News Writing

Morgan Knox – 9/20/16 – Story 2

Greek Life Students Give Back

“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me,” John 12:26.

As Christians we are called to serve and to be God’s hands and feet on the earth. Both OBU’s men and women’s Greek Life social clubs have answered the call to service in the Shawnee community.

“Service is not only a time for bonding within the club but it also exemplifies to the Shawnee community Christ’s heart through service,” said junior Bible major Lauren Buffington who is a member of Pi Sigma Phi. “Christ calls us to be servants within our communities and the social clubs at OBU are really good at taking that seriously!”

To get plugged into the community, each of the clubs partner with local nonprofits and charity organizations. These connections have allowed the Greek Life members to make connections and show Christ to a wide range of people from all ages and backgrounds.

“Service means a lot to me individually because it is just something that I love to do,” said junior Tanner Lewis who is a student ministry major and president of the club Omega Chi Delta. “I am a part time youth pastor who spends most days up at C-Bar helping out kids with special needs at the ranch, service has just always been how I demonstrate God’s love to other people.”

Some of the organizations that the clubs work with include Hope House, the Salvation Army and soup kitchen, C-Bar Horsemanship and Cargo Ranch as well as local service projects like painting houses.

“Some of our service activities include us getting together a couple times a semester to make blankets to donate and taking part in the holiday bell ringing that the Salvation Army organizes,” junior Kappa anthropology major Rebecca Lee said.

Throughout the semester campus wide Greek Life events will occur and are open for all students. This gives the OBU community a special opportunity to come together for fellowship while serving their Shawnee neighbors. Some of the clubs will partner with their sibling club to put on larger events. The Brother Sister Club match ups are: Lambdas and Thetas, Betas and Sigma Phi and the Omegas and the Kappas.

“Our main service event this semester is Chacos and Tacos on September 26th where [Kappas and Omegas] are selling $5 tickets and t-shirts to raise money for our local Salvation Army,” Lee said.

Some of the campus wide events include the Neon Party, Greek Life mixers, and Open Rushes in the fall semester. These events give the OBU campus community an opportunity to have fun, dance, eat and fellowship while helping support the Shawnee community.

“The Neon Party was to encourage community on campus between Greek Life and the rest of the student body, but also to collect canned foods that are to be donated to the Soup Kitchen here in Shawnee,” said sophomore pre-allied health major Savannah Payne who is a member of Theta Sigma Chi.

“It was an event where students could come and hang out and have a good time, while donating to a cause that Theta is actively involved in as well. We had a great turn out, collected a lot of cans and had a lot of fun!”

The current three men’s clubs are Beta Gamma Theta, Omega Chi Delta and Lambda Chi Lambda. The three women’s clubs are Kappa Phi Beta, Theta Sigma Chi and Pi Sigma Phi. The clubs will be accepting new members during Rush in the spring semester of 2017 for those looking for a place to get plugged in and to serve their community.

“Our focus is always on Christ in all the service that we do, although life gets busy, crazy, and hectic; We always try to honor and glorify God with our actions of service,” said Lewis.

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Morgan Knox – 10/29/16 

Social Club Spotlight: Theta Sigma Chi

“Impact. Empower. Leave a legacy.”

Those are the words spoken by each of the women of Oklahoma Baptist University’s social club Theta Sigma Chi. Theta Sigma Chis was founded on January 23, 1986 and is the oldest of the three women’s clubs at OBU.

“Theta Sigma Chi is a diverse group of girls who have different majors, passions and personalities but come to together to grow in the Lord, hold each other accountable, serve the community and enjoy college life,” senior nursing major Christine Ferguson said.

The Thetas are not only the oldest women’s club at OBU, but they are also the largest with around 50 active members.

“I have so many amazing relationships from Thetas,” Amber Isaac junior psychology major and open rush co-chair for Thetas said.

“I can honestly say that I probably would not be friends with most of the women I am friends with if it were not for Thetas. Girls I never imagined I would get along with are now some of my closest friends, and I have been able to hold co-offices with women in completely different walks of life, with opposite majors and unique personalities.”

The club is very active socially by offering campus wide events, like the Neon Party, and closed events for just members of the club. Some of the events include: yoga nights, pizookie nights, paint twister, Dad’s day, Mom’s day and Date-a-Theta events that are different each semester.

I love Mom’s day and Dad’s day because I get to hang out with all the people I love most!” Ferguson said.

Thetas also have a heart for service. They participate and serve with local organizations including Hope House and the Salvation Army soup kitchen. They also write letters to soldiers and raise funds for Destiny Rescue to help get girls out of sex trafficking.

“My favorite service would have to be visiting Hope House,” Brooke Peterson senior digital media arts major and president of Thetas said. “Hope House is a shelter for kids. We spend time with them playing games, basketball and various fun activities for an hour each week. I love spending time with the kids, getting to know them, and pouring into their lives by sharing the love of Jesus.”

