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SBC DIGEST: Well-known pastors join SEBTS faculty; Lifeway ‘Romans 8’ Bible study will be On Demand

Greear, Merritt, Loritts among pastors joining SEBTS faculty

By Lauren Pratt/SEBTS

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) announced today (Nov. 10) the addition of five well-known Southern Baptist pastors to its faculty – Crawford W. Loritts, Jr., J.D. Greear, Al Jackson, Matt Carter and James Merritt.

“Southeastern Seminary has a premiere doctoral program on both the Ph.D. and D.Min. level,” said SEBTS President Danny Akin. “For years I have asked the Lord to bring more gifted and talented men to teach in these programs. Little did I know that God would answer my prayers beyond my wildest imagination with the additions of these five men. A great doctoral program just got better!”

Crawford W. Loritts Jr. comes to SEBTS as a visiting professor of preaching and Christian leadership. He is a pastor, author and speaker with decades of ministry experience, including most recently serving as senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Ga. Loritts has faithfully led and planted several churches, including Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas and Canton Bible Church. He also served as the associate director of Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru). He holds a Doctor of Divinity from Biola University and a Doctor of Sacred Theology from Philadelphia Biblical University.

J.D. Greear is joining the SEBTS faculty as a visiting professor of Christian leadership and disciple making. He is the pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area. He is the author of several books, including “Just Ask,” “What Are You Going to Do with Your Life?” and “Above All.” He is a two-time graduate of SEBTS, receiving both his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. from the seminary. Greear also served as the 62nd President of the Southern Baptist Convention from 2018-2021.

James Merritt will serve as a visiting professor of preaching and Christian leadership. He has served as senior pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Ga. He received his Ph.D. and Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been deeply influential in Southern Baptist life, having served as the 51st President of the SBC from 2000-2002, SBC Executive Committee chairman and various other leadership roles within the SBC. 

Matt Carter comes to SEBTS as a visiting professor of preaching. He is lead pastor of Sagemont Church in Houston. Prior to pastoring at Sagemont, Carter planted and pastored The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, which began in 2002 and grew to six campuses with more than 8,000 in weekly attendance. He is a graduate of SEBTS, earning his Doctor of Ministry in expositional preaching in 2015. He also earned his Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2006.

Al Jackson comes to SEBTS as a visiting professor of pastoral ministry. He has served as the pastor of Lakeview Baptist Church since 1979. He received his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary and his Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has a heart to share God’s Word throughout the world, having traveled to Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

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‘Romans 8’ helps kickstart Lifeway On Demand Bible studies

By Aaron Wilson/Lifeway

NASHVILLE (BP) – Romans 8, a portion of Scripture many scholars deem “the greatest chapter in the Bible,” is receiving a Bible study treatment that allows participants to engage with its content in more ways than ever before.

The eighth chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Romans is the focus of a new, eight-session Bible study by Noe Garcia, pastor of North Phoenix (Ariz.) Baptist Church. It is also one of the first Bible studies to leverage Lifeway On Demand, a new app from Lifeway Christian Resources that provides Bible study participants flexibility in how they watch videos, allowing them to engage content on-the-go through mobile devices, in a church classroom, or through the comfort of a living-room TV.

“I’m extremely excited to see how God works through ‘Romans 8,’” Garcia said. “It’s an honor to be among the first Bible study resources available on the Lifeway On Demand platform, providing greater accessibility for churches. I’m so appreciative of the work of the Lifeway team and expect this project to be a tremendous help to pastors in their mission of making disciples.”

Romans 8 is an oft-quoted Scripture passage that addresses themes such as living in the flesh versus living in the Spirit, God’s purposes in working all things for good for those who love Him, and His promise of transforming earthly groans into future glory. As Garcia tackles these topics, he also shares his life story and experiences of abuse, depression and overwhelming hopelessness – revealing how God redeemed, repaired and restored him.

“We’re blessed to be launching Lifeway On Demand with a leader and pastor like Noe,” said Brian Daniel, director of adult ministry at Lifeway. “Noe’s testimony, desire to live as a disciple of Jesus, and his heart for people are all evident in this study. He’s living this message every day.”

Each copy of the “Romans 8” Bible study book comes with access to eight teaching videos available to view through the Lifeway On Demand app. This platform allows participants to stream videos through their favorite devices and on their own time.

“Through Lifeway On Demand, we aimed to improve the consumption experience of the video content purchased from Lifeway.com to ensure that customers can watch in more flexible ways,” said Andy Dukes, manager of digital content engagement. “Specifically for mobile phones, iOS and Android include an offline access feature where users can download videos to their device and then watch later if they aren’t connected to Wi-Fi or their cellular network.”

Lifeway On Demand can be streamed through Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV. The app allows users to favorite content, make lists of videos they want to watch more frequently, and search for content using keywords and filters. By removing the need to purchase physical DVD sets, Lifeway On Demand also makes Bible studies more affordable for churches.

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