16 SEMINARY NEWS: The Latest from around NOBTS 26 STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Kayla Muller
vision NEW ORLEANS BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Equipping Leaders to
ANSWER GOD’S CALL SINCE 1917 PG 6
Free estate planning from NOBTS.
Hard to beat that.
A no cost planned giving solution for NOBTS alumni and Friends of the Seminary. NOBTS has partnered with PhilanthroCorp, a Christ-centered estate planning firm, to offer our alumni and friends the opportunity to receive free and personalized estate and will planning. These are private consultations between you and one of the estate specialists at PhilanthroCorp. Even if you have yet to begin preparing for the future of your assets, today is a great time to let us help you create or update your legacy plan.
Call Susan at PhilanthroCorp at 1-800-876-7958 or visit www.nobtsfoundation.com/wills
ACCESS TO EDUCATION
ANSWERING THE CALL
T WAS THE SUMMER OF 1969. My best friend in the world had moved away from Beaumont, Texas, but his youth choir was coming from the east coast to Dallas to sing for the Texas Youth Evangelism Conference. I decided to attend the conference just to get in a visit with my friend. For the final session I sat up in the rafters of the Coliseum on the SMU campus far away from any other participant. As the service unfolded, I listened when my friend sang a solo with his choir, and tuned out when the preacher began. I had no idea what he preached and was glad when the final invitation began. Suddenly, as surely as I knew my name, I knew God was calling me into the ministry. I knew I faced a very simple choice: obedience or disobedience. GOD IS STILL Answering God’s call CALLING OUT MEN became the defining AND WOMEN TO moment of my life. SERVE HIM. God is still calling out men and women to serve Him. They come to us from across the nation and the world. They come with an amazing variety of backgrounds and experiences, representing nearly every age and stage of life: young singles, married with children, even grandparents with multiple grandkids. This spring a father and a son graduated together, completing different degrees at the same time. Our students come with deep passions and diverse levels of spiritual maturity, but all come with “yes” on their lips. The one thing shared by all of our students is a determined commitment to do whatever it takes to answer God’s call. We exist to facilitate their responses to this divine direction. We are here to equip them to answer the call.
The first challenge in helping people answer God’s call is to make theological education and ministry training accessible to anyone God calls. NOBTS does this with both residential and non-residential programs for graduate and undergraduate degrees. Students can receive training on the campus, in an extension center, through the Internet, or by turning their church into a classroom through working with a mentor. Hybrid programs allow students to combine any of these ways to learn into a single degree. We offer a ministry training cafeteria that provides a way for anyone God calls to learn and prepare.
FOCUSED TRAINING Traditional theological education is designed to build a broad foundation addressing many aspects of ministry. NOBTS continues this tradition today, but we added to it many options for specialized, focused training. Undergraduate and graduate certificates offer training for focused aspects of ministry, such as Bible Teaching, Discipleship, Children’s Ministry, Church Planting, Women’s Ministry, and many others. We redesigned the graduate program to include specialized degrees and the opportunity to include particular areas of interest such as collegiate ministry, counseling, expository preaching, and many others into their degrees. If a student has a passion, we build their training around that passion.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING Reality 101 has always been included in the NOBTS experience. We have always required our students to engage in ministry while learning ministry. Today we have expanded that. We have added numerous practicums that make doing particular ministries a part of the learning process. This spring our trustees approved a new mentoring track. A student will be able to earn a significant amount of academic credit by working with a qualified mentor in a church or other ministry setting. We believe the combination of academic instruction with ministry experience is the foundation for a lifetime of excellent Kingdom service.
AFFORDABLE PREPARATION Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Southern Baptists in the training and preparation of ministers for their churches is the challenge of keeping education affordable. The Cooperative Program is the largest contributor to our seminary, but we must do more. Last year we doubled the amount of scholarship money awarded, but we must do more. NOBTS stops well below the national averages in costs per student, but there are costs we cannot control. Your support is crucial to preparing men and women to answer God’s call. All gifts to the Providence Fund go to the operating budget of the seminary. Any gift for student or faculty or facility needs helps us operate more efficiently. We are seeing a rising generation of students with a deep passion to serve Christ and His church. With your assistance we can help them answer the call.
DR. CHUCK KELLEY NOBTS PRESIDENT
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DeMENT SOCIETY B
yron Hoover DeMent, the seminary’s first president, raised money for the newly formed Baptist Bible Institute in the early 1900s. As DeMent raised money, he simply told the story of the enterprise, lifted up its ideals, gave a vision of its needs and possibilities, and let the message work its way into the hearts of people. He is the inspiration behind the DeMent Society, formed to honor those who have included NOBTS in their estate plans. Would you like to be counted among these members who have a passion to see God’s kingdom grow and to see His causes advanced through theological education? Contact the Office for Institutional Advancement at (504) 282-4455, ext. 8002.
et us know that you have New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in your estate plan and we will send a free copy of Dave Keesling’s devotional book, A Journey: Life in Real Time. Keesling, Executive Vice President of PhilanthroCorp, spent his career as consultant to a wide range of Christian organizations. The book includes 365 challenging devotionals designed to guide the reader to greater intimacy with God.
ontact Randy Driggers, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at NOBTS, to reserve your copy of A Journey: Life in Real Time.
Email | firstname.lastname@example.org Phone | 800-662-8701 ext. 8002
FALL 2015 Volume 71, Number 1 DR. CHUCK KELLEY President MR. RANDY DRIGGERS Vice President for Institutional Advancement DR. DENNIS PHELPS Director of Alumni Relations GARY D. MYERS Editor
ANSWERING GOD’S CALL
RE-ENVISIONING THE NOBTS BRAND
NOBTS receives $1.5 million gift, offers full tuition scholarships for Alabama ministers
Steedley receives Chick-fil-A Scholarship Answering God’s call through your Estate
5° BRANDING Creative Direction & Design
Student-led prayer movement upholds seminary faculty Seminary celebrates record enrollment Seminary refocuses mentoring program; seeks potential mentors
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 www.nobts.edu www.nobtsfoundation.com
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is a Cooperative Program ministry, supported by the gifts of Southern Baptists.
ADVANCEMENT NEWS Construction update on new Bible and Archaeology Museum
BOYD GUY Art Director and Photographer
All contents ©2015 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 the publication of the VISION magazine and on the Alumni website.
Hear from three students as they talk about the role NOBTS has played as they answer God’s call to ministry.
MARILYN STEWART Managing Editor
TRAVIS MILNER Graphic Designer
Our mission as an institution for nearly 100 years has been to equip students in answering God’s call on their lives.
NOBTS Angola prison celebrates 20 years of changing lives with new facility NOBTS counseling center provides ‘hands-on’ training, community care JoAnn Leavell: Tribute to a Mentor and Friend
Faculty Anniversaries: Bill Warren celebrates 25 years of Service New Faculty Members Faculty Promotions Dr. Harry Eskew presented with Lifetime Achievement Award
ALUMNI NEWS Distinguished Alumni Class Notes
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ANSWERING GOD’S CALL.
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The stories are as diverse as the student body itself. Each student, the individual workmanship of the Master Craftsman, has been called to the good works that God has prepared. One common thread unites them. Each has answered God’s call.
OR ALMOST 100 YEARS, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has answered God’s call to equip students for ministry, and each member of the NOBTS family, in varied ways, has been part of that legacy. Administration, faculty, and staff have answered God’s call to serve in their particular roles. More than 22,000 graduates have answered God’s call to prepare for ministry through seminary training. More than 3,800 students are currently answering God’s call. As God calls His people, He also provides the tools needed to answer that call. NOBTS equips students through education that is scholarly, practical, accessible, and urgent.
SCHOLARLY EDUCATION Through rigorous study under the leadership of highly respected professors in their fields – noted authors, lecturers, researchers, ethicists, and philosophers – students are challenged to reach their full academic potential as well. A world-class library and ten institutes and research centers support study outside the classroom. And the Greer-Heard PROGRAMS Point-Counterpoint Forum presents scholars of AT ALL differing viewpoints on critical issues in religion, philosophy, and/or culture. EDUCATIONAL science, Programs at all educational levels demand LEVELS DEMAND excellence in the classroom that will lead to EXCELLENCE IN excellence in vocation – a commitment that is THE CLASSROOM evident by the contributions of alumni today THAT WILL LEAD in diverse ministry settings around the world. TO EXCELLENCE Leavell College meets the educational needs of seeking to fill the academic gaps in their IN VOCATION— ministers vocational training, from the non-credit level to the baccalaureate level. More than 40 graduate programs and concentrations offer an array of options for master’s level study. Five doctoral programs develop theologians, educators, pastors, musicians, and other Christian leaders.
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PRACTICAL TRAINING NOBTS faculty members bring dynamic ministry experience into the classroom as well. Having served an average of 15 years in ministry before teaching, these pastors, ministers, counselors, and missionaries understand students’ callings and are prepared to address real-life concerns. Students also learn in the classroom of life, through ministrynow callings. Opportunities abound in the unique New Orleans environment – a tourist and port city thriving with diversity and energy – where 88 percent of the local population is unaffiliated with an evangelical church. Beyond the city, students earn course credit through national conferences, study abroad trips, mission trips, mentoring relationships and archaeological digs. Further, the new Entrust Mentoring Community gives students opportunities to serve in a mentored ministry position with a partnering church or parachurch organization.
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT. Meet a few of the many NOBTS students answering God’s call to a life of ministry.
AN ACCESSIBLE SEMINARY EXPERIENCE With more than twenty extension centers across the Southeast, plus online programs, NOBTS meets students where they are. More than 1,700 students experience classroom education as they gather in academic centers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Another 500-plus students are earning associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees online. And thanks to the generous gifts of alumni and dedicated seminary supporters, education is financially accessible as well. Tuition continues to be significantly lower than the national average, and campus housing provides affordable living options. Financial aid is available in the form of discounts, scholarships, employment opportunities, and flexible payment schedules.
URGENCY TO ANSWER THE CALL The urgency of the Great Commission continues to compel students and faculty to work passionately in their classrooms, cities, and churches. As students are answering God’s TUITION call, they are not only preparing for a life of ministry CONTINUES – they are living out ministry wherever they are now. TO BE Alumni across the world continue their commitment SIGNIFICANTLY to answer the call through their lives and vocations. LOWER THAN That’s why NOBTS is committed to excellence THE NATIONAL and innovation in a world constantly changing and AVERAGE desperately in need of the gospel.
A CALL TO OBEY The NOBTS community is a fusion of God’s people who have individually answered God’s call, each with a one-of-akind story that is part of the grand design. The idea of “Answering God’s Call” resonates with Dr. Chuck Kelley as he recalls his own story. When he heard God’s call to study at NOBTS, the only question was whether or not he would obey. Fully expecting God to lead him to seminary in his home state of Texas, he found himself surprised by God’s call to New Orleans, where the city would be his primary classroom. How would he answer? “When you answer God’s call, you find yourself in position to do the things God wants you to do, even before you fully know what He wants you to do,” Kelley said. “This is a place where God can put our willingness and obedience to the test.”
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OAK GROVE, AL Masters of Arts in Christian Education (Social Work) Master of Social Work student at the University of Southern Mississippi MACE student Nicole Stewart is a newlywed studying social work at NOBTS and the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). The University of Alabama alumnae was one of the first students to participate in a unique articulation agreement between NOBTS and USM. She was recently honored as Social Work Student of the Year at USM and recipient of the school’s Barbara Pease Memorial Social Work Scholarship. “Currently, I am following God’s call for my life in Purvis, Miss., working for Mississippi’s Department of Human Services with foster children.” “I have a desire and heart for orphans and refugees. Therefore, with both my social work and seminary background, I hope to do international social work working with one or both of these populations. I desire to connect orphans with forever families. God is currently equipping me for this later journey.”
