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SBC DIGEST: Asian American leaders meet; Caskey Center receives $1M; Spurgeon College fields volleyball team

Asian American leaders focus on mobilization; Caskey Center receives $1 million; Spurgeon College fields volleyball team

Asian American leaders
focus on mobilization

By Staff

DALLAS (BP) — Discipleship was the main topic of discussion during two gatherings of Asian American church leaders and seminary students in the Dallas area.

In partnership with the North American Mission Board (NAMB), the Next Generation CoLab organized a regional dinner for Dallas area pastors and church leaders and a breakfast for students at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS).

Chris Wong, the second-generation church mobilizer for NAMB, led the discussions on discipleship, mobilization and multiplication, while Hyung Lee, vice president of the NextGen CoLab, shared about the fellowship’s goal to encourage younger Asian Americans to participate within the SBC family and to connect with the national SBC entities.

Wong said that the multiplication pipeline offered by NAMB seeks to provide a resource for next generation leaders as they evangelize and make disciples among second and third generation Asian Americans.

“From my interactions with many second-generation church leaders, the importance of discipleship has been a consistent theme,” remarked Wong. “However, many of these leaders have not personally received discipleship or have seen good models of a discipleship process.”

Wong said he hopes that many future church planters will be deployed by their local churches and partner together with NAMB to reach the cities of North America with the Gospel.

Lee noted the value he feels being a part of the SBC and all the possible partnerships and resources it, and other entities such as NAMB and IMB, can provide.

“I’ve long desired to be involved with a group that promotes Asian American involvement within the SBC, that seeks to network and foster intergenerational discipleship, and that is focused on Millennial and Gen Z sisters and brothers in Christ,” Lee said. “It’s my hope that the NextGen CoLab will serve as a fellowship to encourage younger Asian Americans to increase our participation at the SBC Annual Meeting every year. And as we grow in our involvement as Southern Baptists, it’s my hope that the larger SBC family will be aware of our presence and contributions.”

A dinner for pastors and church leaders was held Nov. 5 at Semihan Church in Carrollton, Texas, as participants were welcomed by Ryan Lee, the senior pastor of Semihan, along with the church deacons.

A breakfast Nov. 6 was held in the Naylor Student Center on the campus of SWBTS.

Daniel Jung, a Master of Divinity student at Southwestern, helped to organize the student gathering and to facilitate the networking opportunities with NAMB and the NextGen CoLab.

“I’m thankful to have been able to participate and collaborate with my fellow Asian Americans this week,” said Jung. “I look forward to the future possibilities in participating within the NextGen CoLab and networking with fellow SBC Asian Americans in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.”

Other participants echoed Jung’s desire to strengthen the SBC Asian American networks in their region.

“This fellowship is a group where Asian American church leaders can freely discuss issues relevant to their contexts and situations, whether in Dallas or anywhere else in the country,” said Isak Lee, English ministry pastor at One Light Church in Carrollton, Texas.

The Next Generation CoLab is a fellowship of second-generation SBC Asian American church leaders that exists to connect Asian American leaders with SBC entities and also to promote Asian American involvement within the larger SBC family.

For more information on the Next Generation CoLab, visit the Facebook group called “Next Generation CoLab.”

For more information on NAMB’s Multiplication Pipeline, visit the website at pipeline.namb.net.


Caskey Center at NOBTS
receives $1M gift

By Staff

NEW ORLEANS (BP) — The Caskey Center for Church Excellence at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College recently received a one million donation to advance its work.

This latest gift was presented to Jamie Dew, president of NOBTS/Leavell College at a private luncheon.

It was the largest one-time gift during Dew’s presidency.

Since its launch in 2014, the Caskey Center has received over $14 million to provide training, resources, research and scholarships for students leading smaller membership churches that make up the vast majority of SBC life.

This recent gift was designated to provide full tuition scholarships for Louisiana pastors in smaller membership SBC churches.

“We are beyond grateful for donors that have such a heart to invest in these servants of God that serve in smaller membership churches,” said Mark Tolbert, director of the Caskey Center. “This gift will enable many more of these ministers to enroll in Leavell College and New Orleans Seminary to prepare themselves to serve wherever God calls and sends them.”

Many of the Caskey scholarship recipients would find it difficult to take classes without this resource.

Tolbert said one recipient described his scholarship as a “ram in the bush,” referring to God’s provision of a lamb to Abraham, when he was obedient to God.

“One million dollars is a lot of rams,” said Tolbert. “It will bless a lot of students.”

