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SOUTHERN BAPTIST HISTORICAL
LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES Historical Commission, SBC
aA.:rrsVF~R:ss: News Service of the Southern Baptist Convention
October 10, 1996
R)CT 1 1 1996 NATIONAL OFFICE SBC Executive Committee 901 Commerce #750 Nashville, Tennessee 37203 (615) 244·2355 Herb Hollinger, Vice President Art Toalston, Ed~or Fax (615) 782-8736 CompuServe ID # 70420,17
CALIFORNIA--Golden Gate trustees ask SBC to boost seminaries' funding. CALIFORNIA--Golden Gate trustees note increases in enrollment. WASHINGTON--VP debaters underscore economics over morality. TENNESSEE--Grassroots ideas invited for possible BSSB name. VIRGINIA--Retiring missionaries recount victory in midst of conflict; photos. LOUISIANA--2nd vote on gambling Nov. 5 in Louisiana. TEXAS--Church-planting program links Southwestern, FMB, HMB, states. OKLAHOMA--Criswell urges students to serve out of love. TENNESSEE--Correction.
Golden Gate trustees ask SBC to boost seminaries' funding
By Mark A. Wyatt
Baptist Press 10/10/06
MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)--Trustees of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary Oct. 8 approved a resolution asking the Southern Baptist Convention to hike Cooperative Program allocations for the six SBC seminaries. ''Our part of the pie has continued to shrink" over the years, said William 0. "Bill" Crews, president of the Mill Valley, Calif. -based seminary. Crews said there is some hope the current SBC restructuring will yield "a considerable sum of money" that can be reallocated among the convention's agencies. ''Everybody's getting in line" for some of the money, Crews said. He said the six seminary presidents agreed in September to seek approval of the resolution by their respective trustee boards. They hope a unified appeal will strengthen their bid to get a bigger Cooperative Program share. · During the 1996-97 and 1995-96 fiscal years, 20.4 percent of the SBC Cooperative Program allocation budget is earmarked for the seminaries, up from 20.27 from fiscal years 1991-92 through 1994-95. In 1990-91, the percentage was 20.46. Twenty years ago, it was 22 percent; 30 years ago, 18 percent. The resolution adopted by Golden Gate trustees thanks Southern Baptists for supporting the seminaries. It also appeals for additional aid, citing "remarkable opportunities and pressing needs" facing the theological schools. "At each of our seminaries, the escalating costs of theological education have been shifted to our students, even as the seminaries were reduced in percentage allocation through the Cooperative Program budget," the statement declares. It concludes with an "appeal for an increased Cooperative Program allocation in order that our seminaries may more effectively serve the needs of our churches and the Southern Baptist Convention. " In addition to Golden Gate, other Southern Baptist seminaries are Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Mo.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.; Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.; and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. Golden Gate additionally is in the eighth and final year of a special annual allocation of $200,000, for a total of $1.6 million, which is being matched by the seminary from the sale of property, to create a $3.2 million endowment, earnings from which will be used to assist faculty and staff with the high housing costs in the San Francisco Bay area. In one of the final progress reports on a years-long seminary land development project, Crews said the seminary received a check in September for $1.7 million dollars. The money is part of the sale price for a condominium site being developed on land formerly owned by Golden Gate. The condo site was the last parcel of land to be sold. --more--
Crews also told trustees seminary endowments and- quasi-endowments have grown more than 650 percent during his first decade as president. The seminary currently receives earnings on $10.54 million in various endowments. Another $10.68 million in quasi-endownment is held in irrevocable trusts naming the seminary as beneficiary. To help oversee the investment of endowment funds, trustees appointed a nine-member investment management advisory team. The group includes the trustee chairman and seminary president. In other financial developments, trustees: --approved funding several projects with a $377,622 allocation from the 1995-96 SBC Cooperative Program capital needs budget. Trustees earmarked most of the money for a new computer system to handle the seminary's registration and business needs, as well as repairs and improvements at the seminary's California campuses inMiJJ Valley and Brea. --approved new salary grades which will increase salaries for GGBTS staff and faculty an average 2.2 percent effective Oct. 1. -- reviewed a $355,000 current fund deficit blamed on budgeting "mistakes" and a number of "revenue shortfall" items which seminary officials predicted eventually will be received. --heard a report that $7.8 million in gifts and pledges already have been received toward the seminary's $10.4 million "Shaping the Future" capital campaign launched one year ago. --30--
Golden Gate trustees note increases in enrollment
Baptist Press By Mark A. Wyatt
MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)--Enrollment is up sharply this fall at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary campuses from northern California to Russia. " President WiJliam 0. "Bill" Crews told trustees ethnic leadership training and continuirtg educatioti programs are leading this year's 35 percent overall enrollment increase. "It looks like we will have 1,425 people enrolled in our programs this fall," he reported. More than half that number are enrolled at the seminary's Mill Valley, Calif., campus-- 788 compared to 519 a year ago, a 52 percent increase. Much of the Mill Valley increase has come in response to new· continuing education courses. "When you take out continuing education it amounts to about a 16 percent increase" at the campus overlooking San Francisco Bay, he said. Golden Gate Seminary also operates campuses in Brea, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; and Phoenix; and a teaching site in Albuquerque, N .M. In addition, the seminary's Ethnic Leadership Development program has numerous teaching sites throughout the western United States and beyond. Crews did not specify how many students attend the ELD centers. "It's hard to know how many we have enrolled. Part of the reason for that is our ELD (Ethnic Leadership Development) centers are scattered all the way from Russia to Alaska to Oklahoma," Crews explained. Trustees approved Crews' choice of Emerson Ernest Falls to serve as director of a new campus in Denver. Previously a pastor in Arizona and California, Falls earned two degrees from Golden Gate Seminary. In other staff-related actions, trustees filled a newly created position of vice president for public relations and elected a university administrator from Fresno as the seminary's top fund-raiser. Cameron Crabtree, formerly assistant vice president for institutional advancement at Golden Gate Seminary, moves into the new post of vice president for public relations. Crabtree, who joined the GGBTS staff in 1991 as director of public relations, previously served as news editor for The California Southern Baptist. Steve Price will join the Golden Gate Seminary staff Dec. 1 as vice president for institutional advancement. Currently director of the Center for Educational Research and Services at California State University, Fresno, Price also is a member of the California Southern Baptist Convention executive board. --more--
Price is a graduate of Golden Gate Seminary, Brigham Young University, Wake Forest University and Mississippi College. He succeeds Steve Thomas; who resigned earlier this year and moved to Oklahoma. To honor the lOth anniversary of Crews' presidency at Golden Gate, trustees named a scholarship in his honor-- The William 0. Crews Christian Leadership Scholarship-- and endowed it with more than $50,000 from their own individual giving. --30--
VP debaters underscore economics over morality
By Tom Strode
Baptist Press 10/10/96
WASHINGTON (BP)--Americans concerned about cultural and moral decline probably found little to encourage them in the Oct. 9 televised debate between Democratic Vice President Al Gore and Republican challenger Jack Kemp. Given the opportunity to comment on the problem with the "American soul," Kemp offered a solution dependent almost solely on the economy. Confronted with the issue of abortion, Gore championed the absolute right of a woman to end the life of her unborn child. On the 21st of 23 questions asked at St. Petersburg, Fla., Jim Lehrer, news anchor for the Public Broadcasting System, told Kemp "some are saying these days that something's gone terribly wrong with the American soul, that we've become too mean, too selfish, too uncaring, and the spitting incident, how it was handled, the baseball players used as a recent example. What do you think about that?" Capitalism is the answer, Kemp said, in a response which seemed to stray far from the virtues campaign of such Republican leaders as former Secretary of Education William Bennett. "We need to create more jobs and more access to credit and capital and educational choice and opportunity for any man or woman and child to be what God meant them to be, not what Washington, D.C., wants them to be," Kemp said. · While he talked later about the need' for "strong ·cornriiuniiies and si.rong familieS';" the mnning !nate Jf Bob Dole continued to relate the solution to the economy. He also failed to discuss Roberto Alomar, the Baltimore second baseman who spit in an umpire's face and was hit with only a five-game suspension which will not be served until next season. Of the Alomar incident, Gore said, "I think he should have been severely disciplined, suspended perhaps, immediately. I don't understand why that action was not taken. But the same could be said of so many incidents in all kinds of institutions in our society." When Lehrer asked in a follow-up question if Gore agreed with Kemp the "problems in the American soul" are economic, President Clinton's running mate said he thinks it is "one of the single most important parts of this problem," then continued to give a purely economic solution.Will Dodson of the Southern Baptist Christian Life Commission took issue with such a remedy. "The problem with the soul of America is sin," said Dodson, the CLC's director of government relations. "As Proverbs says, 'Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.' While I think that concern about our economy and how that practically affects American families is important, I do not believe that economic prosperity is the cure-all for America's moral malaise. The cure for sin is repentance. The only hope for the soul of America is moral and spiritual awakening." When asked by Lehrer what difference a Dole-Kemp administration would make on the legal standing of abortion, the Republican candidate decried Clinton's April veto of a ban on partial-birth abortion but said adoption of a human life amendment was not now possible. . "There is no consensus," Kemp said. "A constitutional amendment would not pass. We must use persuasion, not intimidation. "But we should recognize that every human life is precious, and there should be all of the protection that we can give for an unborn human being." Clinton's veto of "a congressional ban on the ugly and gruesome practice of snatching life away from a child just moments before he or she enters the world ... is unacceptable," he said. Dole "would never have vetoed that ban on partial-birth abortion," Kemp said. --more--
