Vision Magazine Fall 2021

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VISION

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College

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THE PRESIDENT'S PERSPECTIVE

Preparing Servants to Walk with Christ, Proclaim His Truth, and Fulfill His Mission.

“….But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.” Mark 10:43-44 In the pages that follow you will read stories of men and women who faithfully serve the NOBTS and Leavell College family. Their commitment to serving others is an example to each of us. They may not be the best known men and women outside of the NOBTS and Leavell College family, but you will know and recognize their faces. Celebrate with me, all that God has done through these faithful servants and rejoice that they are a part of our family. We are grateful for the ways in which God continues to care for the School of Providence and Prayer. He has seen us through another storm season with hurricane damage. While we do have damage to the facilities of the campus, God has given us a unique opportunity to use this moment to re-envision the campus. These are exciting days full of hard work as we update our facilities for future generations of men and women who will come to New Orleans to prepare for ministry. We are looking forward to the days ahead. Join us in these efforts. Pray for us. Send us students. Support us financially. Come and see us and all that God is doing here at NOBTS and Leavell College.

Dr. Jamie Dew President, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College

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FALL 2021 DR. JAMIE DEW DR. LARRY W. LYON DR. CHRIS SHAFFER DR. BO SMITH GARY D. MYERS MARILYN STEWART MADELYNN DUKE ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Volume 77, Number 1

President Vice President for Business Administration Associate Vice President of Institutional Strategy Director of Alumni Relations

Editor Managing Editor Art Director and Photographer Cody Moore Vicky Flores Marilyn Stewart Gary Myers

VISION MAGAZINE is published two times a year by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College. 3939 Gentilly Blvd. New Orleans, LA 70126 (800) 662-8701 (504) 282-4455 www.nobts.edu | www.leavellcollege.com

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All contents © 2021 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. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is a Cooperative Program ministry, supported by the gifts of Southern Baptists. On the cover: Photo Illustration by Madelynn Duke

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CONTENTS FALL 2021

COVER SERIES 5

Servanthood

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A Surplus of Blessings

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God Sees Every Act of Service

11 Until the Job is Finished 13 Every Gift for God's Glory 15 Whatever it Takes 16 Every Believer Equipped FACULTY NEWS 17 New To Campus

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18 Emeritus Honorees 19 Faculty Books 20 Bill Warren Recieves Bivocational Pastor Award

SEMINARY NEWS 21 Leavell College News 22 NOBTS Assessment Tool 23 NOBTS Society for Women in Scholarship

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24 Hurricane Ida Recap 25 NOBTS Plans Relaunch of Missions Center 26 Fred Luter Honored 28 Caskey Center Marks 50,000 Gospel Conversations ALUMNI NEWS 29 McKeever Donates Comics and Sermon Archives to the NOBTS 31 College Ministry Finds New Fervor

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o job is too small, no task insignificant when it comes to serving others for the sake of the gospel.

Following Christ’s command to love and serve others often means working quietly behind the scenes, devoting time and talents faithfully to bless others, and leaving the results to God. Dr. Jamie Dew, president, has challenged the NOBTS and Leavell College family to “take up the towel and the basin,” following Christ’s example in John 13 in order to further God’s kingdom. God can use any action, offered to Him without restraint, for His glory. While only a few stories are shared here, many more students, graduates, staff and faculty members could be featured. Each models what it means to answer God’s call regardless of location or task. Each will someday hear the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Story by Marilyn Stewart | Photos by Madelynn Duke

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Rhonda Smith

A SURPLUS OF BLESSINGS

Romans 12: 13 | Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.

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aising four growing boys while at seminary takes “creativity,” Rhonda Smith knows from experience.

As a new student family on campus in 1989, Smith found the Swap Shop (Surplus With A Purpose) at the back of campus a lifesaver when her four boys needed karate uniforms. There, all items are free. First as a patron, then as a volunteer worker, Smith watched as the Swap Shop met needs of families like hers living on tight budgets. But after the student wife managing the shop moved away, Smith found herself in charge. Fast forward thirty years, and Smith's faithful service as the volunteer, unpaid director now comes to a close. Smith retires from her full-time position in the Registrar's office in December and will leave campus. “We hear stories of how God has met specific needs through the Swap Shop and answered prayers for exact items that have been needed,” said Tara Dew, president’s wife. “I am so thankful for Mrs. Rhonda and the hours she has invested in sorting, cleaning, and running the Swap Shop. Many mornings before work and many evenings after work, I see her car there. What a servant she is to our NOBTS family and I am so thankful for her investment in the Swap Shop.” For Smith, there is more to the Swap Shop than a task to be done. “I was looking for a ministry,” Smith said of her first years on campus. “When I first got into

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it, I thought the Swap Shop would benefit my family. But now, I get to meet the majority of the campus and form some great friendships. It’s just fun to watch.” Being director means investing odd hours, sorting through donations, and experiencing the joy of seeing others find clothes and household items they could not otherwise afford. “We had a family that came from way up north in a station wagon with five kids. Now you know they brought only what they could bring with them,” Smith recounted. “The father outfitted their whole apartment, and then when he got ready to move [after graduation], he brought it all back,” she quipped. Smith has worked Saturdays, after work, and sometimes during her lunch hour at her full-time job on campus so donations could be picked up or dropped off. For Smith, it is a ministry and she knows that serving others often requires a sacrifice of time. Smith insists she could not do it alone and credits the many volunteer workers through the years – including students, student wives, staff, and faculty wives that have worked – for keeping the Swap Shop running.

“It’s nice to


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Rhonda Smith

watch God work,”

Smith said.

“Because, it’s strictly God.” VISION MAGAZINE Fall 2021

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Connie Pong

God Sees Every

Act of Service

Your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6: 4

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ife changed for Connie Pong as a child the day Communist dictator Mao Zedong took over China, Oct. 1, 1949. Churches in mainland China were shuttered and congregations dispersed, leaving pastors with no way to make a living. One of those pastors was Pong’s father. Today as senior cataloguer at the seminary's John T. Christian Library, Pong lives out a work ethic shaped by watching believers live out their faith in unwavering service to God.

“She’s very quiet; a lot of librarians are. But she’s steady, and there’s something to be said for ‘steady,” said Jeff Griffin, NOBTS director of libraries.

Though committed to her work, Pong is sensitive to those around her, often providing for others in need in her unassuming way that does not look for praise or recognition. “She is generous,” said long-time friend and library colleague Eric Benoy. “If she senses a need, she will just give.” A year after the Communist takeover, Pong’s father asked for government permission to leave the mainland and preach the gospel in Macao, a province unfettered to Communism. The visa was granted on three conditions: he had 48 hours to leave, the visa was one-way, and no family member could go with him. Overnight, Pong’s father disappeared, believing he would never see his family again. But as a young teen, Pong and her father were reunited in Hong Kong until his death from cancer during her freshman year at college. Years later, Pong took a position at the Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary’s Library and there, her dream of earning a master of library science degree (MLIS) was born and her journey towards New Orleans began. Earning a MLIS meant going to America, but Pong was dismayed when a gruff government worker flatly denied her a visa. Months later, God’s leading became clear when the same government agent issued Pong a visa, this time without hesitation.

“I was stunned,” Pong recalled. “I was shaking when I signed the papers.” After earning the MLIS, Pong worked in other American libraries, going on to join the staff at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s library while she earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education. One day, Dr. Paul Gericke, then director of the NOBTS library, called up and invited her to work for him. Pong’s long journey to New Orleans was complete. “God watched over me,” Pong said. Looking back, Pong sees Psalm 139 and the hymn “All the Way My Savior Leads Me” as the narrative of her life. “She saw everything as God opening the doors,” Benoy said. “Her attitude was that if God wanted it, everything would work out.” Pong’s quiet, humble service keeps many unaware of her vital contribution to the seminary family, particularly her work in cataloging students’ dissertations, doctoral projects and Th.M. projects. “Connie’s the first person who introduces you to the world,” Griffin tells students of the significance of Pong’s work. “She does the original cataloging of your document. That goes out to the world.” Faithful still, Pong continues to work three days a week though she officially retired last year. Her consistent, faithful service is a reflection of her love for the Lord, Benoy explained. “She is meticulous in detail because this is what she does for God,” Benoy said. Her work and love for others, particularly international students, shows her love for the Lord, Griffin added. “I’ve always enjoyed hearing her pray. She really talks to the Lord,” Griffin said. “I’m always blessed.”

