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Jester to become president of Kentucky’s Mid-Continent

MAYFIELD, Ky. (BP)–David Jester, former foreign missionary and former president of Wayland Baptist University in Texas, has been named president-elect of Mid-Continent Baptist Bible College.

Jester, 66, will become the sixth president of the west Kentucky college May 9, upon the retirement of LaVerne Butler.

Mid-Continent is owned by 15 Baptist associations in four states: Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee. Although not directly affiliated with any state Baptist convention, the college has been formally recognized by the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

Jester comes to Mid-Continent from McAllen, Texas, where he has been director of the adult continuing education division of South Texas Community College since 1991. Since 1988, he has helped develop new public educational systems in several locations across Texas.

From 1981-87, Jester served as president of Wayland Baptist University, a school affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Prior to that, he served two KBC-affiliated schools: Georgetown College as professor of education and director of the graduate program and Campbellsville College as vice president for advancement and professor of education and as academic vice president.

Jester and his wife, Marie, were Southern Baptist missionaries in Africa from 1957-70. There, he helped launch Baptist education efforts in Nigeria.

Jester’s parents, William and Daisy Jester, were pioneer Southern Baptist missionaries in Tanzania and Kenya. David Jester was born on the mission field in Tanzania.

Both he and his wife are graduates of Georgetown College. Both also attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., where he earned the master of divinity degree and she the master of religious education degree. He also holds a master’s degree and doctorate in education from Columbia University in New York.

“Dr. Jester came to us as an answer to prayer,” said Ray Provow, chairman of Mid-Continent’s trustee board. “Everything we were looking for we found in Dr. Jester.”

Provow noted the college plans to begin a teacher certification program soon, and Jester’s experience will be invaluable for that effort.

Jester said his vision is to develop Mid-Continent as a prominent Baptist college for America’s heartland. With support from the trustees, he hopes to expand Mid-Continent’s mission beyond training only ministers to training people who will be ministers wherever they work.

“We want to produce people who are thoroughly equipped to serve the Lord, whether they be ministers or missionaries or laymen,” Jester said. The college also will expand its role in preparing bivocational ministers, he said.

The college currently has an enrollment of about 140, most of whom are ministerial students. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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  • Mark Wingfield