Gore said, "We will never allow a woman's right !o choose to be taken away. "President Clinton has made it clear that he will sign legislation outlawing (partial-birth abortion) if there is an exception to protect the health of the mother where serious health consequences, such as the inability to have any further children, are involved and her doctor advises her so," said Gore, who, along with Clinton, is a member of a Southern Baptist church. The president's proposed exception, ban advocates argue, would have the effect of gutting the legislation because the Supreme Court in 1973 defined health for abortion purposes to include "all factors --physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman's age -- relevant to the well-being of the patient." In addition, more than 300 physicians, primarily obstetricians, have announced their opposition to the procedure and have said it is never medically necessary. The procedure banned by the bill involves the delivery of an intact baby feet first until only the head is left in the birth canal. The doctor pierces the base of the baby's skull with surgical scissors, then inserts a catheter into the opening and suctions out the brain. The collapse of the skull enables easier removal of the dead child. The bill allows the use of the method only when the life of the mother is endangered. The method is used in the second half of pregnancy, often by the 26th week. "The best example of what is wrong with the soul of America is abortion in general and partial-birth abortion in particular," said the CLC's Dodson. "What kind of nation would elevate a right to choose over a right to life? Only a nation whose heart has become calloused to the truth. The president and the vice president, and for that matter the pro-abortion movement, are lost on this issue. Mr. Kemp should be commended for his strong pro-life voting record and his statement of support for the sanctity and protection of every human life, including our unborn babies. "We long and pray for the day when both major political parties are pro-life," Dodson stated. "We furthermore hope and pray for leaders who realize that the hope for America is not government, is not the economy, is not tolerance, is not civility. The hope for America is a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. I do not expect politicians to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, but I do believe that our nation would be best served by leaders in all walks of life, including politicians, who recognize that this is so and whose lives reflect the values of Scripture." Ralph Reed, the Christian Coalition's executive director, told The Washington Times neither candidate addressed social issues "as much as I would have liked" though "certainly this was a better debate for us on our issues than the first debate between Clinton and Dole." The Republicans "have moved about all the voters they're going to based on the tax-cut message alone, and they need to talk about moral values," Reed said. Clinton and Dole, who debated Oct. 6, will have their final debate Oct. 16 at San Diego. --30-Grassroots ideas invited for possible BSSB name
Baptist Press 10/10/96
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Southern Baptists across the nation are invited to submit by Nov. 1 suggestions for a possible new name for the Baptist Sunday School Board as the agency studies the possibility of a more descriptive identity. According to BSSB President James T. Draper Jr., the process began in late sununer, "with no preconceived ideas about whether our name should be changed." He said factors leading to the study included awareness that "the current name is not descriptive of the broad range of the board's products and services. While it was established in 1891 with one assignment, producing Sunday school literature for Southern Baptist churches, the board today provides resources in many areas." In addition to Sunday school, the board provides resources and services in discipleship, family and student ministries, pastor and staff issues, media services, architectural services, music ministries, drama, recreation and wellness and multicultural leadership, among others. The board's trade publishing group includes a wide range of Bibles, books and other products offered under the Broadman & Holman imprint. The agency also owns and operates a 63-store chain of retail bookstores as well as national conference centers in Ridgecrest, N.C., and Glorieta, N.M. --more--
