Alyssa Sperrazza, Editor-in-chief
OBU offers multiple awards to alumni during Homecoming Week, and this year’s recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award is Dr. D. Hance Dilbeck. The award is given to outstanding alumni for their achievements and service in their vocations.
A 1987 graduate, Dilbeck majored in Departmental Religion with a minor in History.
Returning to Bison Hill this week, Dilbeck said some of his fondest memories began right from the beginning.
“[My wife] Julie and I met the first few days of school,” Dilbeck said. “We started OBU together… so virtually all my OBU memories involve her. Then Julie and I got married between our sophomore and junior years. I would say also, I made some lifelong friends. Some guys I started OBU with were Odus Compton, who of course serves at OBU now, and Brian Gilbert, who serves as a pastor now in Oklahoma City and Doug Melton was just finishing OBU as I was starting. So there are some minister friends that I’ve had all my life that I got to know in the first years of OBU.”
The first to graduate college in his family, Dilbeck felt a calling to become a pastor and pursued it diligently.
“From the time I started OBU, I had a very clear sense of calling to be a pastor and then that’s what God wanted me to do,” Dilbeck said. “I didn’t come from a family of minsters and pastors. My family was supportive of me but they didn’t really know how to help me navigate the journey. So [Julie and I] really took things as the Lord brought them to us, one step at a time.”
During his time at OBU, Dilbeck recalled the influence certain people had on his life, helping him grow and learn the vocation he felt called to be in.
“The campus minister was a man named David James; he disciple me along with three or four other guys,” Dilbeck said. “So I spent a lot of time with him and was involved in campus ministry. There was also an admissions counselor, a guy named Jodi Johnson. He was the admissions counselor for the northern part of Oklahoma and Kansas and he had put together a little ministry team that would go and do youth events for small churches. I was kind of the preacher on that team so he gave me a lot of opportunities to get out and lead youth events and preach at smaller churches during the first year or two.”
Having come from a small town, Dilbeck said he didn’t expect to end up where he is now.
“I’m a little surprised that I’m the pastor at a larger church and that I’m a pastor in Oklahoma City,” Dilbeck said. “I grew up in a small church in a small town and in some ways still see myself as more of a small town person. So I’m a little surprised that I have the ministry that I have today.
Becoming the head pastor at Quail Springs Baptist Church in 2003, Dilbeck said the work being done there is certainly something to be proud of, but he considers something else to be his biggest achievement.
“Without any hesitation I would say my family,” Dilbeck said. “The Lord has blessed Julie and I with a good marriage, we’ve worked to have a good marriage, and we’ve raised three sons that honor us. They’re all married to good wives who are all OBU graduates by the way. And God has really blessed us with our family. That’s probably what I’m most pleased and satisfied with.
After gradating OBU, Dilbeck went on to study at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He has previously served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at both institutions. Having now been the head pastor at QSBC for 15 years, Dilbeck is also the chair of the board of trustees for the International Missions Board (IMB).
Dilbeck offered some words of advice to the 2017 graduating class as they prepare to become alumni in December and May.
“I would say don’t be in a hurry,” Dilbeck said. “Take time over the next few years to establish a root system that will give you stability and productivity over the long haul. And by that I mean your relationship with Christ, your relationship with friends and family and your character.”
The award will be presented during the Harvest Dinner, Friday, Oct. 27.