OBU senior Mackenzie Knox says one of the most meaningful truths she has realized during her time as a student on Bison Hill is that the Lord is her ultimate provider. “Whether it pertains to scholarships, friendships, a sense of community, or funding needed to travel on a Global Outreach trip, God has provided what I need. It has created so much joy with many enriching experiences in my college journey,” she said.
Knox, who attended high school in Weatherford, Texas, is majoring in family science and earning a minor in advocacy. As she has grown in her knowledge of this field and as a young woman in her faith, she has discovered something more. “I am trusting the Lord to see what He has for me. I may pursue some form of ministry, possibly with college students or however the Lord leads. I have also discovered my love for serving the nations,” she said.
Coming from a family of OBU alumni, Knox was no stranger to the campus in her early years. Her parents, sister, and brother-in-law all attended OBU. “I grew up coming to OBU for various activities and I always felt comfortable with the campus culture,” she said. “When it came time for me to decide on a college, I knew how much I Ioved OBU’s smaller environment. The deciding factor for me was the faculty-to-student ratio and the personalized instruction I knew was available. Ultimately, the Lord gave me such a peace about attending OBU,” said Knox.
Dr. Brian Camp, professor of family science, has proven to be one of those faculty members who has made the difference in Knox’s life, just as she had anticipated. “Dr. Camp is an expert in this field. I have taken at least ten classes with him as my professor. He is also my advisor and has offered wonderful guidance and served as a valuable mentor to me,” she said. “Dr. Camp knows me as an individual. I would say there is no doubt that one of the biggest blessings about OBU is how the faculty care for students like he has cared for me.”
Through her field of study Knox has learned about the dynamics of the family, the parent-child relationship, family support structures, marriage, aging and death, and how families function in society and in various cultures. She has also been able to apply many of these fundamentals to her own life. “My study of family science has also personally taught me how to be a better daughter, sister, friend, and hopefully wife and mom one day,” she said.
Knox says the opportunity to attend a liberal arts university with a Christian world view has developed her faith in a rich way. “Faith is integrated into all my subjects whether math, psychology, western civilization, or family science. There is an emphasis on students’ spiritual formation,” she explained. Knox’s cumulative college grade point average of 4.0 is evidence she has mastered her liberal arts academics well.
Outside the classroom, Knox enjoyed serving as a resident advisor in Kerr Residence Center during her sophomore and junior years. Through that role, she gained a new sense of leadership and was inspired to intentionally create a sense of community amongst the female residents. She and the dormitory staff hosted Bible studies and were available to offer individual guidance to residents at all grade levels. “I learned to embrace the opportunity to serve as an advisor and mentor with others in both their highs and lows of life. It was really rewarding and stretched me in new ways,“ she explained.
Knox has served on the OBU student executive board for Association of Family Service Professionals (AFSP) and on the executive board of Mortar Board. She also spent a year working in the Global Outreach (GO) office on campus.
Through her travel to other countries and within the U.S., Knox learned to serve people of other cultures and origins. These experiences fostered a calling to continue a pursuit of global engagement in the future.
In 2022 she traveled to the Middle East with an organization from Tulsa serving on a medical team that assisted refugee families. The team met physical needs, shared meals with the people, and helped connect them to other helpful agencies and resources.
A few months later during Spring Break, she participated in OBU’s GO trip to New York City. There, her team served meals to the homeless population, worked in a clothes closet and learned about human trafficking. “I gained a new heart for the homeless and enjoyed serving others in a practical way,” she said.
Knox spent her Christmas break of 2022-23 on a service trip to Zambia with a team from South Carolina. She had the opportunity to minister to students on a college campus there. “Through these trips the Lord has truly captured my heart and a love for the nations. I look forward to serving more,” she explained. Knox will be returning to Zambia this summer to continue her love of working and serving college students there.
While a student in Shawnee, Knox has been actively involved in Frontline Church. She values the teaching of solid biblical truth, new friendships, mentors and the opportunity to grow in leadership. “I have discovered that no matter what stage I am in life or what I have to offer, the Lord wants my heart. I serve Him out of that,” she said.
“When I look back at the freshman girl I was when I first came to OBU compared to myself as a woman now, I am encouraged at how OBU has provided the environment and opportunities for me to grow in God’s word and in His character. I truly have fallen in love with the Lord and learned to let Him lead me every day,” she said.
“As a future shaper I want to take my education and apply it to God’s truth as I go out into the world and share the gospel to further God’s kingdom.”