As a part of the Southern Baptist Conventi,on's restructuring, the board will assume responsibility for stewardship and church history education, capital fund-raising, men's and women's enrichment ministries and Christian schools and home school ministries. Included in other changes related to the SBC "Covenant for a New Century" are new names announced earlier this year for several other Southern Baptist entities. Based on interviews with individual and church customers, employees, trustees, the board's executive management group, SBC leaders, media representatives and employees of companies that regularly do business with the board, a decision was made in September to move forward with exploration of a possible new name. After all input has been received and evaluated, a 19-member employee committee will formulate a recommendation to the board's administration in early January 1997, with a report for approval presented to the board's trustees in their February meeting. For tabulation purposes, suggested names should be mailed on a postcard, or a 3-inch by 5-inch index card enclosed in an envelope, addressed to: Name Change, 127 Ninth Avenue, North, Nashville, TN 37234-0189. --30--
Retiring missionaries recount victory in midst of conflict
By Norman Miller
Baptist Press 10/10/96
RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--Few Southern Baptists awake with a pit viper wrapped around their ankle, or survive its lethal bite. Not many walk away from plane crashes. Hardly any try to sleep to the crackle of revolutionary gunfire. Rarely do they face arrest, interrogation, intimidation, burglary, beatings or worse. Eighty-eight retiring Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board missionaries, however, experienced such calamities during 2,287 combined years of ministry. They were honored Oct. 6 during a service in Richmond, Va., at Derbyshire Baptist Church. "What su:;tained you in the~~ h~rdships?" asked board President Jerry Rankin. "What compelled you to remain at the task?" From missionaries who spoke in the service, the answer was the same: God's call to share his love with a physically hurting and spiritually dying world. For Gene and Jean Phillips, it was, in Jean's words, "God's wonderful, marvelous, heart peace" that helped plant churches during the horrible events of a 12-year civil war in the former Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe and Zambia. For Paul and Virginia Smith, sharing Christ's friendship in the Middle East with a people said to have no friends in a nation hostile to Christianity -- drilling wells, planting seeds, giving shelter -- provided the most · "enervating, dangerous, yet rewarding years" of their career. Nancie Wingo taught English at two Baptist institutions amid sometimes-terrifying social and political circumstances around her in Lebanon and Gaza. She recalled long nights, huddling with Muslim neighbors in the basement of her West Beirut apartment building and waiting for the night's final bone-rattling blast from artillery shells lobbed by warring militias. "We made no political or religious distinctions in that basement. We all looked out for each other," she said. Although their parents were at war, students would return to school after a cease fire, kiss each other and say, "Praise God for your safety," Wingo recounted. In 1987 the U.S. goverrunent ordered Americans to leave Lebanon, so Wingo transferred to Gaza to teach nursing students English at the Baptist hospital. She didn't find the same camaraderie there. Instead she found acrimony. Ministry became even more difficult when in December 1987 -- nine months after she arrived in Gaza -the six-year Palestinian Intifada began. Intifada is translated "uprising," but the full Arabic meaning refers to the way a wet dog stands and shakes off water from its fur. "Those I taught were born under Israeli occupation. They didn't respect my authority, because my homeland gives Israel billions of dollars," Wingo said. --more--
Despite the students' insolence, reflected in deeds Wingo said are too embarrassing to mention, she found a way to stay and make an impact. "I realized I was in Gaza for Gazans, and not necessarily just to teach English. So when they sensed I cared for them as individuals, then everything turned around. They looked upon me as one who really wanted to help them get a nursing certificate," she said. Increasing peer and religious pressure from the Intifada strained fragile relationships. Students who once lingered after Sunday Bible study to talk with Wingo about Christianity were forced to stop. "When Israel closes the border, it's easy for (Muslim) religious leaders to control the people. Like Christians, Muslims believe if they fervently practice their faith, God will bless them in their struggles and give them victory." Personal ministry became even more difficult. Showing loyalty to the Intifada, and obeying Islamic doctrines, students who once were very cordial treated Wingo as if she had a disease. The ground she'd gained was lost, but not completely. Wingo and the missionaries she worked with placed an ad in a newspaper that offered a free copy of the "Jesus" film. "We got many, many, many letters in response to that ad. The Palestinian people are very interested in God-- that's a very common topic for discussion." Whether suffering Palestinian disdain for being a United States citizen or being ostracized for religious reasons, Wingo and her fellow missionaries found the motivation to continue sharing God's love. "When I realized missionaries are God's good and wonderful gift to the needy people of Gaza, I had the perspective that kept me there," Wingo said. "The wars of the Middle East are the work of men. But the good and perfect gifts are the work of God." --30-(BP) photo (vertical) and cutline mailed 10/10/96 to state Baptist newspapers by the Richmond bureau of Baptist Press and posted in SBCNet News ~oom.