Master of Arts in Biblical Languages Student Pastor at First Baptist Church Westwego
CEDAR HILL, TX
Master of Divinity student
Master’s student Irvin Wasswa is a first generation American with Ugandan parents. He is a 2014 graduate of Louisiana Tech University and currently serves as a pastoral intern and college & young adult minister at Gentilly Baptist Church in New Orleans. “I am working a job where I know I am supposed to be working. I am serving at the church where I know I am supposed to be and I am in school, pursuing my M.Div. degree, which I know I am supposed to be doing at the moment. I believe I am answering God’s calling by being obedient to what He has called for me to do.” “God has called me to be a pastor. I have a heart for people and a passion to preach the word of God. I would love to serve and pastor at a multi-cultural church one day. My whole life I have had the opportunity to be surrounded by individuals with different cultural backgrounds. Ultimately though, I am truly open to wherever the Lord may lead. I just want to serve Him.”
Master’s student Vinh Nguyen is a Vietnamese American whose mother immigrated to the United States just after his birth. In addition to his studies in the challenging M.A. in Biblical Languages program, Vinh serves as Student Pastor at First Baptist Church Westwego, La., applying what in learns in the classroom in a real-world, ministry experience. “I’m answering God’s call by working on an aspect of my life in New Orleans that I believe would be difficult anywhere else. I’ve had to realize that God’s ways are so much greater than my own. I never planned to be in the city of New Orleans attending seminary or doing ministry. Yet, I had to place my personal pride and ambitions aside to fulfill a much needed area of my life. I believe God called me to this particular place at this particular time in my life not because I had something to offer the people of this city, but because the people and this place had something to offer me. I needed a place that would help me connect the 18 inches that separates my head and my heart. God called me to this time and place for that reason and I’ve answered His call.” “I’ve not only seen and experienced His patience with me, but have seen and experienced His faithfulness to me as well. I’m simply glad that I answered that specific calling and am still answering that call with each day, with each breath, and with each new mercy that comes with the morning. “I believe the Lord is calling me to do Ph.D.
work in the future. I don’t know when or where, but I have been encouraged by many here and many along the way to fulfill that call. That calling has been a major part of my life for the past 4-5 years. I love academics, but I don’t see my life being limited to the academy. The Lord has instilled a passion in me to teach and preach His word. Presently, I see the Lord leading me to complete my Ph.D. in the near future. That may one day lead me to teach in the academy, however, it will never lead me away from preaching and serving the local church. Scripture instructs us to love the LORD our God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37; Deut. 6). I believe God is daily leading me to a place where I can better learn to love him with all my heart (the church), a place where I can love him with all my soul (everyday life), and a place where I can love Him with all of my mind (the academy). I believe he already has led me to that place, however, I know He will only continue to lead me further down that path as I continue to trust and serve him as faithfully as I can.”
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RE-ENVISIONING THE NOBTS BRAND.
Over the last several months, the Public Relations Office at NOBTS has undertaken a process to reenvision our visible brand. This was not an effort to change who we are or who we serve. Instead, our objective was to bring greater focus and relevance to how we communicate the work God is doing through NOBTS. Through this process, we have developed a series of new communication tools including: Logo, visual identity system, graphics standard, ad format, website, admissions recruitment tools, as well as this newly designed issue of Vision Magazine.
SEMINARY LOGO. The new NOBTS logo provide a modern but simple spin on our classic mark, making it more usable across a variety of applications.
GRAPHICS STANDARDS / VISUAL IDENTITY SYSTEM. The Graphics Standard provides guidance in the use of brand marks, color, and typography. The VIS consists of the Seminaryâ€™s stationary suite.
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WEBSITE. The new NOBTS website was developed to simplify navigation, take advantage of best-practice organization and technology, and elevate user experience.
ADMISSIONS VIEWBOOK. Among the various admissions tools developed was the new viewbook. This piece helps define the NOBTS experience to prospective students looking to Answer Godâ€™s Call.
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The Caskey Center now offers full-tuition scholarships for bivocational and smaller membership church ministers serving in Alabama.
NOBTS receives $1.5 million gift, OFFERS FULL足 TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ALABAMA MINISTERS By GARY D. MYERS
OR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary President Chuck Kelley announced a major donation during the National Alumni and Friends Luncheon in June. The latest gift, of $1.5 million, will allow NOBTS to provide 50 full-tuition Caskey scholarships for Southern Baptist bivocational and smaller membership church ministers serving in Alabama. The Caskey Center for Church Excellence launched last fall using an anonymous gift to provide 144 full-tuition scholarships to bivocational and smaller membership church ministers serving in Louisiana. Later, the donors set aside money to provide 50 scholarships in Mississippi. To date, $11.5 million has been given for Caskey scholarships.
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The scholarship program in Alabama will begin during the Spring 2016 semester. Potential students can visit the Caskey Center website (www.nobts.edu/CaskeyCenter/) for more information or to apply for scholarships. Kelley also announced the new Steve Caskey Pathfinder Award to be given each year to a bivocational or smaller membership church minister who has found a way to reach people for Christ in his community. The inaugural award was given posthumously to Steve Caskey, who pastored smaller membership churches in rural Louisiana. Caskey never received public accolades during his lifetime but his dedicated service for Christ is still remembered in the churches he served.
CONSTRUCTION UPDATE ON NEW BIBLE
STEEDLEY RECEIVES CHICK-FIL-A SCHOLARSHIP
CONSTRUCTION WORK IS UNDERWAY ON the new Bible and Archaeology Museum on the second floor of the Hardin Student Center. The original museum, located near the new location, opened in 2012 and featured 512 sq. ft. of display space. The new museum space, funded by a private donor, will feature 1,900 sq. ft. for displays plus an additional 400 sq. ft. for an office and storage area. The museum holdings include hand-copied Hebrew, Greek and Latin manuscripts, facsimile editions of some of the earliest and most important biblical manuscripts, early English Bibles and a leaf from a Gutenberg Bible, one of the first books printed after the advent of the movable type printing press. The current museum takes visitors through the process that started with hand足written manuscripts and resulted in modern language translations. The archaeology section includes a wide range of objects such as Chalcolithic period cups dating to 3500 B.C. and Byzantine period jugs and storage jars dating to 500 A.D. Holdings include zoomorphic vessels, clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform writing, Roman glass and numerous clay vessels for cooking and storage.
Congratulations to student Dwayne Steedley who recently received the Chick足 fil-A Scholarship.
AND ARCHAEOLOGY MUSEUM
Pictured from left to right are Dr. Craig Garrett, Dean of Students; Steedley; here with Tom Maloney, General manager of Chick-fil-A in Metairie, La.; Dr. Chuck Kelley, NOBTS President; and Randy Driggers, Vice President of Institutional Advancement.
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Answering God’s Call THROUGH
your Estate By RANDY DRIGGERS
CCORDING TO GIVING USA’S 2015 ANNUAL REPORT, giving by bequest totaled an estimated $28.13 billion representing an increase of 15.5 percent between 2013 and 2014. Many of our wonderful donors to this seminary have remembered to put New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in their wills and estate documents. I received just this past year more than a dozen phone calls from many of our alumni and Friends of the Seminary, of all ages, notifying me they included NOBTS in their estate planning. When you do this, you automatically become a member of the DeMent Society named in honor of Byron Hoover DeMent, the seminary’s first president. We will also send you a copy of Dave Keesling’s devotional book, A Journey: Life in Real Time. Dave Keesling is Executive Vice President of PhilanthroCorp. He is an author and speaker. We partner with PhilanthroCorp, a Christ-centered estate planning firm located in Colorado Springs, Colorado to provide estate planning services to Alumni and Friends of the Seminary. I have known and worked with these fine people since 2005. They make estate planning easy. To connect with PhilanthroCorp and start the planning process for yourself, contact Susan at 800-876-7958 ext 2125. She will set a time for you to speak with one of the estate specialists at PhilanthroCorp. The services of PhilanthroCorp are provided to alumni and Friends of the Seminary at no cost and there is no obligation.
ANSWERING GOD’S CALL THROUGH GIVING TO THE PROVIDENCE FUND I returned to NOBTS on August 1, 2011 and I have seen God meeting need after need at this seminary through people whom God has led to give of their resources. Your support is vital if we are to keep a seminary education
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affordable. The Providence Fund is a way that you can help us directly offset major tuition increases to our students. When I was a student, I had a small matriculation fee and then my books. This was for the whole semester. The Cooperative Program paid for most of my true tuition costs. That is not true today. A single class can cost more than the fee I paid for a full class load. Are you giving to the Providence Fund? If not, please prayerfully consider becoming a supporter. If you currently give, will you consider increasing your support? Tell your friends about NOBTS and the needs we face. We must continue to train tomorrow’s ministry leaders and your giving is extremely important. We have a lot of work to do if we are going to reach the lost of this world for Christ.
CONSIDER NOBTS IN YOUR GIVING PLANS As you contemplate your giving options, please consider New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Although the seminary receives Cooperative Program funding, it is not enough to cover the current cost of seminary education for our students. Your gifts help the seminary keep student tuition as affordable as possible. All gifts are tax d eductible, whether they come through the mail or the Internet at www.nobts.edu. NOBTS qualifies for most matching gifts programs, too. Supporting theological education truly does make you a friend of the ministry.
WAYS TO GIVE Gifts of real estate or securities. Life Income Gifts that pay you a lifetime income, Give your home and continue to live in it. For information about these and other giving options, call (504) 816-8002 or (800) 662 662-8701, ext. 8002 or email email@example.com.
LEFT: Rose Crawford, left, gives a gift card to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
students Helga Parvu and Marie Tone. Parva and Tone are originally from Romania. ABOVE: Student wife Dorcus Tiendrebeogo and her son Dimvi receive a gift card from Rose Crawford with greatful hearts. Tiendrebeogo and her husband, Jean, are from Burkina Faso. Photo by Boyd Guy
FBC Minden blesses internationals, homeschool community with gift cards By MARILYN STEWART
UCKED INSIDE THE ENVELOPE New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary student Maria Tone, Romania, received as she left the president’s home recently was a gift card, one of 218 cards totaling $5,400 provided that day to international women students and to the NOBTS homeschool community. The “Cards of Blessing” valued at $15, $20 and $25 were gifts from First Baptist Church, Minden, La, where Leland Crawford, trustee and class of 1996 alumnus, is pastor. Women students representing eleven countries – South Korea, Egypt, Romania, India, Colombia, El Salvador, Brazil, Taiwan, Argentina, Burkina Faso and Haiti – received the cards at a coffee reception hosted by Rhonda Kelley, president’s wife, for trustee wives and international women students during the Oct. 14 fall trustee meeting. Internationals face strict restrictions on work hours while in “MY INTERNATIONAL the states on student visas. “My international friends and I were FRIENDS AND I WERE super excited and thankful for the gift SUPER EXCITED cards. They were such a blessing and & THANKFUL FOR came at the right time,” Tone said. “We THE GIFT CARDS. praise God for always providing.” THEY WERE SUCH A The gift cards marked the third year BLESSING AND CAME First Minden has sent Crawford and Rose to the campus with gifts for AT THE RIGHT TIME.” wife targeted groups of students. The first year, the couple pulled onto Seminary Place with ice chests of 60 frozen “Meals of Blessings” that were distributed to student families. For some, it was food to get them by until payday. “We were amazed that something as minor as a 9 by 13 casserole of chicken spaghetti met such a huge need,” Rose Crawford, Leland’s wife, said. Last year, the congregation sent gift cards for single students. This year, the initiative coincided with the church’s focus on missions giving and the “touches” the congregation makes around the world through Cooperative Program giving to the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, Louisiana Baptist Convention, and at home through the
association and local missions. “This is not a big sacrifice for you, but this is a big deal for the people who get it,” Leland Crawford reminded his congregation at the beginning of this year’s campaign. “It’s more than a gift card. It tells them God knows their name, he knows their need, he knows where they are.” Rose Crawford greeted the women personally as she handed each a hand-signed card with the gift card inside. “They were very excited, very sweet,” Rose Crawford said. Homeschool coordinator Laura Riley, wife of Jeff Riley, NOBTS professor of ethics, accepted gift cards and cash totaling $840 to be used for field trips, supplies and the purchase of tub storage containers for for the NOBTS homeschool community. Canvas bags filled with school supplies and candy were provided for each of the 93 homeschool students on campus. Memories of growing up on the NOBTS campus and climbing a tree to watch for his father to return from class prompted one church member to give, Leland Crawford said. Another member donated generously as he remembered working with NOBTS students at a local business while attending college. For Rose Crawford, it was memories of life during seminary and the difficulties of putting food on the table to feed the couple’s three daughters that prompted her vision for the initiative of helping students that are answering God’s call. “We struggled financially,” Rose Crawford said. “Maybe that’s why my heart goes out to the students, because I remember our days of struggling.” NOBTS means much more to Leland and Rose Crawford than simply a time of stress and struggle. The couple moved to campus with the intention of continuing in the youth ministry but soon felt God leading in a new direction. “This is a special place for us,” Rose Crawford said. “This is where the Lord called Leland to the pastorate.” “The Lord always supplied all our needs,” Rose Crawford said. “When we needed something it was there. We didn’t have extra, we didn’t have excess, but we had what we needed.”
