On Friday, Sept. 4, Southwestern faculty, staff, students and families gathered around the flagpoles at the front end of the campus to honor Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth. Joined by more than 30 Fort Worth police officers and campus security guards, the group came together for a time of prayer for Goforth’s family as well as for God’s hand of protection and blessing to be on law enforcement officers throughout the country.
On Aug. 30, the First Baptist Church of Bossier City, La., hosted “Honor our Heroes Sunday,” a special day devoted to doing just that: blessing the first responders and military servicemen in and around Bossier City. The church formally invited all policemen, firemen and paramedics from the city, as well as persons in active military service, particularly those stationed at nearby Barksdale Air Force Base. Hundreds accepted the invitation, and roughly 5,000 people attended the church’s two worship services that day, which featured a Gospel presentation and a live interview with Taya Kyle, wife of U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. In response to these ministry efforts, 53 people prayed to receive Christ.
Southwestern Seminary’s fall semester kicked off with a week of activities for new and returning students, Aug. 21-28. This annual tradition, known as “Welcome Week,” is hosted by Student Life and is designed to connect students with faculty, campus community and local churches.
During Southwestern’s fall convocation service, Aug. 27, President Paige Patterson kicked off the new semester with an exhortation from Jeremiah 9. In verses 23-24, God declares that men should not boast in their wisdom, might or riches, but that they should rather boast that they know and understand Him. Patterson explained, “The most powerful thing in the world, the most knowledgeable thing in the world, is to know God and to understand His purposes in the world.”
For the fall 2015 semester, Southwestern Seminary will welcome eight new appointed faculty and two new elected faculty. In addition, one professor will transition from the Havard campus to Southwestern’s main campus in Fort Worth.
Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson and Joe Jordan, founder of the Word of Life ministry in Argentina, stepped off the plane into Cuba just a few days before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry would also enter Cuba. Kerry is the first secretary of state to enter Cuba in 70 years. Kerry came to Cuba for the opening of the U.S. Embassy, while Patterson and Jordan came to encourage Cuban believers by preaching and teaching in several churches throughout the country.
Southwestern students and faculty partnered with City Tabernacle Baptist Church in Brisbane, Australia, July 7-23, to engage the city with the Gospel. Located in Brisbane’s inner city, the church is just a few blocks away from one of the city’s most popular shopping districts. The church’s proximity to such cultural attractions positions it to reach thousands of people from all ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Mike Barnett, former professor of missions at Southwestern Seminary, died suddenly on Sunday, August 9. He was 62.
From July 1–21, a team of 18 Southwestern students and faculty traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand, and a neighboring village, striving to share the Gospel with the lost in this Southeast Asian country. The group was able to show the “Jesus” film in the Karen language and have numerous Gospel conversations with hundreds of university students, connecting many of them to Bible Studies through a local campus ministry. Over the course of the three-week trip, the team saw 26 people come to Christ and one believer reaffirm his faith.
I participated in this year’s Oxford Study Tour, July 6-23, and like most students, I did so because (1) I wanted to get some classes out of the way so I could graduate on time, and (2) I wanted to see London. So imagine my surprise—and I say this facetiously—when I felt conviction from the Holy Spirit while visiting sites of Christian historical significance.
Luke Romans, a Master of Divinity student at Southwestern, leads an accountability group through the “young marrieds” Sunday school class at Birchman Baptist Church. Realizing that evangelism was the most important area in which they needed to grow, Romans started bringing his students along with him as he participated in Southwestern’s “Going the Second Mile” initiative, the seminary’s effort to evangelize every home within a two-mile radius of the campus.
Barry McCarty, who has served as the Southern Baptist Convention’s chief parliamentarian for nearly three decades, has accepted the position of professor of preaching and rhetoric at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Not previously identifying as a Southern Baptist, McCarty recently “converted” after observing the missional heart of Southern Baptists and the merits of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.