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10/15/97 24-hour prayer center dedicated at New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–Round-the-clock prayer and Internet computer technology joined forces at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Oct. 9 when a 24-hour intercessory prayer center officially opened on the campus.
With the electronic address [email protected], a prayergram for “Southern Baptist missionaries world-wide” went out via the Internet when NOBTS President Chuck Kelley and T.W. Hunt, one of Southern Baptists’ foremost teachers on prayer, pushed a computer button together with Renate Viveen and Kim Leech, two NOBTS students who first asked Kelley for a 24-hour prayer center on campus.
Requesting God to “let prayer permeate the atmosphere of this place,” Hunt and the others sent the following prayergram around the world:
To: Southern Baptist Missionaries World-Wide
From: New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Date: October 9, 1997
Subject: The Inauguration of Our Intercessory Prayer Center Dear Fellow Servant of Christ:
The community of faith here at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary believes with all of our hearts that you are on the front line of kingdom ministry. That’s one of the reasons we are commissioning our new Intercessory Prayer Center. The purpose of this ministry is to engage in intercessory prayer for the work and workers of God’s kingdom around the world. Our vision is to lift you and your ministry before the Father twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week!
In order to assist us in praying for your specific needs, we are asking you to share with us your prayer requests by e-mail. Our address is [email protected]. When your request arrives we will place your request at one of our prayer stations where members of our seminary family will pray for you on a daily basis. We’ll also send a brief note back to you assuring you of our prayers, and we’ll await your news of how God has chosen to respond in answer to the intercessions of His children.
The New Orleans Seminary family truly hopes that our Intercessory Prayer Center will be a real source of spiritual encouragement to you, your family and your ministry in His kingdom. With a thankful and prayerful heart, Charles S. Kelley, Jr. President
“We want to cultivate a heart of dependence on God that prayer generates,” Kelley said during the dedication service.
Viveen, a master of divinity student from Lelystad, the Netherlands, and her roommate, Leech, a master of divinity student from Pensacola, Fla., met with Kelley soon after he was elected president in March 1996. They asked that a campus room, available to students 24-hours a day, seven days a week, be equipped with computer technology to receive prayer requests from around the world.
The realization of this dream, the Intercessory Prayer Center, is located in the middle of student housing. Funds for the renovation work were provided by Ruby Batey of Franklin, La.
The Intercessory Prayer Center features three rooms.
The computer to receive and send messages via the Internet is located in the intercessory prayer room. Messages are monitored daily by volunteers, who download the e-mail and send responses.
As prayer requests are received, volunteers take the requests to one of five prayer stations in the room, where separate prayer request boxes are kept. The stations, with the name painted above a map of the focus area, are maintained for:
— New Orleans Seminary and the seminary family;
— the city of New Orleans;
— the state of Louisiana;
— the United States and the ministry of the SBC’s North American Mission Board; and
— the world and the ministry of the SBC’s International Mission Board.
Bill Hamm of Shreveport, La., chairman of the seminary’s board of trustees, and his wife, Sybil, donated the funds for a 24-hour world clock in the intercessory prayer room.
A devotional room, meanwhile, has a library of devotional classics and comfortable seating. And a prayer chapel features a hand-carved kneeling bench at the foot of a lighted cross. The bench was donated by NOBTS alumnus John Lester Hawkins of Greenwell Springs, La. A Tiffany lamp in the chapel, decorated with symbols for the names of God, was donated by Kelley’s mother-in-law, Joyce Harrington of New Orleans. Bible verses about prayer are hand-calligraphied in gold around the top of the walls in the prayer chapel.

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  • Debbie Moore