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Patterson at dedication: Missionaries, new churches key a seminary’s success

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–The dedication service for the new Jacumin-Simpson Missions Center was more than just a ceremony for a new building on the campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, it was a public proclamation and visual commitment of the resolve of the seminary to fulfill the Great Commission.

“You may adjudicate in the final analysis whether we have succeeded or failed at Southeastern Seminary, not by the number of books in the library or the number of learned professors that we have, nor by the size of the student body,” seminary President Paige Patterson declared. “But in the end, you can adjudicate whether we have succeeded or failed on one basis alone: Count the new churches that have been established by the graduates of this school. Go to the foreign fields of the ends of the earth and see if you can find an abundance of Southeastern graduates there. And if you find those two things, then you can put it down we have succeeded in our mission at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.”

The Oct. 16 ceremony began at Binkley Chapel then moved to the new Jacumin-Simpson Mission Center where attendees including students, the board of trustees, board of visitors and local community members witnessed the seminary’s historic moment.

During the chapel service, the presidents of the North American Mission Board, Robert E. Reccord, and International Mission Board, Jerry Rankin, expressed their excitement over the new missions center.

“Share the kingdom in the passion of the Holy Spirit. Be sure that you’re always reaching out to those who need your reach the most,” Reccord proclaimed to the packed chapel.

“I want to say on the behalf of the North American Mission Board, who’s proud to stand in partnership with you and the International Mission Board, as long as life goes on, we’ll be standing there with you to accomplish the goal,” Reccord said.

Rankin also expressed gratitude for the partnership between the International Mission Board and Southeastern Seminary.

“The dedication of this missions center could not be more timely in the task of this seminary and in what God is doing throughout the world,” Rankin said. “I’ve often said it is not the responsibility of the International Mission Board to do missions on the behalf of Southern Baptists. The Great Commission was given to every believer, every church, to every denomination entity. How grateful we are for your partnership and your commitment with us to our Great Commission task to the glory of God among the nations.”

Also during the chapel ceremony, President Paige Patterson honored trustee Jim Jacumin and his wife, Nancy Nell, whose family significantly contributed to the construction of the new facility.

Patterson presented the couple with a certificate of appreciation and a framed resolution declaring Oct. 16 as “Jim and Nancy Nell Jacumin Day” at Southeastern. He also presented the couple with gold cuff links and a pendent bearing the symbol of the new missions center.

Named in honor of their parents, Emile and Mamie Jacumin and Roy and Muriel Simpson, the center is located on the southeast side of campus and houses the Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies.

Patterson’s dedication sermon was based on 1 Kings 8 in which King Solomon dedicated the temple in Jerusalem in 951 B.C.

“Solomon had a day of dedication, such as we are having today, for the dedication of the temple,” Patterson said. “For Solomon, who had been wise enough to ask for wisdom, knew very well that you could build brick and mortar, and that even if you did, there would be no blessing of God without the presence of God.”

Patterson mentioned that Solomon did not build the temple for the sake of Israel alone, but for all the peoples of the earth to hear of the great name of God.

The goal of the Jacumin-Simpson Missions Center, Patterson said, is the same: for the peoples of the earth to hear the great name of God.

“It’s not bricks and mortar, it’s not even thanksgiving to all the precious people who made it possible and it is certainly in no way to honor us, but it is a building to say to a watching world what really counts is getting the gospel to the people,” Patterson said.

Jim Jacumin also underscored during the dedication ceremony his desire to see the missions center used for the glory of God.

“You know the only thing wrong with missionaries is there just aren’t enough of them,” Jacumin said, standing in the new missions center. “Thank God for all who had a part in the funding and constructing of this missions building. This building will supply many, many missionaries to the lost of the world year after year until the Lord returns.”

Jacumin encouraged supporters of the seminary to earnestly seek God’s face in determining their level of willingness to sacrifice for Southeastern Seminary — “to give that which we cannot keep, to gain that which we cannot lose,” he said.

The director of the Center for Great Commission Studies, Keith Eitel, also addressed the supporters of the seminary.

“Our commitment is to recruit, to train and to send young men and women who are willing to die that others might live,” Eitel said. “That forevermore, til Jesus comes, that all who flow through here, the Jacumin-Simpson Mission Center will be captured by this statement on this wall [Matthew 28:18-20] and that they will be committed solely and fully to the Lord who stated it. And to the gospel message that is embedded in it until he comes.”

(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net.

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  • Kelly Davis