News Articles

SBC DIGEST: Dockery recuperating after heart attack; Have ‘VIP,’ Hawkins tells Gateway students; ‘Insanity of God’ encores slated; Union’s Scripture marathon continues

Dockery recuperating after ‘mild heart attack’

DEERFIELD, Ill. (BP) — Trinity International University President David S. Dockery is recuperating from a cardiac procedure performed in Chicago March 8 that followed what doctors call a mild heart attack.

Cardiac specialists at Northwestern Memorial Hospital placed four stents in coronary arteries after Dockery suffered chest pains and dizziness on Monday, March 6. Following the procedure, doctors reported excellent progress and told his family there were no complications.

Dockery is former president of Union University in Jackson, Tenn.

TIU faculty and staff met March 8 in the A.T. Olson Chapel on the Trinity campus to pray for Dockery, his family and the caregivers.

“I am grateful for the outpouring of love and support during this time,” Dockery said. “We deeply appreciate our friends and colleagues who prayed fervently and thank God for his gracious provision.”

In the days ahead, doctors will help determine when he may resume a normal work schedule.

“The Trinity board, faculty, staff and students are praying for President Dockery as he recuperates,” board of regents chairman Neil Nyberg said. “We are profoundly thankful to God for such a positive outcome.”

Be persons with VIP, Hawkins tells Gateway students

By Kathie Chute

ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) — O.S. Hawkins, president of GuideStone Financial Resources, told students at Gateway Seminary not to try to be a VIP (very important person) but instead a person with VIP — vision, integrity and purpose.

“No acronym has maneuvered its way into our lives more than VIP,” Hawkins said during a chapel service on the seminary’s Los Angeles-Ontario campus.

“We learned it early when we took our first steps and heard the applause. It stays with us throughout our lives. It’s all part of a syndrome around us to be a very important person. But the world has a short memory for those people who think they’re important and a very long memory for those who have influence.”

Hawkins pointed out that each person is who he is and is where he is in life because of those who influenced him.

“The people who influence others are people of vision,” he said in his Feb. 16 visit to Gateway. “They know where they’re going and who they are. They are people of purpose. They know why they’re here.”

Citing 2 Corinthians 10:13, Hawkins said God has given each person an area in which they can be influential. He compared the idea to a runner in a track event: Each has his or her own lane and must stay in that lane to compete.

“Your area of influence is assigned by God, and a lane is assigned to you and no one else.”

Becoming a person of influence is like the birth of a baby, Hawkins said. Just like the moment a child is conceived, so is the seed of vision. The gestation period is like that period of prayer that bathes the vision. Birth is like the time when the vision is shared with others. The next stages are growth, followed by maturity.

“When a family adopts a child, they love the child just like it’s their own flesh and blood. It’s the same with vision. Other people will adopt it for their very own.”

In our personal world, maybe one or two or three people know us like we really are, Hawkins said. You might interact with hundreds of people in a professional setting. With a public persona, a person may not know you personally or professionally but has formed an opinion about you.

“Vision, integrity and purpose show in those other settings and are revealed in the Kingdom of God,” he said. “Be a person of vision, integrity and purpose. You can be a person of vision but if you’re not a person of integrity, you won’t have influence. People of purpose know why they’re here. It takes all three to be a VIP.”

LifeWay Films schedules encore ‘Insanity of God’ simulcasts

By Carol Pipes

NASHVILLE (BP) — Response to LifeWay Films’ simulcasts of “The Insanity of God” last fall has prompted encore showings March 22 and 26.

The feature documentary tells the story of missionaries Nik and Ruth Ripken who traveled to 72 countries into the depths of the persecuted church to find out if God actually makes a difference in difficult places. The film is produced by the International Mission Board and Cooke Pictures, distributed by LifeWay Films and based on a best-selling book of the same name released by LifeWay’s B&H Publishing Group.

LifeWay Films’ Trent Myers said the large turnout for the first simulcasts Nov. 9 and 13 and requests for more showings led to the additional simulcasts this spring.

The Insanity of God premiered in theaters with one-night showings on Aug. 30 and Sept. 13, garnering $1.1 million in ticket sales. The Aug. 30 showing was number one in per-theater average.

The film’s DVD was released Nov. 21.

“This film impacted so many lives last year … and we want to continue creating new opportunities for churches to share the Gospel,” Myers said. “The Insanity of God simulcast is the perfect way for churches to do this by inviting individuals throughout their communities in for a free movie night and popcorn.

“With all the different types of digital media consuming our lives these days, there’s no better way of sharing the story of Jesus than through the medium of film,” Myers said. “The Ripkens’ story is so challenging and uplifting and we believe it has the potential to change lives all over the globe.”

Churches and individuals can register for the March 22 and 26 simulcasts at LifeWay.com/InsanityofGod.
Kathie Chute is director of communications for GateWay Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention; Carol Pipes is director of communications for LifeWay Christian Resources.


Scripture reading marathon continues at Union Univ.

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP) — Despite drenching rain and forceful winds, the first two days of Union University’s Scripture reading marathon went on as scheduled.

About 500 volunteers from Union and the broader Jackson and West Tennessee communities are participating in the five-day public reading of the Bible from start to finish. The event was designed as a kickoff and wrapup of sorts for REF500, a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, from March 9-11 on the Union campus.

That festival, and the Scripture reading marathon, are sponsored by the Ryan Center for Biblical Studies at Union. The first two days of the Scripture reading were March 6-7, with the last two days scheduled for March 13-14. The reading began at 6:30 a.m. each day and continued until midnight. An abbreviated day of reading took place March 9 from 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Each of the volunteers read for 10 minutes in a tent set up under Miller Tower. The event is cosponsored by B&H, which provided free copies of the new Christian Standard Bible to the first 200 volunteers who signed up.

Ray Van Neste, director of the Ryan Center, said the marathon was an appropriate way to bookend the Reformation celebration, since the Scriptures played such a crucial role in that revival.

“I’m telling people, ‘There may not be anybody there when you get there. You just read,'” Van Neste said. “Scripture itself has its own power.”

Van Neste said while a large portion of the volunteers are Union faculty, staff and students, many people from the community are participating, from children to retirees and every age in between, from a variety of denominations.

Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist was one reader, and Union University President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver took seven reading slots. Faculty and administrators from several area schools, both public and private, also volunteered.

“I’ve been really pleased with how it’s gone,” Van Neste said. “There are always a lot of things that could go wrong, and they haven’t.”

Steven Len White, music minister at Colonial Baptist Church in Memphis, made the drive up Interstate 40 to participate. His text to read came from Leviticus, and he said the experience was worth the trip.

“I got to read about scabs and purification and some very interesting and intricate details about what to do with an individual when they were afflicted with something,” White said.

Melinda Stewart, assistant program director in the department of continuing studies at Union, read from Numbers 16 and said she was privileged to be a part of the marathon.

“Scripture was inspired by God,” Stewart said. “You’re so closely connected to God with the Word, because that’s who He is.”

Van Neste thanked Cody Curtis, an assistant residence director at Union, for helping to coordinate the event. The reading is being streamed live at livestream.com/uu/REF500.

    About the Author

  • Trinity International Univ., GateWay Seminary, LifeWay & Union Univ. Staff

    Mark Kahler is vice president for university communication at Trinity International University; Kathie Chute is director of communications for Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention; Carol Pipes is director of communications for LifeWay Christian Resources; Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University.

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