Vision Fall 2012

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What does Providence look like? BY DR. CHUCK KELLEY


or much of its history New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has been known as the School of Providence and Prayer. Did you ever wonder why? It is not because the road has been easy in building a Baptist seminary in one of the most unBaptist places in America. It is not because God has protected us from profound trouble that threatened our very existence. More than once since we began in 1917, it looked as if the school might not be able to continue. This is indeed the School of Providence and Prayer because year after year, challenge after challenge, God has been faithful to always provide what we have needed to fulfill the mission for which we were created. The most recent chapter of our story is yet another powerful illustration of God’s faithfulness to us in every situation. We love telling this story because it illustrates how faithful God will be in the midst of your own personal challenges. Here are some highlights from the newest chapter.


First, the enrollment story. Our record enrollment came before Hurricane Katrina. I am grateful to tell you we are getting close to breaking all those pre-Katrina records. Last year we had the largest December graduation in our history and the largest May graduation in our history. We had more MDiv students than ever before, and a record number of doctoral students. Leavell College has had back to back years of growth for the first time since Katrina, and our music program is approaching some new records in enrollment. Across the board there is a wonderful sense of energy and anticipation. God is sending us a passionate generation of students who are ready to put everything on the line to fulfill the Great Commission. My first trip to New Orleans just days after Hurricane Katrina was like a visit to the set of a science fiction movie in which the world had been destroyed. From that scene of devastation I went to meet with our faculty on the campus of Southwestern Seminary, who graciously hosted us in a time of terrific need. As I arrived on the Southwestern campus after being in New Orleans, it was beautiful and peaceful – everything NOBTS was not at the time. My heart was overwhelmed with a moment of despair as I wondered why any students would ever come to New Orleans for seminary again. Immediately the Lord spoke to my heart and said they will come because I will call them there. His Providence did indeed bring students back.

Second, the faculty story. Every seminary president should be proud of his faculty, but it is not possible for any president to be more proud than we are with the heroic faculty of NOBTS. Katrina came and they kept teaching – every course, every program – even when we lost more than twenty professors in two years. The Great Recession came, and we had to reduce salaries and eventually lay off three professors. They kept teaching, every course, every program as scheduled. And then the whole academic world changed under the relentless pressure of higher costs and technological innovation. Even as they kept teaching their students, our faculty learned how to teach in ways they had never been taught, and created new approaches to nearly every class in the curriculum. Last year they pioneered new ways to teach a record number of courses, working very hard to make some form of theological education accessible to any God-called man or woman on the face of the earth. NOBTS is now a ministrytraining cafeteria, offering the highest quality theological education in a variety of delivery systems. Students are able to fit theological education into virtually any calling and circumstance. We offer residential programs, extension center programs, Internet programs, mentoring and internship-based programs, and programs for students who are only able to visit the campus from time to time. Students no longer have to drop out of seminary if they are called to a church, or move back to New Orleans if they want to finish a degree. If you are called to some form of ministry, we will find a way to provide education and training to help you be effective. God’s Providence is sustaining this amazing faculty as they reinvent the seminary experience for the 21st century. He has provided technological tools that make things possible that were never possible before. He is providing wisdom, direction and creativity to the men and women who are teaching in ways they never experienced as students. In uncertain, revolutionary times, He is giving us a clear path. Third, the giving story. Last year we received more than $5,000,000 in gifts to the seminary. Those gifts included scholarship funds for small church and African-American pastors. Other gifts were for our homeschool children (you should have seen the children and their parents light up) and for student wives. A precious family built eight new apartments for us. Income for the Providence Fund set a new record and helped us overcome the drop in Cooperative Program gifts from our churches. A precious wife, in memory of her husband, who was deaf and ministered to the deaf, started a scholarship fund for deaf students, for whom theological education is particularly expensive. She and I both want that fund to grow, so much so that she refused to put her dear husband’s name on the fund in hopes that others will add to the gift she gave. Also, a husband created an endowment to honor his


wife who did not marry a preacher, but when God called made the adjustment to a ministry and student lifestyle. At great sacrifice she came to seminary with him. He created this endowment for the expenses of our student wives program to honor his wife and all those wives who follow the call of their husbands. These are just some of the examples of how, in these times of economic hardship, people gave and became an answer to prayer for students needing help for seminary. The challenges and uncertainties around us are very real, but God is providing in His way and in His time. Fourth, the archaeology story. Through an amazing series of miracles, we were given a permit to excavate in the ancient biblical city of Gezer. After years of effort, we were awarded a dig permit for archaeological work in Israel. In the aftermath of Katrina, however, before we turned our first spade of dirt, we lost that opportunity to take the lead in a significant excavation. Then came the Providence of God. As our post-Katrina faculty began to take shape, it included people with some unique skills and background. As a result, we were asked to excavate the Gezer water system along with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. In the third season of digging, our team was able to establish the water system’s probable date as going back to the time of Abraham. They broke through into a cavern with some very interesting possibilities for the next dig season. This site is now ranked as one of the most significant digs in Israel and has fascinated modern water managers, who are turning to the study of ancient water systems to see what they can teach us about today’s problems in handling water. Look for more news on this in the future. Just when we thought a long-time dream was gone, God provided an opportunity beyond our expectations. Life may close doors, but the Providence of God opens new ones. Fifth, the Hurricane Isaac story. Seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Hurricane Isaac moved very slowly through the city. Although it was a smaller storm, the tropical winds and rain it produced lasted far longer than those of Katrina. Some areas outside of the city were hit very hard, but the newly installed and upgraded levee system around the city performed as expected and the city was spared major damage. What Isaac did produce was downed trees, limbs and power lines throughout the area. The campus lost numerous trees and limbs as well, but in the wonderful Providence of God, nearly all of them fell on grass or fences, not on buildings. We had a massive clean up and several days without power, but actual damage was rated light to moderate. The total cost for cleanup and repairs will be about $400,000, which is minimial compared to the $75 million of damage from Katrina. Once again we were blessed by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief workers. They were hard at work all over the greater New Orleans area. We had the privilege of a visit from a chain saw team of Alabama Baptists. In less than 48 hours they did an amazing job of cleaning up the trees on our campus and around our neighborhood. They quickly became known as the “chain saw maniacs” for their very hard and efficient work. They came to us as God’s provision of people and tools in the hour of our need. The challenge set the stage for a blessing. These are just a few of the more recent reasons why New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is the School of Providence and Prayer. Whenever the challenges come, we turn to our heavenly Father in prayer, and without fail He responds with His Providence. Providence is not the absence of trouble. Providence is God’s grace supplying our needs whenever trouble comes. As you read this Vision and see more of what God is doing in this place, we invite you to rejoice with us. We also invite you to be a part of this amazing story. The Providence Fund channels your gifts directly to our seminary family. Every dollar is spent on the operating costs. Every dollar given to the Providence Fund is a dollar students do not have to pay. When you give to the Providence Fund, you are becoming an answer to someone’s prayer. You become God’s provision for someone’s need. Your gifts make it possible for us to keep theological education accessible for any God-called Southern Baptist minister. Your gifts enable us to continue our amazing and unique programs, like the training of inmate ministers in four maximum security prisons. The impact of these prison preachers has been phenomenal, literally transforming the culture of some very difficult places. Your gifts help us find and support the faculty who will shape the leaders of our churches. Through your support of the Providence Fund, you are indeed a part of this story. Thank you for your prayers and your support!

FALL 2012 | Vision 1

CONTENTS FALL 2012 Volume 68, Number 2 PRESIDENT Dr. Chuck Kelley Vice President for Institutional Advancement Randy Driggers DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI RELATIONS Dr. Dennis Phelps Editor Gary D. Myers


Assistant Editor Frank Michael McCormack Art Director & Photographer Boyd Guy



NOBTS Trustees launch three online degreEs Called S T T H E Oto construction 28 : 18-20




New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is a Cooperative Program ministry, supported by the gifts of Southern Baptists.








All contents ©2012 New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. All rights reserved. Please send address changes and Alumni Updates to the office of Alumni Relations at the above address. NOTE: Alumni Updates will be used for publication in both the Vision magazine and on the Alumni website.



VISION is published two times a year by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary 3939 Gentilly Blvd. New Orleans, LA 70126 (800) 662-8701 (504) 282-4455



LO Adam Martin uses NOBTS P T student MATTHEW unique background, skills for ministry









MATTHEW 28 : 18-20



Building up the churcH

New Orleans Seminary expands efforts to train the next generation of Christian Education ministers


Proof Reading Team PR Staff and IA Staff



Assistant Art Director Stephen M. Jennings

• Hurricane Isaac leaves minimal campus damage at NOBTS • Alabama DR teams assist with campus cleanup after Isaac

advancement news

• Holidays provide reminders of the need for estate planning • Consider NOBTS for End-of-the-Year giving • ‘Retiree’ establishes scholarship, mentors students • Grace Apartments now open for student families

Seminary news

• Haitian graduates persevere despite 2010 earthquake • Seminary Enrollment Snapshot • New NOBTS museum tells story of the Bible with ancient texts, facsimiles and artifacts • Gezer dig season concludes with cave exploration

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• Faculty Anniversaries • Faculty Appointments • Paper by Dr. Ed Steele utilized for hymn theological analysis seminar


• 2012 Alumni Picnic - SBC Annual Meeting • 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients • Class Notes • NOBTS mourns loss of W. Morgan Patterson

FALL 2012 | Vision 3


ention the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and most Baptists automatically think of missions and evangelism. For Southern Baptists, that’s only natural. Southern Baptist efforts to spread the Gospel throughout the world are legendary. Missions, evangelism and a commitment to God’s Word are three of the most recognizable distinctives of SBC churches. Mention Christian education in some Baptist circles, though, and the thoughts may drift to bad examples. Some think of a cold system that emphasizes programs over people. Others think of statistics and record keeping. In short, some fail to see the connections between Christian education and the Great Commission. But the connection is there. The Great Commission commands discipleship as well as missions and evangelism. Along with going and baptizing, Jesus commanded Christians to teach those who accept the message to observe everything He taught. 4 Vision | FALL 2012

Connecting CE and the Great Commission In a day when many seminaries and divinity schools are increasing their focus on missions, expository preaching, evangelism and theology, the focus on Christian education is decreasing. But according to Dr. Bob Welch, Professor of Church Administration and Chairman of the Christian Education Division at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS), failing to build up the church (the people of God) is a failure to live out the Great Commission. New Orleans Seminary was launched in 1917 as a missions gateway. When current NOBTS President Chuck Kelley was elected in 1995, he joined a long line of evangelistic preachers who have led the school. NOBTS remains as serious as ever about missions, evangelism, preaching and theology. But the school is also serious about “teaching them to observe” all that Jesus taught. Because of this, NOBTS has redoubled its efforts to train the next generation of teachers, disciplers and Christian education leaders. In 2009, Kelley offered an influential assessment of the decline among Southern Baptist churches over the past 50 years. In the presentation, called “The New Methodists,” Kelley pointed out the important relationship that exists between evangelism and discipleship.