2nd vote on gambling Nov. 5 in Louisiana
By C. Lacy Thompson
Baptist Press 10/10/96
BATON ROUGE, La. (BP)--On Nov. 5, voters in each parish of Louisiana will be asked whether to allow legalized gambling in their locale. Yes or no-- the choice on the fall ballot will be that simple. In all 64 parishes, voters will decide the fate of video poker in their areas. In 43 parishes, voters will cast ballots for or against riverboat gambling. And in perhaps the biggest stakes of all, voters in Orleans Parish will decide whether to allow a land-based casino in the city. It is not what all gambling opponents hoped for during the last legislative session. Some called for the state legislature itself to take care of the matter and vote out gambling in Louisiana the same way it had unilaterally voted it in a few years ago, without a vote of the people. Others hoped for a statewide vote on legalized gambling -- one vote to decide the fate of video poker, riverboats and casino gambling throughout the state. Instead, opponents got two options aimed at curtailing gambling in Louisiana. In the first, on Sept. 21, voters approved-- by a 73 percent majority; 690,813 for, 253,031 against-- a constitutional amendment that does not allow for expansion of legalized gambling without a vote of the people. With passage of the amendment, no longer will the legislature alone be able to legalize any form of gambling. That is not to say everyone is happy with the amendment. Some gambling opponents spoke out against the approved measure, warning it was flawed and opened the door for ongoing gambling by placing provisions for it in the state constitution. But the second measure approved by the legislature, for the Nov. 5 ballot, has broader support, calling for simple up-or-down votes on existing gambling in each parish. A majority vote against a form of gambling within a parish means that form of gambling must be banned from the area. If a parish votes against riverboat gambling, for instance, that form of gambling will not be allowed in the parish. If the parish does not yet have riverboat gambling, no license can be issued. If it does, whatever riverboats are in the area will be forced to leave when their current licenses expire. Likewise for video poker, except that even if a majority of people in a parish vote against video poker, existing one-year licenses may be renewed two more times. --more--
If a parish votes out gambling on Nov. 5, the consHtutional amendment approved Sept. 21 does nothing to prohibit repeated local option elections that could re-establish gambling in the area, gambling opponents say, noting it could be brought back up for numerous votes until the gambling industry has won. A majority vote for a form of gambling in a parish, meanwhile, will allow that form of gambling to continue. However, a favorable vote for a form of gambling that does not yet exist in a parish does not immediately authorize it in that area. For instance, a parish eligible for riverboat gambling may not yet have riverboat gambling. A majority "yes" vote on Nov. 5 will not mean that parish automatically will get riverboat gambling. It will only mean that its eligibility continues -- and it could get riverboat gambling if granted a license. In New Orleans, even if city residents vote against a land-based casino, no one is sure what will happen. The casino authorized for New Orleans has been in bankruptcy about six months. The city is negotiating for a way to scale back and restart the project, pending voter approval. However, many observers acknowledge the whole scenario likely will end up in court at some point. The November vote will not affect the Louisiana lottery. That was established by constitutional amendment and approved by statewide vote. Neither will the Nov. 5 vote affect casinos on Indian lands. A key proponent of the two votes has been Gov. Mike Foster. According to the anti-gambling Republican, "The worst effect, really, is the mentality that we're beginning to depend upon gambling for revenues in the state." Of pro-gambling claims that it increases state revenue, Foster has countered, "The majority of the gambling interests are owned to some degree-- or a great degree-- by out-of-staters, and that money gets right out of the economy." Much of the money gambling enterprises take in is only taken out of other, more productive areas of the community's and state's economy --money that would help create local jobs and build the tax base, Foster said. "The truth is, in the long haul, I don't think the state is going to be helped either financially or morally by gambling," the governor said. --30--
Church-planting program links Southwestern, FMB, HMB, states
By Craig Bird
Baptist Press 10/10/96
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--God asks, "Who will go for me?" Southern Baptist mission boards and state conventions say, "We'll help you go." So Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary asked, "How can we best equip those who are going?" The answer? A recently announced master of divinity in church planting degree program. The degree allows students to complete 70 hours on the Fort Worth campus while the final 20 hours revolve around actually starting a church, either in the United States or overseas. The seminary already has received requests from around the world and across the United States to give students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the language and culture and actually "do the work of an evangelist" prior to graduation. Innovations bracket both end of the process. Early in the on-campus phase, degree candidates undergo a four-hour interview to assess their gifts and qualifications to be a church planter. Students in the two-year field project are guided by an experienced mentor and supported emotionally and spiritually by a regional network of other church planters. The unique partnership linking the seminary, the Southern Baptist Home and Foreign Mission boards and state Southern Baptist conventions combines traditional academic preparation with practical application. "When our master of divinity in church planting students walk across the stage at graduation, they won't have just a diploma in one hand," Ken Hemphill, president of the Fort Worth, Texas, seminary, pointed out. "They'll have already started a church. They'll be carrying that successful experience in the other hand -- they'll have both hands full as they answer God's call to plant churches." --more--
