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FROM THE SEMINARIES: Wilton named dean of Leavell College; SEBTS gifted ancient Torah; SWBTS gets Texas license plate

Wilton named dean of Leavell College

By Gary D. Myers/NOBTS

NEW ORLEANS (BP) – New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary announced the appointment of Greg Wilton as the next dean of Leavell College Friday (Nov. 12). He will begin the role Jan. 1, 2022.

Wilton comes to Leavell College from Send Relief, where he served as national director for immigrants and refugees. During his time with Send Relief, Wilton oversaw national strategies and ministry efforts aimed at immigrant and refugee care and directed the work of Send Relief’s Clarkston Ministry Center in Clarkston, Ga. He previously served as a lead pastor, a missions pastor and an International Mission Board missionary in Southeast Asia.

Jamie Dew, president of NOBTS and Leavell College, pointed to Wilton’s leadership and mission focus as the primary reasons he was selected for the role. Dew believes Wilton will connect well with students and help the college grow.

“Greg Wilton is a natural leader that our students will rally around. I’m excited to have him join our team,” Dew said. “I think he is the best possible person to lead Leavell College into her next chapters of ministry.

“His passion for missions fits well with the direction we are moving in as a school and allows a missiological ethos to shape the entire work of Leavell College. Our students will love him, and I believe our college will thrive under his leadership.”

Wilton was born in New Orleans and spent his first 11 years on the NOBTS campus while his father studied at the seminary and served on the faculty. After completing a bachelor’s degree at Samford University, Wilton returned to campus as a student in 2006. He earned three degrees from NOBTS (master of arts in missiology, master of theology, and doctor of philosophy). During Wilton’s time as a student in New Orleans, he pastored two different churches and served with the seminary’s MissionLab program.

“This is a homecoming for me, and I’m so thankful to Dr. Dew for the privilege of joining him and the rest of the faculty and staff at NOBTS and Leavell College to prepare students to walk with Christ, proclaim His truth, and fulfill His mission,” Wilton said. “I know firsthand that at NOBTS and Leavell College, to prepare here is to be able to serve anywhere.”

“I’m so excited to serve the NOBTS and Leavell College family as we send everyone everywhere to glorify King Jesus and make disciples of all nations.”

Read the full story here.

SEBTS gifted ancient Torah scroll

By Lauren Pratt/SEBTS

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) – It’s a sacred moment to read and study God’s Word, and it’s a life-changing moment to experience the Word of God through manuscripts preserved through the centuries.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) had such a moment when the school received a donated Torah scroll dating back to 1760 from Ken and Barb Larson, founders of God’s Ancient Library.

“When you walk up to this Torah … it is a holy moment when you stand in front of it,” said Barb Larson during her and Ken’s chapel presentation of the Torah. “It’s been meticulously written, it’s been meticulously preserved, and for thousands of years God’s Word has not changed; it’s without error. So, we’re convinced that bringing these Torah scrolls to schools brings new life not only to the Torah but also to the school.”

In just six years, God’s Ancient Library has donated 94 Torah scrolls to schools worldwide, and now SEBTS is the recipient of the ministry’s 95th Torah scroll. The one at SEBTS is one of the longest, spanning 134 feet in length, approximately 35 inches in width, and consisting of 35 panels of parchment.

“To know that this unique Torah is now being gifted to Southeastern Seminary is a real gift for us,” said Ken Larson, who told the story behind the donated Torah scroll during chapel.

During World War II in Fürth Germany, the Jews buried 18 scrolls inside a casket in the cemetery of a Jewish synagogue. The Jewish people hoped to preserve the sacred text of Scripture from its decimation by the Nazis. The Nazis never discovered where the scrolls had been buried, and it wasn’t until just 20 years ago that the scrolls were uncovered during construction. The Ben-David family, an Orthodox Jewish family from Israel, purchased the 18 scrolls, and God’s Ancient Library eventually purchased two of them.

Read the full story here.

Texas DMV grants approval for Southwestern Seminary-themed license plate

By Ashley Allen/SWBTS

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) granted approval for production of a Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary-themed license plate, pending 200 pre-orders by May 9, 2022, the school’s administration announced today.

“I’m delighted that we are on the cusp of the Dome having a home on Texas license plates all across the Lone Star State,” said SWBTS President Adam W. Greenway. “I urge Southwesterners and friends of the seminary in Texas to show their support for our institution by pre-ordering their plates today.”

The license plates, which can be personalized with up to six characters, include the iconic dome of the B.H. Carroll Memorial Building on the Fort Worth campus on a blue background. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends and supporters of Southwestern Seminary with registered vehicles in Texas are eligible to pre-order the license plates on the Texas DMV website.

The plates were approved for production following a six-month process that included verifying interest through expressions of public demand and a submission of a license plate design that met the state’s standards of legibility, reflectivity and graphics, and approval of the plates from the Texas DMV Board during a public meeting. Having been approved for production, 200 pre-orders are required within 180 days to start production of the plates.

The specialty license plates can be ordered for as little as $50 for a one-year term, and personalized license plates can receive numerous discounts when pre-ordered for multi-year terms. If 200 Southwestern Seminary-themed license plates are not pre-ordered within the defined time period, the Texas DMW procedures dictate the process must begin again.

The Southwestern Seminary-themed license plates allow the school to have an enhanced presence throughout the state of Texas, where the seminary has served Texas churches and associations since its founding in Waco in 1908. The seminary moved to its present location in Fort Worth in 1910.

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