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SBC DIGEST: Georgia Baptist building for sale; MBTS convocation; SWBTS spring chapel speakers

Georgia Baptist building placed for sale

By Gerald Harris

DULUTH, Ga. (BP) – The Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministry Center on Sugarloaf Parkway was placed on the market publicly for the first time last week. A number of individuals and businesses have expressed an interest in the property in the last eight years, but it has never been placed in the hands of a real estate broker. Commercial real estate firm JLL will be handling the sale.

Staff reductions in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis caused the building to be underutilized. In March 2012, only six years after the staff had moved into the Duluth property, the Georgia Baptist Executive Committee voted to entertain any valid offers for a potential sale of its Baptist Missions and Ministry Center and 43 acres of property.

On March 10, 2015, The Christian Index announced that the Georgia Baptist Mission and Ministry Center property had been paid for in full by a $25 million gift from the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation. The announcement of the gift relieved the convention of an annual $1.6 million debt obligation.

The attrition of staff caused by retirement, restructuring, and relocating personnel to different parts of the state has reduced the number of those occupying the building to fewer than 50. The administration has indicated that the space needed for staff is approximately 20,000 square feet. Currently, only the fifth floor of the 142,000-square-foot building is being used by Mission Board personnel.

Read the full story here.

MBTS Spring Convocation addresses faithful ministry, pressing onward in Christ

By Michael S. Brooks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) – President Jason Allen opened Midwestern Seminary’s spring semester with an Academic Convocation message calling believers to press on in Christ. The service took place in the Daniel Lee Chapel on Jan. 19.

Additionally, four newly elected seminary faculty members – Geoffrey Chang, Andrew King, Charles Smith, and Patrick Schreiner – signed the institution’s Articles of Faith during the service.

In his convocation sermon, Allen, recounting the past year, observed the unique sense of hope and expectation many are experiencing in the new calendar year. Citing the ongoing pandemic, challenges of an economic recession and political and social unrest, Allen acknowledged that, while the nation’s fault lines have deepened and hardened, Christians have reason to be hopeful.

“We have good news today. As Christians, we confess our Lord reigns. His sovereignty has extended overall. He will build His church. Thus, as individuals and as a seminary community, we have much to be hopeful for much to be confident in. We have much to be cheerful about.

“On this day of convocation, we stand with our convictions intact, our commitment to the great commission undeterred, our vision for the church resolute, our hope in Christ renewed.”

Through an exposition of Philippians 3:12-14, Allen reminded the seminary community that though the apostle Paul was writing to the church at Philippi while under house arrest, he delivered a message of joy found through Christ. Allen reminded hearers of the opportunity Christians have today to experience the same joy Paul experienced and the responsibility Christians have to cultivate joy despite trying circumstances.

Read the full story here.

Southwestern Seminary announces spring 2021 chapel speakers

By Katie Coleman

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary released today its spring 2021 semester chapel speaker list after previously announcing it will resume chapel services in a Jan. 11 video message from President Adam W. Greenway to the seminary community.

“To say the least, we have been through an unprecedented year of disruption and adversity, but God has continued to show Himself faithful to our seminary,” Greenway said in the video message. “… I am excited about having the chance to begin to gather together as a seminary and college community for campus worship.”

In a later statement elaborating on the importance of the chapel experience in theological education, Greenway said, “Given that worship is central to the Christian life, it must also be a key part of our students’ educational experience as they prepare to lead others both in and to worship. Chapel is an integral part of forming ministers of the Gospel for more faithful service.”

Services will be livestreamed at swbts.live.

Read the full story and see a list of speakers here.

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