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SEMINARY NEWS BRIEFS
Trustees approve new Master of Arts degrees The New Orleans Seminary trustees approved three new Master of Arts degrees during recent board meetings. Two of the new degrees, the Master of Arts in Discipleship and the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, are offered in 36- to 37hour options. The trustees also approved a new 47-hour Master of Arts degree in Church and Community Ministries. These degrees represent a new approach at NOBTS. The shorter professional master’s degrees are designed to offer focused study and develop skills in a specific discipline while offering a strong background in theology and biblical ministry.
Student-led prayer movement upholds seminary faculty A student -led prayer effort for the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College faculty and faculty families launched Aug. 31 on the NOBTS campus. Initiated by Ryan Ralston, a master’s student at NOBTS, and his wife, Shasta, the prayer gathering meets on the Leavell Chapel steps each Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 a.m.
3,952 STUDENTS— SEMINARY CELEBRATES RECORD ENROLLMENT
During the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in June, NOBTS President Chuck Kelley put an exclamation point on the Hurricane Katrina recovery story when he announced that NOBTS recorded the largest enrollment in school history this past school year. During the 2014-2015 school year, NOBTS enrolled 3,952 students. More than 2,300 of those students are in the graduate and doctoral programs.
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Counseling program ranked ‘most affordable’ by website The counseling program at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary was named the most affordable pastoral care and counseling program in the United States by the website bestcounselingdegrees.net. The ranking was created by identifying all regionally accredited institutions that offer a graduate degree in pastoral counseling and closely related fields. The Best Counseling Degrees editors then used the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator Database to identify the 25 most affordable based on graduate tuition and fees. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary was noted for the Leeke Magee Christian Counseling Center, which provides an opportunity for counseling students to complete their supervised practicum while providing support to the local community.
Women’s Study Bible named “Study Bible of the Year” The Study Bible for Women, edited by Dr. Rhonda Harrington Kelley, Dr. Dorothy Kelley Patterson, and the Holman Bible editorial staff, has been awarded the Study Bible of the Year Award from Christian Retailing. Published by B & H Publishing, the work includes word studies, doctrinal notes, Biblical womanhood articles and more.
MISSIONLAB HOSTED 2,700+ VOLUNTEERS LAST SUMMER While many around the main campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary breathe a collective sigh of relief when summer approaches, the staff of MissionLab, a 15 year-old missions ministry of the seminary, launches into nine weeks of intense mission work with groups of all ages coming to serve
Korean students celebrate new semester with prayer & worship service The Korean Student Fellowship at NOBTS gathered Aug. 23 in the Sellers Recital Hall to celebrate the start of the fall semester. Jeong In Choi, pastor of Korean Central Church in Baton Rouge, was the guest speaker. Leaders of the Korean student group said the event is held each semester and is an opportunity for the Korean community at NOBTS to glorify God, experience God’s presence and prepare for the opportunities of the new semester. The Korean Student Fellowship will gather for a thanksgiving service to mark the end of the semester.
in New Orleans. In the months of June and July, MissionLab hosted more than 2,700 volunteers coming from churches and schools all over North America. The MissionLab staff helped coordinate ministry opportunities for each of these volunteer groups so that they could effectively serve in the city. Teams engaged in ministries around New Orleans, including backyard Bible clubs, yard work and cleanup projects, prayer walking, construction, and spent time visiting with the homeless and those in nursing homes and assisted living centers. Continue to pray for the citizens of New Orleans who were impacted by this work. If you are interested in how you can also be involved in MissionLab, visit www.missionlab.com or call 877.TRY.MLAB.
BAPTIST VOICES: LEFT, RIGHT AND CENTER
New Gate and Campus Police Guardhouse Open With the closing of the Seminary Place gate, the Hardin Student Center gate is now the exclusive entrance and exit to the NOBTS campus. The move allows traffic to flow directly into the Hardin Student Center parking lot and increases security to other points of the campus by allowing traffic to gain admittance at the newly constructed Campus Police guardhouse.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, spoke in the opening session of Baptist Voices: Left, Right and Center, a one-day forum on religious liberty at Leavell Chapel, NOBTS campus, Sept. 29. The event was sponsored by the NOBTS Institute for Faith and the Public Square and the NOBTS Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry and endorsed by the Baptist History and Heritage Society. The plenary speaker for the evening session was Gregory Komendant, Kiev Theological Seminary, Ukraine, and past leader of the evangelical movement in the former Soviet Union during Communist reign. Lloyd Harsch, NOBTS Institute for Faith and the Public Square director said, “We need to be reminded of the historic cost that was paid to secure religious liberty and not to give it away, and to educate those who do not understand its value. Religious liberty is not just for one group, but for all people: the atheist, the Muslim, the Christian. If any of these have their rights of conscience violated by
government dictate, any of them become suspect.” Videos of the event are available online at www.faithpublicsquare.org.
Senior Fest set for April 1, 2016 Senior adults are invited to participate in Senior Fest 2016, April 1, on the New Orleans Seminary campus. This year’s theme is “A Heritage of Faith: Reflecting on the Past, Dreaming for the Future.” NOBTS President Chuck Kelley is the featured speaker and the event will include insightful breakout sessions led by NOBTS faculty and friends. The cost for the one-day event is $35 for early registration. After March 1, 2016, the cost increases to $38. For additional information or to register for Senior Fest, visit www.nobts.edu/ccm/social workmain.html
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SEMINARY NEWS BRIEFS
Doctor of Ministry adds church revitalization & missions specializations The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Board of Trustees approved two new specializations for the Doctor of Ministry program: Church Revitalization and Cross-Cultural Missions. The two new specializations will enhance the current 18 specializations available at NOBTS, including expository preaching, pastoral work, evangelistic church growth, leadership and administration, and church health. “Along with church planting, church revitalization marks a sense of urgency for churches experiencing plateau and decline,” said Reggie Ogea, director of NOBTS Professional Doctoral Programs. “The D.Min. in Church Revitalization will highlight critical issues in revitalizing churches and will examine current models for revitalizing churches.” “The D.Min. in Cross -Cultural Missions targets missionaries and missional church leaders, emphasizing contemporary mission methods and movements and developing a missional church culture,” he added. With more than 350 students, the NOBTS Doctor of Ministry program is one of the largest professional doctoral programs in North America. Doctor of Ministry courses are offered on the main campus and at multiple locations throughout the southeast U.S., as well as sites in Oklahoma and Texas.
What’s the PREP Initiative? GREAT QUESTION!
NOLA United Worship Conference Missions and worship was the theme of the sixth annual NOLA United Worship Conference held Sept. 26 at Sellers Recital Hall, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Featured speakers for the event were Mark Powers, worship facilitator for the South Carolina Baptist Convention and author of the book Worship that Moves Us to Discipleship and Missions; Patrick Woolsey, an IMB missionary and expert in exegeting the culture for the purpose of sharing the Gospel and using art forms to connect with the unreached; and Tim Johnson, worship pastor, First Baptist Church, New Orleans, whose rich background in worship band leadership has made him a sought-after worship leader for youth and college group events. The one-day event focused on worship band leadership, instrument training, theological training in worship and discipleship and worship equipping.
NOBTS WRITER RECEIVES BCA WRITING AWARD Gary Myers, Vision magazine editor and director of public relations at NOBTS, received a writing award during the 2015 Baptist Communicators Association Wilmer C. Fields Awards Competition and Communications Audit. The article, “Digging and Traveling in Biblical Land,” garnered second place in the feature writing: firstperson column category.
The goal of the PREP Initiative is to help current and prospective seminary students be better prepared to meet the personal financial challenges encountered in seminary and in ministry. Student debt is spiraling out of control for students at public and private institutions around the country. The PREP Initiative is designed to help students stay out of—or at least minimize their debt—while in seminary and beyond. PREP stands for the Program for Research, Education, and Planning (PREP) and is funded by a Lilly Endowment grant in coordination with the Economic Challenges Facing Future Ministers Initiative of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). NOBTS was awarded the grant in December 2013. The PREP Initiative has a three-pronged approach. First, we research! We need to know what students are dealing with when it comes to their finances. For students starting at NOBTS in the Spring 2014 semester, the average debt per student—even before they began their first semester—was $23,000! Second, we educate! We are offering students and spouses FREE financial training classes to give them the tools they need to be good stewards. The PREP Initiative also is working to educate alumni and NOBTS friends about how they can prepare students for the financial realities of seminary. Finally, we plan! We help prospective students plan for their time at NOBTS. We work with the Student Enlistment Office to educate prospective students and their families about the cost of education at NOBTS, scholarships and financial assistance available to students, and how they can financially prepare for their NOBTS education. The PREP Initiative also helps students plan for their financial health post-seminary through financial groups and Life After Seminary events in conjunction with the Alumni Office. HOW CAN YOU HELP?
• Pray for our students. • Advise prospective seminary students to better prepare financially for seminary. • Continue to be as generous in your giving to NOBTS. Want to know more? Contact the PREP Initiative Office at 504-816-8091.
