GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP)–There’s nothing better than a “personal touch,” especially when it comes to education. David Tolliver, president of the national alumni for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, says this “personal touch” is present at the Missouri school.
“It’s not about small classes,” Tolliver explained to those attending the seminary’s National Alumni Association Annual Luncheon June 14. “It’s about the kind of students, professors and staff that we have. It’s the people and their willingness to help each other that gives Midwestern that personal touch.”
That personal touch gained at Midwestern molded three men in their ministries after seminary. Jeff P. Iorg, Israel C. Obieje and Russ G. Shinpoch shared this year’s alumni of the tear honors. Three others were named as honorary alumni of the year.
Iorg is the first Midwestern graduate to be named head of a Southern Baptist entity. Iorg has served as president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary for two years.
“This is such an honor,” Iorg said. “Back when I was a student at Midwestern, I commuted four or five days a week to the campus. God used that experience to prepare me for being a seminary president of a large community of commuters.”
Obieje, who was unable to attend the luncheon, is the director of the Global Missions Board of the Nigerian Baptist Convention. Nigeria sends out hundreds of missionaries each year. Midwestern Seminary President R. Phillips Roberts commended Obieje for his dedication and commitment to spreading the Gospel in the third world and thanked him for actively demonstrating the mission statement of the seminary –- to biblically educate God-called men and women to be and to make disciples of Jesus Christ throughout the world.
Shinpoch is senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Snellville, Ga. and past president of the alumni association. Roberts thanked Shinpoch for his generous commitment and support to the seminary.
“Dr. Shinpoch’s high level of performance is an inspiration to us all,” Roberts said.
Three others were named the 2006 Honorary Alumni of the Year. This award goes out to those who may not have graduated from the seminary, but made significant contributions in leadership and ministry. Those honored included: C.O. Balentine, owner, founder and former president of Bank 10; Jim Sells, former MBTS director of institutional advancement and former president of Southwest Baptist University; and Jack Vines, Sr., owner, founder and president of Television Engineering Corporation.