KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page described graduation as an “irrecoverable moment” as Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in conjunction with Midwestern Baptist College, SBC, held its 47th commencement service May 19 at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, Mo.
Page challenged the 84 graduates to base their life decisions solidly on Scripture so that they might receive “The Greatest Compliment.”
Page’s “irrecoverable moment” was taken from a story of Billy Graham and John F. Kennedy. Graham had a chance to engage an open and responsive Kennedy in what could have been the most eternally important conversation in the young president’s life. However, Graham was sick and felt the need to postpone the conversation, only to see an assassin send Kennedy into eternity a few weeks later. Graham regretfully reflected on the missed opportunity as an “irrecoverable moment.”
“I believe, graduates, that this could be an irrecoverable moment, a time of decision about where you will go in your life, who you will follow and what will be the governing force in your life,” said Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C.
Citing Micah 6:8 and excerpts from the life of King David, Page encouraged graduates to make decisions to “live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before the Lord” so that God might say of them, “He has a heart like Mine” or “She has a heart like Mine” -– truly “The Greatest Compliment” -– as is said of King David in Acts 13:22.
“I believe we are at an irrecoverable moment -– decisions will be made now that will affect you -– or afflict you -– for the rest of your life,” Page said. “Pattern your life after what the Scriptures say is right and best and I believe God will bless you richly for the rest of your ministry.”
Twenty doctor of ministry degrees were awarded at the service, one of them being awarded posthumously, and one graduate received the doctor of educational ministry degree.
Master of arts degrees -– in biblical archaeology, biblical languages, Christian education and counseling -– were awarded to 18 students; 31 students received the master of divinity degree, including those with emphases in Christian education, collegiate ministries and North American church planting. One student received both a master of arts degree and a master of divinity degree.
From the college, which is in its third year, five students graduated with the bachelor of arts degree in biblical studies. Five more students graduated with the associate of divinity degree, and one graduated with the associate of divinity degree, church planting concentration.