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Southwestern News magazine profiles seminary leaders

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Insights into the leadership team of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary are featured in the latest issue of Southwestern News magazine.

A portfolio section offers a look at the lives, educational achievements, and ministerial experiences of Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson, four vice presidents, five deans and the seminary’s new director of recruiting, along with insights into their spiritual lives.

Seminary leaders give their opinions on the state of the seminary and also describe some of their most gratifying moments in life. Vice President of Student Services Rudy González, for example, describes the day he led his brother to the Lord, the day he baptized his father and the day he was appointed the first Hispanic to teach biblical studies at a seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention.

González also reflects on the day his son Rudy was born. “Virginia and I had been married for 20 years and he came along right when we thought it might never happen for us. While he is mildly physically and mentally disabled, we see him as God’s perfect gift to us. We thank God for him daily. He has a great sense of humor and even mimics me from the pew while I am preaching,” González said.

Meanwhile, Greg Kingry, vice president for business administration and a former missionary with the International Mission Board, describes his life and family.

“Besides my salvation and the opportunity to serve as a representative of the Gospel among the lost overseas, the way in which God has used cross-cultural experiences to shape my family and our children to help them approach others, to see their need for Christ when they are stumbling, is gratifying,” Kingry said. “Our children have a heart to minister rather than condemn. That’s very gratifying to see your children respond that way.”

Other features in the magazine include an interview with Jerry Vines, pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.

In the interview, Vines sits down with David Allen and Scott Swain, two of his “sons in the ministry.” Allen was called to the gospel ministry while attending Vines’ church in West Rome, Ga., and Swain while attending First Baptist in Jacksonville, Vines’ current church. Allen now serves as dean of the theology school at Southwestern, while Swain serves as assistant professor of theology. The three men discuss the history and future of preaching in the Southern Baptist Convention.

“Today it is all about crowds. We all want crowds. But really, there is a great difference between building a crowd and building a church,” Vines said in the interview. “Herman and the Dirty Noses can build a crowd, but only an expounder of the Word of God can build a church…. I think the issue is whether we are going to be church ‘lite’ or church ‘right.’ The feel-good, anemic brand of preaching that seems to be popular today is not going to produce churches that will impact our nation or the world for Christ.”

Vines, Allen and Swain also discuss influences on their preaching and teaching and the role of the pastor in the church. “Preaching is more than just the performance of an hour,” Allen said. “It is the outflow of a life. And that is where the pastor makes his impact. It begins in the pulpit but it carries on.”
Copies of the current Southwestern News can be requested from Brent Thompson, associate director of news and information at Southwestern Seminary, at [email protected] or (817) 923-1921, ext. 7220.

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  • Gregory Tomlin