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Southwestern honors founder B.H. Carroll

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary celebrated B.H. Carroll Day March 13 with a special chapel and awards banquet to honor the seminary’s founder and this year’s B.H. Carroll Award recipient.

Craig Blaising, executive vice president and provost, welcomed special guests to chapel, including the seminary’s seventh president, Kenneth Hemphill, and this year’s B.H. Carroll Awards recipient, Hope For the Heart, a worldwide ministry committed to Bible-based counseling and Christian discipleship.

After Blaising announced that the seminary’s centennial celebration would not be complete without a visit from Carroll himself, the series of dramas organized by Calvin Pearson, assistant dean for preaching and pastoral studies, continued. Robert Ring, a master’s degree student, portrayed Carroll as he explained his vision for Southwestern Seminary to his wife Hallie, played by Emily Felts, a bachelor’s degree student. Hallie listened intently to Carroll’s vision for a school in the Southwest to train young Baptist preachers.

SWBTS President Paige Patterson delivered the chapel message on the topic of prayer, continuing his series from the Sermon on the Mount. Patterson described prayer as “something believers do a lot of lip service about, but don’t do enough of.” Patterson, in concluding his message, noted that in addition to honoring Carroll for establishing the seminary, appreciation also should be given to Carroll’s mother, Mary Eliza Carroll, who faithfully prayed for her son, though many said he had the “hardest of hearts” before his conversion.

June Hunt, founder of Hope for the Heart ministries, accepted the B.H. Carroll Award on behalf of the organization. During the chapel service, before singing a song from one of her albums, Hunt said, “Thank God for Southwestern, an institution that holds to the power of God’s Word. My words do not matter. Your words do not matter … but His Word is sharper than a double-edged sword.”

Following the chapel service, the B.H. Carroll Award luncheon was held in the Naylor Student Center. The award is presented to friends of Southwestern who support the seminary and share a common vision for training men and women for ministry.

Hunt, in receiving the award, commended the use of the Bible in counseling, stating, “Truth sets people free.” Hope For the Heart is a biblical counseling ministry that features the award-winning radio broadcast by the same name heard daily in 25 different countries. Hunt’s warmth, wisdom and wit have been described as providing listeners a real friend behind the microphone.

When she speaks to a non-Christian caller on her radio show, Hunt said, “I’m going to deal with what they called about, but then I transition into salvation because there’s no sense in trying to put a Band-Aid on cancer.”

Hunt also is the author of “Biblical Counseling Keys,” the foundational book for the Biblical Counseling Institute for Hope, initiated by Criswell College in Dallas, where Hunt earned her master’s degree in counseling. Her ministry recently has endowed the Hope For the Heart Chair of Biblical Counseling at Southwestern.

Southwestern celebrated its Founder’s Day on March 14, marking the 100th birthday of the seminary. The day’s activities for alumni, faculty and students entailed heritage programs in the morning followed by a special Founder’s Day chapel service on the seminary’s front lawn, with a message presented by former Southwestern President Kenneth Hemphill. Alumni meetings throughout the afternoon were to be capped off by a campus-wide barbeque picnic on the west lawn, a concert and a fireworks show at dark.

Since its founding on March 14, 1908, the seminary has sent out more than 40,000 graduates to serve in local churches and mission fields around the world. B.H. Carroll established the seminary on the campus of Baylor University and, in 1910, it moved to its current location on Seminary Hill in Fort Worth, Texas. Southwestern was placed under the direction of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1925. Paige Patterson was elected as the eighth president of the seminary in 2003.
Keith Collier & Michelle McNatt are writers for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, on the Web at www.swbts.edu. Southwestern has just released a centennial edition of its Southwestern News Magazine, to be available soon at www.swbts.edu/swnews.

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  • Keith Collier & Michelle McNatt