News Articles

SBC DIGEST: IMB to host REV7:9 events this fall; Three longtime SEBTS profs retiring

REV7:9 conference for young adults coming to Arizona, Arkansas, Texas

By IMB Staff

A missions movement for 18-25-year-olds is coming to three locations this fall. REV7:9, sponsored by the International Mission Board, aims to create a community of people who are committed to seeing the vision that God laid out in Revelation 7:9 realized. The three dates and locations are:

  • Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, on Sept. 8
  • Second Baptist Church, Conway, Ark., on Oct. 14.
  • Foothills Baptist Church, Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 11.

Nearly 5 billion people live each day without a chance to hear the Gospel. Each REV7:9 event will bring young adults one step closer to understanding and pursuing the Great Multitude. Paul Chitwood, IMB president, challenged this generation to take up the vision of “every nation, from all tribes, peoples, and languages standing before the throne and before the lamb.”

“You are the NextGen – youth, college students and young adults – who will faithfully ensure that every nation and individuals from all tribes will be represented around the throne,” Chitwood said. “Pray for the mission and be generous with what God has entrusted us to use – our lives and resources – to help others go and to go ourselves.”

Young adults will grow in their faith and be challenged in their walk with God through worship and breakout sessions. Chip Luter will be the featured speaker. He is the associate pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans and connects with the Revelation 7:9 message. Nashville-based artist Skye Reedy will bring the music. This seasoned worship leader has toured with artists like Michael W. Smith, Mandisa and Amy Grant. Reedy is passionate about building the local church and encouraging hearts through worship.

Attendees at a REV7:9 event can expect:

  • Biblical worship
  • IMB-led breakouts
  • Biblical vision-casting regarding the need for the gospel around the world
  • The opportunity to hear from and meet current and/or former IMB missionaries
  • Hands-on missions exhibits
  • Honest dialogue about some of the fears that keep people from saying “yes” to going and stories about how the Lord provided for others experiencing those same fears
  • Practical next steps for serving overseas with IMB
  • The flexibility of in-person or virtual breakout sessions is designed to help young adults further understand the part they get to play in reaching the nations with the gospel. They can get answers to their questions and understand better the ins and outs of applying with the IMB.

Registration for all three events is available here: https://www.imb.org/rev79/

Three longtime SEBTS faculty members retiring

By SEBTS Staff

David Beck

After 28 years of faithful teaching as professor of New Testament and Greek and associate dean of biblical studies, David Beck is retiring from teaching and administration on July 31.

“At Southeastern, our commitment to the Scriptures and to academic excellence are primary pillars of the ministry training we offer,” said SEBTS Provost Scott Pace. “David Beck has admirably embodied both of these values through his biblical scholarship, administrative leadership, and personal discipleship for an entire generation of students over the last 28 years.”

Born in Michigan and raised in Ohio, Beck was exposed to local church ministry at a young age as the son of a Baptist pastor. After attending college and seminary, Beck pastored churches in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York before pursuing his PhD at Duke University in Durham, NC. While studying at Duke, Beck continued pastoring — with a deep love for Scripture that fueled his local church ministry.

Beck graduated from Duke in 1994 and joined the faculty at Southeastern a year later as assistant professor of New Testament and Greek. When Beck accepted the position at Southeastern in 1995, Beck was confident that Southeastern would be an institution that championed the authority of the Bible and the priority of missions.

“I knew Southeastern would be a place that shared my commitment to biblical truth, and where I could teach faithful interpretation of God’s word to students called to minister to God’s people and carry the gospel to the nations,” Beck recalled.

Read the full story here.

John Hammett

After 28 years of faithful teaching at Southeastern Seminary, John Hammett will retire from full-time teaching and administration on July 31 as senior professor of systematic theology and John Leadley Dagg Chair of systematic theology. In his retirement, Hammett will teach occasional courses as an adjunct professor and continue mentoring doctoral students at Southeastern.

“For almost 30 years John Hammett has epitomized what it means to be a Southeastern faculty member,” said Pace. “His experience as an international missionary and a pastor, his love for the local church, and his widely regarded excellence as a scholar established him as a leader among our faculty and a favorite among our students.”

Born in Charlottesville, Va., but raised in Gaffney, S.C., Hammett first came to Southeastern as a student in the 1980s and received his Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern in 1986. Five years later, he and his wife Linda answered God’s call to the nations and moved as missionaries with the International Mission Board to Brazil in 1991. Over the next five years, Hammett served as professor of systematic theology at the South Brazil Baptist Theological Seminary (Seminario Teologico Batista do Sul do Brasil) in Rio de Janeiro.

While stateside, the Hammetts sorrowed to learn that ongoing health issues would prevent their return to Brazil. However, in God’s providence, Hammett received an offer to teach at Southeastern where he began as an adjunct professor in 1995. For Hammett, teaching at Southeastern became an extension of his missionary task — teaching and mobilizing others to go to the nations.

“We could not continue to serve overseas, but we could have a part in equipping and sending others,” Hammett recalled. “We have continued at Southeastern because we see God’s hand upon it and resonate deeply with its Great Commission focus.”

Read the full story here.

Al James

After 21 years of dedicated service as professor of missions, associate dean of ministry studies, and director of the Equip Network at Southeastern Seminary, Al James is retiring from teaching and administration on July 31.

“Al is a dear brother who has modeled faithfulness in ministry as a pastor and missionary and who has served our institution well with his heart for missions and the local church,” said SEBTS President Danny Akin. “As the director of our Equip Network, Al has helped our institution deepen and establish lasting partnerships with local churches. It has been a joy to work with Al for two decades, and his impact on Southeastern will continue well beyond his retirement.”

Originally from Jesup, Ga., James pastored churches in Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana in the 1970s and 1980s while pursuing his theological education. In 1989, James, his wife Cathy, and their children moved as missionaries to Southeast Asia with the International Mission Board. Over the next four years, James served there as strategy coordinator to an unreached people group and as professor of missions and church history at the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (PBTS) in Baguio City, Philippines.

While stateside from 1993-1995, James served as a missions professor before returning to the Philippines with the IMB for seven more years as strategy leader for the Filipino people groups. During his family’s second term in the Philippines, James once again served as professor of missions and church history at PBTS — deeply committed to the task of training missionaries and future church leaders.

Near the end of their second term, James received an invitation from Southeastern to join the faculty, and within a few months James had accepted the offer with a desire to continue raising up future church leaders and missionaries to serve the nations well. James joined the faculty at Southeastern as a professor of missions in 2002.

“We were extremely happy with the IMB and serving as missionaries,” James said. “However, we both came to a belief that the Lord was leading us to Southeastern. I have always believed that teaching students missions was a way of investing in others for the expansion of the missionary force and missionary support. It has been a blessing to be a small part of seeing our students go to the nations and to be part of reaching the nations as the peoples of the world come to the U.S.”

Read the full story here.

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