“In the era of our greatest evangelistic growth, typical SBC churches had more discipleship activities than evangelistic activities,” Kelley said. “Aggressive evangelism was matched by aggressive discipleship.” Kelley noticed that the rapid decline in evangelism and conversions coincided with the decline of focused discipleship in SBC churches. It was clear to Kelley and others that when churches stopped training believers in life-long, intentional discipleship activities (Christian education), church members were less effective in reaching their world for Christ. When churches and pastors talk about discipleship today, they may not be referring to “systematic Christian education.” According Welch and Dr. Rick Yount, Visiting Professor of Christian Education at NOBTS, Christian leaders sometimes define “disciple” merely as a convert to the faith. To them, discipleship is really just another word for evangelism. Welch and Yount take a different view. They believe that intentional discipleship is needed to keep believers plugged into the church. Those who are learning and growing in their walk with Christ will also be more effective in sharing their vibrant faith with the lost. “Discipleship is the process that begins at conversion and continues throughout the believers life,” Welch said. FALL 2012 | Vision 5

BUILDING UP THE CHURCH Hard Times for CE From the 1920s through the 1950s, Christian education ministries flourished in Southern Baptist life. Fueled by revivalism and Sunday School, people were reached with the Gospel and SBC membership grew at a record pace. Then things changed. Yount traces the decline in Christian education to the individualism of the 1960s. During that decade Sunday School teachers in some churches began to make their own decisions about what to teach. The approach became more random and less effective. About 25 years ago this shift in thinking began to affect local church staffs, Yount said. Starting on the East Coast and sweeping westward, more and more pastors led their churches to phase out minister of Christian education positions in favor of associate pastors to help with pastoral ministry duties. More and more, associate pastors with traditional Master of divinity degrees replaced ministers trained specifically in Christian education. In most churches, even without CE ministers working to organize the effort, the basic Sunday School mechanism continued to function for a while, Yount said. But over time these mechanisms suffered from a lack of direction and intentionality. Poorly functioning Sunday Schools and age group ministries contributed to the negative perception of Christian education, he said. 6 Vision | FALL 2012

The problem was not Christian education per se, but in the decline of intentionality and consistency of preparation and execution. Consistent, intentional Christian education ministries lead to positive results, Yount said. Yount finds his impetus for Christian education in Ephesians 4:11-13. “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” “Paul tells us that pastors and teachers are to equip the saints for works of service,” Yount said. “That’s a long-term process as we call out the called, as we enlist them, as we equip them, as we organize and train them, and encourage them and motivate them. In a sense, we help pagans become believers, who become workers, who become missionaries, who become trainers of others.” These verses are also foundational to Welch’s concept of Christian education. He uses the concepts found in Ephesians 4 to help students focus in on their task as a CE minister. “When you go out of here, you are teachers of teachers,” Welch often tells CE students at NOBTS. “We’re giving you the skills to be a teacher of teachers, not [just] to teach.” The statement often garners blank or confused looks from his students, Welch said. He tells his students that they cannot

possibly teach everyone in the church. That job is too large and it doesn’t fit into the admonition of Ephesians 4. The role of the CE minister is not to do ALL of the teaching or lead ALL of the ministry. The role of the CE minister is to equip the church members who teach and lead ministries, Welch said.

Recapturing Christian Education Welch came to NOBTS with the goal of recapturing the positive aspects of Christian education to help train up the people of God – the church. He started with a review of the NOBTS CE master’s-level curriculum. Early on, Welch began meeting with the Christian education faculty. Together they worked to determine the core courses students needed to be effective ministers in 11 disciplines. They made hard decisions about which courses to retain and which courses to cut. The curriculum which resulted from this review is more focused than ever on providing practical training for practical ministry. “We’re producing children’s ministers, we’re producing youth ministers, we’re producing women’s ministers,” Welch said. “We need to turn out people who can go into the church and do those ministries, not just think about it or know about it. They need to go in and practically run that ministry.” Under Welch’s leadership there is an increased focus on integrating the Bible into even the most philosophical education courses. Welch believes in establishing the biblical foundation for anything that is taught in an NOBTS Christian education class. “Now we have a core curriculum with concentrations that prepare men and women to do practical ministry from a solid theological foundation,” Welch said. “One half of the degree is still theology, they still take the Bible courses, they still take the history, they take the courses that give them the theological foundation, in addition to education classes.” In addition to the redesigned curriculum, CE received a boost in non-CE programs as well. Kelley and Dr. Steve Lemke, NOBTS Provost, included a new class, “Discipleship Strategies,” in the standard MDiv degree plan. They hope this will help pastors understand the importance of implementing a CE program at the churches they serve. Welch has also launched new student-driven initiatives like establishing a three-year teaching rotation for core education courses. This fall Welch published the syllabi for every CE course offered at NOBTS. Both initiatives help students establish a clear path from the start to degree completion. With the three-year rotation and the online courses, students at NOBTS extension centers will have the opportunity to work toward a CE degree. Before this, specialized training was only available on the main campus and for students at select extension locations.

What’s Next? Welch has a big idea to help get effective Christian education back in the local church. He hopes to launch graduate certificates in many of the Christian education concentrations available at NOBTS. Each certificate will provide 15 hours of intense study in focused areas. Welch plans to make the certificate courses available in a variety of delivery formats including online, during workshops and in traditional classroom settings. The strategy has two key goals. The first is to offer Christian education training to ministers who currently can’t attend

seminary without leaving the ministries they serve. Many churches hire Christian college or Bible college graduates to run their education ministries of the church. These people have a great general Christian foundation, Welch said, but often are missing the practical, training NOBTS offers. Another target for these certificates is the growing number of “second career” ministers. According to Welch, many churches are raising up leadership from the laity who experience a call to ministry later in life. These individuals have college degrees and have had successful careers in the secular world, but they lack formal ministry training. Welch believes the certificate programs can equip these ministers for effective ministry.

Dr. Rick Yount teaches the “Disciple-Making Through Small Group Ministries” course during a fall workshop course at NOBTS.

Welch hopes these programs will also prove the worth of further seminary training. He believes some who earn the graduate certificate will decide to pursue a full degree in Christian education. And with so many options available – workshops, hybrids, online, extension centers – many of these ministers will still be able to complete a degree without relocating to New Orleans.

Teaching Them to Observe Leaders like Kelley, Welch and Yount insist that the passion for missions and evangelism in SBC churches must be matched with equal passion for training up those who are reached. Missions, evangelism and the training of disciples work hand in hand. “In the past few years, Southern Baptists have focused on the Great Commission mandate to the church,” Welch said. “The Great Commission is a three-legged stool that involves evangelism, integration into the church, and discipleship.” “The teaching ministry of the church in all its formats is an essential element in developing the Christian into the ‘likeness of Christ.’ Without that critical element, the church is sitting on a two-legged stool and will fall.”  Want more information on the Christian Education program at NOBTS? Call (504) 816-8105 or visit www. FALL 2012 | Vision 7

NOBTS launches three fully online degrees By Gary D. Myers & Frank Michael McCormack

8 Vision | FALL 2012


ew Orleans Seminary has a new tool to make theological education more accessible to God-called men and women – the Internet. It’s not a new tool at the seminary. NOBTS has offered Internet courses for years and almost every seminary course now includes an Internet component. However, there is now a new application of this tool – fully online degrees. For the first time, NOBTS can offer accredited, online degrees which waive the traditional residency requirements. In October, NOBTS trustees approved three fully online degrees designed to offer ministry training to individuals who don’t have access to residential or extension center theological training. In a historic move this summer, the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS), the seminary’s accrediting agency, voted to approve online delivery for narrow types of graduate degrees, opening a new opportunity for potential students. One could argue that ATS’s decision is one of the most significant developments in the history of theological training.

“We have a passion to make theological education both useful and accessible.” Dr. Chuck Kelley

“We have a passion to make theological education both useful and accessible,” said NOBTS President Chuck Kelley. “With the decision of our accrediting agency to allow entirely online degrees, we are now able to add these options to our ministry training cafeteria.” Two of the degrees, the Master of Arts (Biblical Studies) and the Master of Arts (Theology), are already offered at NOBTS in a traditional classroom format. Many of the courses are currently available online and since ATS has already approved NOBTS to offer these degrees, the school can begin offering an online-only version immediately. The MA (Biblical Studies) and MA (Theology) degrees are not for everyone. These are advanced degrees and require significant prerequisites to qualify, including an earned undergraduate religion degree. Because of its high academic quality, it is designed to prepare students for Doctor of Philosophy studies. The third online degree option, the Master of Theological Studies (MTS), is a different type of degree. It focuses on general biblical, theological and historical knowledge and is designed to offer a basic level of training where no other option exists. Provost Steve Lemke said the degree was developed for missionaries, pastors in pioneer areas and church planters who are far from a seminary or a seminary extension center. Lemke stressed that the degree is not a replacement for more comprehensive ministry training degrees like the Master of Divinity. The MTS does not qualify students for Doctor of Ministry or Doctor of Philosophy studies without significant academic leveling work, Lemke said. The MTS degree is new at NOBTS and will require ATS approval before it can be offered. Seminary officials hope to obtain approval in time for a fall 2013 launch.