Being involved in social clubs also allows for personal spiritual growth, and for developing leadership skills.

“I have definitely grown as a leader,” Ferguson said. “There are several opportunities to serve so everyone has a place if they desire one. Leadership in Thetas has taught me how to organize events, plan retreats, lead bible studies and work together as a team.” 

Rush for both the women and men’s clubs will be early in the spring semester of 2017. The Thetas are looking forward to adding new members into their sisterhood.

“If you are thinking about rushing . . . do it,” said Isaac. “The decision to join a social club will be a great one, and you will meet outstanding women of God.”

“If you are nervous about the rush process, just remember that even those of us who have been Thetas for multiple years feel awkward when talking to lots of new people. Be yourself. Your unique personality is the best part about you. We are going to love you no matter what and whatever club you join, [social clubs] can be a place of comfort and fun if you really give it a chance.”

Building Christ centered intentional relationships is what the women of Theta Sigma Chi strive to build between members, campus and the community.

“Sisterhood means having people to pour into you and you into them,” Peterson said. “It is a group of women who you know will be there for you, whether that is a laugh, a cry, advice, study partner, listener or someone to eat pizookies with. I can count on my sisters to be there for me as I journey through life on Bison Hill and even after!”

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Morgan Knox – 11/10/16 

Pancakes for a Cause

Griddles are hot, batter is stirred, the smell of chocolate chips pancakes wafts into the air and the warm syrup is just waiting to be poured. For only $5 a ticket is purchased for all you can eat pancakes and donate to a worthy cause.

On Tuesday evening, Theta Sigma Chi hosted their first ever Pancake Dinner to help support their national philanthropy Destiny Rescue. The OBU women’s club welcomed community members, students and faculty to enjoy the fluffy flapjacks.

“All of our proceeds go to Destiny Rescue, which is our national philanthropy,” said junior nursing major Sydney Ward who is co-service chair for the Thetas. “Destiny Rescue gets kids out sex trafficking and helps keep them out of it as well.”

Destiny Rescue seeks to rescue children from the chains of sex slavery, help aid in the healing process through education, vocational training, counseling, health care, spiritual guidance and love. The group also has Prevention Homes in different countries across the globe where at risk children are taken care of until they find safe employment or higher education.

“It breaks my heart that there are children around the world and even in our own country going through things like this,” Mikayla Keeter sophomore family and community service major and Theta service co-chair said. “I’m glad we can serve and love these children even if they are worlds away.”

Along with fundraising for Destiny Rescue, the Thetas are involved in service in the local community of Shawnee. The women regularly volunteer at Hope House and the Salvation Army of Shawnee soup kitchen.

“I think it is important to serve with our sisters because it brings us closer together as a group, benefits the community, and is a crucial part of what social clubs do,” Ward said.

Second to the Neon Party the social club hosted previously this semester, the Pancake Dinner was the Thetas’ largest on campus service event of the year. Over 30 of the 50 active members volunteered their time decorating, working the entry table, checking on people who were dining and making the pancakes.

“My favorite part of the event was having so many of my Theta sisters together at a service event,” Ward said. “Normally it is smaller groups that go volunteer at Hope House or soup kitchen, and I really liked having a larger group.”

As people steadily entered to devour their pancakes, Thetas worked together to produce hot and ready pancakes through the evening.

 “I made pancakes with other girls, and there was a team effort to make them,” Sydney Howard criminal justice and minor in forensic psychology said. “Each job was different and worked perfectly to make the best pancakes. I thoroughly enjoyed the event because I got to eat one of my favorite breakfast foods with my favorite group of friends!” Howard said.

The Pancake dinner allowed for more than $300 to be raised in just a few hours for Destiny Rescue.

“Last semester we did a Change for Change coin drive for almost two weeks, and we didn’t raise as much as what we did this year at the Pancake Dinner in just a matter of hours,” Keeter said. “We are so thankful for everyone who came and donated to Destiny Rescue.”

Fellowship, music and conversation were flowing just like the maple syrup.

“The Thetas did a great job cooking delicious food for a great cause!” Tanner Lewis junior ministry major said who attended the event.

For anyone who missed the Pancake Dinner event you can still make a donation to the Thetas or donate directly to Destiny Rescue at their website:

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Morgan Knox –  12/6/16

Top Ten: Christmas Chapel Addition

Finals are swiftly approaching, Christmas lights have been adorned all over campus, the temperature has finally dropped and the countdown to Christmas break is on the minds of all the students and faculty at Oklahoma Baptist University. The Wednesday of dead week is quickly approaching and everyone on OBU campus knows what that means: Christmas Chapel.

Christmas Chapel is possibly the greatest chapel of the entire year, and here are 10 top things that can be expected about OBU Christmas Chapel.

