuality. He graduated from Baylor University and Texas Tech School of Law. He and his wife, Stephanie, married in 1994 and have three children.

Hambrick also serves as instructor of biblical counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a council member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He has authored several books including, Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk: Why and How Christians Should Have Gay Friends and God’s Attributes: Rest for Life’s Struggles.

Rhone is the pastor of Galilee Baptist Church in Shawnee. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in management information systems from The University of Central Oklahoma. He then earned a master of arts degree in theological studies from American Bible College and Seminary. He began preaching in 1996 and was called as pastor of Galilee Baptist in 2006.

Breakout sessions will be led by Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry faculty: Dr. Bobby Kelly, Ruth Dickinson professor of religion, and Dr. Alan Bandy, Rowena R. Strickland associate professor of New Testament. Dr. Stan Norman, OBU’s provost and executive vice president for campus life, and Dr. Spence Spencer, associate vice president for institutional effectiveness, will also lead breakout sessions.

Kelly was named the Ruth Dickinson Chair of Bible in 2004. He earned a bachelor of arts from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Pineville, Kentucky. He then earned both a master of divinity and doctor of philosophy in New Testament Studies, both from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, where he also served as a teaching fellow for three years.

Bandy joined the College of Theology and Ministry faculty as the Rowena R. Strickland professor in New Testament and assistant professor of New Testament in the fall of 2009. Before arriving at OBU, Bandy served as assistant director of Ph.D. studies for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to that, he was an assistant professor of Christian Studies at Louisiana College and taught adjunctively for Liberty University Online. He earned a bachelor of arts from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, a Master of Divinity from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Norman serves as provost and executive vice president for campus life at OBU. Prior to his service at OBU, he served as vice president for university relations at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. He previously served on the faculty of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as associate professor of theology. His other academic positions include assistant professor of religion at Charleston Southern University and assistant professor of theology and church history at The Criswell College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies from The Criswell College. He then earned both a master of divinity and doctor of philosophy in systematic theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Spencer came to OBU in 2015 as director of assessment and institutional research and now serves as associate vice president for institutional effectiveness. Spencer earned a bachelor of science in English from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He then earned a master of divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He then earned a doctorate in theological studies with an emphasis in Christian ethics, also from Southeastern.

OBU Pastors’ School begins June 26, at 1 p.m. and concludes June 28, at noon. Discounted $99 registrations are due prior to May 31, and the price increases to $120 beginning June 1.

To register or for more information, visit or contact OBU’s Hobbs College at or at 405-585-4426.

With its campus in Shawnee, and locations in Oklahoma City and Broken Arrow, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 88 fields of study and five master’s degree programs.

The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 2,073, with students from 40 states and 35 other countries.

OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 regional colleges in the West by U.S. News and World Report for 25 consecutive years and has been Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 23 consecutive years.