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Ms. Alice and Ms. Lee

UNTIL THE JOB IS FINISHED A

Alice Lane

sk anyone who has ever eaten at the seminary's “River City Café” and get ready to hear about the best food around. Thursdays, in particular, are special. That’s when Alice Lane, Ms. Alice to everyone, cooks up her popular – and secret – recipe for red beans and rice.

“She’s famous for it,” said Sheila Taylor, cafeteria director. “She is known all over the nation for her red beans and rice.” Once, a former student couple made a stop at the cafeteria for Ms. Alice’s red beans and rice on a return trip to New Orleans to celebrate their wedding anniversary. They saw that their celebration was not complete without it, Taylor explained. While Ms. Alice is known to generations of NOBTS students and alums, she is one-half of a sister duo that is the heart and soul of the cafeteria’s cooking team. Lee Bethley, known to everyone as Ms. Lee, joined later, leaving behind her long-held position as a chef in a local restaurant to do so. Each sister brings unique cooking skills to the task whether it is red beans and rice, coconut shrimp, or Cajun pasta. From time to time, Ms. Lee leads a cooking workshop for women in the NOBTS family on how to make traditional New Orleans gumbo.

Both have proven faithful to the task. Early in 2006, Lane and Taylor worked long, hard hours by themselves scrubbing the cafeteria and preparing for reopening after it lay dormant for months in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, 2005. Weeks later, when the staff was short-handed, Taylor met Bethley when she gave up her vacation time at her long-held job to join her sister in preparing a special dinner held at the cafeteria. Taylor knew instantly Bethley would be an asset as valuable as Lane. The moment Taylor offered Bethley a job, Bethley put in her two-week notice. “They are always willing and ready to do whatever is set before them,” Taylor said. “They never say no, whether the job is eight hours or turns into a 15-hour day. They are always the same.” Despite the hard work, a hot kitchen, long hours, and the ups and downs that any job in food service 11

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SERVANTHOOD brings, they stay until the job is done, Taylor explained. Ms. Alice and Ms. Lee work hard in order “to glorify the Lord,” Ms. Lee said, a sentiment that reflects Colossians 2:23. They also credit their mother for the example she set.

Whatever you do, do it heartily … Colossians 3:23 “She always taught me, 'If you're going to so something, do your best,’” Ms. Alice said. “Somebody’s watching.” Ms. Lee recalled how their mother instructed them on doing a job well. “’Do it right the first time. That stuck with me. I try to do my best,” she said. When Taylor speaks of Ms. Alice and Ms. Lee, she describes them as “faithful to the task” and praises their “selfless attitude.”

“It's not about them,”Taylor said. “It's about always being so faithful to the task.” Food preparation is hard work, Taylor explained, and in the early years before the cafeteria was airconditioned, she and Ms. Alice often went home “dripping in sweat.” Though officially retired, Lane continues to work three days a week and “whenever they need me,” Lane said. The people she has met and worked with have made it all worthwhile, she added. “I’ve met so many amazing people from all over the world,” Ms. Alice said. “It’s a beautiful atmosphere. Even in the changes, everybody still gets along. It’s been great.” Ms. Lee returns home to Mississippi each weekend where she serves her church as an usher. Years ago, Bethley dreamed she had a job that gave her weekends free to serve at her chuch, but it was only a dream. Then Taylor offered her the positon at the cafeteria, a job “exactly like the dream,” Ms. Lee explained. It is a job she recognizes as a "gift from God." Though cooking in the kitchen often keeps the sisters out of sight and unknown to the many students who enjoy the food they prepare, the sisters’ love for the Lord and people keep them dedicated to their task. “They keep right on, without any praise,” Taylor said. “They don’t make many people like them, anymore.” Lee Bethley

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Bizzie Bene

EVERY GIFT FOR GOD'S GLORY

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Bizzie Bene

izzie Bene grew up across the street from the seminary where he lived with his mother after she remarried. He was six at the time. At age seven, he ran away from home. “I was called dumb and stupid every day,” Bene recalled. By age nine, he was experimenting with drugs. Though his friends on the street were trouble, he trusted them more than his own family. After a stint in the military, and then marriage to his wife Pat, life changed dramatically. The couple attended nearby Gentilly Baptist Church one Sunday and after hearing a moving testimony, Pat gave her life to Christ. Two weeks later, seminary students visited their home and shared with Bene an Evangelism Explosion gospel presentation. He listened politely, but when they said anyone committed to Christ is “guaranteed heaven,” he was moved. For someone with a rocky past, heaven seemed out-of-reach. Bene came to faith in Christ and for two years, church and seminary friends walked beside the couple, discipling them. “We were on the campus so much for fellowships and Bible studies that campus security thought we were residents,” Bene explained. Bene earned his plumbing license and soon afterward a friend at the seminary secured Bene an interview for a campus job. Now, 32 years later, Bene knows God uses every skill and every ability for His glory.

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“It’s doing what God has groomed me to do,” Bene said. “Others come here and get a music degree or counseling degree, and they use that for God. Some of these guys here are so gifted, working on air conditioning or as carpenters, and you see them using it for the Lord. That’s what He’s called us here to do.” Dr. Jim Parker, professor of biblical interpretation and archaeology, said Bene serves from a heart of gratitude. “Whenever you talk to Bizzie for more than a couple of minutes, he most likely will tell you about the impact that seminary students made on him and Pat as they were coming to salvation, and after,” Parker said. “For Bizzie, serving the students of NOBTS is a life’s calling and one that he cherishes.” No experience is wasted in God’s hands, Bene knows. As he helps others with plumbing issues in his spare time, Bene sees God using his life experiences to open doors. “There’s a lot of people over my lifetime, as a plumber, that have asked my advice,” Bene said.

“That’s God’s way of doing things. He puts you in the right place.” At Lakeshore Church, where Bizzie and Pat are members, Bene is known for his willingness to “go the extra mile” in helping others, his faithfulness in visiting the sick, and his way of treating every person with respect and dignity. As the couple hosts one of the church’s weekly “Life Groups” in their home, Bene’s past becomes a bridge to those who share similar experiences. Every believer can share the gospel and influence others for Christ if they allow God to lead, Bene said. "God will use us anywhere," Bene said. "It's us, ourselves that hinders Him from using us. If we allow Him, we'll keep meeting people."


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“God will use us anywhere ...” — Bizzie Bene

AS EACH HAS RECEIVED A GIFT, USE IT TO SERVE ONE ANOTHER, AS GOOD STEWARDS OF GOD'S VARIED GRACE. 1 PETER 4:10

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Leah Brown

WHATEVER IT TAKES

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earning to throw a slingshot — the kind David used as a shepherd boy — probably was not Leah Brown’s idea of what she would do when she answered God’s call to international missions. Nor was tending sheep. But Brown learned early in her time in Bolivia that if she wanted to make connections with the Quechua women, she needed to learn both. Hard-working and diligent, the mountain women of Bolivia and Peru spent long days tending sheep. If Brown and her IMB-appointed missionary teammate wanted to get to know the Quechua women, working alongside them was the only way and that included using a slingshot. “We made fools of ourselves out there,” Brown recalled, with a laugh. “It was so humbling, so embarrassing when the rock goes behind you, instead of forward.” For three years, Brown and her IMB teammate tended sheep, living life as the Quechua women lived it.