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desire to work alongside experienced ministers while they study. He has also seen a new openness to invest in students among the experienced pastors and leaders of the convention. “I want students to have the same mentoring relationship that I was afforded in seminary – the partnering of great theological education with the mentored aspect of day-to-day life in ministry,” Rice said. “I learned a lot in the classroom, but when troubles and trials hit in my first pastorate, instead of turning to my books and notes, I picked up the phone and called my mentor.” Students in the M.Div. mentoring track can earn up to 29 hours of the 83-hour degree while doing real-world ministry in local church or parachurch settings. And the program is not limited by geography. Students can complete the mentoring portion of the degree from any remote location that has an NOBTS-approved mentor and adequate Internet access. Students in most of the seminary’s other M.Div. specializations can earn at least a portion of their degree in a mentor setting. Along with the revised mentoring track, NOBTS will launch the Entrust Mentoring Community, designed to create and foster partnership between the seminary, its students and the mentors. The name, taken from 2 Timothy 2:2, echoes Paul’s desire to see Timothy entrust skills, knowledge and Gospel ministry opportunities to others in his community. “It really is the passing, not just of the legacy, it is passing on the gospel and passing on the work of the gospel,” Rice said of 2 Timothy 2:2. “It’s an investment.” Partner churches and parachurch organizations will provide weekly mentoring and field supervision to students. NOBTS professors will teach Blackboard-assisted courses to ensure
Seminary refocuses mentoring program; SEEKS POTENTIAL MENTORS
By GARY D. MYERS
ECOGNIZING THE ROLE EXPERIENCED MENTORS PLAY IN THE TRAINING OF MINISTERS, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) trustees approved a new, streamlined mentoring initiative during their April 15 meeting. “The strategic focus of NOBTS is to find a way to equip anyone answering the call of God to ministry,” said NOBTS President Chuck Kelley after the meeting. “We are adding the opportunity to earn a degree that involves both coaching from ministry practitioners and guided study from NOBTS professors. It is a way for students to turn most ministry settings into a seminary classroom.” The new mentoring approach refreshes the M.Div. mentoring track, making it more flexible and better suited for the needs of current students. The new M.Div. mentoring track replaces all previous mentoring-based M.Div. options. Dr. Bo Rice, assistant professor of evangelism and preaching and associate dean of supervised ministry and mentoring programs at NOBTS, believes students today place a greater value on mentorship and have a deep
TOGETHER, MENTORS AND PROFESSORS WILL WORK TO PROVIDE A TRAINING PLATFORM THAT PASSES ON THE SKILLS AND EDUCATION NEEDED TO EFFECTIVELY LEAD A CHURCH OR MINISTRY.
the academic rigor of courses is preserved. Together, mentors and professors will work to provide a training platform that passes on the skills and education needed to effectively lead a church or ministry. “The mission of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is to equip leaders to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandments through the local church and its ministries. Our target as a seminary is healthy churches,” Rice said. “The Entrust Mentoring Community is designed to keep our mission ever before us and to assist us in reaching our target.” “We desire to include the church and local ministries in the equipping of the called by partnering with mentors and students while delivering the very best in theological study guided by NOBTS faculty,” Rice said. “We believe 2 Timothy 2:2 is best accomplished when we partner together to entrust the gospel to faithful men and women who will be able to mentor others.” Potential mentors and prospective mentoring students can apply for the program at the Entrust website, www. nobts.edu/mentoring. While Entrust is the overarching mentoring approach for most M.Div. specializations, other specialized mentoring programs remain at NOBTS – one in the undergraduate program and one in the graduate worship ministries program. Leavell College will launch an 18-hour mentored church ministry minor in the bachelor of Christian ministry degree this summer. Last fall the division of church music ministries launched an 11-hour mentoring option in the master of arts in worship ministries and M.Div. with specialization in worship ministries programs. Both programs partner students with local church ministries during the mentoring segment of the degree.
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New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Registrar Paul Gregoire talks with degree candidates prior to the commencement ceremony at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, La., Aug. 27. The program at Angola awards the associate in Christian ministry and the bachelor of arts in Christian ministry degrees. Photo by Boyd Guy
NOBTS Angola prison
CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF CHANGING LIVES WITH NEW FACILITY By MARILYN STEWART
ELEBRATING A 20-YEAR PARTNERSHIP that has changed lives and deployed “missionaries,” New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary/Leavell College recently dedicated a new facility with expanded classroom and library space at Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, La. The Aug. 27 dedication followed a graduation ceremony marking the program’s 278th graduate. “This has been the most spectacular day we could ever have,” said Warden Burl Cain. “We have a new seminary building; we doubled our capacity; and, it means less victims of violent crime.” The Joan Horner Center, an 11,000 square foot building with a computer lab, two classrooms, an auditorium and library, was named in memory of benefactor Joan Horner, founder of Premier Designs of Dallas, who with husband Andy Horner were long-time supporters of the Angola ministry. An anonymous donor provided funds for the structure. James LeBlanc, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Corrections, echoed Cain’s correlation between the program’s success and a state-wide drop in repeat offenders, crediting as a factor the work of 35 NOBTS “missionaries,” graduates who asked to transfer to other Louisiana prisons in order to plant new inmate-led churches. Jimmy Dukes, the NOBTS director of the prison program, said the new facility will help meet a great need. “Other prisons and even some parish jail sheriffs want to have our missionaries,” Dukes said. “To do that, we need to recruit more students and train more students.”
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The program offers the bachelor of arts in Christian ministry and non-credit certificate degrees. Dukes said the new space can accommodate twice the current enrollment and allows master-level coursework to begin. Charles S. Kelley, Jr., NOBTS president, looked back at the program’s beginnings and noted that Cain and others who dreamed with him had the foresight to see the program’s potential. Cain, a former educator, approached associational leaders of the Judson Baptist Association, now named the Baptist Association of Greater Baton Rouge, and seminary leadership and asked them to provide educational services for the incarcerated. “They saw what God saw,” Kelley said. “They saw that God could do a mighty work.” John Hebert, missions and ministry director at the Louisiana Baptist Convention (LBC), told the graduates that the 1,639 churches of the LBC stand behind them, supporting the program annually through the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering. The center sits adjacent to the 800-seat Tudy Chapel where Kelley reminded graduates and the packed house that God has experience handling problems bigger than any they face. “It doesn’t matter what the circumstances, when God looks at you, your past and your troubles, he says, ‘Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt,’” Kelley said. Kelley told the graduates that when seminary leaders wondered how they would fund the program, “God said, ‘I fed 5,000 with one little boy’s sack lunch.’” And when Hurricane Katrina’s devastation put heavy demand on all available funds, Kelley said God’s response was, “‘This program is too important
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary president Charles S. “Chuck” Kelley, Jr., and wife Rhonda Kelley read about the NOBTS/Leavell College prison program graduates serving as “missionaries” at other penal institutions while completing their prison terms. The plaque hangs in the new Dr. Charles S. “Chuck” Kelley, Jr. Library in the recently dedicated Joan Horner Center at Louisiana State Penitentiary. Photo by Boyd Guy
The new Joan Horner Center at Louisiana State Penitentiary, which houses the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary/Leavell College prison education program, will help the seminary offer theological and ministry training to more inmates. Construction of the 11,000 square foot building was funded by an anonymous donor. Photo by Boyd Guy
THE PRISON WAS SO KNOWN FOR VIOLENCE THAT IT WAS OFTEN CALLED THE “BLOODIEST PRISON IN AMERICA.”
to stop for a minor little flood. If I can get Noah and his family through, I can handle this.’” Kelley reminded the graduates that they were on their way to lives of “impact, influence and significance.” Politicians on “both sides of the aisle” are beginning to recognize that incarceration alone is not the answer and are seeing the impact the program is making, LeBlanc said. “It’s amazing what’s going on here,” he added. NOBTS/Leavell College has active programs also at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, St. Gabriel, La.; the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Parchman, Miss.; Phillips State Prison, Buford, Ga.; and the Hardee Correctional Institute, Bowling Green, Fla.
William Hall, a spokesman for the graduating class, told the crowd he knew what Angola prison was like when Cain arrived. The prison was so known for violence that it was often called the “bloodiest prison in America.” “Warden Cain did something very few men are able to do. He let God in,” Hall said. “Isn’t it amazing what happens when Jesus comes in?” Miguel Kelley spoke, urging his fellow graduates to stay grounded and maintain an intimate relationship with God. Paroled after serving more than 23 years of a 44-year sentence, Miguel now works as an account executive at a firm in downtown New Orleans. “Work hard, with an urgency,” Miguel Kelley said. “Seek God with a hunger and thirst.” Following graduation, guests toured the Joan Horner Center and its new library, the Charles S. “Chuck” Kelley,
Jr. Library. No one individual can be credited with the program’s impact, Kelley said. “It’s bigger than that,” Kelley said. At the dedication, Kelley shared his dreams for the center’s future: $100,000 to begin the master’s level certificate in worship ministry; a $1 million endowment to cover tuition cost for all enrolled in the Louisiana prison programs; and a $5 million endowment to establish the Center for Moral Rehabilitation to provide a voice within the national conversation for how to reduce the prison population and attain genuine rehabilitation. “Where prison would be seen as a positive influence and a place of healthy preparation for reentering society,” Kelley said of the program’s mission. “It’s not education alone, but a change of heart.”
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said. “I am constantly surrounded by people who care deeply about counseling and desire to see me grow in my own skills and techniques.” After participating in an intensive, two-day orientation and reading the center’s 150- page policy and procedures manual, students in the counseling practicum begin seeing Photo by Boyd Guy clients. A student in the NOBTS master of divinity with specialization New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary student E.K. in counseling (licensure track) will Seo counsels a couple at the Leeke Magee Christian amass 280 supervised counseling Counseling Center on the seminary campus. hours by the time he or she graduates. “They start their practicum with real-life people, with real-life problems,” Steele said. “It’s everything from couples work to working with teens and children. We have people who come in that have issues with foster children and adopted children.” The center was remodeled and launched utilizing a generous estate gift following the death of NOBTS donor Leeke Magee. Operation costs of the facility are partially offset by counseling fees. Counseling fees are charged on a sliding, income-based scale. In many cases, the fees are less By GARY D. MYERS than comparable centers in New EW ORLEANS BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL Orleans. A scholarship program is available to help clients who SEMINARY added a much-needed training tool are not able to pay the normal sliding-scale rate. for the counseling program last August: the Leeke Early on, LMCCC leaders sought ways to make a significant Magee Christian Counseling Center (LMCCC). In nine impact on the community. Steele and her colleagues developed short months, the center has become an indispensable asset a partnership with Bethel Colony South/Women at the Well for counseling students and a vital resource for campus and ministry, a local addiction recovery program. LMCCC community counseling needs. counselors see more than 60 men and women affiliated with “This is something we have dreamed about for a long time,” Bethel Colony South. Student counselors also see families said Kathy Steele, LMCCC director and counseling professor involved with Crossroads NOLA, a local non profit foster at NOBTS. “It gives us the opportunity to have a one-on-one, care and adoption advocacy organization. Members of the hands-on experience supervising our students, watching them, community are also welcome to use the counseling services at working with them, training them even more closely than we the LMCCC. have been able to before.” Eighteen NOBTS master’s-level students counseled at the center during the spring semester. These students are providing TOOL FOR TRAINING up to 300 hours of low-cost counseling each month and have seen Before LMCCC opened, all NOBTS counseling students more than 160 clients since opening. completed their clinical counseling practicum hours at “I have really enjoyed my time counseling on campus at external sites throughout the city and region. And while all of Leeke Magee, said Sara Black, a second-year student from the students received high quality supervision, not all of the Tuscaloosa, Ala. “It’s been incredible to put my class material external supervisors shared the biblical worldview the NOBTS into practice each week and see my clients grow and improve.” counseling program emphasizes. Supervision was inconsistent Black counsels up to nine hours per week at LMCCC. and uneven at some locations. According to Black, the close interaction with faculty members By hosting the center, the faculty ensures consistent and NOBTS doctoral students is the most important advantage supervision for students and has an opportunity to reinforce of counseling in the on-campus facility. Bible-informed counseling principles on a daily basis. Steele “Being able to counsel on-site at NOBTS has afforded me and her colleagues mentor the students working in the center. the opportunity to get to know professors and Ph.D. students This allows them to model counseling ethics and best on a closer level and learn from them on a daily basis,” Black practices in the context of real-world counseling experiences.
NOBTS COUNSELING CENTER PROVIDES ‘HANDS-ON’ TRAINING, COMMUNITY CARE
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SEMINARY NEWS Professors also have a greater role in helping the students develop the clinical note-taking and record-keeping skills they need in professional counseling. “Most external sites have certain strengths, but there are areas where they aren’t strong,” Steele said. “Many sites don’t have videotaping capacity. We [NOBTS professors] are able to see the student at work.” LMCCC is outfitted with the specialized video technology needed to assist with the supervision and evaluation process. Steele and her colleagues review video recorded counseling sessions and provide feedback to help the students develop and hone their skills. After completing the first counseling practicum at LMCCC, many students elect to go to an external site to specialize in a certain area of counseling. However, the NOBTS faculty remains closely connected to the students. “They might go to a site that specializes in sexual addictions, or working with teenagers, or a variety of other specialized areas,” Steele said. “We still have input with these students. They are all required to participate in an hour-and-a-half of group supervision each week throughout their clinical practice.”
