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GGBTS receives $2.75 million to endow leadership chair

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary has received a gift of $2.75 million to establish an endowed academic chair in Christian leadership studies and fund related areas of emphasis.
Seminary President William O. Crews announced the gift Aug. 28 during the opening chapel for the new fall semester on the Mill Valley, Calif., campus. Golden Gate is one of six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries and the only SBC agency in the western United states.
The $2.75 million gift, from Jack and Duna Rice of Roseville, Calif., is in two irrevocable charitable remainder unitrusts.
“Our mission of shaping effective Christian leaders for the churches of tomorrow is a big job, one we can only accomplish together with God’s help,” Crews said. “Over the years, God has brought together people both inside the seminary family and outside the immediate seminary community to accomplish this.”
Crews voiced gratitude for the gift and what it signifies “to God’s kingdom and for the deep friendship we enjoy with this outstanding Christian family.”
The donors have specified earnings from the trusts be used primarily to endow The William O. Crews Chair of Christian Leadership in honor of the seminary’s sixth president, who has led the seminary since 1986.
“I am overwhelmed personally by this gesture and we as a seminary are humbled by the trust they have placed in us to educate and train the church’s future leaders,” Crews said. “Golden Gate Seminary is a better place because of the involvement of the Rices and other persons of strong Christian faithfulness and conviction.”
Endowed academic chairs help provide salary, program and research support for specific areas of study at Golden Gate. This new academic chair will focus on biblical leadership for churches and ministries throughout the world.
“Quality Christian leadership is more important than ever as churches learn to minister effectively in today’s changing world,” said Sam Williams, assistant professor of leadership at Golden Gate. The Rices’ gift “will allow Golden Gate to be a vital resource for the study and practice of biblical leadership models that serve the purposes of God and help churches make a spiritual impact in their communities.”
Other academic chairs at Golden Gate include the Baker James Cauthen Chair of World Missions, the Cecil G. Osborne Chair of Pastoral Care and Counseling, the William A. Carleton Chair of Church History, the E. Hermond Westmoreland Chair of Evangelism and the J.M. Frost Baptist Sunday School Board Chair of Christian Education.
Crews said the timing of the gift is in God’s providence: “In recent years, our faculty have taken the issue of preparing leaders seriously in their evaluation of curriculum and other learning programs. They are engaging once again in a serious dialogue aimed at finding even greater ways to provide the kind of leadership education and training that will make long-term impact in the personal lives of our students and in the churches we serve.”

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  • Cameron Crabtree