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Master of Arts in Biblical Studies Master of Arts in Theology

Master of Theological Studies

Ministry Training Cafeteria

The fully online degrees fit into what Kelley calls the “ministry training cafeteria.” This ministry training cafeteria allows students to choose from a variety of approaches from the most traditional to the cutting edge. Kelley reiterated the seminary’s commitment to offer a wide range of training options designed to fit the needs of God-called men and women and said the seminary will continue developing new accessible training options. The ministry training cafeteria currently has three main options – traditional main campus study, extension center training and “as needed” training. The first option, a traditional, main campus immersion approach, will always be the “gold standard” educational option at NOBTS. This approach involves the student moving or commuting to the New Orleans area and becoming a full-time student. New Orleans will always keep this option and encourages as many God-called men and women as possible to take advantage of this option. “This is the fastest, broadest and deepest approach to preparing for any form of ministry,” Kelley said. “Students who are making the transition from another vocation into the ministry, who have had little ministry experience, or who have an interest in advanced study programs often find this approach particularly helpful.” But this approach often requires the largest lifestyle change and financial commitment from the student. It also offers especially intense and in-depth training and deeper relationships with faculty and other students. While attending the main campus in New Orleans still offers the highest quality of training available, one size does not fit all in the world of theological education. And this is not a new development; the need for accessible theological training has been around for decades. Starting in the early 1980s, the seminary launched its second cafeteria option – extension center training. During the past 30 years, NOBTS started extension centers throughout the southeastern United States to give ministers serving in churches the opportunity to gain ministry skills without relocating to New Orleans. The approach has been hugely successful. The enrollment at NOBTS extension centers now constitutes 52 percent of the seminary’s total enrollment. Obtaining ministry training at an extension center may take longer and offer fewer specialization choices to the student, but it also brings ministry training to students who are not able to relocate. “This path is most popular with those who are in a full-time ministry position they believe God wants them to maintain while they get seminary training,” Kelley said. The third approach to ministry training is the “as needed” approach. This approach is made possible by both the Internet (including the new fully online degrees and the online courses available to all students) and the seminary’s ever-growing certificate programs. The Internet offers students increased flexibility with regard to study time and location, while certificate programs allow students to build focused knowledge in a specific area of interest. Certificate classes will be easily applicable to baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Kelley said that many students will take advantage of all three approaches according to their needs and interests. The result is the ministry cafeteria. “One of the most attractive features of the ministry cafeteria is the ability it gives students to either choose one basic approach or combine any or all of the approaches as they go through the process of preparation,” Kelley said.  FALL 2012 | Vision 9


a junior in high school, Adam Martin felt the call to ministry. AsEarly on, he developed a passion for preaching. And like

Not long after that exchange, Martin received a call from Kyle Kent, president of Mandeville, La.-based Kent Design Build, Inc. Kent was a member of First Baptist Covington and already knew of Martin. Kent said he felt God leading him to have his construction firm begin working directly and intentionally with churches. Kent’s firm had done a few projects with churches over the years, and he’d seen how churches experience difficulty during traditional building projects, from fundraising and vision casting to design and construction. Kent asked Martin to consider joining his team to launch a new “Faith Division” of Kent Design Build, which would guide churches through the building process from start to finish. “It was just an answered prayer,” Martin recalls. “I came on board around June of 2010.”

many men and women who hear God’s call on their lives, Martin anticipated that his venue for ministry would be the local church. “At that point, I’d always felt led to a pastoral role, with a passion to preach. I just enjoyed doing that,” Martin said. “From the moment I felt called, all the way through the rest of high school and college, I always said I’d be serving at a church in some capacity.” After graduating from high school in 2006, Martin served as a summer youth ministry intern at his home church, First Baptist Church of Covington, La. That fall, he enrolled at Louisiana State University and began studying construction management. Martin comes from a family of builders, so a major in construction management was a perfect fit. ADAM MARTIN Throughout college, Martin worked part time during the school year and full time in the summer months at First Baptist Covington, serving in an associate student minister role. As graduation neared in early 2010, Martin knew he had a choice to make – ministry or construction – or so he thought. “I grew up in construction,” he said. “My family comes from a Kent Design Build is a design-build firm, which means construction background, and I had that in my blood. But then I the company takes projects all the way from concept through also had a calling to ministry.” construction. Kent’s Faith Division similarly serves as a startMartin’s May 2010 graduation was looming, and yet “the Lord to-finish resource for churches not only overseeing design and really wasn’t opening doors for me to serve in a church in the capacity construction, but also guiding churches through things like I felt called to,” Martin said. While he surveyed church opportunities, master planning, financing, and audio/video/lighting. As a Martin was also interviewing with construction firms around the Certified Church Consultant, Martin consults with churches to country. He recalls telling his wife during that time that he wished he analyze their ministry and creates a design that fits both their could do both construction and ministry, not just one or the other. budget and ministry needs.


10 Vision | FALL 2012

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT “Every church is unique and different, no two are the same,” Martin said. “And every church has its own passion and distinct ministry in its community. Our goal is to be a trustworthy source, helping churches align their facilities with their vision in order to reach their community.” “At the end of the day, we know it’s not about the building,” he added. “That’s just a tool being used for ministry. Ultimately, we want what we do and what churches do to have eternal effects and build relationships with people.” Martin said he strives to connect the church congregation atlarge to the church’s building project. “Being raised in a Southern Baptist church all my life, I’ve been part of building programs time after time,” he said. “What I experienced in building programs was, it’s something I gave to, sacrificed for. It was something my family did when I was growing up. … It was never something we were involved or engaged with. We just gave and “I’m doing more ministry than ever, evangelism we were pretty much disconnected on the job site. That’s until it was completed and we used ultimately what God has the building.” called me to do – to use “As a company,” Martin added, the gifts He’s given me “we want to create opportunities to for His glory and to share His name while doing it.” allow the church to be a part of their -ADAM MARTIN project, because it’s not our project. Ultimately, it’s His project.” To help church members connect to the building throughout the construction process, Martin hosts what he calls “Godly Graffiti” days. Once the foundation and structural framing is in place, the congregation is invited out to the site and given permanent markers. “We’ll invite them as a church family, to go through and pray over and write prayers and scripture over the entire site,” Martin said. “That allows the congregation to be a part of the building before it’s even finished.” “Godly Graffiti” days also minister to crews when they arrive to work the next morning as they are able to read the Word of God as they work, Martin said. In addition, Martin hosts project blogs for each church project. Members of the congregation can go online anytime and track the construction progress, see pictures and learn prayer needs. And the ministry focus doesn’t stop with just the congregation. “I try to do regular job site devotions with the crews or I’ll invite the pastor or staff members of the church,” Martin said. “Sometimes the members of the church will cook breakfast or lunch for those meetings as an outreach opportunity.” Projects vary in length and scope, Martin said. Some churches take just a few weeks or months to complete. Others raise money for years before construction can begin. In its two and a half years, the Faith Division of Kent Design Build has completed more than 5 projects and Martin said several more are in the design phase now. He said churches are beginning to see the value of design-build and the way Kent approaches each project. Martin and the Faith Division also helped coordinate construction projects for World Changers in Covington this past summer. Church projects currently underway include a Metairie, La., satellite campus of First Baptist Covington.


A member of Eastside Baptist Church in Ponchatoula, La., writes Bible verses and prayers on the studs of their new church facade, built by Kent Construction.

And while he manages church construction projects, Martin is also hard at work in pursuit of a Master of Divinity degree in expository preaching from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Now in his third year of studies, Martin said his work schedule allows him to take six to nine class hours each semester. Martin said it’s tough to juggle work and class, but that the seminary’s diverse class delivery system allows him to maximize his time. “The hybrid classes – I love them,” Martin said. “I’m glad we do a really good job at the seminary to offer those to students like myself.” Martin said that, moving forward, he doesn’t exactly know what “ministry” will look like for him. He still preaches regularly at churches in the area. However, regardless of what happens after graduation, Martin said for now he knows he’s right where God wants him to be and couldn’t see himself anywhere else. “I’m doing more ministry than ever through things like evangelism on the job site,” he said. “That’s ultimately what God has called me to do – to use the gifts He’s given me for His glory and to share His name while doing it.” “After all, that’s what biblical ministry is. For me, God is accomplishing His call on my life through construction,” Martin said. “I’ve learned that biblical ministry doesn’t always have to be within the confines of a church staff.” 