OPPORTUNITY FOR TRANSFORMATION Steele finds great joy in watching young counselors develop their skills and transform into seasoned Christian counselors. “By the time they finish our program, most of our students have not only gained head knowledge, most of them have gone through a transformational process in their own life,” Steele said. “To me that is one of the most exciting things.” The NOBTS program emphasizes a biblical worldview. Not only do the students take many of the foundational biblical courses common to other NOBTS master’s programs, the counseling faculty challenges students to evaluate all they study through a biblical lens. Spiritual transformation is the goal of counselors who train at NOBTS. “All of the students have to learn how to examine the foundational and philosophical assumptions of the techniques, models or theories of counseling to see if these fit the biblical worldview,” Steele said. “In typical counseling, the primary goal is to alleviate pain, alleviate suffering. That is not our primary goal. Our primary goal is to help clients come to the fullness of what God has created them to be. That doesn’t always mean that you eliminate pain and suffering.”
NOBTS counts blessings, NOT LOSSES ON KATRINA ANNIVERSARY
The story of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s Katrina decade is immersed in grace and redemption and punctuated by hope. On the tenth anniversary of the storm, the seminary community is counting blessings rather than losses and leaning into the future with anticipation. “Here we are 10 years later,” said NOBTS President Chuck Kelley. “What is my conclusion? We serve an amazing God who delights in doing awesome work to care for his children and to extend the work of His kingdom.” “We are grateful that God was able to pull out of the rubble of Katrina a city of New Orleans that has more energy and has more vitality than it has had in a very long time,” he continued. “And out of the rubble, the seminary is now strong, healthy and doing well.”
Post-Katrina Renaissance The city of New Orleans has experienced an economic and cultural renaissance since the storm. The movie industry and tech startups have joined tourism as leading economic drivers.
By GARY D. MYERS
The food and music industries are flourishing. Creativity is in the air. This renaissance is bringing young people to the city in unprecedented numbers. The fresh energy in New Orleans has spilled over to the seminary community. In recent years, Kelley has seen students become more engaged in the life of city. Many embrace the city rather than fear it. They want to be involved in the energy and they are looking for innovative ways to have a greater witness for Christ, he said. “They just aren’t threatened by the city anymore,” Kelley said. “New Orleans is still a challenging place, but it’s a place where a higher percentage of our students become excited about and embrace.” That has not always been the case. When Kelley was a student 40 years ago, he said it was common for students only to leave campus for church, to buy groceries and an occasional trip to get coffee and beignets. “Now there is a general sense of concern, care, respect and love for the city, rather than fear and intimidation. That’s a very good thing,” Kelley said. “Southern Baptists have always been strong in small towns. We have to learn how to do life and
to enjoy life in the urban context in order to reach cities for Christ. We are watching the students of NOBTS do exactly that.” Kelley said that reaching the millennial generation is shaping up as the greatest challenge in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention. However, as millennials flock to New Orleans, he hopes the seminary and local churches will find ways to reach them with the gospel.
Lasting Lessons of Katrina
During his long look back on the decade of recovery Kelley is still amazed by God’s “inexhaustible supply of redemption.” His biggest takeaway from the Katrina experience is that no matter what the believer is facing, he or she can put aside fear and trust solely on God. “Katrina did not take God by surprise nor worry Him about how He would care for me and our seminary, our seminary family, all Baptist work in the city, all the people who stayed,” Kelley said. “Our God is a redeemer and He is able to take any circumstance we are in and out of it, bring glory to His name and good to His people.”
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A TRIBUTE TO A MENTOR AND FRIEND By RHONDA HARRINGTON KELLEY
OANN LEAVELL HAS BEEN AN IMPORTANT PART OF MY LIFE FOR 39 YEARS! Chuck and I were called to NOBTS in August 1975, only seven months after Dr. Landrum P. Leavell II became its 7th president. I immediately bonded with Mrs. Leavell because we were both from New Orleans and loved our city. We both lived on campus, went to First Baptist New Orleans, and loved to talk! As a young bride, married only one year, I quickly connected with Mrs. Leavell who became a beloved mentor and friend. I was in her first student wives class in 1979 and have been closely involved in that wonderful ministry since then, now serving as the Director of the Ministry Wife Program. As a student wife, Mrs. Leavell taught me many important truths: 1. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. 2. Learn to say “no” with your teeth showing (with a smile). 3. You don’t have to do everything in the church, but you do have to do something. 4. The bigger the earrings, the better. She said, “I am part gypsy.” 5. Learn to cry pretty. (I still struggle with that one, especially as I say goodbye to my friend.) Nineteen eighty-three was a very big year for the Kelleys. Chuck received his Th.D. in May, I received my Ph.D. in August, and he joined the NOBTS faculty in August of that year. Chuck had worked with Dr. Leavell as grader for his evangelism class while
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working on his doctorate. Though he was called to evangelism and planned a ministry in itinerant evangelism, God had different plans for Chuck’s life. In the spring of 1983, Dr. Leavell approached Chuck about teaching evangelism. After redirection from the Lord, Chuck accepted the position and became the youngest faculty member at NOBTS and the only faculty member without significant church staff experience. Our ministry connection with the Leavells continued during Chuck’s 13 years on the faculty as Professor of Evangelism, Chairman of Pastoral Ministries, and Director of the Leavell Center for Evangelism. As a professor’s wife, Mrs. Leavell trained me for ministry and shared many life lessons along the way: 1. If you love me, call me JoAnn. That was hard! She was Mrs. Leavell and held my greatest respect. I could never call him Landrum. 2. If you are sick on Sunday morning, move your car from the driveway so the students won’t think you are sleeping in. 3. If you don’t pick up the trash on campus, no one will. 4. A written thank you note is a lasting ministry. 5. Wear black; it looks better on your hips. During those years, I had the joy of working with JoAnn on many campus events. We planned two major conferences for women. She called them “big women’s conferences,” but little women could come too. Our theme was “Lord, Change Me.” Dr. Leavell
IT WAS MY JOY TO ACCOMPANY HER TO STEIN MART TO DRESS MANY GRATEFUL STUDENT WIVES. SHE DID HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT THEIR CLOTHING CHOICES. ON OCCASION, SHE WOULD FLING OPEN THE DOOR OF THE DRESSING ROOM TO EXAMINE AN OUTFIT AND EXCLAIM, “HONEY, THAT COLOR DOESN’T WORK FOR YOU.” THE STUDENT WIVES WERE ALWAYS GRATEFUL FOR HER GENEROSITY AND PERSONAL ATTENTION.
teased us about being partners in crime. He called us Bim and Bo (Bimbo), threatening to plan a conference with Chuck with the theme “Lord, Change Her Back!” One of her personal passions was the JoAnn Leavell Clothing Ministry. It was my joy to accompany her to Stein Mart to dress many grateful student wives. She did have opinions about their clothing choices. On occasion, she would fling open the door of the dressing room to examine an outfit and exclaim, “Honey, that color doesn’t work for you.” The student wives were always grateful for her generosity and personal attention. We continue that ministry in her memory. JoAnn wrote two books, her “Alpha and Omega!” Joy in the Journey was a reflection on life after her “episode” (a stroke). I had the joy of writing Don’t Miss the Blessing with her. Dr. Leavell said that I was “the only person on earth who could outline JoAnn!” I am so grateful that we revised that book for ministry wives in 2010. She spent a week at their apartment on campus, and we worked through the manuscript while drinking coffee and reminiscing. I read aloud each word of the book for her to approve or reject as she often digressed to tell the rest of the story. That was a special time of bonding. JoAnn involved me in Women’s Auxiliary at NOBTS, the organization which provides scholarships for student wives seeking undergraduate or graduate degrees. I now serve in her previous position as First Vice President, coordinating programs for the meetings. She also involved me in the SBC Ministers’ Wives Luncheon. She served as president in 1978 and received the Mrs. J.M. Dawson award as an outstanding ministry wife in 1990. She nominated me to serve as Vice President in 1990 and as President in 2010. My greatest honor was her nomination of me for the Mrs. J.M. Dawson Award in 2005 just before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. I was thrilled to host the Ministers Wives Executive Committee for lunch in the NOBTS President’s Home in June 2012. JoAnn was there. It was her last visit to our home – the wonderful home in which both of us have spent many years of life and ministry. As the president’s wife, Mrs. Leavell encouraged me and offered wise counsel: 1. Never put your photo on the cover of the Seminary cookbook. 2. Always keep the downstairs ready for company. 3. Students come and go, but you can still make a lasting difference in their lives. 4. Don’t try to be me. Be better...be yourself! 5. People will give you lots of advice. Let it go in one ear and out the other. Listen to God! What a privilege to continue the Ministry Wife Program, Women’s Auxiliary, and Clothing Ministry loved so dearly by JoAnn Leavell. She was a bigger-than-life personality who had a profound impact on my life. I will miss her every day and will always thank God for my mentor!
Jo Ann Paris Leavell, wife of the late Landrum P. Leavell II, former president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS), died March 6 in Jackson, Miss., following an extended illness. She was 83.
Born in Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 1, 1931, to the late Earl Pierce Paris and Edna Black Paris, she graduated from Ward Belmont Junior College in Nashville, Tenn., and Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in education. On July 28, 1953, she married Landrum Pinson Leavell II. Her husband, a pastor at the time, went on to become the president of NOBTS (1975-1994). Their marriage spanned 55 years until her husband’s death Sept. 26, 2008. Both remained deeply involved in the life of New Orleans Baptist Seminary long after his retirement. Their son, David, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Millington, Tenn., serves on the seminary’s board of trustees. “Jo Ann Leavell was a perfect complement to her husband as a pastor’s wife and president’s wife, sharing his passion for evangelism, missions and ministry,” said NOBTS President Chuck Kelley. “Gracious hostess, delightful conversationalist, skillful leader, and gifted Bible teacher, she always had an eye for details and a love for people.”
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KAYLA MULLER: FINDING HER PLACE IN A ROYAL TRIBE
By MARILYN STEWART
OMETIMES THEY CRY. ALWAYS THEY PRAY. The girls’ ministry that is resonating with 7th through 12th grade teens is touching hearts by placing a girl’s worth right where it belongs: in God’s hands. Each is a unique creation, the girls are told. They are special. They are loved. They are “A Royal Tribe.” Kayla Muller, a NOBTS Master of Arts in Christian Education student, was “shaking in her boots” when she resigned her job on the youth ministry team at Williams Blvd. Baptist Church in metro New Orleans a year ago to start A Royal Tribe. But co-leader Yolanda Hingle was “all in” and, together, the two women stepped out on faith. “I’m not a risk taker at all,” Muller explains. While Muller sometimes thinks the next, new step is scary, “Yolanda will think it’s exciting,” Muller said. Meeting in homes and borrowed spaces, the ministry melds the creative with the tried-and-true and combines a mix of popular material such as Vicki Courtney’s “His Girl” Bible study series with other resources to spotlight the daily issues girls face, all with an added dose of food and fun. Post-it® notes stuck to the girls’ t-shirts at a recent meeting reading “not good enough” or “too fat” typified the labels girls and women often give themselves. When the labels were ripped off and tossed away, the biblical truth that Christ breaks every bond and meets every need was underscored.