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wakf. Forest, N.C., pioneered the church planting degree program when its trustees approved the program in October 1994. In August 1995, nine Southeastern students and their families began a two-year stint in Kenya. Last August, 10 students and their families departed for a restricted country in Asia. In August 1997, 22 students in the church-planting degree program will leave Southeastern for Indonesia. Keith Eitel, director of the Lewis Addison Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies at Southeastern, said the program already is showing great returns in students committing to career missionary service as seven of the nine Southeastern students in Kenya are seeking career appointments by the Foreign · Mission Board. "If all six of the seminaries did the same thing, eventually we could have anywhere from 100 to 150 student church planters going everywhere in the world each year," Eitel said. Southwestern, in developing its program, went to the FMB, HMB and state Baptist conventions and "asked them what they needed church planters in their areas to know, what they needed them to be able to do," explained Daniel Sanchez, head of the Scarborough Institute of Church Growth and professor of missions at Southwestern. "We got a list of competencies from the state conventions and the mission boards and either created new courses or adapted existing courses to address those needs," he continued. "We added more family counseling and more leadership training." State conventions also are putting resources into the Southwestern program, primarily in budgeting time and money to train mentors to relate to the students. As a result, "the states are more positive at looking to the seminary for church planters," said Joe Hernandez, assistant vice president in the HMB's church extension section. "Now they have input in the training, influence through the mentors and confidence the church planter can succeed because he has been in the field and been successful. " The first participants could be involved in projects within a year, Sanchez said. "Students who have already taken a lot of the courses this degree requires could meet the other requirements fairly quickly and be working with the Foreign Mission Board or the Home Mission Board by late 1997 or early 1998." Sanchez noted the Southwestern program gives the mission agencies the options of clustering of students in geographic proximity or of utilizing a student or one couple individually. Teu years ago then-new l-iMB President Larry Lewis wrote to each of the six Southern Baptist seminary presidents and urged them to consider a graduate degree program for church planting. "I am elated and gratified beyond words that my own seminary, Southwestern, has conceived this program," he said. "I expect more church planters to come out of Southwestern than from any seminary in the country." Matching a student's abilities and commitment to the tasks of church planting is an important element in the process. Early in the on-campus phase, a candidate will undergo an intensive four-hour interview before being allowed to continue with the program. "The first value we will look for is vision -- the capacity to see the need and possibility for a new church," Hernandez said. "Then we'lllook for a sense of the lostness of the world and an urgency to tell people about Christ and social relationship ability strong enough to work in tough situations" Once in the field, students will work with experienced church planter mentors and, when geographically possible, be linked to a "support network" of other church planters for emotional and spiritual support and advice. Charles Chaney, vice president of the HMB church extension section, led in the development of the assessment procedures. He has been urging Southern Baptist seminaries to implement the program for eight years and is excited "it is about to happen." "Our biggest complaint from church starters is that they feel they didn't get anything to prepare them for problems on the field," Chaney said. "This will provide the academic and theological base alongside developing the practical competencies they need to be successful." Even before the program was announced officially, word had leaked out and Southwestern mission professors were deluged with requests for information from interested students. The actual announcement at a chapel service resulted in more than 65 students responding with an interest in church planting ministries with the HMB or FMB. "God's timing is obvious," Hemphill said. "One student came to me, visibility excited, and said he had just finished his diploma-level work and was ready to start master's study but hadn't found what he felt he needed to study -- until he heard about this program. He said he felt it was developed for him."
