By Morgan Smith, Assistant Faith Editor
n 1958, Bob and Esther Burroughs graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University, and on March 14, they returned as the guest speakers for OBU’s Woman’s Mission and Ministry Day.
Esther Burroughs is the author of several books, including “Empowered: Claiming the Power of the Holy Spirit, Engraved By Grace, Splash the Living Water and Treasures of a Grandmother’s Heart.”
Her husband, Bob Burroughs, is a composer, arranger and former minister of music. He was also a member of the music faculty at Samford, Mercer and Palm Beach Atlantic University, as well as the director of the Church Music Department for the Florida Baptist Convention.
He presented a combined ensemble during the chapel.
Esther and Bob have lead the worship for other events and organizations, such as the Mission Commissioning at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual meeting in the past.
“We’ve had Esther come to OBU several times in the past, and she’s always very delightful,” Dean Dale Griffin, the assistant vice president for Spiritual Life dean of the chapel, said.
The day will also be celebrated with a luncheon, which will serve guests from across the state.
“It’s primarily women’s ministry leaders from church’s across the state, and WMU representatives, from Oklahoma’s WMU,” Griffin said. “I think we’ve got somewhere around 120.”
Women’s Mission and Ministry Day is linked directly to WMU Dormitory and its construction.
“WMU dorm was built in 1928, and the building was funded by the Women’s Missionary Union of Oklahoma (WMU),” Griffin said. “In gratitude for what the WMU organization did, the Women’s Mission and Ministry Day was instituted to remember what that organization has done.”
Griffin said he works with Amy Cordova, the women’s specialist at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, in selecting guest speakers each year.
“The guest is a guest of Oklahoma Baptist University, but because of the relationship with WMU, I work with the women’s ministry specialist,” he said. “She’s the liaison with WMU for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.”
Other liaisons Griffin said he’s worked with in the past include Deborah Brunt and Kelly Kennedy King.
Griffin said Esther Burroughs was one of the first people that came to both his and Cordova’s minds when selecting the speaker, due to her long history with the university.
“Our theme this year is ‘Following Jesus’ and I want them to hear another fresh voice on what it is to walk with Christ,” Griffin said.
“We’ve tried to have speakers who, from their own personal life experiences, could speak to this idea of being followers of Christ in ways that opens the understanding of the student. Esther has seen so much in her ministry writing and speaking, that she’s going to bring a depth of wisdom that I’m wanting the students to hear.”
The women of OBU said they enjoy Women’s Mission and Ministry Day, and what it teaches OBU’s students.
“It’s great to let young women know that there’s always been women on the mission field doing amazing things, and I’m happy OBU chooses to acknowledge them,” senior cross-cultural ministry major, Caty Bridges, said.
Senior creative writing-major, Ruthee Ivers, said she appreciates it because she believes people need to understand how much women have contributed to the ministry field.
Alena Blakely also said that she believes the day is encouraging for the next generation of missions.
“I am totally for having a Women’s Mission and Ministry Day at OBU,” she said. “I think that women have a very big impact on younger generations, so this Missions and Ministry Day will hopefully help equip them with the knowledge they need in order to successfully minister to those who are younger.”