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Southeastern student makes profession at convocation

COLUMBIA, S.C. (BP)–Why would a successful attorney with a high profile, state government position suddenly forsake it all?
Harry Duncan*, chief legal counsel to the South Carolina governor, believes there was no real choice: God called; he and his wife Callie* answered.
“When the call of God to do missions comes, it’s so exciting to say, ‘yes,'” the graduate of the University of South Carolina’s law school and former city judge asserts with conviction. “We’re not giving anything up; we’re gaining life — an opportunity to be used of God.”
Although neither Harry nor Callie let on, the decision to move to the West Coast to enroll at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif., had to be tough — especially since they have four children: twins, Luke* and LeighAnn*, 7; Lindsey*, 4, and a newborn, Leta*.
Duncan chose Golden Gate because the seminary offers a master of arts in intercultural studies, which “fits what we want to do,” he explains. After two years of study on campus, the degree may be completed on the missions field.
Their decision, however, came as no surprise to those who know them best.
Both Harry and Callie were reared Southern Baptist and were exposed to missions all of their lives. Callie, a former school guidance counselor, served a two-year missions stint in Hong Kong through the International Mission Board’s Journeyman program. Harry’s father, Robert, is a retired pastor in South Carolina.
Together they have established a thriving ministry to college students at Shandon Church, Columbia, where Harry has served as a deacon chairman. Their ministry has a decided missions focus.
“The Lord changed my heart over the past 10 years through doing inner-city ministry with students in Boston, New York, New Orleans, Washington and Toronto,” explains Duncan.
In addition to campus outreach and community ministries, students have headed for missions projects in six countries during the past two years.
“Harry and Callie have led our singles program from 12 to more than 100, and our college program from 30 to an average attendance of more than 160,” pastor Dick Lincoln notes.”
“I’m not surprised by his decision, but I am very pleased,” Lincoln adds, “I’ve seen God working through his life for some time now. He’s a real spiritual force.
Duncan’s commitment to Christ is no secret around the office either. He has begun a weekly Bible study, attended by business leaders, state workers and the governor’s staff. He also started a luncheon and Bible study that on a recent Friday drew more than 110 workers who are renovating the state house.
“Harry Duncan is a spiritual mentor to everyone in this administration,” says Governor David Beasley. “We all go to him for spiritual guidance about personal matters.
“His love for the Lord is so evident in his personal walk,” adds Beasley. “Everybody he sees is a vehicle of hope to carry the gospel for the Lord.”
One of the few unresolved issues is where they will serve. While they both are leaning toward the Orient, Callie quickly adds, “We want to move where God needs us.”
“We’re going with an open heart,” explains Duncan. “We love the Orient, but we’re saying, ‘God, we trust you to lead us’.”
*Names changed for security reasons.

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  • Todd Deaton