Leah Brown and her village in Peru

The lessons learned proved fruitful, not simply for the mountain region where she lived, but in other parts of South America as Brown’s assignment changed locations. After living in the mountains among Quechua people, Brown moved to the jungle where six or seven languages were spoken. “Really for everything, for the jungle and the mountains and the city, everything comes backs to relationship building,” Brown said. “That’s such a huge part of what we do and what takes so much time. It takes time to meet people and build trust and help people feel heard.” Going the extra mile to prove your sincerity is particularly important in Peru where a reign of terror in the final decades of the 20th century impacted how Peruvians relate to others. The communist-Maoist guerrilla group named the Shining Path brought waves of killing and mass massacres, and years of fear and unrest. “That terrorism so impacted the Peruvians,” Brown said. “They tend to be closed off to outsiders and strangers.” Learning to serve humbly begins with learning the language and Brown realized her language skills often were "on par with a child." “It puts you in the position of being dependent on the Lord, first and foremost, but being dependent also on the people that you’re with,” Brown said. “This is their country. This is their culture. I’ve got to come in humbly. When I actually do that well,” Brown noted with modesty, “it goes a long, long way.”

Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice. Romans 12:1 15

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Rex Butler

Every Believer Equipped

Rex Butler

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activites, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 1 Corinthians 12: 4-6

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ome might fear that their gifts and talents are too ordinary to be helpful in service to others, but Christ-honoring service is not about ability or talent. Instead, it comes down to one simple principle. “We are to consider the other person as more important than ourselves,” said Rex Butler, professor of church history. “We are to put others’ interests ahead of our own.” Echoing President Jamie Dew’s call to the seminary family to “take up the towel and basin,” Butler said believers must follow Christ’s example in the Upper Room when he washed His disciples’ feet. “Christ has led the way in serving humanity and in serving each one of us,” Butler said, pointing to Philippians 2:5-11. “Our service will look different, depending on the person and the circumstances because we are different parts of the Body. We have different spiritual gifts and different ministries.” For Butler, using his gift of teaching opened the door to an unexpected blessing.

Mel Jones. Located across the street from the seminary, the ministry helps men and women heal from substance abuse and addiction, and baptizes upwards of 60 or 70 per year. “I had never had the opportunity to interact with those coming out of drug addiction,” Butler explained. “And yet, it’s been such a blessing to me to minister to these men and women.” A second program related to Bible study and ministry soon developed. The Providence Institute, a two-year program with the Leavell College certificate program, provides students who qualify the opportunity to earn a certificate in ministerial training. Many in the NOBTS family help make the program possible. While Bethel Colony South’s teaching ministry is making an impact for God’s kingdom, Butler has found another benefit, as well. He counts the men and women he has come to know there as friends. “I’ve learned a lot from them. They’re a blessing to me,” Butler said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to minister in this way.”

Ten years ago, Butler stepped out of his “comfort zone” to help implement Bethel Bible Study at Bethel Colony South Transformation Ministries, founded and directed by pastor

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FACULTY NEWS NEW TO CAMPUS...

please welcome

Greg Mathias

Ethan Jones

Associate Professor of Global Missions, occupying the Owen Cooper Global Missions Chair

Associate Professor of Old Testament & Hebrew

TENURE GRANTED David Odom

Associate Professor of Student Ministry

Brooke Osborn

Associate Professor of Psychology & Counseling in Leavell College

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Cory Barnes

Chris Shaffer

Associate Professor Assistant Professor of Old Testament & of Theology in Leavell Hebrew and Associate College and Associate Vice President Vice President of Distance Learning of Institutional Strategy

PROMOTIONS Brooke Osborn

from Assistant to Associate Professor of Psychology & Counseling in Leavell College


FACULTY NEWS

Bozeman and Cole Elected

AS PROFESSORS EMERITI

DR. JEANINE C. BOZEMAN

DR. R. DENNIS COLE

Jeanine C. Bozeman, emeritus professor of social work, is an author, speaker, and well-loved professor who has served NOBTS for 35 years. Elected to the faculty in 1987, Dr. Bozeman served six years of her tenure as the chairperson of the Division of Christian Education Ministries, the first woman, at the time, to hold the position among the six seminaries.

R. Dennis Cole, emeritus professor of Old Testament and archaeology, has served NOBTS for 35 years, during which time he occupied the Mcfarland Chair of Archaeology and, for many years, served as chairman for the Biblical Studies Division. He continues serving as the co-director of the Center for Archaeological Research at NOBTS.

Dr. Bozeman’s contribution as a social worker impacted the public sector as well as Southern Baptist life through her work with public schools and in private practice. A popular speaker, Bozeman’s presentations in various church and professional venues brought insight on topics of grief, marriage, home and family, and other issues related to social and emotional health. Her course, "Death, Loss, and Grief," has helped countless NOBTS graduates to face some of the most difficult challenges of ministry. Highly credentialed in her professional field, Bozeman’s service in all areas of her professional and personal life reflects a deep commitment to the Church.

Dr. Cole’s contribution to NOBTS archaeology is immense as he directed and participated in travel and archaeological excavation programs in Israel for more than 30 years. Among the excavation projects is NOBTS’ Tel Gezer project, begun in 2006, and later the Tel Gezer Water System Project, completed in 2018. Cole continues to work alongside various other projects and currently co-directs the Tel Hadid Excavation Project, in cooperation with the Tel Aviv University Institute of Archaeology.

She holds a Ph.D., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, (changed from an Ed.D., 1984 to a Ph.D. in 1999); M.S.W., Tulane University; M.R.E., NOBTS, 1969, and a B.A., University of Montevallo.

He holds a Th.D., W.F. Albright Institute, Jerusalem; Ph.D., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 1984; M.Div. and Th.M., Western Conservative Baptist Seminary; and a B.A., University of Florida.

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FACULTY BOOKS Together We Lead: Integrating Church Leadership and Administration for Ministry Success By Adam Hughes and Jody Dean

An Illustrated Guide to the Apostle Paul: His Life, Ministry, and Missionary Journeys By Alan S. Bandy

Managing volunteers, finances, and facilities can be a daunting task in a changing ministry culture. Healthy churches today need a holistic ministry model that integrates a biblical standard for leadership with administration of the overall work of the church. This resource shows how.

Paul’s impact on the church and Western civilization is immeasurable. His story is an adventure. Drawing from the book of Acts, Paul's many letters, and historical and archaeological sources, this fully illustrated resource explores the social, cultural, political, and religious background of the firstcentury Roman world in which Paul lived and ministered.

New Hope Publishers, 2021

Baker Books 2021

ADAM HUGHES, PHD is Assistant Professor of Expository Preaching. JODY DEAN, PHD is Associate Professor for Christian Education.

ALAN S. BANDY, PHD is Professor of New Testament & Greek occupying the Robert Hamblin Chair of New Testament Exposition

What Did the Cross Accomplish? A Conversation about the Atonement

Divine Wrath in Paul: An Exegetical Study

By Robert B. Stewart, N.T. Wright and Simon Gathercole

By Gerald Stevens

What did Paul’s words “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures” really mean? Respected scholars N. T. Wright and Simon Gathercole discuss the atonement and what the cross accomplished, as presented at the 2017 Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum. Stewart’s framework sets the focus for this important and crucial conversation.

Understanding Paul’s language of divine wrath while speaking of a God of grace and love is imperative to understanding Paul’s gospel. The book’s rich illustrations, in-depth look at the literature of Paul’s first-century world, and focus on scripture make for an integrative theology of justice and grace.

Westminster John Knox 2021 ROBERT B. STEWART, PHD is Professor of Philosophy and Theology, occupying the Greer-Heard Chair of Faith and Culture.

Pickwick Publications 2020 GERALD STEVENS, PHD is Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek.

The Millennial Cantor and Conductor: From Jewish Cantillation to Contemporary Contexts Second Edition

Graduate Music Theory: A Sacred Context Based Approach

By Greg Woodward

By Greg Woodward From its rich vantage point in history, the church offers a unique perspective on the theory of music. This text emphasizes the standard Western historical settings for the development of music theory from the Middle Ages through the 20th Century.

The Millennial Cantor and Conductor is a practical resource for choral conductors and worship leaders and is useful as a textbook for introduction to conducting classes or for personal exploration of conducting fundamentals.

Rakuten Kobo 2020

Rakuten Kobo 2020 GREG WOODWARD, PHD is Professor of Conducting and Worship.

