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Alumni challenged to fan ‘fresh wind’ at Midwestern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–“There’s just a fresh wind blowing through this school.”

Russell Shinpoch’s observation flows not only from the fact that he is the current president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s alumni association.

It also stems from “Day of Prayer” services the Atlanta-area pastor led at the Kansas City, Mo., campus.

Shinpoch, pastor of First Baptist Church in Snellville, Ga., and a 1980 Midwestern graduate, led the mid-September Day of Prayer chapel service as well as times of prayer in various seminary departments, asking for specific prayer concerns among those involved in training the next generation of Christian leaders.

“Everywhere I go I just see a love for Christ and a willingness to serve,” Shinpoch said during his visit.

“As I’ve met with the faculty here, I’m seeing men not only of great intellect but of great passion for God, men who are investing in students in unique ways,” he noted.

The fresh wind blowing through Midwestern has started at the top with the seminary’s leadership, Shinpoch said, describing seminary President R. Philip Roberts as a visionary who is “key in what God is doing here.”

The work being done at Midwestern is vital for helping Southern Baptist churches and associations fulfill the Great Commission, Shinpoch said.

“The connection that they’re making to the local church and state conventions has been desperately needed,” he said. “It’s obvious to me that the influence of Midwestern is growing at high speed.”

Midwestern’s alumni need to come alongside and help contribute to that influence and effort for the sake of the Gospel, Shinpoch noted.

“I believe it ought to be encouraging to anybody that has benefited from this institution that God is doing a fresh work here,” he said.

“At our core, we [alumni] have believed God put Midwestern here for a long-term purpose,” Shinpoch said of the seminary’s 47-year history. “That purpose was to penetrate the heartland and be a base for sending people out all over the world. That purpose, despite some ups and downs, has not been revoked.”

As Midwestern’s alumni president, Shinpoch said he is looking to his fellow alumni to help take the seminary to the next level.

“We need the support of our alumni,” Shinpoch said. “We, as alumni, need to step up to the plate and be willing to return some of the blessings we’ve received here.”

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