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Midwestern Seminary dedicates Koehn-Myers Center

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary dedicated its first renovation project of academic/administrative facilities in more than 25 years -– the William Koehn and Martha Myers Center for World Evangelism -– on Aug. 23 after the fall convocation.

The 35,000-square-foot former retreat center is named after martyred International Mission Board missionaries William Koehn and Martha Myers, who were killed in Yemen in 2002.

Ira Myers, father of Martha Myers, cut the ribbon for the facility on the Kansas City, Mo., campus.

“If Martha was here today, she would be embarrassed, because what she did was not for her glory, but for the glory of God,” Myers said of having a building named in her honor.

Reflecting on a conversation he and his daughter had before she left for the mission field and the potential dangers of the Mid-east, Myers said she was “emphatic that she was in the Lord’s hands.”

Myers said when he asked her what her plans were after her service on the field ended, she replied that whether or not the IMB allowed her to continue, she would keep ministering in Yemen.

“‘These are my people,’” Myers recounted his daughter saying. “‘They need me.’”

During the ceremony, Midwestern President R. Philip Roberts read from the plaque that will be hung at the entrance of the building, which quotes Rev. 12:11: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death.”

Roberts said William Koehn and Martha Myers were “guideposts and examples for all of us.”

“We want to not only honor the memory of Bill and Martha, but we also want to live their example of dying to self and living for Christ,” Roberts said.

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies also included “The Vines” Café and Kitchen, named in honor of Midwestern supporters Jack and Linda Vines of Sullivan, Mo. The 1,400-square-foot dining area and 460-square-foot kitchen will serve hot and cold beverages, including coffee, cappuccino, sodas and orange juice as well as sandwiches, soup, pizza, and chicken tenders, among other items. “The Vines” Café is scheduled to officially open Aug. 29.

“We’re so grateful that what we gave is contained in this place,” said Vines of the Koehn-Myers Center for the World Evangelism.

During convocation earlier in the day, President’s Medallions also were awarded to Ira Myers, Don Kammerdiener and Jim Sells. The medallion is one of the highest honors awarded by the seminary to those who have made a significant impact on Midwestern and Christian higher education.

Kammerdiener is a 1971 graduate of Midwestern and former executive vice president and veteran missionary with the International Mission Board. He also is a member of Midwestern’s board of regents.

Sells, former president of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo., has been interim director for development at Midwestern since 2004 and has been instrumental in raising funds for the Koehn-Myers Center renovation.

Additionally during the convocation service, Roberts received in behalf of the seminary donations totaling $45,000. Harold Rawlings of the Rawlings Foundation presented a check for $10,000 and pledged donations every quarter for the same amount. Dan and Susan McDonald of Atlanta presented a check for $20,000. Ira and Woodie Myers presented a $15,000 check in honor of William Koehn for a room in the Koehn-Myers Center’s phase two remodeling project.

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