News Articles

SBC DIGEST: SWBTS’ Brent Ray dies, Charleston Southern to receive $2 million; North Carolina Baptists serve in wake of storms

Southwestern Seminary’s Brent Ray dies

By SWBTS Staff

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — Brent S. Ray, director of the World Missions Center and associate professor of missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, died in his sleep Aug. 14. He was 61 years old.

Brent Ray

“Dr. Ray and [his wife] Elaine were veterans of the International Mission Board and brought their passion for missions to Seminary Hill in leadership of our World Missions Center,” SWBTS President Adam W. Greenway said. “He was a man on mission here, pointing students to the unfinished task of fulfilling the Great Commission. His death is a great loss to the seminary community, especially as he had just been appointed to serve on the faculty of the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions.”

“In times like these, we trust our good God, knowing He is in control of all things. Our grief is mixed with joy that while our friend and colleague died in his sleep last night, he was at that moment welcomed into the arms of his Savior and Lord, Jesus. Our brother is now enjoying his eternal reward. May our grief drive us to recommit ourselves during this time to carrying on his passion for the Great Commission.”

Along with his wife Elaine, Ray had roughly 40 years of experience in a variety of ministry settings. From 1976-1990, he served as a pastor in Texas. In 1990, he and Elaine became International Mission Board missionaries in South America. They served there until 2003, when Ray became president of Hope for the Heart and the Hope Center Foundation in Dallas. He joined SWBTS in 2012.

Ray is survived by his wife and their three children — Ariel, Jared and Jordan.

Information about funeral arrangements and other details are forthcoming.

Read the full story here. 

Multimillion-dollar gift from local chaplain funds new center at CSU

By Baptist Courier Staff

CHARLESTON, S.C. (BP) — Rob Dewey and his wife Kathy recently announced their intention to provide funding to create a center for chaplaincy at Charleston Southern University.

The commitment of more than $2 million will establish the Dewey Center for Chaplaincy and represents one of the largest philanthropic commitments in the history of Charleston Southern. The Deweys have begun providing annual gifts to resource the center and have included Charleston Southern as the beneficiary of their estate.

“The extraordinary generosity of Rob and Kathy Dewey to establish this chaplaincy center will extend their legacy of ministry for generations,” Charleston Southern President Dondi Costin said. “I am not exaggerating when I say that Chaplain Dewey’s hands-on service in the trenches the last couple of decades put chaplain ministry on the map in this region and beyond. How fitting that his name would grace a center to commission a legion of chaplains who will follow in his steps.”

Dewey, a retired Episcopal priest and the founder of Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy, and Kathy, a retired school psychologist, consider it the next step after spending their careers caring for others.

“Kathy and I do not want to leave the money we have been blessed with up to the probate judge to decide where it goes,” Dewey said. “We don’t have children and grandchildren, so we have adopted CSU.”

In the 1970s, Dewey served as a police officer in the Black Mountain, N.C., area and spent a year on staff with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association before attending the University of the South and Trinity Episcopal Seminary. It was while he was serving an assistantship on Johns Island and doing ride-alongs with police officers that he first recognized the need for a chaplain program to address the stress, PTSD and high suicide rate among first responders.

Read the full story here. 

North Carolina Baptists respond to hurricane, tornado recovery requests

By Dianna Cagle

CARY, N.C. (BP) — Baptists on Mission disaster relief volunteers continue to serve affected communities across North Carolina amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We have multiple areas of work going on,” said Tom Beam, Baptists on Mission disaster relief coordinator, in an email to the Biblical Recorder.

Hurricane Isaias created an EF-3 tornado Aug. 4 that weather officials said was about six football fields wide. The tornado killed two people and injured dozens when it went through an area near Windsor, N.C.

“Volunteers have been cutting trees, tarping roofs and doing yard cleanup,” Beam said.

Baptists on Mission volunteers are serving in Bertie County based out of Cashie Baptist Church in Windsor. A feeding operation is open at Memorial Baptist Church in Williamston. Food is prepared at Memorial and distributed at Cedar Landing Missionary Baptist Church in Windsor. Beam said Windsor is in the “heart of the damage.”

Through local churches and the Wilmington Rebuild Center, Beam said work orders relating to the recent hurricane are being handled for three counties — Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender.

As of Aug. 10, more than 1,500 meals had been prepared and distributed by about 50 volunteers. Beam expects at least 5,000 meals will be served in Bertie County.

Baptists on Mission also have been heavily involved in food distribution and other relief efforts stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full story here. 

Dianna Cagle is assistant editor of the Biblical Recorder.

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