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Man with unique name, passion for discipleship joins college staff

MOBILE, Ala. (BP)–When a college seeks our that perfect person to head its Baptist Campus Ministries, direct its Fellowship of Christian Athletes and lead its chapel programs, who better to take responsibility than a man named Moses?
The University of Mobile, however, not only recruited a Moses but also a Caesar — Moses Caesar, that is — as the school’s director of spiritual development.
“I consider myself an enabler,” said the 32-year-old native of Bangalore, India, who began his duties at UM last August.
Queried about the explanation behind his memorable moniker, Caesar recounted that his first name means “saved from water,” which is derived from the plight of the biblical character who, like the UM staffer, was nearly lost early in life. Caesar was dehydrated at birth, with slim chances for survival. But like the babe discovered floating along the banks of the Nile River by Pharaoh’s daughter centuries ago, this Moses, too, was delivered from death by the grace of God.
His surname — Caesar — came from his father’s birth through caesarian section. Because of the rarity of the procedure’s success in rural India years ago, his father, who grew up playing soccer with American missionary kids, wanted his son to carry a reminder of God’s provision.
Moving to the United States at the age of 7, Caesar, who was raised speaking English, called the experience, “more like moving to a different neighborhood.”
His family settled in Wichita Falls, Texas, where at the age of 10, young Caesar accepted Christ in a Sunday school class at First Baptist Church. He progressed slowly in his Christian walk until age 13, when he heard something that had — and still has — a profound affect on him.
“I discovered that Jesus desired from me a relationship and not just a religion,” he explained. This new spiritual insight, combined with his uncovering of a history of Christianity in his ancestry — six generations, dating back to the early 1800s in India — prompted Caesar to commit his life to full-time Christian ministry at age 16.
Since that life-changing decision in the 10th grade, Caesar has journeyed from Texas to Washington, New York, Tennessee and New Mexico, serving God in various capacities, from camp leader to youth pastor to a bus ministry.
He also helped set up and operate audio-visual equipment at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, while earning a master of divinity degree in 1991. He is currently a candidate for a doctoral degree from Golden Gate Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif.
Since joining UM’s staff, Caesar has worked hard to implement a program that is “birthed and driven by students,” with his primary responsibility to give direction.
“I’ve been very fortunate that [UM] has given me the latitude to do a lot of different things to encourage spiritual growth on campus,” said Caesar, who previously served in a similar position at California Baptist University in Riverside.
He reiterated his hope that the students, and not only himself, will take the initiative to “dream, generate and complement ideas” that will further their spiritual development.
Caesar has inherited a BCM that he feels is ready to shake up the university’s campus for Jesus. “These students have a lot of heart and ideas,” he said. “It’s really exciting. … We’ve even had to hold them back a little.”
Caesar admitted he previously “had not heard much about the University of Mobile at all,” but eagerly expressed enthusiasm about working with UM President Mark Foley, who has kept up with the young man’s progress since teaching Caesar’s college Sunday school class in Wichita Falls.
“Even then, I could see his deep love for the Lord,” said Foley, who took over the reigns as UM president last March.
He has also been impressed by Caesar’s “passion for discipleship,” something he hopes will be “contagious” to students. The position of director of spiritual development “gets at the heart of what I want to see happening to our students,” Foley said, adding that he has already noticed a mutual affection between Caesar and UM’s students and faculty.
Caesar said he shares a common vision with Foley, that each student would come away from the university with a “value-centered Christian education.”
“My dream for the future,” he said, “is that UM will soon be churning out students who truly understand what a vibrant, growing relationship with Christ is.”

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  • Jason Skinner