Long before the book, movie and television program Friday Night Lights immortalized life at Permian High School in Odessa, Texas, Larry Hart attended school there. In fact, he was a student there when the football team won their first state championship and the dynasty was born. Larry was class president all four years in high school and a member of the Silvertones, a singing group named for his Sears Silvertone guitar. Among the quartet's members was famed country music singer Larry Gatlin, who organized the group.
A four-sport man-football, basketball, track and baseball-Larry narrowed his focus to basketball during his college years, earning his letter jacket as an ORU Titan (as they were called back then). Following God's call on his life, he earned his B.A. at ORU and his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
For many years he served in pastoral ministry in Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida. During that time, he planted two churches, one in Kentucky and one in Oklahoma.
He met his wife Thea Jane just prior to launching into doctoral studies. Today they have three grown children, Melanie, Kevin and Jonathan and two granddaughters, Sarah and Ella. Melanie (wife of Travis Ysen and mother of Sarah and Ella) and her family live in Pensacola, Florida. Kevin is a graphic designer for Oral Roberts Ministries and Jonathan, who graduated summa cum laude from ORU's School of Business in 2008, recently married Joyce Lian who graduated magna cum laude that same year.
Dr. Hart came to ORU in 1979 and served as the university's chaplain from 1981 to
1984. He has taught in the ORU Graduate School of Theology and Missions for more than