Kent Construction built a new facade onto Eastside Baptist Church’s building in Ponchatoula, La., to make it easily identifiable as a church to the surrounding community. PHOTO BY SUSAN LEGER

FALL 2012 | Vision 11


Holidays provide reminders of the need for estate planning BY RANDY DRIGGERS


he end of the year is fast approaching and the holidays are just around the corner. We treasure the time spent with family during this season – especially the time with our spouse and children. During the holidays, estate planning is often the last thing on our minds. However, as you enjoy celebrations with dear family members, there is no better occasion to think about the future. Whether we are nearing the end of our lives, contemplating retirement, or still raising a growing family, estate planning boils down to determining how, when, and to whom we will transfer what God has entrusted to us when we can no longer serve as stewards ourselves. Good planning can be an act of love for our family and an act of service for the Kingdom. Estate planning may be the single largest act of stewardship that most of us as Christians will ever perform. Every year, the vast majority of Americans who die do so without a valid estate plan. For the past three decades, the numbers have been between 70 and 80 percent. This statistic is astounding, since the U.S. tax code provides significant incentives to prepare an estate plan. These incentives are designed to make it easy for very personal wishes to be known and followed—for instance, wishes that deal with child custody, property distribution, or leaving a legacy of Christian values. In addition, a careful estate plan will often minimize costs related to settling the estate. What is it about the preparation and declaration of one’s personal wishes – the essence of an estate plan – that Americans avoid in such resounding numbers? Here are some of the most typical reasons: • Distaste for Legal Documents Many Americans seem to have a built-in dislike of legal documents. Such documents tend to be long and difficult to understand. However, compared to the legal intricacies of settling an estate without a plan, a well-defined estate plan is easy to prepare and understand. Most attorneys will gladly provide a summary of the contents of an estate plan to ensure that the documents meet your objectives.

• Lack of Understanding of God’s Directives for Stewardship Throughout Scripture, you will find references that speak clearly about what we are to do with the resources God provides us. It is very important to understand God’s Word on stewardship.

“Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase;” Proverbs 3:9

“But do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Hebrews 13:16 • Life Gets in the Way The single biggest reason people fail to prepare an estate plan is that life just gets in the way. For some, the day-to-day routine is “too busy” to develop an estate plan. For others, it is the idea that no one plans to die, or certainly, no one enjoys planning to die. Another reason is “no one can know the future” or the notion that much may change between now and the time of one’s death. All of the reasons for not acting are understandable. Yet none lessens the reality that the absence of a plan can have a devastating impact on an estate and the surviving family members. A plan allows you to: • Express God’s plan for stewardship • Transfer the assets God has entrusted to you to individuals and charitable beneficiaries • Transfer your estate in a tax-efficient manner with as little heartache, cost and delay as possible As a resources for alumni and friends of the seminary, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has retained the services of PhilanthroCorp, a nationally known Christian charitable planning firm that works exclusively in Christian estate planning and planned giving. PhilanthroCorp and its network of attorneys engage sensitively with individuals to help them make arrangements that meet their personal, family and stewardship goals. This is a FREE service and there is no obligation to you. As Psalm 24:1 reminds us, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.” Everything we have is His. Isn’t it important that we become stewards over it all? Let me encourage you to contact our friends at PhilanthroCorp. Your plan remains private and NOBTS will know nothing about your plan unless you give permission. Call PhilanthroCorp directly at 1-800-876-7958. 

Consider NOBTS for End-of-the-Year Giving


s you contemplate year-end giving options, please consider New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Although the seminary receives Cooperative Program funding, it is not enough to cover the cost of seminary education for our students. Your gifts help the seminary keep student tuition as affordable as possible. All gifts are tax-deductible, whether they come through the mail or the Internet at NOBTS qualifies for most matching gifts programs, too. Supporting theological education truly does make you a friend of the ministry. For information about end-of-the-year giving, call (504) 282.4455, ext. 3252 or email

12 Vision | FALL 2012


‘Retiree’ establishes scholarship, mentors students



or many, retirement means more than just retiring from a job or career. It also means retiring to a new role. That’s the case with Larry Black, a longtime minister of music and a 1962 master of church music graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Black served 34 years as minister of music at First Baptist Church of Jackson, Miss. Since his retirement, he has served as interim minister of music for churches in Florida, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama. In 2006, Black and his wife, Sandy, with the help of friends, began “Larry Black Ministries,” a non-profit organization with a four-fold mission.

What sets the Larry Black Ministries scholarship apart, though, is that Black goes far beyond just awarding funds to students. Not only do the Blacks personally meet with and interview potential scholarship recipients, they also come alongside and mentor those students as they work toward earning their degree and entering ministry. Black said both Landreth and Kwon have been invited to participate in worship at First Baptist Church of Clinton, Miss. In 2011, while Black was at First Baptist Tuscaloosa, Franklin served as an intern in the children’s ministry there. Black said Franklin helped lead four vacation Bible schools in some of the neighborhoods hit hardest by the April 27, 2011, tornado that swept through Tuscaloosa. Black emphasized that the scholarship and his organization exist, not just to help students graduate, but to guide them toward a successful lifetime of ministry. “It’s been a really positive experience,” Black said. “We want this to be a lifetime thing. We want to pray for them and encourage them continually, not just for their two-year period of school.”

“Sandy and I were recipients when we were in seminary of someone’s kindness. We just wanted to have the opportunity to help in the same way.” LARRY BLACK


Sandy Black, left, and Larry Black, far right, visit with Colt Landreth and Hannah Kwon who received a scholarship from Larry Black Ministries for the 2012-2013 school year.

“One of the objects is to help in the music and worship school at the seminary,” Black said. “Another part of it is to help churches in their search for ministers of music and worship, and to mentor those in the ministry. The fourth part of it is, as the Lord opens doors, for us to teach workshops and conferences.” To fulfill the first mission of the organization, Black and the board of directors established a $100,000 endowed scholarship for master’s-level music students at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The board members include Dr. Rocky Crocker, Roy Ward, Dr. Charles T. Carter, Allan Black and Sandy Black. The organization awards the “Larry and Sandy Black Scholarship” to two students for two academic years. The desired goal is to have three students per semester in the future. Prior scholarship recipients include NOBTS graduates Angela Franklin and Jason Clough. After graduation, Franklin began serving at a church in the Baton Rouge, La., area, while Clough now serves a church in Shawnee, Kan. Current music students Colt Landreth and Hannah Kwon received the scholarship for the 2012-2013 school year.

Beyond the scholarship, Larry Black Ministries also provided the funds to outfit the Sellers Music Building on campus with a technology lab. The technology lab is stocked with eight computers – both Windows and Apple machines – equipped with production software and MIDI keyboards. There is also a smart board. All the computers have Finale software for music notation, and the iMacs come equipped with Garage Band, a program designed for recording and mixing music. One Windows computer has Reason software, used for musical loops and backing tracks. For Black, the work of his organization to invest in the next generation of ministers of music and worship connects back to his time as a seminary student. “Sandy and I were recipients when we were in seminary of someone’s kindness,” Black said. “We just wanted to have the opportunity to help in the same way.” Black was also sure to highlight the fact that Larry Black Ministries is not just his organization or his doing. He is joined by a team of supporters to make a difference in the lives of New Orleans Seminary music students. “The seminary is so special to Sandy and me,” he said. “This ministry is possible because of the prayers and financial support of so many friends and partners in this ministry.”  For more information on the work of Larry Black Ministries or to take part in the organization, contact Black by email at FALL 2012 | Vision 13


Grace Apartments now open for student families PHOTOS BY BOYD GUY

Eight new two-bedroom apartments opened in August, just in time for the start of the fall semester. Student families began moving in immediately after construction was complete. The Grace Apartments building was made possible by a generous $1.7 million gift by a private family foundation. “This opens up housing space for us in the most in-demand housing unit we have, which is the two-bedroom apartment,” said NOBTS President Chuck Kelley. “We are thrilled about it. It will give more families a chance to be here and experience seminary and the life of the community.”

FALL 2012 | Vision 15


NEWS Gumbo

DR. steve Lemke named to sbc Calvinism study group


Dr. Steve Lemke, NOBTS Provost, was appointed to serve on the 16-member SBC Calvinism advisory team by Frank Page, President of the SBC Executive Committee.

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary celebrated its largest graduating class in its 95-year history with a total of 389. Leavell College, the seminary’s undergraduate program, held its commencement ceremony May 11, graduating 235. The graduate program commencement on May 12 issued 154 master’s and doctoral degrees. The school’s previous high graduation mark was 367 in May 2005.

BAPTIST CENTER JOURNAL HONORS HOLCOMB WITH FESTSCHRIFT A Festschrift edition of the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry honoring Senior Professor Dan Holcomb is available online. This edition, ‘Tell the Generations Following’: A Festschrift in Honor of Dr. Daniel Holcomb, includes articles about Holcomb written by NOBTS faculty members, Holcomb’s former colleagues and others who have been touched by his life and ministry. Dr. Holcomb has served on the NOBTS since 1979. Before coming to NOBTS, Holcomb served 10 years as a professor at Oklahoma Baptist University. Visit to download a free copy of the Dr. Dan Holcomb Festschrift.

BA Music DEGREE with Worship EMPHASIS launches SPRING 2013 Leavell College will launch the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree with an Emphasis in Worship in January 2013. After several months of study by the Division of Church Music Ministries, the revisions to the previous BAM are complete and were approved by both the NOBTS Faculty and trustees. The new degree is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and provides the preparation needed to continue study toward the Master of Music in Church Music degree or the Master of Arts in Worship degree.

NOBTS posts online RESOURCEs FOR CHURCH CP EDUCATION Want to help your church members to understand the Cooperative Program and how it works? The new “Cooperative Program & You” site presents the material used in the NOBTS Cooperative Program training course required of all seminary students. Now all videos, PowerPoints and supporting documents are available for use by pastors and leaders to help their churches learn about the CP and how it supports Great Commission ministries throughout the world. Visit to access the new NOBTS Cooperative Program training resources.