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FACULTY NEWS

Bill Warren receives Mississippi Baptists’

2021 BIVOCATIONAL PASTOR OF THE YEAR BY MARILYN STEWART

Dr. Bill Warren, NOBTS professor of Greek and New Testament and bivocational pastor of Jacob’s Well Church in Pass Christian, Mississippi, was named the 2021 Bivocational Pastor of the Year at the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board annual meeting Oct. 27. John Pace, Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB) Director of Leadership Development, presented the award noting that while bivocational pastors may be part time “in name” they are full time in commitment as they care for their congregations as “undershepherds” of Jesus Christ. “Dr. Warren is such a deserving recipient of this award and recognition for his amazing lifetime of faithful, excellent and dedicated service,” Pace said, noting Warren’s service as a pastor, interim pastor, IMB missionary, seminary professor and scholar. Pace recounted Warren’s journey from a child growing up in a “culturally Christian” home to his coming to faith in Christ and his calling to the ministry. Warren's ministry spans time as an IMB missionary, pastor, interim pastor, church planter, and seminary professor at NOBTS, as well as in Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico and Cuba. Warren and his wife Katie served six years in Colombia with the IMB until unstable conditions there forced them to leave. Warren returned home and joined the NOBTS faculty in 1990. Warren pastors Jacob’s Well Church in Pass Christian, Mississippi, a church plant begun during the years following Hurricane Katrina (2005) as the Mississippi Gulf Coast rebuilt and as MBCB gave special emphasis to church planting.

BILL WARREN In Warren’s 31-year tenure at NOBTS, he has served in integral leadership roles with the Museum of the Bible and Archaeology, the Spanish Master of Theological Studies Program, and other programs. Warren’s work with the CNTTS has placed him in strategic roles with the International Greek N.T. Project and the Greek Paul Project. In accepting the award, Warren credited those who had invested in his life through the years, but also his church, explaining that a bivocational pastor must “trust” his lay leaders to lead and then build on their leadership to carry out the church’s mission.

Within a year of its first service with 28 in attendance, Jacob’s Well ran 60 on Sunday. Today, the congregation numbers more than 250 in person on Sunday (350 prior to COVID), with many in attendance online. The church’s motto is “Living water for a thirsty world.” Pace, an NOBTS alumnus, thanked Warren personally for his impact as a seminary professor, saying “I’m one that you’ve blessed immeasurably.” At NOBTS, Warren is professor of New Testament and Greek, occupying the Landrum P. Leavell II Chair of New Testament and Greek, and is the founding director of the H. Milton Haggard Center for New Testament Textual Studies (CNTTS), a leading North American setting for the study of N.T. Greek manuscripts. VISION MAGAZINE Fall 2021

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SEMINARY NEWS

New Majors Show Commitment to New Focus Trustees, during the regularly-scheduled spring meeting, affirmed Dr. Jamie Dew’s vision to enhance and expand Leavell College’s efforts to serve traditional college-aged students by approving three new majors in the bachelor of arts degree program. With new majors — intercultural studies, ministry to women, and theology — Leavell College now offers ten bachelor of arts degree majors. “We are excited about the continued expansion of majors in Leavell College,” said Thomas Strong, Dean of Leavell College. “Each new major provides the opportunity to prepare servants to fulfill God’s mission through one’s life.”

Corey McKinney

Leavell College Best Thesis Corey McKinney’s (BACM ‘21) senior thesis “The Goodness of God in Suffering” was selected as the best senior thesis of the year by Leavell College faculty at the inaugural Best Senior Thesis of the Year Mini-Conference, held April 21. The students selected for the top five senior theses presented their research to the Leavell College faculty and answered questions about their research and conclusions. Dr. Sandy Vandercook, Associate Dean of Leavell College, commended the students for the high level of scholarship exhibited in their research and presentations.

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SEMINARY NEWS

NOBTS ASSESSMENT TOOL ADDRESSES PROBLEM OF YOUTH LEAVING THE CHURCH AT ADULTHOOD, OFFERS HELP BY GARY D. MYERS

A 2019 Lifeway Research study found that 66 percent of young adults stop attending church between the ages of 18 and 22. While the same study found that some eventually make their way back to the church, the data is staggering. The shocking exit from the church by many young people after they age out of the youth ministry spurred David Odom to action. Odom, who serves as associate professor of student ministry and director of the Youth Ministry Institute (YMI) at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College, created a new tool designed to assess the effectiveness of youth ministry programs. The goal of the assessment is to help churches improve the way they minister to youth and retain young people during the transition to adulthood. “We have come to understand over the last 15 or 20 years that traditional youth ministry is not effective to build lifelong faith in teenagers,” Odom said. “There is a problem if we have that many of our kids who are faithful youth group members leaving the church during college or as adults.”

Researching Youth Ministry Effectiveness For Odom, a review of recent research was the first step in understanding why youth are leaving the church and developing strategies to create more effective youth ministries. He also leveraged research conducted by his mentor, Richard Ross, professor of student ministry, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Researchers have found that successful youth ministers focused on three "arenas" of ministry: Teenagers in the youth group, teenagers in their own families, and teenagers in the congregation. The traditional youth ministry model has emphasized only one of these arenas. Youth ministers spend most of their time, effort, and resources on direct ministry to youth within the youth group. The other two arenas are often neglected. Those who focus only on the direct ministry to youth groups struggle to create effective ministries that lead youth to lifelong church involvement. For the pilot research project, Odom and Sara Robinson, a PhD student at NOBTS, created a 30-question survey for youth ministers to self-assess their effectiveness in the three arenas of youth ministry. Based on the answers, the youth minister’s effectiveness was scored as “high,” “medium,” or “low.”

Odom and Robinson received 314 responses to the initial survey. Only 24 percent of the respondents scored in the high effectiveness range. Fifty-four percent scored in the medium range. The remaining 22 percent scored low, indicating serious problems in their ministry model. Overall, the research indicated the need for intentional effort in the two neglected arenas of ministry. The full Youth Ministry Arenas Research Summary is available at ymarenas.com. The YMI team discovered the need for an expanded view of youth ministry which emphasizes ministry to families of youth and better integrates youth into the larger ministry of the congregation. Ministries without family-focused and cross-generational integration efforts have fewer opportunities to develop lifelong faith among teens and fail to connect with key influencers. “Parents are the number one influencer of a teenager’s faith,” Odom said. “Youth leaders must influence the influencers by developing significant relationships with parents and helping them disciple their teens.” Youth ministries can create a consumer attitude among teens, Odom said. Involving youth in churchwide service opportunities combats consumerism and helps the youth develop love for the church and Christ-centered purpose for their lives. "Many teens fall in love with the youth group but don't necessarily fall in love with their church," Odom explained. "Youth leaders must help young people move from consumers to contributors – from 'I love my youth group' to 'I serve Christ in my church.'"

Launching the New Assessment Tool The YMI pilot research project led to a refined assessment tool and the opportunity to provide tailored help for struggling youth ministers. In August, Odom and YMI released an expanded 47-question assessment tool allowing youth ministers to self-assess their effectiveness. The free online survey provides a youth minister with an immediate effectiveness score and produces a detailed report explaining the scores and suggestions for improvement. The assessment tool is available at ymarenas.com. “We worked carefully over the past several months to design a professional, easy-to-use resource,” Odom said. “We pray it will serve thousands of men and women who serve in youth ministry.”

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NOBTS Society for Women in Scholarship

Spanish Distance Learning Program Loving God “with all your mind” (Luke 10:27) is at the heart of the newly launched NOBTS Society for Women in Scholarship. “With over 40 women in our doctoral programs and many more in graduate programs, there was a huge need to provide a community for women to encourage and support each other in their callings,” said Dr. Emily Dean, faculty advisor. The Society supports members as they contribute to the academy, providing a network to encourage and strengthen scholarly practices. All degree programs are open to women. Degrees that specialize in ministry to women are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well. New this year are the M.Div. with a specialization in Ministry to Women and the M.A., Ministry to Women. Visit https://prepareher.com/ or scan the QR code above for more information.

