Southeastern gives, receives at Baltimore
    June 17 2014 by Michael McEwen, BR Content Editor

    During the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) meeting in Baltimore, the Charles Haddon Spurgeon Center for Pastoral Leadership and Preaching sponsored a breakfast June 10 for pastors and church leaders.
    The Spurgeon Center, located at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) in Wake Forest, equips and encourages pastors to lead healthy, disciple-making churches, and represents an intentional bridge between the seminary and local churches.
    John H. Ewart, director of the Spurgeon Center and associate vice president for global theological initiatives, said, “Our goal is to see Southeastern as both the Great Commission seminary … and also as the pastor seminary.”
    Ronnie Floyd, newly elected president of the SBC, spoke on the topic of the pastor and the spiritual life.
    He said, “If you put everything into your stock or weight or value or charisma or smile, then we don’t have much. That’s why I believe deeply in my heart that the greatest need in our lives as Southern Baptists is to move into a major season of extraordinary prayer.”


    BR photo by Michael McEwen
    Daniel Akin, center, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, receives the Herschel H. Hobbs Award for Distinguished Denominational Service June 11 from Oklahoma Baptist University President David Whitlock, right, and Stan Norman, left, provost and executive vice president for campus life.

    Floyd reminded pastors that no one else could determine whether they are going after God.
    “I want to extend His glory to the nations of the world,” he said, “and I hope you will give your best to Him. God can do more in a moment than you can do in a lifetime.”
    Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) presented Southeastern seminary president Danny Akin with its Herschel H. Hobbs Award for Distinguished Denominational Service June 11 at the Southeastern alumni luncheon.
    Hobbs was one of the SBC’s leading theologians and the longtime pastor of First Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Okla.
    In 2013, former Union University president, David Dockery, received the award.
    The luncheon featured a panel consisting of Akin; Bruce Ashford, provost of SEBTS; Nathan Finn, associate professor of historical theology and Baptist studies at SEBTS; Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources; and Trillia Newbell, blogger and author of United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity. Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research Division, moderated the event.
    J.D. Greear, a Southeastern alumnus and pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, announced The Summit will be giving $500,000 to the seminary over the next five years.
    Director of financial development at SEBTS, Daniel Palmer said, “I think the tears … in Dr. Akin’s eyes said it all. This gift is huge.
    “We don’t raise money for the sake of raising money; we do it to graduate well-prepared champions for Christ who are financially free to go serve wherever God calls them. Every gift to Southeastern is multiplied through the future ministries of thousands of students. This historic gift from the generous people of The Summit Church will help us keep world-class preparation affordable for students until Christ returns.”
    Nearing the end of the SBC annual meeting June 11, Akin presented the seminary report to convention messengers.
    He said the school has experienced many blessings, and if the numbers hold SEBTS will jump to a six-year record enrollment. The seminary also recently endowed the sixth and seventh chairs where individuals gave at least a million dollars to those endowed chairs.
    “This year on my 10th anniversary, our seminary family gave me a gift,” Akin said. “In one night, they collected and presented a gift of almost $300,000 for scholarships to be given to those who are coming from ethnic minorities so that we might enable them to be well-trained to build strong, vibrant churches across our convention.”
    One of the things that excited Akin about the SBC was the “growing heart and passion to have churches that look like the church in heaven from every tribe, every tongue, every people and every nation. It is my prayer that God might be so kind in my lifetime that we would not see just an increase of ethnic minorities in our convention and churches, I am looking forward … to the day when … [minorities] are at the head of the table and giving us direction and to guide us in leadership.”
    Southeastern has seven degrees completely online. Akin said that we have to recognize the technological age in which we live. He said SEBTS has been “proactive in taking theological education to where you are, and we are seeing this more and more with great success without compromising one whit of quality of the education we’re delivering but by simply making it more accessible to more Southern Baptist across America and around the world.”
    Akin closed, “The students you are sending to our six seminaries inspire me and encourage me. I’ve never been more positive and more optimistic than what I believe the future holds for Southern Baptists and Bible-believing Christians; because our God’s kingdom is marching on. He is going to accomplish His saving purpose, and isn’t it amazing that He gives you and me the opportunity to be a part of what He is doing?”

    6/17/2014 11:37:26 AM by Michael McEwen, BR Content Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: awards, SBC Annual Meeting, SEBTS

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