In addition to the financial blessing, a significant spiritual component of the Caskey Center is its intentional gospel focus.

The Caskey Center has championed “the Monday Morning Prayer” for its evangelism emphasis.

Based upon Matthew 9:38 to “beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest,” the challenge is to begin each week with prayer that God would provide opportunities for a gospel conversation during the week.

The results of such a simple strategy have been remarkable.

Caskey Scholarship recipients have had 36,145 gospel conversations and have seen 4,266 people come to Christ in the past five years.

According to Tolbert, God is blessing the ministry of the Caskey Center through academic preparation and gospel witness.

He encourages those who serve smaller membership SBC churches to contact www.nobts.edu/caskeycenter for more information.


Volleyball latest sport
added at Spurgeon College

By T. Patrick Hudson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) — Continuing to develop its intercollegiate athletics program, Spurgeon College announced plans Nov. 21 to field a women’s volleyball team at its Kansas City campus.

With collegiate-level facilities and hiring a head coach, the process of forming the women’s volleyball team is now fully underway.

In October of 2018, Midwestern Seminary’s trustees received plans from the administration to field sports teams at Spurgeon College through the NCCAA — beginning with basketball.

Earlier this month the school announced its intent to field men’s and women’s soccer teams.

Now hiring of Evie Stanton as head coach, the college informed the NCCAA of the school’s intent to field a women’s volleyball team.

“We are thrilled to announce the addition of women’s volleyball to the athletic program at Spurgeon College,” said President Jason Allen. “The new athletics programs on campus have generated a great deal of enthusiasm amongst our college and seminary community. Adding ladies’ volleyball to the mix, I believe, will take the excitement to an even higher level.”

“I am also very pleased to introduce Evie Stanton as the program’s head coach. After conducting a thorough search for the right leader for this position, it was clear that Coach Stanton possessed all the attributes we desired in leading this team,” Allen said.

Stanton possesses significant personal experience at the Division I college-level, and also possesses great energy, substantial knowledge of the game, and excellent leadership abilities, Allen noted.

“Most importantly, she sees volleyball as an environment that’s conducive to discipleship of young ladies for the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Allen said.

Before coming to Kansas City, Stanton played volleyball at the University of Central Arkansas for two years, where she earned academic and athletic all-conference honors her sophomore year.

She finished her final two years at Mississippi State University, where she landed second in the record books for most kills in a single season at 499 during her senior campaign.

That same year, she placed in the top five in the SEC in six different categories: aces per set, total aces, kills per set, total kills, total attacks, and total points, as well as top 25 in the entire NCAA in four of those categories.

“I feel extremely honored and blessed to be given the opportunity to coach volleyball at Spurgeon College,” Stanton said. “I have always desired to use volleyball as a means of ministry, and Spurgeon College is the perfect place for that.”

Stanton explained that the initial plan for the team is to strive to be growing and learning both on the court and in relationships with the Lord every single day.

“With this as the mindset, I think it will propel us toward success. My hope is to eventually be a competitor in the NCCAA championships,” Stanton said.

Stanton added that she’s encouraged by the excitement and energy about the program that’s building around campus and said she senses that the program will provide the campus community more than just an enhanced experience for students, faculty, and staff alike.

“The advent of this team will mean more than just having another team to cheer for,” Stanton said. “It will mean another group of people gets to be discipled and prepared to face the world through the eyes of Scripture in order to further the Kingdom of God, which is invaluable.”

During its initial campaign, the team will play at the junior varsity level with a majority of the team’s competition being local and regional NAIA and Division II squads.

Stanton noted that program planning, development, and recruiting are underway but in their earliest stages.

She has also been spending time formulating the values and framework for the team, so that the players and assistants will know why they do what they do, and exactly how they are going to do it.

These developments include creating a coaching philosophy, the vision and the team’s mission, as well as the offensive and defensive schemes.

From a recruiting standpoint Stanton noted that the athletes she’s interacted with show a great deal of enthusiasm about the opportunity to play volleyball while obtaining a high-quality, Christ-centered education.

Character is the most important thing Stanton is looking for in potential athletes.

“I will look for players who have great work ethic and play with humility,” Stanton said. “On the court, I am looking for players who have great ball control, court awareness, and who give maximum effort on every play.”

The Knights will begin play in the fall of 2020 with matches potentially being lined up for an August or September start.

Matches will be played on Midwestern Seminary’s campus in the Mathena Student Center.

To learn more about the Spurgeon College Knights volleyball team, visit www.spurgeoncollege.com/athletics or contact Coach Stanton directly at [email protected].

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