PHOENIX (BP)–New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary President Chuck Kelley shared news of record-breaking enrollment during his report at the NOBTS Alumni and Friends Reunion during the June 17-18 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.
“God is giving us a wonderful chapter in the life of the school of Providence and Prayer,” Kelley said of the seminary’s growth. “He is using us as a living illustration to all of His children that there is no setting that God cannot transform.”
God has been faithful to the seminary despite the fact that city of New Orleans is not a Baptist stronghold, Kelley said. Quoting from Ephesians 3:20, Kelley encouraged the alumni and friends to trust God to guide their ministries and their lives.
NOBTS is now in its third straight year of record enrollment, Kelley reported. To date, more than 3,500 students have enrolled at the main campus in New Orleans and the seminary’s 16 extension centers located throughout the Southeast.
In March, the last of three new four-bedroom apartment complexes was completed. These apartment buildings were the first new student housing units built in more than 30 years. Kelley expressed thanks to the alumni and friends for their sacrificial gifts that made the construction possible. Through videotaped testimonies, students who live in the new apartments also expressed their gratefulness to seminary donors.
During the event, Kelley thanked President Emeritus Landrum P. Leavell II for his diligent service at the seminary.
Anthony Jordan, David Meacham and Eddie Lieberman were honored as distinguished alumni during the Wednesday luncheon.
Jordan, executive secretary-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), earned the master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from NOBTS. As a student at NOBTS, Jordan received the outstanding biblical language student award.
A pastor for 28 years, Jordan led churches in Missouri, Louisiana and Oklahoma. He served at Northwest Baptist Church in Oklahoma City 14 years before being chosen to lead Oklahoma’s 1,720 churches as state executive.
Jordan has served on numerous committees in the Southern Baptist Convention. A current member of the Empowering Kingdom Growth task force, he also served as chairman of the Baptist Faith and Message study committee in 1998.
David Meacham, NOBTS professor of church planting and director of the Nehemiah Project for church planting, came to the seminary in 2001 after 31 years of church and denominational ministry.
Meacham, who holds the master of theology and doctor of ministry degrees from NOBTS, served as executive-director of the Nevada Baptist Convention and editor of The Nevada Baptist from 1992-2001. He previously was director of missions in Las Vegas for nine years. He also served as pastor of two churches in California and worked as the church extension director for the Puget Sound Baptist Association in Seattle.
Kelley announced that Meacham is now serving also as acting director of the Leavell Center for Evangelism and Church Health.
Eddie Lieberman, who was unable to attend due to illness, converted to Christianity from Judaism. Shortly after accepting Christ, he attended NOBTS when the seminary was known as the Baptist Bible Institute. Lieberman did not complete a degree at NOBTS; instead he studied clinical psychology and earned the doctor of philosophy degree at the University of Tennessee.
In the 1940s, Lieberman took time off from his private practice to help establish NOBTS’ counseling department. During this time, God called him to ministry and he served as pastor of churches in Alabama and South Carolina. Ultimately, God would call Lieberman into service as an itinerant evangelist.
Lieberman has been a longtime donor to the work of NOBTS and has established three full scholarships at the seminary.
In his report during the SBC annual meeting, Kelley noted additionally that the seminary’s faculty has grown from 41 to 60, adding positions in philosophy, women’s ministry, leadership and counseling, among others.