For Spanish-speaking students seeking a bachelor of arts degree, the new Spanish Distance Education Program at NOBTS and Leavell College makes earning a degree easier. Using video conferencing software, online livetaught classes in Spanish are now available to serve students regardless of where they live and serve. The delivery system allows students to interact with the class in “real time” while providing students the option to view recorded lectures at their convenience. Fabio Castellanos, director, said the initiative is unique. "For years there has been a gap in theological education in Spanish,” Castellanos said. “Several institutions offer basic education at the certificate level and then jump to the Master's degree in Theological Studies. NOBTS is a pioneer in providing an answer to this need with the Associate in Christian Ministry and Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry programs." NOBTS and Leavell College offer classes taught in Spanish from the certificate level up through the Master of Theological Studies degree. For many years, Leavell College has offered an in-person Spanish undergraduate program, but with the video conferencing delivery system NOLA2YouFLEX opportunity and flexibility come together. “Now, from anywhere and at any time, whoever wants to be prepared for the ministry or the academy in Spanish has two solid allies in New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College,” Castellanos said.

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SEMINARY NEWS

Hurricane Ida September 2021 Hurricane Ida swept over the campus on Sunday, Aug.29, leaving behind trees down, roof damage, and power outages. Main campus classes were suspended during the first week following the storm to allow students time to establish longer-than-expected evacuation locations. President Jamie Dew kept the campus family apprised of the situation as well as resources and aid available via daily video updates. Main campus classes relaunched September 7th in a virtual format and, following the restoration of power, offices reopened September 13th with on-campus classes returning September 20th.

New Church Planting Degrees Broaden Impact at Home and Abroad

Church Planting, both in North America and in the international setting, is the focus of two new master degrees approved this year. The Master of Arts in Church Planting, coupled with the work of the new North American Mission Board Church Planting Center at NOBTS, will provide an immediate boost to church planting and mission efforts in New Orleans and will resonate well beyond the city as church planters are trained and sent out to serve throughout North America.

George Ross, church planting professor and NAMB Send Missionary, said the center has already hosted hundreds of church planters and missionaries and is being used as a training base for future missionaries and church planters. The M. Div. in International Church Planting, newly separated out from the current M.Div. in Church Planting, focuses on the unique needs of church planting in the international setting and provides IMB-commissioned students the option of completing the degree while serving on the field.

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NOBTS PLANS RELAUNCH OF MISSIONS CENTER BY GARY D. MYERS

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary announced the appointment of Greg Mathias to lead a relaunch of the school’s Global Missions Center. Mathias was elected to the faculty as associate professor of global missions during the fall trustee meeting. NOBTS and Leavell College President Jamie Dew began using the phrase “prepare here, serve anywhere” to describe the aim of the seminary’s programs when he arrived at NOBTS in 2019. Dew has worked to create a campus atmosphere that prepares students to serve wherever God calls. The school’s mission statement was updated to include “fulfill His mission” to indicate the commitment to global mission effiorts. The appointment of Mathias and the reinvestment in the missions center are part of the seminary’s effiorts to prioritize mission preparation and encourage more students to be a part of fulfilling God’s mission throughout the world. These moves represent a response to the ambitious missionary placement goals set by the IMB. “I was thrilled to learn of the relaunch of the Global Missions Center at NOBTS and the appointment of a former IMB missionary to lead it,” IMB president Paul Chitwood said. “This move is further proof that Dr. Dew is serious about New Orleans becoming a ‘prepare here, serve anywhere’ seminary. “At IMB, we have set a goal to increase our overseas mission force by an additional 500 missionaries by 2025,” Chitwood said. “Reaching that goal depends on many things but none more important than having trained and qualified candidates who can serve through IMB. The Global Missions Center at NOBTS will help us meet this goal of more trained workers for the harvest fields among the nations. More importantly, it will ensure that more of the lost and hurting around the world receive help and hope.” Dew said the renewed missions focus is designed to embrace and support Chitwood’s ambitious vision for missionary deployment. “If we need 500 new missionaries per year to reach IMB goals, then it is time for NOBTS to step up and do the very best she can for the Great Commission,” Dew said. “The hiring of Greg Mathias, the relaunch of our Global Missions Center, and the new scholarship offierings we are giving are major steps we can take towards that end. It’s my prayer that in the years to come future missionaries will come to prepare on our campus, and that they will then go to the nations.”

R E T N C F O H U AL E R & N O I T A C O L E R The Global Missions Center’s relaunch and reinvestment effiorts will include establishing dedicated 25

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office space on the first floor of the Hardin Student Center (HSC). Previously housed in a faculty office, the center will now be located in the hub of campus activity along with the North American Mission Board’s new Church Planting Center. Dew said he believes that Mathias and George Ross (director of the NAMB center) will lead the charge to reinvigorate the missions focus on campus. In addition to the role of mission promotion on campus, Mathias also will plan and lead overseas mission experiences for students. “The new Global Missions Center space will place this important initiative in the heart of our campus and student life,” Dew said. “As students prepare here, they will be better equipped to serve anywhere.”

MISSIONARY SCHOLARSHIPS Included in the mission-focused initiatives announced at NOBTS and Leavell College are new and expanded scholarships for current college missionaries, the children of missionaries, and returning Journeyman/ ISC missionaries. The school’s 50 percent tuition scholarship for active missionaries for International Mission Board (IMB) personnel has been expanded to include active North American Mission Board (NAMB) and now covers on-campus, distance and online courses (undergraduate and graduate). A 30 percent tuition doctoral scholarship has been established for active IMB and NAMB missionaries. NOBTS and Leavell College established a 100 percent tuition and enrollment fee scholarship for children of active missionaries and a 25 percent scholarship for children of retired missionaries. Returning Journeyman/ISC missionaries also will receive a 50 percent scholarship.

NEW OPTION FOR IMB TRAINING REQUIREMENTS The seminary also received word that Leavell College’s "Thrive: Ministry Wives Certificate" has been approved as a way to train wives of future missionaries. Thrive, launched in 2020 under the leadership of Tara Dew, is an eight-course academic program taught by credentialed faculty and faculty wives. Those who wish to complete the IMB spouse theological requirement will enroll in four additional courses in the new "Thrive +” program. For more information about Thrive, please visit www. prepareher.com/thrive. “We are thrilled to partner with the IMB and prepare the whole family for ministry and missions,” Tara Dew said. “Our Thrive classes are designed specifically for ministry and missionary wives, so that they can prepare here to serve anywhere.”


SEMINARY NEWS

Fred Luter, 'Pastor of New Orleans' BY MARILYN STEWART

Luter’s only pastorate – numbers a membership in the thousands with satellite campuses in Houston and in Baton Rouge. One of the seminary's most popular chapel speakers, Luter spoke to a full audience, drawing from Lamentations 3:22-23 to remind listeners of God’s faithfulness. Noting that life is unpredictable, Luter quoted a phrase from the movie “Forest Gump” that compared life to a box of chocolates meaning “you never know what you’re going to get.” The lingering impact of Covid and today’s shifting culture and can make it seem that life is “like a box of chocolates,” Luter explained. Jeremiah, the author of Lamentations, experienced the same discouragement and despair that many today feel, Luter said. “But for the child of God, despair never has the last word,” Luter said. “Despair is not an option for the child of God … God, and God alone, is our hope.”

Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans, was honored by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College Oct. 12, with the announcement that a commemorative brick paver would be placed in his honor in the seminary’s Legacy Plaza reading “Fred Luter, the pastor of New Orleans.” Jamie Dew, NOBTS and Leavell College president, pointed to Luter’s wide influence and the impact he has made for God’s kingdom. “[God’s] hand has been and is all over your life and your preaching and your ministry,” Dew said to Luter. “You are not just the pastor of Franklin Avenue, you are the pastor of New Orleans, and brother, we are grateful for you.”

