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SBC DIGEST: Faulkner named new CSU president; World Changers at MBTS, Little Rock church

Charleston Southern University names new president

By Jenna Johnson/CSU

CHARLESTON, S.C. (BP) – The Charleston Southern University Board of Trustees unanimously approved and announced the appointment of B. Keith Faulkner as CSU’s fourth president. Faulkner, a 1998 Charleston Southern alumnus, will begin in early October 2023. 

Keith Faulkner, a 1998 alumnus, was selected as Charleston Southern University’s 4th president. Pictured from right to left: His wife, Patty; their three children, Erin, Hannah, and Ryan; and Keith. Photo by Ty Cornett

The selection and announcement followed an extensive nationwide search led by CarterBaldwin – the same executive search firm that landed Dondi Costin at CSU five years prior. Chaired by Jerry Williams, a former trustee board chair, and Judy Hetz, current board chair, the 12-member presidential search committee was composed of trustees, former trustees, alumni and employees representing areas such as academics, student success, alumni engagement and athletics. 

Hetz said that the committee’s primary requirement in selecting a candidate was an individual who held a demonstrable history of living the Christian faith as a believer in Jesus Christ as their Savior. According to Hetz, their search for a person with a deep faith was the “undergirding and motivating factor.”

“We were blessed with many qualified candidates,” Hetz said. “However, the uniqueness of Keith Faulkner’s combination of receiving his degrees at Christian institutions and working at Christian colleges first as a professor and then as a dean at the world’s largest Christian college equipped him to understand the day-to-day challenges of our faculty and staff. Faulkner is a prime example of the quality of Christian education that Charleston Southern provides students. Graduates leave CSU with the skills needed to pursue successful careers and live lives of integrity as they serve their fellow man, displaying Christ’s love in the workplace, community and home.” 

Faulkner said he cherishes the opportunity to serve his alma mater. “The responsibility of leading is one that I take with great seriousness and humility,” he said. “I am a good listener, and I am anxious to hear from our alumni about how they believe that we can improve CSU together. Serving a cause and a place that you love is an opportunity like no other, and I commit to work hard every day to expose the light of CSU to any and all who will see it. Due in large part to the exceptional leadership of all who have gone before me and a Board of Trustees who sincerely believe in our mission, CSU has grown and flourished over the decades since its faithful beginnings. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and their faithfulness and stewardship along with God’s abiding love have positioned CSU for even greater heights.” 

With 20 years of higher education experience, Faulkner currently serves as president and dean of Appalachian School of Law in Virginia. Prior to this, he served as the dean of Liberty University School of Law and the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business at Campbell University. He also served as interim dean at Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. Over his career, he and his teams have launched online programs, developed innovative partnerships with industry, enjoyed success in fundraising, and many other notable accomplishments. 

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Spurgeon College hosts second annual World Changers trip

By Brett Fredenberg/MBTS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) – During the month of June, Spurgeon College hosted the second annual World Changers camp on its Kansas City campus. College faculty and staff led more than 130 participants in a week-long mission trip focused on serving the city and studying Scripture in community.

“I was very grateful for Spurgeon College to host a World Changers camp on our campus this summer,” said President Jason Allen. “World Changers is a great organization, and I am thankful we are able to partner with them in this way. I am praying that the Lord will use the efforts of our staff and all the campers for years to come for His glory.”

World Changers, a Christian organization founded in 1990, exists to equip students for a lifetime of missional living. By offering week-long mission trips, World Changers seeks to train young Christians in the tools they need to apply their faith to life by serving others and sharing the gospel.

Dozens of World Changers mission trips are organized each summer across the country, drawing hundreds of high school students and adult volunteers to serve their communities while growing in their faith. Spurgeon College’s partnership with World Changers gives them opportunities to host a week-long mission trip on its campus and send speakers to mission trips across the country.

During the Kansas City mission trip, participants focused on three locations for their work projects: Excelsior Manor Mobile Home Park, Liberty Village Mobile Home Park, and Gilham Park.

At the mobile home parks, Rebuild Together Kansas City provided materials for students to paint, repair, and renovate select trailers. At Gilham Park, students worked to remove Asian brush honeysuckle to improve the quality of the park for residents. Kansas City’s NPR reported on the event, describing the impact of the students’ work for the Parks and Recreation department and the broader community.

Each day at the worksites, local churches provided lunches for the participants. Participating churches included Northside Fellowship, Northland Church KC, Tower View Baptist Church, and The Grove Church. Additionally, the churches made themselves available for gospel conversations throughout the week with residents involved near worksites.

In the evenings, participants gathered back on campus for worship and fellowship. Dean of Spurgeon College Sam Bierig preached a series of sermons through the book of Ruth, focusing on the summer theme—Linked.  Each sermon emphasized the driving message of the week, “You will never regret giving up your sin to follow Jesus.”

Spurgeon College faculty and staff also traveled to World Changers sites throughout the summer to preach evening messages and contribute to work projects during the day.

Reflecting on the World Changers mission trip in Kansas City, Bierig said, “It was such a joy to see students come alive to their God-given Bible by preaching each evening and then to immediately apply the word by serving the least, the last, and the lost in the Kansas City area.”

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Little Rock church hosts World Changers from five states

By Ethan Dial/Arkansas Baptist News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BP) – World Changers from five states assembled in Little Rock last week at Life Line Baptist Church to rehab homes and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  

“I am proud of these guys that are working around here. Boy, they are doing a good job. They made my house look like a home, and that I’m appreciative of,” said Tommy Allen, a Little Rock resident whose home was restored. 

Allen’s home was one of 12 projects completed by World Changers by the end of the week-long missions experience. 

“This is the only hope that some of these people have,” said City Director Joan Adcock.  

Adcock has partnered with Life Line Baptist Church through the city of Little Rock to host World Changers for 15 years. During what is described as a week-long “hands-on mission experience,” students are given the “tools and training…for a lifetime of missional living,” according to the World Changers website

“World Changers started in 1990…It was one of the first organizations to meet the need within the church for hands-on missions opportunities for students,” James Caban of World Changers said in a press conference Tuesday. “World Changers continues to meet that need through construction and community missions experiences. And for over 33 years, World Changers has mobilized around a half a million participants, served more than 13 million volunteer hours, saved North American cities over $280 million in labor costs and ministered to over 30,000 homeowners.”  

While World Changers provide the labor, “the city of Little Rock provides materials paid for from Federal Community Development Block Grant Funds” to help make this happen, according to the mayor’s office.  

“The city’s longstanding partnership with World Changers, Life Line Baptist and other churches in our community is uplifting lives throughout Little Rock,” Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said. “I appreciate the servant hearts of the nearly 200 youth and other volunteers who braved the Arkansas heat and humidity to help improve our neighborhoods. Their commitment to service and the commandment to ‘love thy neighbor’ truly changes the world.” 

This year, around 150 students from six churches in Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi and Arkansas called the corner of Baseline and Chicot home from July 10-15. After arriving for evening worship and a dinner prepared for them by Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief (ABDR), the youth group students and chaperones made “Baptist pallets” in Life Line’s Sunday school rooms. 

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