JACKSON, Tenn. – Oct. 25, 2001 – Union University President David S. Dockery recently presented the 43rd biannual Hobbs lecture at Oklahoma Baptist University.
The Herschel H. and Frances J. Hobbs Lectureship in Baptist Faith and Heritage is OBU's first endowed lectureship, established in 1980 by friends of Dr. and Mrs. Hobbs in honor of the couple's outstanding Christian service.
While at the university, Dockery addressed the life and legacy of Hobbs, a pastor of Oklahoma City's First Baptist Church from 1949-72. A graduate of Howard College, Birmingham, Ala., Hobbs received master's and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. After completing his education, Hobbs served as pastor of churches in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky and Louisiana before coming to Oklahoma City.
“Herschel H. Hobbs, by any account, was one of the most influential and shaping leaders in Southern Baptist life in the 20th Century,” said Dockery. “Hobbs sought to present Baptist doctrine to a wider readership in order for men and women to both grow and be able to defend their faith.”
Hobbs served as preacher for the Baptist Hour from 1958-79, a ministry that was heard over 400 radio stations across the world. Among the many offices he held was the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963. He is the author of 162 books and countless articles. He received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from OBU in 1986.
In addition to celebrating Hobbs’ life, Dockery’s address issued a challenge for a new consensus, grounded in Hobbs' strong biblical and Christ centered theology for present day.
“Hobbs was aware of issues in historical theology and the role of tradition in Baptist life,” Dockery pointed out, “and he used reason appropriately and put great emphasis on personal experience as a confirming aspect of theology. But without question or apology, the Bible served as the primary source for Hobbs’ theological constructions.”
Dockery is the 15th president of Union where he has served since December 1995. He is a graduate of University of Alabama, Southwestern Seminary, Texas Christian University and the University of Texas-Arlington where he received his doctorate. The author and editor of 18 books, Dockery wrote a chapter on Hobbs for Theologians of the Baptist Tradition, edited by both Dockery and Timothy George. The book was released at this year's Southern Baptist Convention which was held in New Orleans, La.
Sara B. Horn,