  1. First we have the one and only Holiday Cheermeister himself, Dr. Reeder.

Dr. Reeder is the man that makes it all possible, and each year he fails to disappoint by bringing in the Christmas Spirit to OBU. Reeder, interestingly close to reindeer, is the brains and creativity behind holiday cheer and laughter OBU students experience each year through Christmas Chapel.

“My favorite part of Christmas Chapel always comes down to how happy it makes me to see everyone appreciating and loving my dad,” Meg Reeder, OBU communications graduate and daughter of Dr. Reeder said, “He loves the students of OBU and puts so much work and planning into it and I just love that everyone gets to see how much he loves them (and how funny he is).”

  1. The Christmas Chapel Video

The Christmas Chapel video is one of the things people look forward to the most. Each year Dr. Reeder and the OBU faculty have created parodies of school traditions, brought Laura Scales to life and showed the Western Civilization Professors singing “Royals.” Through these videos students and alumni get to remember and laugh about their time on Bison Hill.

“My favorite thing about Christmas Chapel was last year’s parody video of Downtown,” Alley Kirk sophomore nursing major said. “It was so cool how they brought the golf cart inside of Raley!”

  1. Christmas Carols

If you aren’t in the Christmas spirit before Christmas Chapel, you will be afterword. Get ready to sing with all your peers to the best known holiday classics. And to those students who are not from the Oklahoma City area be prepared for everyone to start singing about a guy named BC Clark.

“The BC Clark jingle is a funny tradition,” Amber Troppman junior art major said, “I’m not from around OKC and the first time I heard everyone singing it I was so confused. After two years I think I’ve got it memorized.”

  1. OBU Student Fine Arts Performances

The vocal groups like the Chorale, Bisonettes and the Bison Glee Club will help usher in the holiday cheer. The groups will all perform songs they have prepared specially for Christmas Chapel. One year Dr. Vernon conducted dressed like Buddy the Elf, and all the groups love to come in festive outfits.

  1. The University Ringers

The University Ringers use bells to play beautiful Christmas songs. It doesn’t get much better than listening to the ringing of the bells and that people can actually make music with them.

  1. Lou Ann Christmas Chapel Cameos

The OBU famous Lou Ann has been a beloved part campus, and of Christmas Chapel. Her smiling face on the screen is always welcomed by cheers and clapping of those in attendance.

  1. The Christmas Chapel OBU Top 10

Each year there is an OBU Top 10 that can be something about students, old Christmas pictures, and stuff about the faculty.

“Last year was my favorite!” Holly Easttom OBU professor of journalism said, “Yes, because my cats were involved in the top ten list!”

  1. Full Attendance

Almost everyone goes to Christmas Chapel (and if you don’t go you are seriously missing out). The seats in Raley Chapel fill up very quickly so make sure you get there early to get a good spot for the celebration.

“I enjoy seeing all the OBU students come out of the woodwork that rarely ever show their faces in public,” Jason Burger junior news and information major said.

The filled seats in the chapel shine on Dr. Reeder and his love for OBU.

“I would say that most of all I love turning around and seeing every seat filled at the most popular chapel of the year,” Meg Reeder said. “My dad’s love for the students shines through in the work and their appreciation and love shines through in their attendance.”

  1. Faculty Involvement

It takes lots of effort to make Christmas Chapel happen, and the OBU faculty is more than willing to do their part to make Christmas Chapel better and better each year. Faculty has helped make the yearly videos, performed in the parodies and Dr. D.H. Dilbeck rode around campus on a mini-bicycle.

“I enjoy anything that the professors are involved in because they’re always funny!” Taylor Lasseigne said.

  1. Christmas Chapel marks the nearing end of the semester.

Christmas Chapel is a time for students and faculty who are caught up in the midst of dead weeks and upcoming finals to come together to celebrate the reason for the season: Jesus Christ. Christmas Chapel is a good reminder of why we celebrate, and it’s a time to take a break from studying.

“I love the hype about Christmas chapel,” Mariah Knight sophomore pre-occupational therapy major said. “Everyone looks forward to this chapel because not only is it funny, but it marks the end of the semester!”

Yes I am a Royals Fan – Column

Morgan Knox

“Why in the world are you a Kansas City Royals fan? They are horrible!”

I am a Royals fan, always have been and always will be. That allegiance has come with a heavy dose of ridicule along the way.

Born in Kansas City, I was practically raised in the blue seats of Kauffman stadium. Some of my earliest memories include taking pictures with the mascot Slugger, being able to run around the bases after a warm Sunday afternoon game, singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” more times than I can count, cheering on the Royals with thousands of other fans and sitting on my grandfather’s lap watching fireworks light up the Kansas City skyline after a summer night victory.

