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NOBTS trustees elect 3 to join faculty

DECATUR, Ga. (BP)–New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary trustees elected three new faculty members and heard progress reports on two campus construction projects during their meeting Oct. 7-8 at the seminary’s North Georgia Campus in Decatur.

Trustees elected Rick Byargeon and Randy Millwood to the graduate faculty and Ed Steele to serve on the Leavell College faculty. President Chuck Kelley also announced that Carl Sherrill will teach at NOBTS by presidential appointment.

Each of the new faculty members brings extensive ministry experience to NOBTS, Kelley said.

“NOBTS is ‘the church place,’ dedicated to providing outstanding training for those who will serve the local church and its ministries,” Kelley said. “Our ideal faculty member has outstanding scholarly ability and extensive local church experience. These new faculty additions embody that ideal.”

Byargeon, associate professor of Hebrew and wisdom literature, returns to NOBTS after serving as a pastor and as a faculty member at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He taught Old Testament and Hebrew at NOBTS from 1993-99 and has twice served as a visiting lecturer on the mission field at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Singapore.

His local church experience includes pastorates in Louisiana and Texas and interim pastorates at more than a dozen churches, including First Baptist Church in Tulsa, Okla.; Trinity Baptist Church in Lake Charles, La.; First Baptist Church of Frisco, Texas; Parkview Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, La.; and Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport, La. Byargeon, former pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Ruston, La., served on the Louisiana Baptist Convention’s executive committee from 1998-99.

After earning the bachelor of arts degree from Louisiana College in Pineville, La., Byargeon earned master of divinity and doctor of philosophy degrees at Southwestern.

An accomplished researcher and writer, Byargeon has penned articles for the Biblical Illustrator and the Journal for the Evangelical Theological Society. He also contributed articles to the revised edition of Biblical Hermeneutics, a textbook co-edited by NOBTS Provost Steve Lemke. Byargeon also assisted in the translation of Ecclesiastes for the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

“We welcome back Dr. Rick Byargeon to the NOBTS faculty with his unique expertise in wisdom literature,” said Dennis Cole, chairperson of the biblical studies division. “He evidences that essential balance between the pursuit of academic excellence and providing pastoral insight into the Old Testament Scriptures for our students that has been a historical hallmark of the NOBTS faculty.”

Randy Millwood was named as associate professor of discipleship in the Broadmoor Chair of Discipleship. He served on the faculty at NOBTS from 1995-2000. During his time away from the seminary, Millwood served as consultant with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware in church health and leadership and leader of small group ministry.

While in Maryland, Millwood also served as a staff consultant and house church leader for The Life, a church in College Park. Millwood has more than 15 years of local church experience in Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Georgia, Kansas and Kentucky. From 1993-95, he also worked a church growth consultant for LifeWay Christian Resources.

“We are blessed as a faculty and seminary family to have Dr. Randy Millwood return and teach in the area of discipleship,” said Jerry Barlow, dean of graduate studies. “Dr. Millwood’s classroom creativity, commitment to discipleship and warmth of personality will greatly impact our students and faculty.”

Millwood earned the bachelor of arts in philosophy for Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Ky. He went on to receive the master of religious education and the doctor of education degrees from NOBTS.

An expert in discipleship and small group ministry, Millwood has written literature for use in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. He also has authored numerous articles for The Sunday School Leader.

Ed Steele, a May 2003 doctor of musical arts graduate from NOBTS, was elected to serve as assistant professor of music in Leavell College, the seminary’s undergraduate school. In addition to his doctoral degree, Steele holds a bachelor of music education from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee and the master of church music degree from Southwestern Seminary.

“Dr. Ed Steele is the perfect complement to our ministry team which is made up of the Leavell College faculty members,” said L. Thomas Strong, dean of the college. “He brings with him a heart for the local church and the desire to instill within students a heart to lead others in worship. In addition, Ed brings a high level of musical skill and ability to the task of teaching.”

Steele joins the growing number of nine NOBTS faculty members with significant foreign missions experience with the International Mission Board. The Oklahoma native served for two decades as a music missionary with the IMB, from 1978-98. Steele served as a music missionary in Panama and Nicaragua, as well as teaching music at Baptist seminaries in Panama and Mexico.

A gifted composer and musician, Steele also served as the music editor and producer for the Baptist Spanish Publishing House in El Paso, Texas, from 1992-98. During his time there, he composed seven pieces of music and arranged five additional pieces.

Carl Sherrill, announced as a presidential appointment to serve as the director of supervised ministry and instructor of pastoral ministries, has more than two decades of local church and ministry experience serving as a pastor, associate pastor, evangelist and church planter. Educated at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo., and Southwestern Seminary, Sherrill is scheduled to complete his doctor of philosophy degree at SWBTS in May 2004.

As director of supervised ministry at NOBTS, Sherrill will oversee one of the practical areas of the seminary’s curriculum. Most master’s-level students are required to participate in two supervised ministry courses that provide hands-on experience in personal evangelism and church ministry.

During their meeting in March, trustees approved a $1.75 million project to renovate the existing Farnsworth apartment complex and a $2.7 million project to construct guest housing on the NOBTS campus. Chris Friedmann, associate vice president for operations, reported that the Farnworth project was completed in late September. Student families with children began moving into the complex Oct. 4. The complex consists of 16 three-bedroom apartments and eight four-bedroom apartments. Friedmann said the project addressed the housing need on campus for families with multiple children.

He also reported that the guest housing project is on schedule to be completed by mid-December. Workers have completed the exterior work and have begun working on the interior walls. The 59-room facility, called William Hamm Jr. Hall, will accommodate extension center students attending workshops in New Orleans, as well as, conference and MissionLab participants.