PHOENIX (BP)–Dan Coker, senior pastor of Love Baptist Church in Phoenix, received Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s 2003 Alumni Achievement Award during the GGBTS Alumni and Friends Luncheon in Phoenix June 18.
“Dr. Coker has been a model alumnus of Golden Gate,” seminary President Bill Crews told the luncheon, held in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention’s June 17-18 annual meeting.
“His outstanding accomplishments at various levels of church work and in multiple cultures exemplifies our contextual philosophy of leadership,” Crews continued. “Dan has been a tireless promoter of Golden Gate through work with our alumni association, teaching at the Arizona Campus and providing significant leadership in the senior adult conference at the Northern California Campus.”
Coker holds both the master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Golden Gate.
He has pastored churches in Arkansas and throughout California. On the associational level he has served various roles, including director of missions of the San Francisco Peninsula Baptist Association and president of the Central Association of Southern Baptists in Phoenix. Coker also has served as associate executive director of the California Baptist Foundation and as chair for many boards at the state convention levels.
Golden Gate’s luncheon, highlighting the work of the Arizona Campus, featured testimonies from two students. Rick Wiles, pastor of Starlight Baptist Church in Phoenix, thanked Crews for his leadership in establishing the seminary’s regional campuses. “I was called to minister in Arizona but recognized the need for more training,” Wiles said. “The regional campus in Phoenix has allowed me to do both.”
Josh McClellan, youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Garden Lakes, Ariz., said, “My studies and the experience of my professors have not only impacted my life but the lives of those in my church through my ministry.”
Mark McClellan, director of the Arizona Campus, served as master of ceremonies for the luncheon. “The Arizona campus is a great testimony to the philosophy and effectiveness of Golden Gate Seminary of training ministers where they are ministering. We are grateful to Southern Baptists and their support for shaping church leaders in Arizona in such an effective way.”
Crews said Golden Gate was “established by leaders who understood the effectiveness of training leaders in the West. Southern Baptists can be confident in our commitment to provide the best theological education possible through contextualized, regional education.”
The seminary, a Cooperative Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention, operates five campuses, in Northern California, Southern California, Pacific Northwest, Arizona and Colorado.