Oklahoma Baptist University names new president

SHAWNEE, Okla. (ABP) -- David Whitlock, 46, an administrator at Southwest Baptist University, has been named Oklahoma Baptist University's 15th president, OBU trustees announced Oct. 10.

"Having been born and raised in Oklahoma, Dr. Whitlock will fit us well," Alton Fannin, OBU trustee chair, said.

An 11-member presidential search committee, which included Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Executive Director Anthony Jordan and Abby Jeffers, 2007-2008 student body president, presented Whitlock for the position.

"I am delighted that the board of trustees has voted to call Dr. Whitlock as the 15th president of OBU," Stephen Allen, search committee chair, said. "Dr. Whitlock's experience, vision and passion will enable him to continue in the excellent tradition of OBU's past presidents."

Whitlock has been associate provost and dean of the college of business and computer science at Southwest Baptist in Bolivar, Mo., since 1999. He also has served as dean of adult and satellite-campus programs since 2007.

Before that, he taught for 14 years at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He also has been a bi-vocational pastor for churches in Oklahoma and Missouri since licensed to the ministry in 1993. He currently preaches every other week at Wellspring Baptist Fellowship in Bolivar, where he is an elder.

Born in Purcell, Okla., Whitlock earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's degree in administrative studies at Southeastern Oklahoma State. He completed a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Oklahoma.

"I see now how God has been preparing me each step along the way to serve in this day and in this place," Whitlock said on campus, following the announcement.

Whitlock follows Mark Brister, who retired in November 2007 after serving Oklahoma Baptist since 1998. John Parrish has served the past 12 months as interim president. Whitlock will assume the post Nov. 3.

Whitlock said he is grateful to have had to opportunity to serve at Southwest Baptist University and leaves behind "many dear friends" and colleagues.

According to SBU's student newspaper, The Omnibus, SBU President Pat Taylor nominated Whitlock for the OBU leadership spot shortly after Brister announced his retirement.

"I wrote a letter of nomination back last spring and it has been very interesting to watch this process unfold," said Taylor, who previously worked at OBU from 1986 to 1996. "You just see God's handprint all over this because he [Whitlock] was one among numerous good candidates."

According to the OBU student newspaper, The Bison, more than 25 candidates were recommended as president.

-- Bob Allen contributed to this story.
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