SEBTS dedicates missions center
October 19 2001 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

SEBTS dedicates missions center | Friday, Oct. 19, 2001

Friday, Oct. 19, 2001

SEBTS dedicates missions center

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor WAKE FOREST - The Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) community celebrated and dedicated the new $4 million Jacumin-Simpson Missions Center with special services held Oct. 16. The hi-tech facility includes faculty offices, an auditorium and a computer network designed to promote and advance missions education.

Paige Patterson, president of SEBTS, said the center is designed as a resource for both students and churches. The auditorium is equipped with large screen video-conferencing capabilities that permit a seminary class or visiting church group to see and converse with missionaries from all parts of the world.

A significant portion of the facility's cost was provided by SEBTS trustee Jimmy Jacumin and his wife, Nancy Nell, who named it in memory of their parents. The Jacumins live in Icard.

The presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board (IMB) and North American Mission Board (NAMB) were present for the occasion. Patterson referred to them as "the two most important men in the world."

NAMB president Bob Reccord applauded Southern Baptist disaster relief efforts in Washington and New York, and spoke of a native New Yorker who told a NAMB official that he was lost without the twin towers of the World Trade Center as a reference point.

"There is one reference point that never changes," Reccord said. "Jesus is the only reference point worth having" he said, the only reference point that is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Reccord encouraged students to go where no one has planted before and start new churches, especially in the Northeast and in Canada.

Jerry Rankin, president of the IMB, also reflected on events and issues related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He spoke of a recent trip to Khazakstan, where he observed "a great stronghold of darkness." The fall of communism and mission efforts in Asia have led to a growing witness and openness to the gospel in those areas, he said, leaving the Muslim world as the last frontier for missions.

"I believe God, who is sovereign over the nations, is shaking the world to break down the strongholds and bring the Muslim world to Christ," Rankin said. "God is creating an environment where people are disillusioned with their world," he added, and thus more open to Christ.

Believers must proclaim the gospel, even when it is dangerous, Rankin said. He referred to Acts 4, where apostles who faced severe persecution because of their witness did not pray for safety, but for boldness and confidence to preach the word in the midst of trials.

Rankin told the chapel audience that God is moving Southern Baptists to respond, as seen in the expected appointment of more than 1,000 new IMB missionaries in 2001. More than 300 of the appointees plan to be career missionaries, he said later.

Patterson preached a brief message based on 1 Kings 8:41-43, in which King Solomon's dedicatory prayer for the Jerusalem temple included a reference to foreigners who would come to the temple. Solomon prayed that God would answer their prayers and reveal Himself to them.

The new missions center has a raised cupola through which light shines at all times, Patterson said, a reminder that Christians are called to take the light of Jesus throughout the world.

He told of how his parents borrowed money to take him on a trip around the world when he was 16 years of age, enabling him to preach in 13 different countries. His parents' intent was to cultivate a love for missions, he said.

The most memorable moment of the trip came, Patterson said, when he saw his mother hug a very sick and deformed woman at an institution for lepers in Korea. Patterson wept as he recalled his own horror and the woman's grateful response to his mother's caring embrace.

The sick woman accepted Christ that day, Patterson said. The world is filled with people who are spiritually sick, he said. "We can sit at home, or we can take the gospel to them."

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10/19/2001 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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