SCHOLARS QUESTION AUTHENTICITY OF COPTIC ‘JESUS WIFE’ MANUSCRIPT Various news outlets, perhaps jumping to cast doubt on the biblical account of Jesus, caused a stir over the announcement of a small, newly translated Coptic manuscript fragment indicating that Jesus may have had a wife. But what should Christians make of the new claim? Not much, according to scholars at NOBTS. Dr. Bill Warren, Dr. James Leonard, Dr. Bob Stewart and Dr. Steve Lemke each weighed in on the issue in an article that appeared in the Baptist Press. Each stated emphatically that the document, which may be a modern forgery, does not provide any credible, historical information about Jesus. “Despite the fact that the media will certainly trumpet this ‘find,’ the best sources for information about Jesus remain Mark, Matthew, Luke and John,” Stewart said. Want to read the article? Smartphone users can scan this QR code to view the article. Don’t have a smartphone? Read the article at Publications/NewsIndex.html

ARCHAEOLOGY CENTER SEEKS PERMIT, PARTNERSHIP WITH MSU INSTITUTE Trustees voted to approve the next step in the development of the seminary’s archaeology program. Thus far, NOBTS has excavated the Gezer Water System through partnerships with Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. To obtain its own permit and to meet credentialing standards for the Israel Antiquities Authority, NOBTS must establish a partnership with an archaeology lab. To that end, NOBTS trustees approved a plan to seek a cooperative agreement with the Cobb Institute of Archaeology at Mississippi State University. The non-binding agreement, pending approval by Mississippi State, will include access to the lab at the Cobb Institute and opens the opportunity for future training and research collaborations between the two schools.

During their October meeting, trustees approved a new graduate extension center (The Mid-South Extension Center) in Olive Branch, Miss., a doctor of ministry/doctor of educational ministry training site in Spartanburg, S.C., and four new certificate training sites. Longview Heights Baptist Church in Olive Branch, Miss., just south of the Memphis, Tenn. metro area, will host the Mid-South Center. A group of pastors in that area requested NOBTS to provide training there, offering both the standard Master of Divinity and the newly revised urban missions specialization. First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C., will host the new Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Educational Ministry training site. Classes will be delivered to the Spartanburg site through compressed interactive video (CIV). NOBTS President Chuck Kelley said these degree programs help pastors and church staffers hone their ministry skills and promote excellence in ministry. Two new certificate sites in Florida will offer the church leadership. The Pasco Baptist Association site will meet at two locations, the associational office in Lutz, Fla., and Lighthouse Baptist Church in Holiday, Fla. The other Florida certificate training site is hosted by the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla. Trustees also approved two Georgia certificate training sites – one at New Calvary Baptist Church in Atlanta and another at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Ga. Both sites will offer the church leadership certificate.

Partnerships approved The trustees approved a partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi which will allow NOBTS students to be dually enrolled in a seminary degree plus a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. The seminary has been working for years to establish its own MSW program. While it will take several more years and significant funding to establish a program at NOBTS, the partnership opens the door for NOBTS students to earn the MSW degree that is required for licensure in social work. Pending final approval by USM administrators, NOBTS students will receive priority acceptance to the USM program and will be able to take courses at the school’s Hattiesburg, Miss., campus on Mondays or at USM’s Gulfport, Miss., campus on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Also approved was a partnership with William Carey University (WCU), a Baptist college in Mississippi, to offer alternative teacher certification courses on the NOBTS campus. While the program will be run by WCU, NOBTS students or their spouses will now have the opportunity to obtain a teaching license during their time at seminary, and will receive a significant discount in tuition from WCU. This will assist bi-vocational ministers and church planters by supplementing their income from small churches. FALL 2012 | Vision 17


Haitian graduates persevere despite 2010 earthquake


BY BARBARA DENMAN Florida Baptist Convention

t age 21, Chrisner Hyler plays the keyboard, loves music and the Lord, and serves a congregation in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. When the opportunity came to spend three years studying theological education, he enrolled in courses offered in Haiti by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the Florida Baptist Convention. “I wanted to take the courses, to know how I can preach and teach and make disciples like Jesus Christ,” the young man explained. “Then I could ‘go and make some disciples’ with the Holy Spirit and this teaching.” Even when the January 2010 earthquake crumbled his homeland, killed 200,000 fellow countrymen and left more than a million people homeless, Hyler persevered, dedicating a week every quarter in classes to learn Biblical truths. On Sept. 6 during graduation exercises in Titanyen, the young man was one of 145 Haitian students to complete the courses and receive a Certificate in Pastoral Ministries. “We thank you so much Florida Baptists for your help in Haiti. Especially I thank you for your education, your book, your teacher, and all other things you help me with to preach the Gospel. Thank you for my certificate. “I cannot pay you, but my God, my King, my Jesus Christ can pay you for me,” Hyler said. Craig Culbreth, lead strategist for the Missional Support Group with the Florida Baptist Convention, believes Hyler epitomizes the hope of Haiti. He, along with the 144 graduates, have a sound theological foundation to change the world through the Gospel of Christ,” he said. “Theirs is a journey that began when life was hard in Haiti, but not extreme like it became after the earthquake,” Culbreth said. “These men paid a price for not giving up,” Culbreth continued. This was the third and largest group of Haitian pastors to receive theological education certificates, awarded through the seminary in cooperation with the Florida Baptist Convention, which underwrites the cost of the program. Florida Baptists recently celebrated

photo by Ken Touchton

the 17-year anniversary of a partnership with churches in Haiti that began with the creation and development of the Confratenite Missionaire Baptiste d’ Haiti (CMBH). Almost immediately after CMBH was begun, the vision to provide theological education to the pastors was initiated by John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention. As he has been for each graduation class, Sullivan was on hand at the Sept. 6 exercises to present the certificates. “For me the experience of seeing what those men had accomplished against all odds was overwhelming,” recalled Sullivan. “This is a three-year program and the 2010 earthquake was in the cycle. I’m never sure how to measure spiritual matters but for me, this was in the top tier.” In addition to the diplomas, Sullivan, working with the recently deceased clothier Jim Tatum, provided each graduate with a navy blazer, dress shirt, tie, and tan slacks. The men proudly wore their new garments to the commencement exercises, attended by nearly 500 family members and friends. Immediately after the ceremony, a graduate shouted in his native French-Creole, “It is a new day for Haiti: a day of hope and of spiritual investment in our nation. Thank you Florida Baptist Convention!” Sullivan echoed the graduate’s thoughts: “Thank God for the generosity of Florida

Baptists. I am forever changed. There is no question that God is working through Florida Baptists in Haiti.” The students attended classes in three locations across Haiti—Port-au-Prince, Port-de-Paix and Les Cayes. Because transportation is challenging in the thirdworld nation, many of these students rode buses and other means of public transportation including “tap-taps,” or walked to the class locations. To earn the certificate, each graduate completed eight courses taught by seminary professors and qualified Florida Baptist pastors. The subjects included: introductions to New Testament and Old Testament studies; leadership development; Baptist doctrine; evangelism; homiletics; Christian education; and world religions. As one of the first Haitians to receive a doctorate in philosophy from a Southern Baptist seminary, Joseph Gaston, strategist with the Florida Baptist Haitian Church Development Team, said Florida Baptists have “raised the bar in equipping Haitian church leaders for greater Kingdom impact.” He said theological education has a multilayered impact on missional work in Haiti, including “contributing to shaping and improving pastors leaders’ philosophy of ministry and church practices—biblical orthodoxy to guide orthopraxy.” It also will serve as a “catalyst for spiritual maturity and transformation” and will help “equip biblically-sound pastors and leaders for missional Kingdom impact in the country,” he added. The cause of Christ is growing in the nation, according to statistics provided by the U.S. government. In 1998, 4 percent of the country claimed to be evangelical Christians, a number that increased to 12 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2012. Culbreth believes such statistics represent the work of the CMBH pastors, who immediately after the earthquake seized the disaster as God’s timing to share the claims of the Gospel. They led 165,000 persons to Christ in mass crusades and personal witnessing, planted 423 new churches, and baptized 17,000. Among those that were led to Christ after the earthquake was Marie Michelle Jean Phillipe, who was a practicing Voodoo priestess before her conversion. 

18 Vision | FALL 2012

Seminary Enrollment Snapshot

Total Enrollment – 3,732 Main Campus – 1,573 (42%) Extension Centers – 1,943 (52%) Internet Only – 216* (6%)

Enrollment by Program Undergraduate – 1,574

Graduate – 1,671 D.M.A, D.Min. & D.Ed.Min. – 360 Ph.D. – 127

Enrollment - 5 Year Trend Year – Total 2007-08 - 3,605 2008-09 - 3,570 2009-10 - 3,741 2010-11 - 3,675 2011-12 - 3,732

SOURCE: NOBTS Office of the Provost. Based on 2011-12 data.

*Approximately 800 other students took at least one Internet course.