Despair is not an option for the child of God … God, and God alone, is our hope. ~ FRED LUTER

God’s children should not despair because the God who raised Jesus from the tomb is the God who shows unfailing compassion to His people, Luter said. “One thing you never have to worry about is the faithfulness of God. One thing you can hold onto is the faithfulness of God,” Luter said. “Every day you wake up God gives us new mercies. They will never run out. They are never depleted. Great is His faithfulness.”

The presentation coincided with Luter’s 35th anniversary as pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans, celebrated Sunday, Oct. 17. Commemorative brick pavers placed at Legacy Plaza, the courtyard at Leavell Chapel, honor friends and loved ones of NOBTS and Leavell College. Dew noted that Luter began as a street preacher on New Orleans streets, then stepped into the role of pastor for a “very small” congregation. Today, that congregation – Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, VISION MAGAZINE Fall 2021

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THE PROVIDENCE SOCIETY Recurring Monthly Donation The Providence Society Recurring Monthly Donation is an automated monthly giving program to support the Providence Fund for Operational Excellence. The Providence Fund is unrestricted, and every dollar given is a dollar students will not have to pay in tuition and fee increases. The major benefits of the Providence Society Recurring Monthly Donation include:

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In 2020, NOBTS Providence Society Donors contributed $91,794 to the Providence Fund, saving students from increasing tuition and fees.

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Join the Providence Society To join the Providence Society, use the QR code or visit nobts.gifts/providencesociety For more information about giving, email development@nobts.edu.

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SEMINARY NEWS

NOBTS Caskey Center

MARKS 50,000 GOSPEL CONVERSATIONS BY MARILYN STEWART

Counting gospel conversations was never the end goal for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College’s Caskey Center scholarship program that requires students to share the gospel weekly. The point was to lead others to faith. But seven years into the program, Caskey scholarship recipients recently crossed the mark of 50,000 gospel conversations. Jeff Farmer, Caskey Center associate director and statistician, said each gospel conversation is the result of students becoming intentional in sharing. “We’re now over 50,000 times that students have left their comfort zones and have contended for the faith,” Farmer said. “[The students] don’t count conversations with believers. These are all unbelievers. We celebrate that.” The Caskey Center provides resources, including a designated number of scholarships, for bivocational and smaller membership church ministers in Southern Baptist churches in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. While 50,000 might seem impressive, Farmer pointed to a “more gratifying” statistic — the number who have come to faith in Christ. “Each semester … we’ve seen approximately 12 percent of those conversations ending up with people coming to faith in Christ,” Farmer said. “That means there are over 6,000 new believers because of this evangelism requirement.” Steve Kelley, a Leavell College student and Caskey scholarship recipient, logged the 50,000th conversation on September 20. Though Kelley’s conversation did not result in a profession of faith that day, he continues faithfully to share. “The Lord does the saving. We do the sharing and He takes care of the rest,” Kelley explained.

for an alertness to the spiritual conditions of others. “The most powerful thing we can do is pray,” Kelley said. “Everything we do spiritually starts there.” While the Caskey scholarship made a seminary education financially possible for Kelley, it was the program’s emphasis on weekly evangelism that “made all the difference” to his ministry, Kelley said. “It’s easy to get into the thought of, ‘You’re just wasting your time’ or ‘These people don’t care about the gospel.’ That’s the continual pounding in your ears from the enemy,” Kelley explained. “But when you can actually see that seed planted and come to fruition, it gives you an inner spark, an energy to continue going forward and make it a priority.” Caskey students often lead their church members to commit also to sharing the gospel each week, Farmer said. A gospel conversation is defined as a one-on-one conversation with an unbeliever that transitions to the gospel, Farmer explained. “We try to emphasize that the only time you fail at evangelism is when you don’t speak up,” Farmer said. “Let the Holy Spirit do His job. My job is to share my story and how my life has been impacted by the gospel. God will do the rest.” Farmer noted that all Caskey scholarship recipients serve at smaller membership churches, a focus that reflects the Southern Baptist Convention’s history. “It’s our past but it can be our future,” Farmer said. “We are a small church denomination and small churches can make a big impact on the world for the cause of Christ. I anticipate that the next 50,000 [conversations] won’t take as long. I think we are gathering some steam here.”

Kelley, a Leavell College student and minister of evangelism at Highland Baptist Church, Gordo, Alabama, said sharing weekly did not feel natural at first. Prayer was the key, he added. With gratitude, Kelley pointed to Caskey Center director Mark Tolbert’s encouragement to pray each Monday morning for opportunities that week to share and to ask VISION MAGAZINE Fall 2021

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ALUMNI NEWS DOES PREPARATION MATTER?

MCKEEVER DONATES COMICS AND SERMON ARCHIVES TO THE NOBTS BY GARY D. MYERS

Dr. Joe McKeever (Th.M. '67, D.Min. '73) donated his extensive archive of cartoons, sermons and other writings to the John T. Christian Library at NOBTS earlier this year. McKeever produced the cartoons, caricatures, sermons, articles, and posts during his illustrious 59-year career. His gospel ministry included 47 years as a local church pastor (including long tenures at First Baptist Church in Columbus, Mississippi, and First Baptist Church in Kenner, Louisiana), five years as an associational missionary in New Orleans, and a "retirement" period loaded with preaching engagements and conferences. For wider Southern Baptist audiences, McKeever is best known through his prolific cartoon ministry. His works have appeared in many state Baptist papers, church clip art book that sold over 300,000 copies in the 1980s, and other books. Baptist Press recently launched Your Daily Joe which distributes one of McKeever's comics each weekday as a part of the SBC Morning Briefing. Drawing caricatures is an ongoing ministry for

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McKeever. Whether serving at the SBC Annual Convention, state Baptist gatherings, or schools, he sits for hours making free sketches of all who ask. Whenever McKeever draws, he draws a crowd. As McKeever draws caricatures, he gets to know each person and looks for ways to provide encouragement and engage in a gospel conversation. McKeever began drawing at age five and took a mailorder drawing course as a teen. He has been drawing ever since. His "big break" came in the 1970s when Alabama Baptist editor Hudson Baggett started running his cartoons. He earned $1.50 per cartoon. Other papers picked up his work and McKeever eventually published multiple volumes of his comics, which often take a humorous look at church life. His drawing ministry continues to innovate and grow. McKeever commonly posts a drawing on his Facebook page and asks followers to crowdsource the captions. The library will steward the archives and preserve McKeever's work so future generations can enjoy and learn from his work.


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Will Spivey

FORCED TO REPURPOSE AND REIMAGINE, COLLEGE MINISTRY FINDS FRESH FERVOR BY MARILYN STEWART

As the pandemic raged, the summer mission projects students had committed to around the world were canceled. Every event and activity had to be quickly repurposed and reimagined. Students who expected to be serving overseas were instead enlisted in new “service projects” such as checking in on shut-ins and delivering food to those in need. Change came with a silver lining when a church family living on a 40-acre lot on Chadwick Lane two miles from Auburn University offered Spivey their home and property for outdoor gatherings. The sociallydistanced gatherings were popular as students were grateful to be together. Canceled events, repurposed service opportunities, and thinking outside the box — in one sense, Will Spivey’s (M.Div. ’19) first year on the job as college pastor at First Baptist Church, Opelika, Alabama could be summed up with those words. But in another sense, there’s much more to the story. Spivey stepped into the collegiate pastor position four months before the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered workplaces and tabled events. With his church located 15 minutes from Auburn University and five from Southern Union State Community College, the shutdown hit at a crucial moment for collegiate ministry — during spring break. Despite the setbacks the pandemic delivered, the college ministry Spivey leads is today growing with a fresh passion for missions and community. “I get really encouraged by this generation,” Spivey said. “We don’t have too many that are ‘cultural’ in their desires. It’s more of, ‘Christ is Lord of my life … I’m committed to his lordship over my life.’” While, in the end, God used Covid to advance His kingdom, the unexpected and unprecedented changes it brought were anything but welcomed or easy.

REPURPOSED Spring break, for college ministry, is counted on as a springboard for ministry and an accelerant “like jet fuel” for building community, Spivey said. Covid restrictions in 2020 changed all of that.