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“We really want them to understand that our Father loves them,” Muller said. “Some don’t have fathers, or for some, the father is not the best example. That makes it hard to know what love is.” Like two sides to a coin, Muller and Hingle bring to the group the richness of their differences in age, backgrounds, and experiences. Muller was raised in a Christian home. Hingle’s journey to faith in Christ was a journey through pain and abuse. At 24, Muller is the age of Hingle’s oldest son. Their differences are what makes them “work,” Muller and Hingle say. Katie Charrier, 15, started attending before she had committed to following Christ. Her rapport with Muller and Hingle was instant. “They are such amazing ladies,” she said. “I was drawn to them.” The stark difference between Muller’s and Hingle’s backgrounds is a plus, Charrier said. “You can ask them anything,” she said. “They don’t judge.” While starting A Royal Tribe was a step of faith, it was anything but a leap into thin air. For a year, Muller and Hingle met and prayed, even before they knew what they were praying for. With her youngest son in youth group, Hingle met Muller while volunteering at youth events. The friendship grew when Hingle felt God telling her to meet with Muller and pray. “We really didn’t know what we were praying for, but we knew God was up to something good,” Hingle said. For a year the women prayed. As the vision and need for a girls’ ministry came into focus, so did the name with each word carrying its own meaning. “Royal” fit well with Hingle’s favorite term of endearment for the girls—
FACULTY NEWS “princess.” Inspired by another ministry, “Tribe” appealed to them as they visualized its meaning as a group of people “going out” together. Even the “A” is intentional, Muller says. “We don’t want to be the only one,” she said of their hope that other groups will form. “We didn’t want to limit God.” The Friday night meeting may pack out a living room or be a comfortable handful of girls, but always, A Royal Tribe is understood as a complement to the local church’s youth group. Yvette Charrier, Katie’s mother, says the difference for her daughter is important. “After youth group, she’ll often talk about what she’s learned, but after A Royal Tribe, she’ll talk about being refreshed,” Yvette Charrier said. Welcoming every girl, churched or unchurched, SPIRITUAL GROWTH, regardless of background or NEW COMMITMENTS personality, is a goal at A Royal TO CHRIST, AND Tribe that has achieved some A BLENDING AS A success as the faces in the group are a “beautiful rainbow” of what FAMILY HAS BEEN others might call “Goth, jocks, THE RESULT AS THE misfits and cheerleaders,” Hingle OLDER GIRLS STEP said. She reminds the girls often OUT TO MENTOR that “at the foot of the cross,” they THOSE YOUNGER. are all the same. Spiritual growth, new commitments to Christ, and a blending as a family has been the result as the older girls step out to mentor those younger, Kayla said. One night, as Hingle taught the Bible study, it became evident that one of the girls was deeply moved. After Hingle took her aside, another teen, a 16 year-old who was a new Christian, stepped in to take Hingle’s place. “I could have stopped her, but there was no need. What she said was so good,” Muller said. “She was ‘on fire.’” Social media helps Muller keep up with the girls, though she grieves over the hurt that is often on display. One night, feeling an urgent prompt from God to pray for a particular girl, Muller was “on the floor, crying” and praying when a text came in to her phone. The text was from the girl for whom Muller was praying. The girl’s message to Muller said she had prayed and given her life to Christ. As A Royal Tribe continues to grow, Kayla and Yolanda are intent on guiding the girls to be missional and service-minded. Sometimes, that means showing them how to share their faith at school. Other times it baking lasagna to take to senior adults confined to home. God has been faithful each step of the way, Muller said. Where the ministry is headed, the women don’t know, but they are content to lean on Jesus. Where the ministry is headed, the women don’t know, but they are content to lean on Jesus. “Yolanda always tells me, ‘The Lord doesn’t give you the big picture. He gives you the little, bitty steps along the way,’” Muller said. “Wherever God takes A Royal Tribe, I’m excited. Yolanda and I are just volunteers. This is what the Lord has called us to do and we’re going to do it with all we have.”
Brown called ‘neighborhood champion’ for post-Katrina work in Hollygrove Kevin Brown, now a social work professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, poured his life into the Hollygrove neighborhood as the director of Trinity Christian Community (TCC) from 1998 until 2013. At no time was his commitment to Hollygrove more evident than in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While national media coverage surrounding the 10th anniversary of the storm virtually ignored the grassroots recovery efforts of local New Orleanians, local publications took notice. Preservation in Print, the official magazine of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, called Brown a “neighborhood champion” in its September 2015 edition in series titled “Heroes among Us.” In the immediate aftermath, Brown secured the $2 million in funding needed to deploy 100 AmeriCorps members throughout the city to to assist with house gutting and reconstruction. Preservation in Print called the this AmeriCorps initiative “game-changing for the city’s recovery effort.” The article also highlighted the community development work Brown has been a part of in his 15 years at TCC. The efforts include afterschool tutoring, youth mentoring, prenatal health programs, and assisting in the development of the Hollygrove Market, a popular farmer’s market in Hollygrove. Brown was also instrumental in the opening of Dunbar Elementary School in the neighborhood. “Every positive thing that has happened in Hollygrove in recent memory, Kevin played at least some role in it,” said Jon Skvarka, director of PRC’s Rebuilding Together New Orleans initiative, the magazine reported. Brown, currently pursuing a Ph.D. in urban studies at the University of New Orleans, left TCC in 2013 to teach in the social work program at NOBTS. However, Brown said TCC will continue in community development efforts aimed at raising incomes and homeownership rates in the neighborhood under the leadership of Jarvain Bingmon.
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FACULTY NEWS Faculty Anniversaries
15 Years of Service
The following faculty members were recognized for their years of service at NOBTS during the seminary Convocation Sept. 8: NORRIS GRUBBS | Professor of New Testament and Greek, Leavell College
10 Years of Service
KRISTYN CARVER | Professor of Psychology and Counseling
PRESTON NIX | Professor of Evangelism
LLOYD HARSCH | Professor of Church History and Baptist Studies
LAURIE WATTS | Professor of Educational Technology
and Evangelistic Preaching
CRAIG PRICE | Professor of New Testament and Greek
25 years of Service BILL WARREN | Professor of New Testament and Greek and Director of the
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KATHY STEELE |
Professor of Psychology
Center for Textual
New Faculty Members
KEN ELLIS | Associate Professor of Christian Ministry and Moral Rehabilitation, Leavell College
JEFFREY FARMER | Associate Professor of Church Ministry and Evangelism, Leavell College
ANGIE BAUMAN | Director of Student Services at North Georgia Hub, has been promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate professor of Christian Education. Bauman was also granted tenure by the trustees.
JONATHAN KEY | Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry, Leavell College JEFF GRIFFIN | Dean of Libraries, has JAMES “JAMIE” KILLION | Associate Professor of Voice
been promoted from Associate Professor to Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew.
and Conducting (Presidential appointment)
BO RICE | Assistant Professor of Evangelism and Preaching ED STEELE | has been promoted from Associate Professor to Professor of Music in Leavell College. COURTNEY VEASEY | Instructor of Biblical Womanhood, Leavell College
RICK YOUNT | Visiting Professor of Christian Education
KATHY STEELE | Director of Clinical Training, has been promoted from Associate Professor to Professor of Psychology and Counseling, occupying the James H. & Susan E. Brown Christian Counseling Chair.
Steele receives counseling educator award from LAMFT Dr. Kathy Steele, Professor of Psychology and Counseling at NOBTS, received the 2015 Louisiana Association of Marriage & Family Therapy’s (LAMFT) Distinguished Educator Award. The award, announced during the LAMFT annual conference Feb. 19-21, was presented “in recognition of her outstanding teaching in the field of marriage and family therapy; fostering and maintaining strong connections with students; and encouraging and supporting students in their development as therapists.” VISION Fall 2015
FACULTY NEWS Dr. Harry Eskew presented with Lifetime Achievement Award Dr. Harry Eskew of Macon, Ga., was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Georgia Baptist Church Music Conference (GBCMC) during a recent meeting at North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville. He retired after serving as professor of music history and hymnology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for 36 years. He has written several books on hymnology and served as a member of the committees for the Baptist Hymnal 1975 and Baptist Hymnal 1991. He is also an expert in shape-note hymnody and continues involvement with singing conventions and hymnology events, including the Sacred Harp Singing Convention held each year in Macon. He is pictured with Rob Hobby (right), outgoing president of the GBCMC.
IN DEFENSE OF DOCTRINE: Evangelicalism, Theology, and Scripture (Emerging Scholars) Dr. Rhyne Putman Fortress Press, 2015 Questions surrounding the relationship of Scripture and doctrine are legion within the Protestant tradition. How can doctrine develop over time and maintain fidelity to the sacred text, especially for communities who cling to the Reformation principle of sola scriptura? Does not an appeal to contemporary, constructive theology belie commonly held Protestant and Evangelical convictions about the sufficiency of Scripture? Does admission and acceptance of doctrinal development result in a kind of reality-denying theological relativism? And in what way can a growing, postcanonical tradition maintain a sense of continuity with the faith of the New Testament? This study is an apologetic for the ongoing, constructive theological task in Protestant and Evangelical traditions. Joining the recent call to theological interpretation of Scripture, Putman provides a constructive model that forwards a descriptive and normative pattern for reading Scripture and theological tradition together. Dr. Rhyne Putman is Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned the Master of Divinity degree, the Master of Theology degree and the Doctor of Philosophy degree at NOBTS.
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DISCIPLE: The Ordinary Personâ€™s Guide To Discipling Teenagers Dr. Allen Jackson Youth Ministry 360, 2015 DISCIPLE: The Ordinary Personâ€™s Guide To Discipling Teenagers, written by one of the leading voices in youth ministry, Dr. Allen Jackson, is a practical, down-to-earth guide for leading teenagers to pursue Christ. DISCIPLE will help challenge and equip those who work with teenagers to get serious about disciple-making. Dr. Jackson has spent decades discipling teenagers and teaching youth workers to do the same. He condenses his many years of experience into this short but dynamic book. Dr. Allen Jackson is Professor of Youth Education and Collegiate Ministry and the Director of the Youth Ministry Institute at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned the Master of Religious Education degree and the Doctor of Philosophy degree at NOBTS.
DR. DANIEL HOLCOMB B.D., ‘59 Senior Professor of Church History at NOBTS
CLASS NOTES 1950S
SYFRETT, HAROLD W. (BDiv ‘53) recently published a memoir, The Life Story of a Country Boy from Orangeburg, South Carolina. The book follows one minister’s journey of faith from service in the U.S. Navy through more than 50 years of ministry in the South Carolina Baptists. The book is available on the Amazon website.
JUSTICE, WILLIAM G. (BDiv ‘61) recently published “A Hospital Chaplain’s 39 True Short Stories.” The book is available in Kindle format.
PHILLIPS, JERE (MDiv ‘78; ThD ‘82) recently published “Pastoral Ministry for the Next Generation.” The book, available at innovopublishing.com, integrates contemporary issues with biblical principles and offers “how to’s” for nearly every aspect of church ministry. REV. CLAUDE KING M.Div., ‘83; M.R.E., ‘84 Discipleship Specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources and co-author of
Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God (with Henry Blackaby)
GREGORY, JOHN A. (ADPM ‘83) is serving as Pastoral Care/Senior Adult Pastor of FBC Canton, Ga. John recently retired from the Moody Bible Institute. Friends may contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BROWN, DAVID (MRE ‘90) received the Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in Teaching and Learning with a concentration in Language and Literacy from Georgia State University in March.
DR. RUSSELL MOORE M.Div., ‘97 President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (SBC) and author of
GIBSON, BERNARD “SMOKEY” ALLEN JR. (BACMin ‘01; MACE ‘03), was recently called as Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in Biloxi, Miss.
WILBANKS, MICHAEL (MDiv ‘11) was elected as the Vice President (2015) and PresidentElect (2016) of the Mississippi Baptist Pastors Conference.
Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel.
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ALUMNI NEWS DEATHS AARON, MELVIN L. SR. (attended ‘90) of Baton Rouge, La., passed away Nov. 13, 2005. ALBRIGHT, HOMER K. (BDiv ‘55) of Vero Beach, Fla., passed away Oct. 7, 2001. ALEXANDRENKO, NIKOLAI (BDiv ‘56, ThD ‘64) of Alexandria, La., passed away Feb. 3, 2015. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mae Frances. ALFONSO, DOLORES (AX ‘87) of Tampa, Fla., passed away March 14, 2005. ALGEE, LELAND W. (CCM ‘03) of Senatobia, Miss., passed away May 20, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Faye Pope Algee. ALLEN, LULA R. (CCT ‘50) of Charlotte, N.C., passed away March 31, 2013.
BLACK, FLOYD A. (attended ‘26) of Canton, Miss., passed away June 25, 1994. BLANTON, BETTY (MRE ‘55) of Greenwood, Ark., passed away Feb. 9, 2007. BLANTON, HERBERT T. (BDiv ‘54; MRE ‘55) of Greenwood, Ark., passed away Aug. 17, 2008. BORING, DORIS CULBERTSON (DPRE ‘66) passed away March 10, 2015. She is survived by her husband, James Milton Boring (MRE ‘68) and daughter, Brenna Boring (MACE ‘94). BOSTON, RAYMOND A. (BDiv ‘63) of Humboldt, Tenn., passed away July 19, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Ann Bray Boston, and other family members.
ALLEY, JAMES (MDiv ‘75) of Rocky Mount, N.C., passed away Jan. 27, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Gail Alley.
BROWN, S. AUTRY (BDiv ‘55 exchanged for MDiv ‘73; MRE ’56; DRE ‘65 exchanged for EdD ‘68;) of Bolivar, Mo., passed away May 5, 2014.
ASHLEY, DANIEL M. (MRE ‘82) of Brandon, Miss., passed away on Dec. 31, 2014.
BRYAN, STANLEY H. (AX ‘82) of Tupelo, Miss., passed away Nov. 1, 2014.
ATKINS, WAVERLEY E. (MRE ‘65) of Ruston, La., passed away Jan. 17, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Marie Atkins.
BURKS, MARGARET D. (MDiv ‘96) of Flowery Branch, Ga., passed away May 20, 2014. She is survived by her stepchildren and other family members.
AYCOCK, JOEL D. (attended ‘60) of Gulfport, Miss., passed away July 3, 1991.
BURSON, AGNES T. (MRE ‘59) of Carrollton, Ga., passed away Nov. 2, 2014. She was preceded in death by her husband, John H. Burson Jr.
BARTLETT, ROSELMA (BX ‘51) of Alexandria, La., passed away April 19, 2012. She was preceded in her death by her husband, Joseph Bartlett.
BUSBY, WILLIAM O. (BDiv ‘63) of Chase, La., passed away Jan. 11, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Ruby Busby.
BEARD, JOYCE (CMU ‘08) of Hazlehurst, Miss., passed away March 14, 2012. She is survived by her husband, Jesse Beard.
CALHOUN, C.W. (AX ‘59) of Coushatta, La., passed away Jan. 1, 2008.
BEECH, WILLIAM D. (AX ‘92) of Lewisburg, Tenn., passed away March 22, 2013. He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Beech.
2014. He is survived by his wife, Annie Belle Sanders Bishop, and other family members.
CARTER, JAMES D. (PX ‘74) of Panama City, Fla., passed away Jan. 16, 2015. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mari Carter.
BERRY, HERMAN LEE (AX ‘91) of Shepherdsville, Ky., passed away Sept. 27, 2011.
CHAPMAN, WALTER F. SR. (BDiv ‘54) of Riverview, Fla., passed away Jan. 11, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Ida Chapman, and other family members.
BISHOP, WILLIAM F. JR. (BDiv ‘61, Exchanged for MDiv ‘73) of Leesville, S.C., passed away April 30,
CHEVALLIER, VERNON (attended ‘55) of Sulphur, La., passed away April 30, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 59
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years, Ida E. Daigle Chevallier, and other family members. CLARK, DAVID B. (attended ‘73) of Florence, Miss., passed away May 29, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Pam Keen Clark, and other family members. CLARKE, MARY N. (EDS ‘71; EdD ‘75) of Louisville, Ky., passed away Nov. 1, 2014. She was preceded in death by her husband Dr. Coleman Clarke. CLAY, DANNY (CGM ‘99) of Meridian, Miss., passed away Nov. 3, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Shannon Clay. COMBS, WENDELL DOYL (CCT ‘52) of Moulton, Ala., passed away Aug. 13, 1989. CREEL, CECIL (attended 1957) of Centralia, Wash., passed away Feb. 13, 2013. He was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma Creel. CRUMPLER, CAROLYN W. (MRE ‘58) of Cincinnati, Ohio, passed away Jan. 2, 2015. She is survived by her husband, Joe Crumpler. CULBRETH, HERSHELL K. (MX ‘88) of Albany, Ga., passed away Oct. 13, 2000. DAMPEER, CHARLES (MRE ‘63) of Columbus, Miss., passed away Dec. 6, 2014. He was preceded in death by his wife Marion Sims Dampeer. DARBY, ROBERT W. (MRE ‘70, ThM ’71, EdD ‘73) of Carrollton, Ga., passed away March 20, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Elaine Darby. DAVILA, WALTER A. (CPM ‘00) of New Orleans, La., passed away Nov. 20, 2009. DAVIS, MARION E. (MX ‘68) of Robertsdale, Ala., passed away Oct. 14, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Helen Hall. DEGARMO, DONALD (attended ‘66) of Jefferson, N.Y., passed away Sept. 29, 2004. DOBBS, EUGENE (BDiv ‘62; DMin ‘74) of Philadelphia, Miss., passed away April 4, 2014. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty. He is survived by his children and other family members. DOUCET, LEE E. of Westlake, La.,
passed away Nov. 29, 2011. She is survived by her husband, Leroy Joseph Doucet Jr. (ADPM ‘92), and other family members. DUDLEY, DONNA K. (NX ‘89) of Clarksville, Tenn., passed away March 7, 2015. She is survived by her husband, Carl Dudley. DUKE JR., JOHN (BX ‘66) of Suwanee, Ga., passed away Dec. 12, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Ellen Duke. DUPREE, JOSEPH D. JR. (attended ‘85) of Natchitoches, La., passed away Nov. 21, 2011. EARNSHAW, GEORGE D. JR. (MRE ‘64) of Chattanooga, Tenn., passed away Sept. 28, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Dorothy Earnshaw. ELLERD, RAMOND P. (MDiv ‘93) of Malvern, Ark., passed away Dec. 20, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Lori Ellerd. ELLIOTT, MORRIS H. (MRE ‘54) of Bellevue, Neb., passed away April 10, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lucille, and other family members. ELLIS, CLIFTON (ThM ‘74) of Mount Olive, Miss., passed away Jan. 16, 2014. ENZOR, BURNEY H. (BDiv ‘61) of Troy, Ala., passed away Jan. 8, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jeanell Enzor. EVANS, FRANKIE D. (AX ‘79) of Meridian, Miss., passed away March 8, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Noveline Evans. FAGAN, GARY J. (ThMH ‘72; DMin ‘77) of Pearl, Miss., passed away May 14, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Bertha Pepper Fagan, and other family members. FARR, EDWARD C. (ThB ‘49) of Memphis, Tenn. passed away Feb. 10, 1996. FARR, MARY W. of Memphis, Tenn., passed away May 1, 1999. She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward C. Farr (ThB ‘49). FRANKS, ROSA (CCT ‘49) of Birmingham, Ala., passed away Feb. 23, 2012.
GALLAMORE-GLAZE, MARY L. (AX ‘55) of Mulga, Ala., passed away Jan. 21, 2015. GAMBLE, DIXIE L. (DPCH ‘60) of Columbia, S.C., passed away Dec. 22, 2014. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Gamble. GILBERT, BETTY (AX ‘49) of Hammond, La., passed away April 20, 2014. She preceded her husband, John Gilbert. GILBERT, JOHN L. (BDiv ‘55) of Hammond, La., passed away Jan. 11, 2015. He was preceded by his wife, Betty Dicken Gilbert. GILBERT, WYATT M. (BDiv ‘50) of Clarkesville, Ga., passed away April 14, 1989. GOFF, ERNEST (BDiv ‘56, Exchange for MDiv ’74) of Hattiesburg, Miss., passed away March 24, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Bernice Johnson Goff. GRAVES, THOMAS L. (APM ‘98) of Franklinton, La., passed away Nov. 4, 2014. GRIGSBY, CLAUDE E. (MRE ‘61) of Cleveland, Ala., passed away May 28, 2014. He is survived his wife, Pearl N. Grigsby, and other family members. GRIMM, IDA K. (CWM ‘09) of Nampa, Idaho, passed away June 17, 2013. GRUBB, JACK B. (attended ‘59) of New Orleans, La., passed away Feb. 3, 2008. GRUBBS, TRENNIS F. (BX ‘61) of New Albany, Miss., passed away Jan. 5, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn Gault Grubbs. HAGLER, ROBERT T. (attended ‘78) of Malone, Fla., passed away July 7, 2008. HATLEY, H. REX (CX ‘75) of Warren, Pa., passed away Feb. 25, 2008. HAWKINS, JESSE L. (BX ‘66) of Huntingdon, Tenn., passed away Dec. 10, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Margaret Hawkins.
away March 31, 2014. She is survived by her children and other family members. HONEA, LUCILLE F. (CPM ‘02) of Gadsden, Ala., passed away Oct. 11, 2014. HOWARD, SARAH P. (BRE ‘55) of San Angelo, Texas, passed away Feb. 23, 2015. She is preceded by her husband, Fred Howard. JARRARD, ROLAND L. (BDiv ‘58) of Penney Farms, Fla., passed away April 19, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Rosemary Jarrard, and other family members. JOHNSON, JAMES H. (attended ‘55) of Opp, Ala., passed away Aug. 23, 2011. JOHNSTON, JUANITA (MRE ‘52) of Bryson City, Mo., passed away March 6, 2013. JONASSAINT, MARIE G. of Naples, Fla., passed away Aug. 2, 2011. She was preceded in death by her husband, Abede Jonassaint (ADPM ‘88). JONES, CAROLYN of Pass Christian, Miss., passed away Dec. 29, 2011. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. James R. Jones (MRE ‘63, DRE ‘71). JONES, JOE (BDiv ‘60, exchanged for MDiv ‘88) of Leoma, Tenn., passed away Dec. 6, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Wanda Jones. JORDAN, CLIFFORD F. (BDiv ‘58; ThD ‘65) of Baton Rouge, La., passed away Nov. 10, 2014. He is survived by his wife, June Jordan. KEEN, HOMER E. (Bdiv ‘54) of Hunstville, Ala., passed away on April 29, 2000. KEESLER, DONALD (DPCH ‘64) of Bolivar, Mo., passed away June 30, 2014. He is preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, D. June Keesler. KENNEDY, MARIA JEANINE (attended ‘85) of Houston, Texas, passed away Sept. 25, 2010. KNIGHT, JAMES (BDiv ‘52) passed away Feb. 16, 2015.
HEMBREE, DAN G. (attended ‘59) of McLain, Miss., passed away July 3, 2008.
KNIGHT, ROGER D. SR. (MDiv ‘74) of Darlington, S.C., passed away Feb. 13, 2011.