New NOBTS museum tells story of the Bible with ancient texts, facsimiles and artifacts museum idea alive by merging the two concepts into one. When space adjacent to Haggard Center’s office in the Hardin Student ew Orleans Seminary’s new Bible and archaeology museum Center opened late last spring, placing the Bible and archaeology occupies a small space, but it heralds a powerful, timeless museum there seemed like a perfect fit. message – the story of how the Bible was handed down and “From Papyrus to Print,” the central museum exhibit, tracks the preserved through the centuries. transmission of the Bible, beginning with papyrus and ending with “From Papyrus to Print: A Journey through the History of press-printed Bibles. The first display shows how papyrus was made the Bible” explores how the Bible was written on papyrus and and how ancient papyrus fragments look when they are discovered. parchment, copied, preserved and ultimately printed in the The second section of the museum focuses on the Old Testament. language of common people. Ancient archaeology pieces add to Four Hebrew scrolls illustrate the use of parchment (animal skin) the experience by offering a glimpse into daily life in biblical times. scrolls as an early medium for manuscripts. The focus “Part of the wonder of our Bible is that we have point of this section is the 400-year-old complete Esther a long-term history over which it was written as well From Papyrus scroll. Three other scroll portions date to the 1800s. as when it was copied and printed,” said Bill Warren, In addition to the original manuscripts, the director of the Haggard Center for New Testament to Print: museum uses professional-quality facsimile editions Textual Studies (HCNTTS) at NOBTS. “When of important manuscripts. Facsimile copies utilize A Journey we pick up a Bible, we ought to have a sense of high-resolution, full color photographs of each page appreciation for the history behind it.” through the of the original document. The photographs preserve “It’s not just another book. It is a God-inspired all the details and characteristics of the ancient History of the book. It is a book that many have struggled for with manuscript. The Hebrew section features facsimiles their very lives just so we can have copies,” Warren of the two leading Hebrew manuscripts that serve as Bible said. “It may seem low priced to us, but the real price the basis for the Old Testament text in modern Bible is in the story.” translations. The museum, which opened in September, is the partial The third section, which focuses on the Greek Old and fulfillment of a decade-long dream. Before Hurricane Katrina New Testament manuscripts, includes five major codex (book) struck in 2005, seminary trustees approved the construction on a facsimiles. The focal point of the Greek section is the Codex new campus library. The proposed library included plans for two Vaticanus facsimile donated by Mary Wheeler Messer and her late state-of-the-art museum and research areas – one for HCNTTS and husband, Thomas Messer Sr. Codex Vaticanus, kept at the Vatican, one for the seminary’s Center for Archaeological Research (CAR). is one of the oldest and most complete manuscripts of the Old and Following Katrina, campus restoration efforts and new housing New Testament Greek Bible. It dates to the early fourth century. took priority over the proposed library. Warren, along with Dennis Rather than using photographs, the Codex Vaticanus facsimile Cole and Jim Parker, co-directors of CAR at NOBTS, kept the recreates the color, texture and imperfections of the original




Left: Katie Unsworth leads a museum tour for Stephon Daniels (left) and Dave Bolin of Gadsden, Ala. Right: Late Bronze Age (1450-1250 B.C.) Cypriot “milk ware” bowl. Bowls like this were crafted on the island of Cyprus and exported to places throughout the region, including Canaan. 20 Vision | FALL 2012

SEMINARY NEWS parchment with stunning detail. The pages take on the irregular shape and the imperfections of the original pages. Even the holes, stains and wrinkles are replicated. The Greek section also includes a facsimile of the oldest complete Greek New Testament, Codex Siniaticus, which dates to the mid 300s, and a facsimile of Codex Bezae, a fifth century Greek-Latin codex of the Gospels and Acts. The archaeology section is located in the center of the museum space adjacent to the Greek section. It includes a wide range of objects including Chalcolithic period cups dating to 3500 B.C. to Byzantine period jugs and storage jars dating to 500 A.D. Holdings include zoomorphic (animal-shaped) vessels, clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform writing, Roman glass and numerous clay vessels for cooking and storage. “It gives you a visual picture of the everyday stuff of life from any given period,” Cole said. “It gives you an idea of the types of things that were used, from your soup or stew bowl to your drinking cup to storage pottery. It gives you that visual representation of what it was like in biblical times.” One highlight among the artifacts are a clay household idol which calls to mind the story from Genesis 31 when Rachel stole her father’s household idols. The Latin section of the museum focuses on the emergence of Latin as the church’s most common language. The section also marks the development of the printing press which revolutionized how Scripture was distributed. Handwritten manuscripts from this time period often featured 2 “illuminations,” colored drawings and ornaments along with the text. Warren calls the illuminated manuscript “the multi-media of its day.” The museum features two illuminated pages from 12th and 14th century Latin Psalters. The highlight in the Latin section is an original page from the Gutenberg Bible, the first Bible printed for mass distribution. The last section of the museum focuses early English Bibles. The Geneva Bible (1562) and 1617 edition of the King James Bible (third printing) are the highlights of the English section. According to Warren, part of the wonder of the Bible is the great price so many have paid to ensure that people will have access to God’s Word in their own language. “It wasn’t simply a heavy financial price, although Codex Siniaticus for example, probably would have been 15 to 20 years worth of wages for the average person,” Warren said. “The heavy price was paid by the loss of eyesight on the part of scribes. It was paid by some who literally gave their lives to defend the copies during times of persecution.” “Others were killed simply for translating the Bible into the language of the common people. William Tyndale died for his role in translating the Bible into English,” Warren said. The museum will be open during regular NOBTS office hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Trained guides are available to assist visitors in their journey through Bible history. 




1: Latin Psalter page. 2: Ancient clay tablets inscribed with Akkadian cuneiform writing. 3: Canaanite household idol. 4: A facsimile copy of the Greek New Testament manuscript, Codex Siniaticus, donated by Milburn and Nancy Calhoun. The original, dating to the mid 300s, is the oldest, most complete New Testament manuscript. FALL 2012 | Vision 21



Jim Parker, left, and Dan Warner explore the expansive cave opening at the end of the ancient Canaanite water system in Gezer, Israel.

Gezer dig season concludes with cave exploration and fortified the city with a massive wall and unique gate system. “Opening the cave is something we have been working toward for three summers wondering if it even existed,” said Dan Warner, hough New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s find during associate professor of archaeology and Old Testament at NOBTS last summer’s Gezer excavation will never be seen on display in a museum, it is just as significant as the archaeological discoveries and director of the Gezer Water System Expedition. “It gave me from the Holy Land that fill the finest antiquity halls around the a rush. Once inside it gave us a sense of accomplishment and world. And it is much, much larger. satisfaction, but we are not done by a long shot.” The team, under the direction of the NOBTS Center for A small dig team broke into the cavern at about 8 a.m. on June Archaeological Research and the Israel 12. What they found was a large, wedge “Opening the cave is something Nature and Park Authority, located a large shaped open area of the cave measuring we have been working toward for open section in the cave at the eastern 26 feet wide by 30 feet long and reaches a end of the ancient water system at Tel three summers wondering if it even height of close to seven feet at its highest Gezer, Israel. The discovery marks a major point down to only a few inches at its existed. It gave me a rush.” milestone in the seminary’s three-year lowest. The surface inside is covered with DR. DAN WARNER exploration at Gezer and sets the stage for a thin layer of cracked mud similar to future research. The team still plans to locate the water source for the what one would find in a dry pond or lake bed. The chamber also contains large boulders of chalk that have broken free from the system and explore the entire cave seeking a possible rear exit and cave roof. The roof, which slopes up at a 45 degree angle, seems pottery evidence to help date its construction in future digs. relatively sound. The dig leaders believe that the rock-hewn water tunnel was cut Though the cave was briefly opened by Irish archaeologist by the Canaanite occupants of Gezer between 2000 and 1800 B.C. R.A.S. Macalister in 1908, he was unable to take a photograph – around the time of Abraham. Other scholars date the system to the due to condensation on his camera lens and poor lighting. The time of the Divided Kingdom after Solomon. The site is mentioned NOBTS team also encountered condensation on the camera numerous times in the Bible including in 1 Kings 9 when the city lens at first, but after ventilating the area with a large fan the was given to Solomon by the Egyptian pharaoh. Solomon rebuilt BY GARY D. MYERS


22 Vision | FALL 2012

SEMINARY NEWS “We’re able to see a part of the cave that Macalister never saw.This leaves the possibility that there is another entrance [to the cave] from another location off the tel.” DR. JIM PARKER team was able to obtain the first photographs and videos of the interior of the cave. Macalister and French archaeologist Peré Vincent both looked at the cave, and believed it was natural. The cave was only open a short time during the Macalister excavation before a torrential rain caused a retaining wall to collapse sending all of Macalister’s excavated dirt back down into the water system, where it blocked the cave. The NOBTS team was the first to see the cavern in more than 100 years – only a few people have ever seen the cavern in the past 3800 years. “This find verifies Macalister,” Warner said. “Macalister was right. There is a cavern at the end of the water system.” Once inside Warner and the other team leaders, Jim Parker from NOBTS and Tsvika Tsuk, chief archaeologist for the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, were able to confirm that the cave is indeed natural. “It’s a cave – not a carved space – it’s a natural cave,” said Parker, associate professor of biblical interpretation at NOBTS. Parker said the space is larger than Macalister described. Some of the differences in the dimensions may be attributed to the various roof collapses since Macalister explored the cave. The roof collapses have also opened more of the cave. “We’re able to see a part of the cave that Macalister never saw,” Parker said. “This leaves the possibility that there is another entrance [to the cave] from another location off the tel.” “We did some sound tests to see if we could hear inside the cavern from outside on the tel,” Parker said. “The sound was very clear which leads us to believe that it leads to some sort of opening or fissure in the rock that in ancient days the water may have traveled outside the tel.”

Important Visitors


Dig volunteer Hazel Welch signals to the crane operator as a bag of debris is removed from the Gezer Water System.

The discovery came just two days after visits by several highranking Israeli authorities. Reuven Pinsky, head of the Heritage Division in the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Shuka Dorfman, Director-General of the Israeli Antiquities Authority, each toured the water system on June 10. Dorfman, IAA Deputy Director Uzi Dahari, and other IAA staffers toured the water system with Parker and Warner early June 10. Later the same day Pinsky visited the tunnel and cave.

2013 Gezer Dig Scheduled The 2013 Gezer dig is set for May 26 - June 15, 2012. The dig is open to voluneeters. The cost is $1,650 for the three-week season, or $550 per week, plus airfare. Costs cover room, board and weekend travel. Participants are responsible for their own flights to and from Israel. Preference will be given to three-week participants. For more information, contact Dr. Dan Warner (dwarner@nobts. edu) or Dr. Dennis Cole (  Want more information on the Center for Archaeological Research? Visit or


Dr. Dan Warner, left, and Tsvika Tsuk inspect pottery shards during the 2012 Gezer Water System excavation. FALL 2012 | Vision 23


Hurricane Isaac leaves minimal campus damage at NOBTS New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary escaped Hurricane Isaac’s winds and rain with only minimal damage. The slow-moving storm raged on throughout the day Aug. 29, the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. “The biggest operational issue for NOBTS was loss of power and the winds that delayed the beginning of repair work until Aug. 30,” said NOBTS President Chuck Kelley. “That is why we had to delay reopening offices and classes on the New Orleans campus.”