--30-(BP) photo and cutline posted in SBCNet News Room.
Criswell urges students to serve out of love
By Charlie Warren
SHAWNEE, Okla. (BP)--"Love God and leave the reward to him," W.A. Criswell challenged students at Oklahoma Baptist University during the 1996 Hobbs Lecture Oct. 9. At the conclusion of the 10 a.m. chapel address, students gave Criswell a rousing standing ovation. Criswell, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church, Dallas, and chancellor of Criswell College, reminded OBU students of the "astounding" story in the 20th chapter of Matthew in which the master of the vineyard hired laborers and put them to work throughout the day, paying each at the day's end the same amount whether they worked 12 hours or one. Those who worked 12 hours "were infuriated and I can understand why," Criswell said. "Think of what the AFL-CIO or the Department of Labor would say about that." To understand the story, according to Criswell, one must go back to Matthew 19, the story of the rich young ruler, who boldly knelt before Jesus "in broad daylight" to ask what he must do to inherit eternal life. Criswell paraphrased Jesus' response: "One thing you lack. You love your money more than you love God. Give it away." "What a battle the young ruler had in his heart," Criswell said. "And he lost the battle. He walked away in great sorrow." The disciples must have thought, "What a tragedy to lose a fine prospect like that," Criswell surmised. But Simon Peter instead suggested that the rich young ruler didn't give up anything and didn't deserve to follow Jesus. Criswell noted it was then that Jesus told his disciples the story of the laborers in the vineyard. He said Jesus was saying, "I don't want you following me for what you get out of it, reward. I want you to follow me out of your love for God and leave the reward to him." The former SBC president told the story of a couple returning home from Africa after a career of missionary service. They were on a ship with Theodore Roosevelt, then president of the United States, who had visited Africa on a safari. As the ship landed, the Marine Corps band and throngs of people welcomed Roosevelt home but no one was there to welcome the missionaries. Struggling with the lack of accolades, Criswell said the missionary knelt and poured ou.'t his heart to God, asking why no one had welcomed them home. "God himself came down from heaven, put his arms around the missionary, and said, 'You're not home yet.,,, Criswell urged the students to minister "not for what you get out of it, but just for loving Jesus." He reminded them that when he started out as a student pastor 70 years ago, his congregation had 18 people and he was paid $20 a month. "I poured my life and my ministry into that first church just like I did at First Baptist Church, Dallas. Just love God and leave the reward to him." Criswell expressed gratitude for his long friendship with the late Herschel Hobbs, a noted Oklahoma pastor and prolific author for whom the lectureship is named. Criswell recounted they were prayer partners, led revivals for each other's churches, and he had spoken last year at Hobbs' funeral. "He's up there in heaven waiting for me." --30--
CORRECTION: In (BP) story titled "Learning of daughter's deafness, couple embraced new way of life," dated 10/4/96, please correct the spelling of the couple's name to Feulmer, not Fuelmer. Thanks, Baptist Press