TULSA, Okla. — The faith community of Oral Roberts University and Tulsa may have lost a legend, but those who knew the now late Dr. James Buskirk said his spirit lives on in the thousands of faith journeys he’s helped along over the years.
Preacher, evangelist, teacher, father, and friend, Dr. Buskirk was a United Methodist pastor for over 30 years.
In his work, speaking the word of Jesus Christ, he re-launched the seminary at Oral Roberts University, was the founding dean of the College of Theology and Ministry at ORU laid the ground work for the Theologic Ph. D. program at ORU, and received countless awards.
Some of those awards include:
- Harry Denman Award from the Oklahoma United Methodist Conference
- Lifetime Global Achievement Award from ORU
- Philip Award from the National Association of United Methodist Evangelists
- and being named the Distinguished Evangelist by The United Methodist Foundation for Evangelism
Outside of his academic accolades, Dr. Buskirk was known to be a powerhouse teacher. Hundreds across Tulsa recall a sermon from him that was life-changing. He often would be so passionate and so joyful in his message, Dr. Buskirk would have tears flowing from his eyes, which were healed by the Lord, while he preached.
While serving as the dean of the College of Theology and Ministry at Oral Roberts University for eight years, from the Fall of 1976 to 1984, students would often go into class expecting a lesson, but leave with the joy and faithful fire of leaving a spiritual revival.
Then later, Dr. Buskirk became a senior Pastor at Tulsa’s First United Methodist Church from 1985 to 2001.
Many in the community echo the thoughts, ‘the world's loss is the Lords gain,” when asked about Dr. Buskirks passing on September 9, 2020.
A memorial service for Dr. Buskirk is set for Tuesday, Sept. 29 at the First United Methodist Church in Tulsa. The services will be following coronavirus safety guidelines in the sanctuary.
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