In all, the storm caused approximately $400,000 in damage. Several homes and apartment buildings experienced minor roof damage, mainly shingle loss. Limbs were down throughout campus and multiple termite-damaged trees were down. Two faculty homes were hit by falling trees. One house received only minor damage. The other required more significant repairs. However, the campus did not experience flooding like it did in Katrina. Some who rode out the storm on campus compared the small rain accumulations during Isaac to those of an average summer rain storm. Isaac lingered near the city for the better part of two and a half days. New Orleans began experiencing the storm on Aug. 28 and the storm continued throughout the day Aug. 29. Heavy rain bands continued to pelt the city periodically throughout the morning on Aug. 30. The storm did not completely clear the New Orleans area until midday Aug 30. Damage assessments and repair work began in earnest the afternoon of Aug. 30 and by 8 p.m. that evening, crews from Entergy had restored power to the front of campus. The back of campus had power restored by the end of that weekend. Kelley also commended the Corps of Engineers for their work on the new levees and gates systems along Lake Pontchartrain. The $10 billion post-Katrina federal project was designed to stave off the type of storm surge that flooded the city and caused levee failures during Katrina. “Those who would like to help us with our repair bill can give to the seminary’s Providence Fund,” Kelley said. 

Alabama DR teams assist with campus cleanup after Isaac A team of about 25 disaster relief workers from Alabama were hard at work on the NOBTS campus days after Hurricane Isaac went through southeast Louisiana in late August, removing debris and downed trees scattered by the storm Hurricane Isaac made its first landfall Aug. 28, in extreme southern Plaquemines Parish, La., about 80 miles south of New Orleans with winds of 80 miles per hour. The stubbornly slow-moving storm then moved west, back over water, before coming ashore southeast of Houma, La. The warm Gulf of Mexico water fueled the hurricane, which pumped wind, storm surge and rain into the region for close to two days. The relentless winds downed trees and power lines all across Louisiana, at one point leaving 769,000 residents with no power, including the New Orleans Seminary campus and the surrounding Gentilly neighborhood. The team of Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers from Calhoun and Cleburne Baptist Associations and the Tallassee, Ala., area arrived Friday afternoon and quickly got to work. The team was well-experienced, with members who had volunteered in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, almost seven years to the day prior, as well as other hurricane recoveries through the years and the April 2011 tornadoes that swept across Alabama. By midday Sept. 1, the team was removing a pine tree that was leaned against a faculty house. The team anticipated moving on to off-campus projects in the Gentilly Woods and Pontchartrain Park neighborhoods soon thereafter. “Like cold water on a hot day, Alabama disaster relief volunteers brought what we needed most,” said NOBTS President Chuck Kelley. “Their chain saws are undoing the damage of Isaac with relentless effort. Their nickname on campus is ‘chainsaw maniacs’ because they kept going and going.” And thanks to that steady, determined work by Alabama Baptists, the seminary campus was ready for classes to resume following the Sept. 3 Labor Day holiday. 

24 Vision | FALL 2012


Faculty Anniversaries 15 Years Dr. Steve Lemke

Provost, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, occupying the McFarland Chair of Theology, Director of the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry, and Editor of the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry

10 Years Dr. Donna Peavey

Associate Professor of Christian Education

New Faculty Members Mr. Craig Garrett

Instructor in Psychology and Counseling and Dean of Students

Dr. Douglas Watkins

Associate Professor of Christian Education and Regional Associate Dean for Florida

Faculty Appointments n Mr. Jody Dean, Instructor in Christian Education n Dr. Peter Kendrick, Professor of Theology & Culture and Regional Assoc. Dean, Georgia & Alabama Extension Centers n Dr. Jonggil Lee, Asst. Professor of Expository Preaching (ministry-based) and Director, Korean D.Min. Program n Dr. Mike Miller, Assoc. Professor of Expository Preaching (ministry-based) and Campus Pastor n Dr. Blake Newsom, Asst. Professor of Expository Preaching, Dean of the Chapel and Director of Spiritual Formation n Dr. Rick Yount, Visiting Professor of Foundations in Christian Education

Paper by Steele utilized for hymn theological analysis seminar



r. Ed Steele, Associate Professor of Music in Leavell College, was one of 14 participants in a seminar this summer at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. The seminar, “Singing What We Believe,” was held June 18–23. Seminar participants utilized Steele’s paper, Theological Themes in Contemporary Hymnody, as one of the resources for the analysis of the theological content in hymns. His paper was originally presented at the 2010 conference of the Evangelical Theological Society in Atlanta, Ga. Dr. Bert Polman, Professor of Music and Senior Research Fellow at Calvin College, directed the seminar, which was sponsored by the Institute of Christian Worship at Calvin. The conference studied the lyrics of roughly 500 hymns and contemporary songs with the goal of determining the relationship between theological themes and the prevalence of what has been termed “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton introduced the concept of “moralistic therapeutic deism” (MTD), which seeks to define the common religious STEELE beliefs of American youth. MTD is religious belief that is not exclusive to any particular faith but inclusive of the main tenants of most major world religions. MTD teaches that God wants people to be good and the primary goal of life is to be happy. Steele and other seminar participants sought to see the influence of MTD as reflected in the texts of the contemporary worship songs studied. Participants in the seminar, who represented Reformed, Presbyterian, Nazarene, Baptists and other denominations, attempted to review an equal amount of both classic hymn texts and praise and worship songs. The texts were drawn from two new hymnals published by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and Faith Alive, titled Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship and Hymns for Worship. Members then studied the texts, gleaned insight from scholarly papers, and interpreted the theological data in light of the hymns’ sociological contexts. The ultimate goal of the seminar was to investigate doxa (worship), logia (teaching), and praxis (practice) in the songs of the church today and raise issues about how current religious convictions and practices may relate. “In the past worship leadership could rely on a committee of theologians to review and correct the texts that would be used in a collection such as a hymnal,” Steele said. “Today, however, as more of our worship leaders download musical sources from the Internet for use in worship, no such theological filter exists and there is a greater need for those leaders to become theologically sensitive to the texts used.” Polman compiled the findings and analyses from the seminar and produced a paper that was then presented at the annual meeting of the Hymn Society in July. 

FALL 2012 | Vision 25


2012 Alumni Picnic SBC Annual Meeting New Orleans PHOTOS BY BOYD GUY

Beautiful weather, good food, good music and Christian fellowship created a celebratory atmosphere during New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s Alumni and Friends Picnic held on the school’s main campus June 20. The event started with an outdoor picnic on the campus quad and concluded with the annual alumni meeting and worship event in Leavell Chapel. This year’s event served as a time of reunion and reconnection for members of the NOBTS family. Nearly 1,200 alumni, donors and friends of the seminary attended.

2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Waylon Bailey Pastor, FBC Covington, La.

Clay Corvin

VP for Business Affairs, NOBTS

Randy Davis

Executive Director, Tennesse Baptist Conv.

Mark Foley

President, University of Mobile

26 Vision | FALL 2012


CLASS Notes 1960s

Eskew, Dr. Harry (MSM ’60) was among 143 members of the Sons of Jubal, the Georgia Baptist men’s chorus, who traveled to China and North Korea April 10-23. They were the largest American group invited to sing at the annual spring Arts Festival in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. The Sons of Jubal received an award as the best large performing group at the festival. Their last concert at a Chinese Christian Church in Beijing, an exciting gathering with 1,000 persons present was standing room only. Eskew is also writing Hymn Stories for Noteworthy, the email newsletter of the Music and Worship Department of the Georgia Baptist Convention. Hymn Stories can be found on his web site, Carlson, Dr. Neal (BDiv’60, exchanged for MDiv ‘73) celebrated his 59th year in the ministry, serving his first church at age 19 in Jacoby, La. He is now pastoring Internet Church in the Son. More information on his Foundation for Living can be found at


Beasley, Jim (MRE ’72) joined 143 members of the Sons of Jubal, the singing group of ministers of music in Georgia, in a “Goodwill” trip to

Pyongyang, North Korea to sing at the International Spring Friendship Art Festival in April 2012. They also sang concerts in Beijing, China, following the Festival. It was said that they were the largest group of American citizens to go to North Korea since the Korean War. Audiences in both countries responded enthusiastically to the concerts.


Grizzle, Eric D. (MACE ’95) has written his first novel, Frederic. Copies can be purchased at retail or online bookstores. Littleton, Dr. Rhonda (MACE ‘97) was honored as an Angel in Adoption in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12, 2012. She and her “A Home for Me” team are being honored for the ministry they have successfully developed that speaks to the needs of orphans in South Carolina. Littleton has developed quality relationships with both state and nonprofit organizations who serve South Carolina’s vulnerable children. “A Home for Me” serves as one of South Carolina’s model orphan ministry programs. Rhoades, Dr. David (MDiv ’95) is the lead pastor of Cotton Ridge Church in Levelland, Texas.


Feldman, Adam Lee (MDiv ’03) graduated in May 2012 with a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.


Ausbun, Daniel (MDiv ’03, ThM ’05) and Sherri of Moreland, Ga., had a son, Benjamin Cole Ausbun, on May 15, 2012.