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As fall came and restrictions continued, the reimagined outdoor meeting had to be reimagined, yet again. “Church on Chadwick” was born, an outdoor worship service using sound and musical equipment set up on a trailer. A worship service outside was a risk and Spivey wondered if students would come. “Students came out of the woodwork,” Spivey said. Soon, church members recognized the unique outreach opportunity Church on Chadwick presented and members got involved. New relationships were formed. “And we saw God work in ways we never thought possible,” Spivey said.

REFOCUSED, BUT BETTER As restrictions eased and meetings moved back indoors, the Church on Chadwick found a new home indoors with a renewed focus. The emphasis on reaching college students that birthed Church on Chadwick led to a multi-generational mid-week worship service that continues to build relationships and open doors. The months of finding new ways to do ministry and outreach brought another change — an invigorated passion for missions. “The coolest thing that’s happened is that we have grown in the right areas,” Spivey said. Activities were reimagined and refocused once more to reflect a fresh commitment to missions and


ALUMNI NEWS evangelism. Every other Wednesday night is dedicated to outreach through what is now 25 missional community groups, each having its own mission statement and intended target group such as internationals or freshman, and each with specific outreach activities. A sharper focus on missions because of the reimagined activities during Covid and the close partnerships with NAMB and IMB that continue have made an impact. Spivey said 25 students are committed to following God’s call to missions. “Covid gave us time to throw everything up on the board and evaluate everything we did,” Spivey said. “And it allowed us to rework what God has called us to do.”

sign up today for a

LEGACY BRICK HAS SOMEONE MADE AN IMPACT in your ministry or helped you in your walk with God? Perhaps you remember studying under your favorite professor or the lifelong friendships you made with fellow students.

The Legacy Plaza brick program provides a tangible way to remember those times and honor those who have meant so much to you.

Purchase an engraved brick with your name, the names of family members, someone who helped you study at NOBTS, or pay tribute to the church that made seminary possible for you.

8” X 4” Brick - $250 ea. 8” X 8” Brick - $1,000 ea.

TO PURCHASE, OR LEARN MORE, VISIT: www.nobts.edu/giving VISION MAGAZINE Fall 2021

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OBITUARIES 1940S WATKINS, JANELL (ATTENDED ‘45) 1950S ATKINSON, BARBARA (BRE ‘54) BAKER, BILL (BDIV ‘58) BAREFOOT, JOYCE (MRE ‘55) BAUMGARDNER, FRANCES (ATTENDED ‘57) BOHANNON, PAT (ATTENDED ‘56) BOND, CLAYTON (BDIV ‘52) CARLIN, GERALD (BDIV ‘58) CHAUDOIN, ROBERT (BDIV ‘59) CLARKE, POLLY (MRE ‘55) DONALDSON, BUCK (BDIV ‘57) DYSON, BERT (ATTENDED ‘53) ESTES, PAUL (BDIV ‘58) FLEMING, WILLIAM (BDIV ‘59) FOOD, RICHARD (BDIV ‘55) FOUNTAIN, WOODY (ATTENDED ‘54) GROSE, DAYLE (BSM ‘54, MSM ‘55) HAMRICK, DELLA (BRE ‘54) HARDIN, R.N. (ATTENDED ‘52) HEARD, BILL (ATTENDED ‘58) HOLCOMB, DANIEL (BDIV ‘59) KITE, JOE (BDIV ‘56, DMIN ‘84) KUMAR, PRASANTH (ATTENDED ‘56) LAWLESS, TERRELL (MRE ‘56) LINDAU, BURTON (ATTENDED ‘54) LORD, PETER (BDIV ‘57) MASON, BOB (MRE ‘58) MCCARTY, DORAN (ATTENDED ‘53) MCCARTY, PHILLIPS (BDIV ‘58, MRE ‘62, EDD ‘66) MCLARTY, MANCIL (MDIV ‘52) MOAK, ROBERTA (ATTENDED ‘50) NAIL, BERNARD (BDIV ‘59) ROBERTSON, ALINE (BRE ‘59) SHERROD, JOSEPH (BDIV ‘59) SMITH, DEWEY (ATTENDED ‘58) SPEARS, RAY (BDIV ‘58) SPENCE, BERT (ATTENDED ‘55) STEWARD, GEORGE (BDIV ‘59) STEWART, BOB (BDIV ‘54) TIDWELL, CHARLES (MRE ‘55) TIMBERLAKE, ROY (BDIV ‘57)

CRUTCHFIELD, ALBIN (MCM ‘68) CURRY, JERRY (BDIV ‘67) DALLALIO, JOHN (BDIV ‘60) DAYRINGER, JANET (ATTENDED ‘63) ESKEW, HARRY (MSM ‘60) FAIRCLOTH, RAYFORD (THM ‘69) FISHER, CAROLYN (ATTENDED ‘67) FOLLIS, JACK (MRE ‘67, THM ‘67, EDD ‘71) FRANKLIN, BOBBY (ATTENDED ‘60) FRASER, HOLLIS (DPRE ‘64, DPCM ‘65) HAIRE, JOEL (BDIV ‘60) HANBERRY, JACK (BDIV ‘62) HAYES, CHARLES (MCM ‘61) HIPP, JIMMY (BDIV ‘63) HOGAN, LELAND (MRE ‘68) INMAN, GARY (ATTENDED ‘66) JOHNSON, ANDREW (BDIV ‘62) KINGSLEY, ELIZABETH (ATTENDED ‘64) LEDLOW, BOB (BDIV ‘61) LINDERMAN, WAYNE (ATTENDED ‘69) LONG, WILLIAM (ATTENDED ‘67) LOTT, STAN (BDIV ‘61, THD ‘68) LYLE, EMERSON (THM ‘69) MARTINDALE, VERNON (MRE ‘67) MASSEY, PAUL (ATTENDED ‘62) MATHIS, GAIL (DPCM ‘62) MATHIS, GLYNN (BDIV ‘64, THM ‘66, THD ‘69) MAY, WILLIAM (BDIV ‘67, THMH ‘68, DMIN ‘73) MEADOWS, ANNIE (MRE ‘63) MELIAN, MIRIAM (DPRE ‘69) MITCHELL, SONNY (BDIV ‘62) PEARCE, BOB (THM ‘67, DMIN ‘76) POFF, CHESTER (BDIV ‘65) PRIDDY, DAVID (MRE ‘69) PYFROM, RANDALL (BDIV ‘60) READ, JOHN (MRE ‘63) REDMON, DON (BDIV ‘62) RICHARDS, ROGER (BRE ‘60) ROGERS, ROBERT (BDIV ‘60) SAILORS, RANELL (ATTENDED ‘69) STEWART, DON (BDIV ‘60, THD ‘65) SWANN, HOYT (BDIV ‘64) TEDDER, EMERSON (MRE ‘65)

TURNER, DONALD (MDIV ‘59) WHALEY, WILMA (MRE ‘50) WILLIAMS, GAYNELLE (BRE ‘55) WILLIAMS, DOROTHY (ATTENDED ‘57) 1960S ANTHONY, DELMUS (BDIV ‘61) BENNETT, PETE (ATTENDED ‘68) BLACKMON, ANNE (MRE ‘61) BOOTH, BILLY (ATTENDED ‘69) BOWICK, DON (THM ‘69) BROOKS, HOWARD (ATTENDED ‘67) BROWN, LLOYD (MRE ‘60) BRYANT, HOLLIS (MRE ‘63) BURCH, WARD (BDIV ‘62) COPPEDGE, DONALD (BDIV ‘61) COSSEY, CALARENCE (BDIV ‘61) CRANE, VIVIAN (ATTENDED ‘69)

WALTERS, MILFORD (THM ‘68) WELLS, ERNEST (ATTENDED ‘63) WHITMORE, WARREN (BDIV ‘61) WOLFANGLE, GEORGE (ATTENDED ‘64) WOODALL, JOHN (BDIV ‘65) WOODFORD, PAUL (BDIV ‘65) WYRICK, BILL (ATTENDED ‘65) 1970S BAKER, BILL (ATTENDED ‘73) BEASLEY, JAMES (MRE ‘73) BRIDGES, RAY (MRE ‘73) CARTER, RICK (MCM ‘74) CLOUGH, JOHN (ATTENDED ‘78) COLWELL, RICHARD (ADPM ‘79) DAVIS, CAROL (MRE ‘74) DISON, DALE (ATTENDED ‘76) DOUGLAS, ANDREW (ATTENDED ‘76)

