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SEBTS grads exhorted to seek success by God’s standards

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–More than 150 students, from dozens of states and several foreign countries, celebrated their graduation Dec. 13 at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.

Timothy Lewis, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Troy, Ill., and chairman of Southeastern’s board of trustees, delivered the charge to the graduates.

In all, 158 men and women crossed the Binkley Chapel stage to receive their diplomas from interim President Bart Neal, including 121 grads in the seminary’s theological program, with degrees ranging from master of arts and master of divinity to doctor of philosophy.

Southeastern College at Wake Forest, the seminary’s undergraduate program, awarded either Bachelor of Arts or associate of divinity degrees to 37 students.

Lewis challenged the graduates from 2 Timothy 4, underscoring qualities that make a ministry successful.

“Some people measure success by attendance and numbers, by how much attention they get, by the size of their buildings or by how much money they make,” Lewis said. “But how does God measure success?”

The answer, he said, is that God measures success by a minister’s faithfulness to finish the race He has marked out for Him.

Lewis reminded the graduates of such essential qualities of a faithful minister as prioritizing the Word of God, preparing for resistance and practicing spiritual courage.

“If you’re going to succeed in ministry,” he challenged the graduates, “make priority for this Word of God in your life, in your home and in your ministry. Make central, whatever your ministry is, the Word of God. Teach it, preach it and proclaim it…. There is such a future for you, but you must finish the race and fulfill your ministry.”
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: COMMENCEMENT BEGINS and GRADS IN PRAYER.

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