When people first see David and Nathan Lino together, few realize they are related,let alone father and son.
David is about 5’8” tall, has dark, Mediterranean features that convey his Italian roots, and he speaks with a distinct Zimbabwean accent.
Nathan, on the other hand, is over 6’ tall, has pale, lightly-freckled skin, fair hair and bluegreen eyes. At first, Nathan’s accent sounds American Midwestern; but after a few phrases, one can hear softened consonants and elongated vowels giving away his South African heritage.
David and Nathan have more in common than genes. Just as the Apostle Paul could call Timothy his “child in the faith,” so, too, David can call his son Nathan a co-laborer in the fields of the Lord.
David is the pastor of Faith Family Baptist Church in Kingwood, Texas, near Houston. Nathan is the pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church, about 15 minutes away in the town of Humble. Both are actively engaged in personal soul-winning in their daily lives; both are committed to a conservative theology building their ministries on the innerrancy of the bible; and both of them are avid supporters of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“I think that there is a depth to God’s Word that a pastor cannot grasp without theological training,” Nathan said. “I think when you get theological training, and are able to dive deeper into the word of God, you can understand the way the Word of God is laid out, where God is going with it and how each book fits into the greater picture context-wise.”
When Nathan was in seventh grade, he responded to God’s call to full-time ministry during an evangelistic revival. Once David was convinced that Nathan’s call to ministry was fixed and certain, he gave his son the advice he passes on the numerous young ministers of the gospel.
“If you are going to pray about seminary, it’s where to go, not whether to go,” David said. “I would push strongly for Southwestern because of what’s going on there and the leadership and God’s movement there ... Seminary is crucial to survive in ministry.”
Both men not only encourage those in their churches who are called to ministry to get their training at Southwestern, but each man personally contributes to the advancement of the seminary, and particularly The College at Southwestern.
“We are both excited about The College,” David said. “When our children leave high school, it’s a big concern: Where are they going to go? Whereas, if they enroll in The College, we know that it is going to be a grounding for the rest of their lives ... That’s why we support it financially.”
“I would say that part of any church’s vision ought to be investing financially in the church of tomorrow by providing the best possible education for tomorrow’s pastors and youth pastors and missionaries at our seminaries,” Nathan added. “My children are going to sit under the preaching of students at the seminaries right now … So, I think churches should seriously consider investing financially in seminaries because they are training the leaders of tomorrow for tomorrow’s churches.”
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is grateful to David Lino and Nathan Lino for their support. To join them in advancing the mission of Southwestern, please call toll-free 1.877.GO.SWBTS (1.877.467.9287) and mention this story.