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VISION MAGAZINE Fall 2021

EDWARDS, JAMES (DPPM ‘73) ENFINGER, RILEY (MDIV ‘76) ENTREKIN, GERALD (THMH ‘73) GROWDEN, JAMES (DPPM ‘73) HAILE, GEORGE (DMIN ‘75) HARPER, KATHRYN (MCM ‘79) HESTER, MARIE (ATTENDED ‘78) HIGHTOWER, JIM (EDD ‘79) JOHNSON, LOWELL (MDIV ‘77) LANIER, JOHN (MDIV ‘75) LOGES, NORMAN (MDIV ‘78) LOWRY, CHARLES (MRE ‘79) MONTGOMERY, VIRGINIA (ATTENDED ‘72) PIKE, HARRISON (DMIN ‘77) RAY, AARON (MDIV ‘77) RHINEHART, GLYNN (ATTENDED ‘76) ROBINSON, BOBBY (THM ‘71) STEPHENS, MIKE (MDIV ‘75) THOMAS, PHEROBA (EDD ‘75) THROWER, FRANCES (ATTENDED ‘74) WAHKING, HAROLD (DMIN ‘75) WETHERINGTON, DOYLE (DMIN ‘75) WHITFIELD, BILL (DMIN ‘78) WRIGHT, JAMES (MRE ‘78, MDIV ‘94) 1980S ALEWINE, ROGER (MRE ‘86) BAKER, MICHAEL (ATTENDED ‘89) BREWER, MARTHA (ATTENDED ‘86) CONSTABLE, MARI (MRE ‘88) CORN, CHARLES (ADPM ‘87) DAVIS, CHARLES (ATTENDED ‘81) DEAR, BUTCH (MRE ‘89) DEUEL, JAMES (DMIN ‘83) EDWARDS, JIM (ADPM ‘82) EFFERSON, JIM (MRE ‘83) GORDON, KEITH (MDIV ‘81, DMIN ‘86) HAGGARD, LARRY (MRE ‘89) HARRELL, CARL (MDIV ‘85) HILL, BILL (THD ‘88) HOY, DON (MDIV ‘85) JONES, LARKIN (ATTENDED ‘88) JONES, MICKEY (MDIV ‘86) KLUTTS, DANNY (ATTENDED ‘87) LEWIS, MICHAEL (MDIV ‘85) LOTT, MICHAEL (MCM ‘89) MAPLES, CHARLES (ADPM ‘83) MARTIN, HERBERT (ATTENDED ‘85) MCDOWELL, BILL (ADPM ‘82) MCLAIN, JAMES (MDIV ‘86) MCMILLAN, GIBBIE (MDIV ‘80) PACKARD, HYLAND (ATTENDED ‘87) PATTY, BOB (MDIV ‘80) RAGAN, ANDREW (ADPM ‘83) REHBERG, PALMER (MRE ‘81) SHEEHAN, DAVID (ATTENDED ‘89) SNEED, DAVID (ADPM ‘84, MDIV ‘16) STEVENSON, BILL (MDIV ‘85) STREET, JOHN (ADPM ‘82) SWICEGOOD, CARLTON (ADPM ‘81) TAYLOR, PATRICIA (MDIV ‘89)


ALUMNI NEWS WILLIAM L. HOOPER Hopper’s tenure as a church music ministries faculty member, 196274, included eight years as dean/ division chair. A noted composer, Hopper’s instrumental and choral compositions were published by Concordia Press, Broadman Press, Word Music and Carl Fischer Music.

DAN HOLCOMB Holcomb, whose knowledge and indepth class material earned him the nickname “Smoke’em Holcomb,” is remembered by colleagues and students as a kind and gentle man with a pastor’s heart. A beloved professor whose tenure at NOBTS spanned 40 years, Holcomb was known as a scholar and a “Christian statesman” whose prayers before class moved students to remark that it was like “sitting at the feet of Oswald Chambers.” An ordained Baptist minister, Holcomb began preaching at age 15. Holcomb held the John T. Westbrook Chair of Church History and served many years as the chair of the Theological and Historical Studies Division. His tenure was marked with sabbaticals at the University of Oxford, U.K., and at Yale and Vanderbilt Universities. Holcomb was regarded by students as a diligent teacher who expected much from his students but whose deep and abiding faith touched all. TEAGUE, LUCKY (MDIV ‘83) WILLIAMSON, BOBBY (MDIV ‘85) WINDHAM, DONALD (ATTENDED ‘87) WORTHY, CHARLES (ATTENDED ‘84) 1990S BUTLER, DEBBIE (MACE ‘93) COLE, JERRY (MDIV ‘95) DOUGLAS, GREG (MDIV ‘98, DMIN ‘08) FARNHAM, ALICIA (MACE ‘96) HUFF, SANDRA (MACE ‘97) HUGHES, STAN (MDIV ‘95) HUMPHRIES, DOUG (ATTENDED ‘92) LEE, ROY (ATTENDED ‘91) LEWELLYN, GEORGE (MDIV ‘95, PHD ‘02)

DAVID SNEED David Sneed (D.Min. student) was known for his humble spirit and vibrant heart for the Lord despite life-long disabilities and health issues. Sneed preached and led Bible studies weekly in the homeless community, visited weekly for his church, and prayed daily by name for about 2,000 people. Sneed’s farreaching impact touched thousands of lives as he pursued his education despite obstacles, and shared his faith-story knowing that God would use his disabilities to open doors and warm hearts to the gospel.

LYONS, MARSHEILAH (MACE ‘97) NORMAN, KENNETH (ATTENDED ‘98) ONDERCHAIN, ALLAN (ATTENDED ‘92) PACE, JAMES (ATTENDED ‘95) PITTS, WESLEY (DMIN ‘91) POPE, RANDOLPH (ATTENDED ‘98) PRICE, RALPH (MCM ‘90) ROWLAND, WADE (ATTENDED ‘70) SHELL, MIKE (ATTENDED ‘92) STONE, JOE (ATTENDED ‘94) STULTS, BOBBY (BA ‘97, MDIV ‘00, DMIN ‘15) VOWELL, JENNY (BGS ‘96) WOLO, ELAINE (ATTENDED ‘98)

DON STEWART For a quarter of a century, Stewart served in multiple capacities at NOBTS until his retirement in July 2003. Stewart returned to NOBTS, his alma mater, in 1978 to serve as the executive vice president under Landrum P. Leavell II. Later he would lead the seminary’s doctor of ministry program and the extension center system. Stewart served as professor of New Testament and Greek throughout his tenure at NOBTS and from 1997 to 2003, he returned to the classroom in a fulltime capacity. The professor known for bringing a pastoral approach to the study of New Testament and Greek was elected as professor emeritus shortly after his retirement. For Stewart, ministry was never confined to the classroom, often giving pastoral encouragement to the staff members and students he met in the halls. He continued to encourage the seminary community long after his retirement during his frequent trips to campus. 2000S CARSON, BRENDA (CCM ‘06) DUNCAN, KEITH (MDIV ‘00) LAWSON, JASON (MDIVCE ‘03) MCKENZIE, BETTY (BACM ‘06) MCMELLER, ROSEVELT (ATTENDED ‘09) WERLINE, TERRY (BA ‘2000, MDIV ‘05) WRIGHT, TRAVIS (MDIVCE ‘02, THM ‘06, PHD ‘08) 2010S BANISTER, VELVIE (ATTENDED ‘15) O’CONNOR, KELLEY (CBT ‘11) SPRING, KYLE (ACM ‘16, BACM ‘16) 2020S SANSON, LUTHER (MDIV ‘21) VISION MAGAZINE Fall 2021

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Leavell College students worship together at Collective, the house system worship night.