HOLMES, MARGURETTE S. (attended ‘45) of Tuscaloosa, Ala., passed
LADNIER, OLIVER C. (MRE ‘66) of Vicksburg, Miss., passed away Jan. 19, VISION Fall 2015
ALUMNI NEWS 2015. He is survived by his wife, Patsy Dossett. LAMBERT, LOUIS G. JR. (DRE ‘71) of Fitzgerald, Ga., passed away March 27, 2010. LANGNER, E EUGENE JR. (DMin ‘83) of Phenix City, Ala., passed away Dec. 18, 2013. He is survived by many family members. LUEBBERT, RICHARD W. (BDiv ‘55) of Shelbyville, Ky., passed away March 4, 2015. He is preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Embree.
POWE, RENE (attended ‘85) of Baytown, Texas, passed away Jan. 2, 2009.
NEWCOMB, CAROLYN W. of Counce, Tenn., wife of A. Ray Newcomb (MRE ‘68), passed away Oct. 30, 2010. She is survived by her husband.
PRESTON, BENTON (BDiv ‘59) of Clinton, Miss., passed away April 3, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Ann Preston, and other family members.
O’DONNELL, J.D. (ThD ’61, BDiv ‘58) of Gadsden, Ala., passed away Feb. 1, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Jean O’Donnell.
MAJOR, AL (BDiv ‘52, ThM ‘57) of West Helena, Ark., passed away April 28, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Sarah Major.
OSTEAN, W.R. (attended ‘55) of Tallahassee, Fla., passed away Feb. 8, 2014. He was preceded in death by his wife, Fay Ostean. He is survived by his children and other family members.
MALONE, JACOB O. (D.EdMin ‘05) of Augusta, Ga., passed away Aug. 27, 2013.
PALMER, J.C. (BGS ‘97) of Maurepas, La., passed away April 11, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Patsy Palmer.
MARKHAM, ALBERT L. (DPM ‘74) of Roopville, Ga., passed away Dec. 4, 2009.
PELHAM, JAMES (MRE ‘54) of Thomasville, Ga., passed away Nov. 11, 2014. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary L. Pelham, and is survived by his wife, Myrtice Pelham.
MARTIN, JEAN H. Of Philadelphia, Miss., wife of Hugh Martin (ThM ‘67), passed away Oct. 3, 2013. MASON, SOLOMON B. (MRE ‘63) of Raymond, Miss., passed away March 8, 2015. He was preceded in death by his wife, Esther. MCABEE, ROSIE N. (AX ‘79) of McDonough, Ga., passed away Oct. 31, 2014. She is preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, Isaac David McAbee.
PETERSON, KOY (DipM ‘23) of Culpeper, Va., passed away Dec. 3, 1988. PICKERING, DEWITT (BDiv ‘59) of Laurel, Miss., passed away March 15, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marilynn Pickering. PIERCE, CAROLYN E. (ADPM ‘86, ADRE ‘88, M.Div .’92) of New Orleans, La., passed away Nov. 9, 2009.
PRICE, JOSEPH C. JR. (DPRE ‘56) of Richmond, Va., passed away July 22, 2007. PRIVETT, LOIS E. (DPCT ‘41) of Cullman, Ala., passed away March 3, 2007. QUICK, VAN D. (BDiv ‘58) of Clinton, Miss., passed away March 1, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Shelly, and other family members. RAY, JOEL D. SR. (DRE ‘60, MRE ‘57) of Hattiesburg, Miss., passed away Dec. 6, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Betty Ray. RICHARDSON, JAMES M. (BDiv ‘53) of Madison, Miss., passed away Dec. 30, 2005. ROBERTSON, WYNONA O. of Mobile, Ala., wife of W. G. Robertson (DPCT ‘54), passed away March 26, 2012. She was preceded in death by her husband. ROGERS, FOY H. (BDiv ‘50) of Jackson, Miss., passed away Dec. 28, 1989.
PIRTLE, ALVIN T (DPCH ‘68) of Dyersburg, Tenn., passed away March 6, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Shirley.
ROLLINS, JEFFREY D. (DMin ‘11) of Springfield, Ga., passed away Feb. 15, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Sheppard Rollins, and other family members.
PLAUCHE, MELVIN P. (ThB ‘59) of Pineville, La., passed away March 25, 2014.
RUNNELS, INEZ (AX ‘32) of Orange, Texas, passed away April 29, 2007.
MCQUEEN, CARL C. (attended ‘65) of Picayune, Miss., passed away May 15, 2014.
PLAUCHE, MILDRED H. (BRE ‘59) of Pine Prairie, La., passed away Sept. 18, 2008.
SCHOCHLER, F. FLOYD (ThM ‘39) of Rusk, Texas, passed away Feb. 17, 1998.
MEADOR, ALFRED C. (BDiv ‘63) of Lake Charles, La., passed away April 27, 2014. He is survived by his wife, JoAnn, and other family members.
POLK, LEON STANLEY (BDiv ‘51) of Riverside, Calif., passed away Feb. 4, 1999.
SCHOCHLER, OPHA (MCT ‘40) of Brenham, Texas, passed away April 5, 1989.
MILLER, FLORYNE (BCT ‘39) of Johnson City, Tenn., passed away Jan. 1, 1986.
POLK, VERNON (MX ‘60) of Grenada, Miss., passed away Sept. 10, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Polk.
SCOTT, JOHN D. (CCT ‘39) of Morgan City, La., passed away Dec. 14, 1993.
MURPHEY, MARJORIE E. (MRE ‘49) of Levelland, Texas, passed away Feb. 13, 2002.
POSEY, RICHARD W. (CCM ‘02) of Benton, Miss., passed away June 27, 2008.
MCKEEVER, MARGARET (MX ‘92) of New Orleans, La., passed away Jan. 29, 2015. She is survived by her husband, Joe McKeever (ThM ‘67; DMin ‘73).
NEEL, JASPER P. (CCT ‘53) of Hamilton, Ala., passed away May 28, 1992.
VISION Fall 2015
SCOTT, OPHELIA S. (attended ‘37) of Alexandria, La., passed away Dec. 16, 1994.
SEAL, RUTH H. of LaGrange, Ga., passed away May 2, 2014. She is preceded by her husband, Thomas J. Seal (BTh ‘43). She is survived by her children and other family members. SEDBERRY, R J. JR. (ThB ‘48) of Silerton, Tenn., passed away April 3, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Norma Jean Siler Sedberry. SHARP, WILLIAM (attended ‘14) passed away May 18, 2014. He is survived by his mother, Ginger Sharp, and other family members. SHIRLEY, LANELDA (attended ‘51) of Gainesville, Ga., passed away April 5, 2014. She is survived by her husband of 68 years, Robert E. Shirley, and other family members. SIMMONS, OTHAR (MCM ‘66) of Hattiesburg, Miss., passed away Oct. 5, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Mary Simmons. SJOLANDER, RAYMOND D. (CCT ‘44) of Huffman, Texas, passed away March 28, 2012. SMITH, ANDREW (BDiv ‘56) of Montgomery, Ala., passed away Jan. 29, 2015. He was preceded in death by his wife, Grace A. Smith. SMITH, FREDDIE L. (MCM ‘66) of Beaumont, Texas, passed away April 30, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Nancy Hanks Smith, and other family members. SMITH, GRAHAM (MCM ‘63) of Clinton, Miss., passed away Feb. 2, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Alice Smith. SNIDER, T.W. (AX ‘39) of Atlanta, Ga., passed away Feb. 13, 2009. SNYDER, DAVID P. (DipM ‘50) of Marshville, N.C., passed away Nov. 21, 2005. His wife Gwendolyn S. Snyder, passed away July 18, 2006. STEPHENS, WILLIAM G. (MDiv ‘81) of Soso, Miss., passed away Feb. 11, 2012. SUTTON, NORMAN L. (BRE ‘53) of Shreveport, La., passed away May 28, 2008. His wife Dorothy J. Sutton (attended ‘53) passed away Nov. 10, 2008. TABA, JAMES (CX ‘47) of Honolulu, Hawaii, passed away Feb. 6, 2001.
TAYLOR, MARIE C. (CCM ‘00) of Meridian, Miss., passed away Feb. 11, 2014. She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Larry Taylor.
WELLS, EDSOL (MRE ‘64) of Meridian, Miss., passed away March 1, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Gilda Wells.
TERRY, MARY (BCT ‘25) of Center, Texas, passed away Jan. 19, 1995.
WHITE, JAMES D (MX ‘66) of Tupelo, Miss., passed away Oct. 22, 2008.
THURMAN, ROBERT (BDiv ‘64) passed away Jan. 1, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Elba. TOLBERT, MALCOLM O. (BDiv ‘52; ThD ‘62) of Baton Rouge, La., passed away Nov. 27, 2014. He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Nell Sills Tolbert. TORRES-GOMEZ, HUGO (NX ‘85) of Holiday, Fla., passed away April 13, 2011. TURNER, ELLIS B. (BDiv ‘53) of Ridgecrest, N.C., passed away Dec. 19, 2012. VAUGHAN, ROBERT T. (MDiv ‘73) of Pensacola, Fla., passed away Nov. 2, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sandra Baggett Vaughan. WAGER, RANDY (MX ‘91) of Lucedale, Miss., passed away Dec. 13, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Wager. WAITT, HAROLD G. (DipM ‘68) of Lake Park, Ga., passed away Feb. 25, 1999. WALKER, MACK (DPCH ‘64) of Jonesville, La., passed away Sept. 17, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Ezetta Walker. WALKER, MARY S. (MRE ‘51) of Spindale, N.C., passed away Oct. 31, 2012. WALSH, JOE G. (BSM ‘58, MSM ‘59, MRE ‘59) of Ringgold, La., passed away Sept. 20, 2004. He was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor P. Walsh. WARD, ADIN (BDiv ‘45) of Carthage, Miss., passed away Jan. 1, 1987. WARDLE, KENNETH N. (MRE ‘69) of Brooklyn, Miss., passed away June 27, 2009. WEBB, JEAN D. (attended ‘58) of Memphis, Tenn., passed away Feb. 27, 2014. She was preceded in death by her husband, Milton A. Webb. She is survived by her children and other family members.
WHITTINGTON, RUTH T. (NX ‘37) of Alexandria, La., passed away Oct. 26, 2007. WILDER, GILBERT E. (MX ‘79) of Clark County, Ky., passed away July 17, 2014. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lucille Wilder. WILKERSON, PATSY A. (BRE ‘57) of Monroe, Ga., passed away Feb. 27, 2015. She was preceded in death by her husband, W. Norris Wilkerson. WILKINSON, ELWYN JR. (BDiv ‘65, ThD ‘72) of Gulfport, Miss., passed away June 2, 2008. WILLIAMS, H. FRED (BDiv ‘55, MRE ‘64) of Dothan, Ala., passed away Nov. 1, 2010. WILLIAMS, LUCIAN L. (CCT ‘51) of Wiggins, Miss., passed away Sept. 30, 2013. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Iva Loye Breland Williams, and other family members. WILLIAMS, PAMELA (MX ‘88) of Metairie, La., passed away March 13, 2015. WILLIS, GEORGE C. (BDiv ‘58) of Satellite Beach, Fla., passed away Sept. 27, 2001. WILSON, JOHNNY R. (MACE ‘99) of Dothan, Ala., passed away Dec. 2, 2014. He is survived by his wife Debbie Wilson. WOMACK, DAVID (AX ‘90) of Shreveport, La, passed away May 12, 2012. WRAY, JAMES M. (MX ‘95) of Snellville, Ga., passed away Dec. 13, 2013. WYNN, CHARLES R. (MDiv ‘75, DMin ‘76) of Lanett, Ala., passed away Jan. 9, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Clara Wynn. YARBROUGH, NANCY E. (MRE ‘67) of Winder, Ga. passed away March 12, 2014. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, James A. Yarbrough, and other family members. VISION Fall 2015
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