But more often than not, the Royals would lose. The last time the Royals had won the World Series was when my mother was a junior in high school in 1985. At least while in Kansas City you’re surrounded by fellow fans, but after the move to Oklahoma it all started.

I now was surrounded by an enormous following of Cardinals fans, the Texas Rangers fan base and band-wagoners alike. The Royals were the closest Major League Baseball team geographically, but no one wanted to cheer for a team with a losing record.

It was a majorly rocky road for the Royals the past 29 years. Since 1995 the Royals had struggled to stay out of last place for the majority of the seasons, so pretty much my entire lifetime.

I’ve watched as the core players we have today made their rookie debuts, seen the signing of free agents, the trading of prospects and the strengthening of the line up during the 2000’s. Yet the Royals still struggled to have a winning season. There were some games I went to where barely even half of the stadium was full.

Being a fan of a losing team wasn’t the most fun thing during childhood. There were multiple times when wearing a blue Royals shirt was enough to get snickers from my classmates.

They didn’t understand how important the Boys in Blue were to me. It reminded me of happy times with family, laughter and mouthwatering hotdogs.

In 2009 the Royals renovated Kauffman Stadium in preparation for the hosting of the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The already large stadium became a wonder to behold every time you stepped through the gates. New seating, updated technology, a huge crown shaped jumbo-tron and even a carousel for the kiddos was added in the renovation.

In 2010 manager Ned Yost took over, and in 2011 almost all of the bullpen and infielders were called up from the minor leagues. The young guns of Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez helped bring life to the lineup and hope to the fans. With a few trades for pitchers we could see the light at last.

The Royals were winning, and the people of Kansas City were rallying behind their boys; even I all the way in Oklahoma could feel it.

In 2014 the Royals made it to the Wild Card game, and by resilience and a true miracle, they won. They went on to make it to the World Series for the first time in 29 long years. They ended up losing in the last game, but everything was different now.

I was beginning to see more blue KC hats around me, and fans were wearing Royals shirts proudly. Instead of being teased for my favorite team, people were actually acknowledging them as a real baseball team.

For the first time ever I attended a standing room only, packed house game at the Royals. The energy was electric, the fans excited, and the Royals were winning in 2015. There were some rough patches, but we never lost faith. The Royals went on to win their first World Series Championship in 30 years.

This Royals team reminded Kansas City that nothing is impossible. They inspired a city and fans around the nation to rally around the underdogs. They reminded us what it was like to never lose faith.

All those years of failure made victory oh so much sweeter in the end.




Camp Joshua: A Little Piece of Heaven on Earth

Morgan Knox

In the hills of the Ozarks lies Camp Joshua where students gather each year to experience God’s presence.

Formerly known as Ozark Area Christian Camp, Camp Joshua is the joint property of 5 area churches who utilize the property each summer. During the month of June students from kindergarten to seniors in high school bring life to the campgrounds.

Megan Tucker is a freshman at Arkansas Tech University and attended Camp Joshua for 8 summer sessions said, “As I grew up and changed year after year, Camp Joshua was a constant every summer. Every summer I got to meet up with friends I only saw once a year, experience God’s beauty through His creation and people.”

Camp Joshua is small in comparison to well-known camps like Falls Creek in central Oklahoma. Maximum capacity at Falls Creek is approximately 7,000 where Camp Joshua houses a max of 170 people per session. The core groups that attend the camp include students from Grove OK, Rogers, Bella Vista, Prairie Grove, and Fort Smith Arkansas.

A strict no cell phone rule is enforced on campus during sessions which allows for students to unplug from the world and be open to God’s call.

Maddie Beasley, a senior at Fort Smith said, “Being without my phone opens up my eyes to God’s creation.”

Each night a different youth pastor gives the evening message; adding diversity and perspective to the theme of the week. The students are shown the word of God each evening with a big illustration to help give them perspective.

The students are divided into family groups for devotional time, organized recreation, late night activities, clean up duties and for the big activity at the end of the week. Points are awarded to teams throughout the week to encourage participation in all events.

Thomas Hawkins, the youth minister in Grove said, “Some of our most memorable events include: finding Sasquatch, life size battle ship, kayaking on the lagoon, capture the flag, the faculty hunt, Crisscross Crash [soapy tarp game], and amazing race style competition that tests the students physically, mentally, their teamwork and scripture memory.”

The small camp is very near and dear to the hearts of many. A senior from Bella Vista, Seth Lankford lists his favorite parts about camp, “Unplugging from the world, talk of modern-day issues, evening activities, acoustic campfire and dancing.”

Camp Joshua may be small, but plans for improvements are top priority for the camp board. Expansion projects for the dorms, improvements in cabins and possibly a pool could be in the future.

God’s love will continue to be shown through the nature, fun and people who make Camp Joshua the special place in many people’s hearts.