2021 Cornerstone Lecture Series Features Oza Jones
The Cornerstone Series is an annual sequence of lectures that celebrate Hardin-Simmons University’s foundation in faith. The series was endowed in 1966 by the late Dr. and Mrs. Lee Hemphill, in honor of Dr. Hemphill’s parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Hemphill of Coleman, Texas. The 2021 Cornerstone Series ran Sept. 14-16.
Tanner Clarke, the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) Director at HSU, has the honor of choosing the Cornerstone speaker each year.
“The Cornerstone lecture series exists to speak to the Biblical foundations of the university. It encourages us to come back to Scripture and understand how those Biblical foundations relate to today’s circumstances,” shared Clarke. “I want to bring a variety of speakers with different viewpoints onto campus to speak on those different topics.”
This year, Clarke invited Oza Jones, the Grand Prairie, Texas, based Director of African American Ministries for Texas Baptists within the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Jones spoke on a variety of topics, including the beauty of God in the midst of interruptions, our role in the Great Commission, and our determination as Christians for the advancing of the Kingdom.
“In life we all must deal with doors of disappointment,” said Jones. “Even though there is a door of disappointment, there is also a door of determination. “
Kenna Hall, a student leader for the Cornerstone Series worship team, shared this about her experience at Cornerstone, “Having three days dedicated to gathering together and worshipping together as a school was a really refreshing experience. I absolutely loved what God said through Oza Jones this year! He mentioned that private worship equals public witness. We can do amazing things for the Kingdom, but it starts with our personal relationship with the Father.”
Hall’s desire to lead others in worship at the Cornerstone Series was to create a sense of community while encouraging our faculty, staff, and students, “Matthew 18:20 says, ‘Where two or more gathered in my name, there I am also.’ When we gather together and do what we are created to do, we are inviting the Holy Spirit to dwell among us and that is such an awesome thing to encounter!”
Clarke discussed the value of Cornerstone for this year’s students, “I can see that everything everyone is going through is weighing heavy on our students. The Lord really lead Oza to bring the foundation of who we are supposed to be as followers of Jesus back into focus. I’m really excited to see how the things he said continue to impact students throughout the rest of the semester.”
Clarke’s hope for the BSM is that they will be able to continue the mission of encouraging others to turn to Christ throughout the year. To stay up to date with BSM hosted events, check out the BSM web page.