They call him ‘Mr. Kerygma’
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – When Matt Queen professed his faith in the Gospel at the age of 7, he did not hesitate to proclaim the message to all who could hear him. Bursting through the doors of Freedom Baptist Church in Asheville, N.C., he yelled to his friends playing outside, “I’m saved! I’m saved! I’m saved!”
“I remember telling my mom and dad, ‘I wish I had a microphone so that I could tell the whole world what Jesus has done in my heart.’ And this is something I have not gotten over,” said Queen, who now serves as assistant professor of evangelism at Southwestern Seminary.
This passion for the Gospel developed under the influence of Queen’s father, who often took him to share the Gospel from door to door in their hometown, and again while he was a student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. At Southeastern, an evangelist challenged students to witness at least once every day for the remainder of their lives. Convicted by the Spirit, Queen made this commitment. As a student at Southeastern, he was also dubbed “Mr. Kerygma” by his friends because of his interest in the apostolic kerygma, that is, the apostles’ teaching about the Gospel.
In 2009, Queen earned his Ph.D. at Southeastern with an emphasis in evangelism. His dissertation began with an examination of the early church’s kerygma, found in the New Testament. He then considered what Southern Baptists have taught about the Gospel, and what they have done with it. In the process of his research, he learned about L.R. Scarborough, Southwestern Seminary’s second president, who was widely known for his evangelistic fervor.
“I am still a student of Scarborough,” Queen said. “He was one of the people who popularized the term ‘soul winning’ in the Southern Baptist Convention. He talked about a burden for the lost, a phrase we don’t hear today. … I like his terminology, and, more than his terminology, I like the example he gives of scholarship on fire for the Gospel.”
This fall, Queen moved to Fort Worth with his wife, Hope, and his daughter, Madison, to begin teaching at Southwestern. Rather than placing himself in an “ivory tower,” he desires, as a professor, to share the Gospel and help students to do the same.
“I hope, above any book-knowledge or lecture I give, that students come away from my classes with a passion to win souls for Jesus Christ,” Queen said. He often takes students to neighborhoods and malls to share the Gospel so that they can learn how to share the Gospel and be emboldened to do so.
“My vision,” Queen said, “is to be out in the community with our students and with my peers in the faculty, knocking on doors, talking to people we run into, being intentional about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that lost souls may come to know Christ as savior.”