Applewhite, LaVergne (BRE ‘47) of Clinton, Miss., passed away March 21, 2012. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Calvin Winfield Applewhite. She is survived by her four daughters and other family members. Barrington, Zannie S. (DPCT ‘53) of Clinton, Tenn., passed away April 2, 2012. She is survived by her husband, Rev. Herschel P. Barrington, and other family members. Bausum, George R. (BDiv ’61 exchanged for MDiv ‘75) of McMinnville, Tenn., passed away Feb. 29, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Roberta Bedell Bausum, and other family members. Bivins, Dallas C. (BDiv ’58, ThD ‘65) of Phoenix, Ariz., passed away April 17, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and other family members. Blount, Alan W. (MDiv ‘88) of McDonough, Ga., passed away Aug. 28, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Margaret White Blount, and other family members.

FALL 2012 | Vision 27

ALUMNI NEWS Bowers, Dr. Frank E. (MDiv ‘82) of Omaha, Neb., passed away April 1, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Julie Bowers, and other family members. Brown, William E. (attended ’66-‘67) of Statesboro, Ga., passed away Sept. 2, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Shirley Rogers Brown, and other family members. Carpenter, L. Wendell (MRE ’55; MCM ‘61) of Gainesville, Ga., passed away Jan. 26, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Marguerite, and other family members. Cohran, John W. (attended ‘87) of Douglasville, Ga., passed away June 21, 2011. He is survived by his wife, Doretta, and other family members. Collins, Beatrice H. (Former NOBTS Professor of Organ) of Penney Farms, Fla., passed away Sept. 17, 2012. She is survived by her niece and other family members. Couch, John R. (attended ‘77) of Baton Rouge, La., passed away March 7, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Nina Ward Couch, and other family members. Crabtree, John Albert, Jr. (attended ’58-‘59) of Chattanooga, Tenn., passed away June 22, 2012. He is survived by his daughters and other family members. Crutchfield, Rodney (attended ’90-‘92) of Evans, Ga., passed away March 4, 2010. Delphin, Marie Benita (attended ’86-‘92) of Sebring, Fla., passed away April 21, 2012. She is survived by her husband, Rev. Etienne Exilas Delphin, and other family members. Didato, Charles (ADPM ‘80) of Grants Pass, Ore., passed away May 31, 2012. He is survived by his wife Florence Didato, and other family members. Dixon, Miner Sr. (BDiv ‘51) of Zachary, La., passed away March 30, 2012. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Annette S. Dixon. He is survived by his daughter, Patricia Day, his son, Reggie Dixon, and other family members.

Donehoo, W. Wilson (BDiv ’56 exchanged for MDiv ‘89) of Fredericksburg, Va., passed away Aug. 21, 2012. He is survived by his children and other family members.

Jernigan, Chester H. (MRE ’77) of Montgomery, Ala., passed away July 21, 2012. He is survived by his wife of almost 61 years, Nelda Helton Jernigan, and other family members.

Durham, Annice (attended ’47-‘50) of Medford, Ore., passed away Feb. 15, 2012. She was preceded in death by her husband, Stanley S. Durham. She is survived by her three children and other family members.

Johnson, F. Leon (BDiv ‘57) of Greenville, S.C., passed away Dec. 29, 2011. He is survived by his wife, Louise Flowers Johnson, and other family members.

Falgout, William “Don” (ThM ‘71) of Dothan, Ala., passed away Feb. 5, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Sheila M. Falgout, and other family members. Fields, Mark D. (attended ‘97) of Fayetteville, Ga., passed away March 26, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Michelle, and other family members. Fleming, Sullivan Lamar (MRE ‘65) of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., passed away Nov. 18, 2011. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Mary “Fran” Fleming, and other family members. George, Riley H. (DPCH ’67) of Rochester, Minn., passed away June 12, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sybil, and other family members. Griffin, Gordon H. (BDiv ’52 exchanged for MDiv ‘82) of Virginia Beach, Va., passed away Feb. 27, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Delores T. Griffin, and other family members. Hacker, William (DMin ‘77) of Hartselle, Ala., passed away Aug. 12, 2012. He is survived by his wife Hazel, and other family members. Hoffmeyer, Oscar, Jr. (MRE ’59) of Waco, Texas, passed away July 28, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Chris Schneider Hoffmeyer, and other family members. Holder, Vivian Dell (MRE ‘78) of Shreveport, La., passed away June 16, 2012. She is survived by two sisters and other family members. Hollowell, John R. (attended ’98-‘05) of Purvis, Miss., passed away Aug. 20, 2012. He is survived by his wife Teresa, and other family members.

Jolly, Fred N. (BDiv ’62, MRE ‘66) of Dallas, Texas, passed away May 11, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Maxine Jolly, and other family members. Jones, Linda Gale (MRE ‘74) of Reidsville, Ga., passed away Aug.16, 2012. She is survived by her sister and other family members. Kauffman, Russell (BDiv ’58) of Jacksonville, Fla., passed away July 24, 2012. He is survived by his children and other family members. Kinlaw, Claudine Burkhalter (attended ‘48) of Tallahassee, Fla., passed away Feb. 20, 2002. Koch, Gardner C. (BDiv ‘58) of Rock Hill, S.C., passed away Sept. 4, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Betty Jean Koch, and other family members. Lemmond, Hayes K. (DPCM ‘67) of Hartselle, Ala., passed away Sept. 8, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Ethel N. Lemmond, and other family members. Lively, T. Mack (ADPM ‘92) of Carrollton, Ga., passed away June 25, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Shelby P. Lively, and other family members. Lowery, Robert E. (MRE ’68; BDiv ’63, exchanged for MDiv ‘75) of Cantonment, Fla., passed away June 16, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Louise Ray Lowery, and other family members. Luebbert, Dorothy (BRE ‘55) of Shelbyville, Ky., passed away June 23, 2012. She is survived by her husband, Rev. Richard W. Luebbert, and other family members.

28 Vision | FALL 2012

ALUMNI NEWS McKinney, Gary Reed (MDiv ‘83) of Largo, Fla., passed away March 26, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Dawn McKinney, and other family members. Merritt, Gus (attended ’58) of Newton, Miss., passed away July 17, 2012. He was preceded in death by his wife, Faye Purvis Merritt. He is survived by his children and other family members. Moulton, David R. (MCM ‘74) of Brookhaven, Miss., passed away June 2, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Mary Elizabeth Reeves Moulton, and other family members. Nelson, James W. (BDiv ’60) of Albuquerque, N.M., passed away July 4, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Annis, and other family members. Norton, Perry Ann (attended ’50) of Birmingham, Ala., passed away July 9, 2012. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. John P. Oakes. She is survived by two daughters and other family members. Parker, Rev. James E. (DMin ‘79) of Moselle, Miss., passed away June 19, 2012. He is survived by his children and other family members. Pelay, Saul T. (ADPM ‘86) of Brandon, Fla., passed away on March 6, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Kyra E. Pelay, and other family members. Pulling, Nathan (CCT ‘47) of Bogalusa, La., passed away Jan. 27, 2011. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Helen B. Pulling. Reid, Jack M. (DPCH ‘57) of Laurens, S.C., passed away Aug. 28, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Emily Crowe Reid, and other family members.

NOBTS mourns loss of W. Morgan Patterson Dr. W. Morgan Patterson, born Oct. 1, 1925, in New Orleans, La., to E. Palmer Patterson and Jess Margaret Patterson, died at his home in Novato, Calif., Nov. 19, 2010. Patterson is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ernestine N. Patterson of Longwood, Fla., two sons, W. Morgan Patterson II and Jay N. Patterson, and four grandchildren, Nolan, Jessica, Grace and Abigail. After high school, he served as a flight officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps. After his discharge following World War II, Patterson entered the Christian ministry. He completed undergraduate studies at Stetson University in Deland, Fla. He continued his education at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned a doctoral degree in 1959. Patterson then pursued post-graduate study at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Sanson, Devere (BDiv ‘55) of Jasper, Texas, passed away May 17, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Bea Sanson, and other family members. Sebren, Warner L., Sr. (BSM & MSM ‘54) of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., passed away Aug. 1, 2011. He is survived by his wife, Lottie D. Sebren, and other family members. Sheehan, Ernest C. (ThM ‘45) of Macon, Ga, passed away Sept. 14, 2012. He is survived by his children and other family members.

Robinson, Jewell Amelda (attended ’34-‘36) of Hitchcock, Texas, passed away June 27, 2012. She is survived by her son, James Robinson, and other family members.

Simmons, Elizabeth Caroline “Betty” (GSRE ‘65) of Asheboro, N.C., passed away May 4, 2012. She was preceded in death by her parents, Homer and Cornell Aubrey Simmons. She is survived by her siblings and other family members.

Rosenberg, Max Leo (MRE ’61, GSRE ‘62) of Tuscaloosa, Ala., passed away April 2, 2012. He is survived by two children, eight grandchildren, and other family members.

Smith, Charles T. (attended ’73-‘75) of Baton Rouge, La., passed away Sept. 11, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Eula Vercher Smith, and other family members.

Patterson went on to teach church history at four seminaries, primarily at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He also taught at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in the mid-1990s and, most recently, at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif. Patterson also served as the 22nd president of Georgetown College in Kentucky from 1984 through 1991. After his “retirement,” Patterson continued to teach at seminaries and at four colleges and universities, including Louisiana College, Baptist College of Florida, Oklahoma Baptist University and Campbellsville University in Kentucky. He also served as assistant to the president of the College of the Ozarks for the Western United States. Editor’s Note: The Vision magazine staff inadvertently omitted this obituary from the Spring 2011 Vision. We deeply regret this error.

Spain, Agnes J. (attended ‘44) of Colonial Heights, Va., passed away April 1, 2012. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles E. Spain Jr. She is survived by her four daughters and other family members. Sumrall, Dr. Dudley Denton (DMin ‘79) of Pensacola, Fla., passed away June 9, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Carol, and other family members.

Send Your Updates

Please send your Class Notes items to the Office of Alumni Relations at NOBTS, 3939 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70126 or Updates will be used for publication in both the Vision magazine and on the Alumni website.

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