EDITOR’S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.
Today’s BP Ledger includes items from:
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Carson-Newman trustees vote to begin process of name change
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (Carson-Newman College) — Carson-Newman College’s Board of Trustees have unanimously voted to begin the process of changing the institution’s name to “Carson-Newman University.” The change would go into effect after the first of the year. The decision follows months of study conducted by C-N officials, and precedes the school’s steps in changing its charter with the state of Tennessee.
Carson-Newman has long offered master level programs, qualifying it as a university model. The institution currently offers 50 undergraduate majors and seven graduate degrees. Pending approval by SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools), C-N will also offer a Doctor of Education degree in fall of 2013.
“We are excited about this new chapter in the life of Carson-Newman,” said C-N Board Chair Larry Waters. “This decision was not taken lightly, but has been a part of a methodical process of building upon proven successes along with new initiatives and programs.”
Along with more accurately describing the institution, Carson-Newman officials believe that the name change will assist in recruiting, particularly internationally. Carson-Newman currently has 93 international students enrolled representing 24 different nations.
“Many students who inquire about Carson-Newman overseas interpret the name “college” as a high school or vocational school,” explained Provost Kina Mallard. “There is simply a difference in terminology. By embracing “university,” we not only more accurately represent ourselves here at home, but to the global community as well.”
Carson-Newman President Randall O’Brien added that though the move will change in how Carson-Newman is referred to, the Board remains resolute in the role C-N plays in higher education.
“Carson-Newman may change in name and expand in what it academically offers students, but it will do so while holding true to its mission and vision of being intentionally Christian, academically rigorous, student-focused and future-minded,” said O’Brien. “In a rapidly changing world, some things don’t: academic and Christian excellence at Carson-Newman! The future is bright.”
Founded in 1851 as Mossy Creek Missionary Baptist Seminary, the institution has undergone several name changes throughout its history. It has held the name Carson-Newman College since 1930.
Students sow Gospel after voicing ‘Soul Winner’s’ prayer
By Benjamin Hawkins
FORT WORTH, Texas (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) — During a chapel service at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Samuel Stephens reported how he and fellow seminary student Paul Morris shared the Gospel at a nearby Starbucks with Mike and his girlfriend, Sin.
Like Stephens and Morris, many students have recently sown the Gospel and sometimes reaped a spiritual harvest because they prayed the soul winner’s prayer during chapel, Sept. 6. During this chapel service, President Paige Patterson challenged students to ask themselves if they are broken by the lostness of men and women throughout the world. They will never share the Gospel with people, he said, until they are burdened with this lostness.
“There are 7 billion people on the face of the earth today,” Patterson said. “The vast majority of them are on their way to hell. Does that make any difference to you? … Are you so involved doing your studies here at this institution that lost people are no longer of consequence to you? Are you so deeply involved in doing the work of God in the church that lost people don’t matter to you anymore?”
Patterson then asked students that, every day for 60 days, they would lift up to God what he called the soul winner’s prayer: “Dear God, give me an opportunity to share my faith today. Help me to recognize it when it happens, and give me the courage to proceed with it when I recognize it.”
Soon after Patterson challenged students to commit themselves to prayer, many students began to report how God was working among them. The afternoon after he voiced this prayer, one seminary student met a man whose truck ran out of gas at a grocery store and who had no money to refill it. Seeing this opportunity, the student bought him a tank of gas and led him to faith in Christ.
One college student prayed for the opportunity and courage to share the Gospel. That evening, while walking around campus, she met a teenage boy and his little brother and led them to faith in Christ.
During chapel, Sept. 19, Stephens shared how God answered the soul winner’s prayer when he and Morris met Mike and Sin.
One day, Stephens and Morris ordered coffee at a Starbucks and, as they were taking their seats outside the coffeehouse, they noticed a man had left his phone sitting on a nearby table. Stephens took the phone inside and returned it its owner, Mike. A few minutes later, Mike and Sin came outside to finish their coffees. They thanked Stephens and Morris again for their kindness in returning the phone.
Since they were both from other areas of the United States, Mike and Sin commented that people in Fort Worth seem very kind. Sin also observed that she often saw people reading the Bible at Starbucks, and Mike responded that there must be some religious school nearby.
At that instant, Stephens and Morris knew that God had given them an opportunity to share the Gospel. So they told Mike and his girlfriend, that they were seminary students, and as their conversation progressed Mike began to share his own story.
“This man that I didn’t even know began to weep and share about years of alcohol addiction and how he had gone through rehabilitation, with a little bit of religion sprinkled in there,” Stephens said in chapel. “He may have considered himself free from alcohol, but through his speech and demeanor and through the Spirit’s guidance, we knew that he was still bound by sin. And one word that he continued to use through that was, “Rock bottom. I have hit rock bottom.'”
After hearing Mike’s story, Stephens shared his own testimony, telling him how sinners at rock bottom can find grace and mercy in Christ Jesus. Although Mike and Sin did not come to faith in Christ that day, they commented again and again how much they liked the two seminary students. In reply, Morris said, “Mike, you don’t like us because of who we are. You like us because of who Christ is.”
God honored Stephens and Morris’ prayers and, as Stephens told fellow seminary students during chapel, “the Savior was at Starbucks, and (Mike and Sin) saw Christ in us.”
Benjamin Hawkins is senior news writer for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (www.swbts.edu/campusnews).
‘African-American Baptist History’ in spotlight during
Campbellsville University’s Baptist Heritage Series lecture
By Linda Waggener, marketing and media relations coordinator
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Campbellsville University) — “How can we keep our African American history alive?” the student asked the professor, referring to the multitudes of Americans who don’t seem to be involved in the details of our past.
“You become a committee of one,” the professor said, “and you keep it going.”
That was the advice of Dr. Lawrence H. Williams, distinguished professor emeritus of Africana studies and history after his lecture on the powerful story of Simmons College at the Baptist Heritage Series lecture Oct. 4.
“The black middle class of Kentucky owes a tremendous debt to Simmons,” he said. “It was the only black-owned and black-controlled school offering all degrees, training ministers, teachers, physicians and lawyers in this area of the country.”
Williams is widely known for his research on African-American Baptist history and is a nationally recognized authority on the black church and the civil rights movement.
Dr. Joe Early Jr., assistant professor of theology at Campbellsville University, followed Williams’ lecture with his presentation on Richard Henry Boyd, a key leader in documenting and shaping black Baptist identity. Boyd was born into slavery but rose to become an African-American minister and successful businessman remembered as the founder and head of the National Baptist Publishing Board and a founder of the National Baptist Convention of America Inc.
Early said Boyd was a quick study and a savvy businessman even though he didn’t know his alphabet until age 20 when he hired a young woman to teach him. Boyd insisted that black Baptists should write and publish their own materials. He became a publisher after proclaiming that Caucasian materials do not always serve the needs of Black Baptists.
Campbellsville University’s Baptist Heritage Series, presented by the Office of Church and External Relations, is under the leadership of John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president. It focuses attention on Baptist heritage and history and the distinctiveness of the Baptist faith.
Chowning said he was proud this year’s BHS event could bring attention to the rich African-American Baptist history in Kentucky and in the nation.
The event was co-sponsored by the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, Central District Association of Baptists and Simmons College of Kentucky.