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Good News at Southern Nazarene University Church Relations


A Legacy of Service 
President Loren Gresham to Retire in 2017

Dr. Loren Gresham, President of SNU and Dr. Terry RowlandA remarkable legacy of service will be celebrated throughout the upcoming academic year, as Southern Nazarene University and the South Central Region of the Church of the Nazarene honor Dr. Loren Gresham for his dedication, commitment and visionary leadership. He will retire July 31, 2017 after 50 years of service to SNU. He has led the university as its president for the last 28 of those years.

His dedication to the Church of the Nazarene and service to the denomination is evidenced by his many years of membership on the General Board, chairing the World Mission Committee over ten of those years, as well as his support and leadership of the International Board of Education. Gresham was the first layman elected president of the university in its history, affording him the opportunity to serve the denomination from a unique perspective. His exemplary service to the church encompasses hundreds of trips, thousands of hours of meetings, conferences and services, and all has truly been a “labor of love.”

Locally, he has served on the Advisory Board of the Oklahoma District since 1990. In April of 2016, he was presented the Second Mile Award by his home district in honor of his many years of service and support. He and SNU’s first lady, Linda Gresham, are active members of Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, and have served in numerous capacities there during their fifty-plus years of membership.

When reflecting on the announcement of his pending retirement, Gresham said, “I am especially looking forward to the district assemblies across the South Central Region in 2017, so I can look at the church ‘eye to eye’ to say thank you for their support during the 28 years I have served as president, and ask them to pray for SNU in this time of transition.” And, true to Gresham’s legacy of positive, proactive leadership, he has announced a number of goals and outlined a purposeful plan for the university for the 2016-2017 academic year.

To read the press release of the announcement, click here.

Upside Down Kingdom

Spiritual Life is a Priority at SNU

The beginning of a new academic year is always exciting on a campus. And at a Christ-centered university, like SNU, the first Chapel of the year sets the tone for the heart of the mission, which is “to make Christ-like disciples.” SIMS 2017This year, University Pastor, Dr. Blair Spindle, issued a challenge to the student body to embrace the Upside Down Kingdom of God and re-order their lives and priorities to “seek first the Kingdom.”

Spindle urged the campus community to follow Christ’s example of servanthood, rejecting the current culture’s message of selfishness and self-centeredness. He called on the students, faculty and staff to begin the academic year with a commitment to put Christ’s teaching and example into practice and “seek first the Kingdom of God.” Throughout the year, the Chapels, small groups and times of gathering for prayer and reflection will emphasize the Upside Down Kingdom theme.

Another important aspect of campus spiritual life is the SIMS (SNU in Missions) program. “Go Week” took place recently and Joel Mullen, SIMS Director, announced that applications were still coming in for the 2017 SIMS trips. Plans are for 23 teams of students and sponsors to minister in 21 locations around the world. In a Chapel service on September 15, 2016, Mullen spoke about taking a life changing ‘step of faith’ by following God’s voice and stepping out in complete obedience and confidence in Him. For many, he said, that step might be going on a mission trip with a SIMS team.

Promising to be a dynamic and exciting time in the spiritual life of the campus, Fall Revival is slated for October 25-27, 2016 featuring Rev. Mark Holcomb, chaplain for Olivet Nazarene University. SNU is calling on all of the churches of the South Central Region to join in prayer that God will use him to bring renewal and spiritual growth to the campus community.

To learn more about Chapel at SNU, and hear podcasts of the services, visit

 For more on how you can support or be a part of SIMS, join their Facebook page.

Sound of the Storm Takes the Field

SNU Marching Band Launches New Tradition

The 2016 Football season has an added dynamic this year with the launch of the SNU Marching Band, Sound of the Storm. Led by Drum Major Benji Hughes, a sophomore from Wichita Falls, Texas, the band made its debut at the first home football game of the season, impressing the crowd on hand with a full halftime show.

The inaugural group of fifty members reported to campus in early August for a number of intensive days of practice, despite the summer heat. Prof. Danny Abrego, SNU’s band director, has a goal of recruiting 30-40 additional students each year for the next several years, to bring the band up to an impressive 120 plus member team.

Sound of the Storm - SNU Marching BandThe Sound has already performed at two home games and is looking forward to three more performances this season, the next being October 8, 2016 at the SNU Stadium. Area alums and friends of SNU are urged to attend and support the team and the band.

To follow the SNU Marching Band, join their Facebook page.

To contact Prof. Abrego regarding a recruit or financial support for the Sound of the Storm, email him at or call 405.491.6340.

Our Nazarene Heritage
Founded in 1899, Southern Nazarene University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university - a service of the Church of the Nazarene. Located on a 40-acre campus just west of Oklahoma City, SNU grew out of several small colleges committed to training people for lives of service to God, leadership, and reconciliation toward their neighbors and within the global community. More than 32,000 alumni work and serve throughout the United States and the world. Read About Our Heritage

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