Seminary adds Atlanta-based development officer to staff
Mike Reynolds has planted and pastored churches from Georgia to Hawaii, served as a law enforcement chaplain for two police departments, and has written the book on how to win Mormons to faith in Jesus Christ. Now Reynolds has added development officer for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to his list of ministry callings.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” Reynolds said. “I look forward to developing relationships with alumni and friends of Southwestern in the Atlanta metro area, Georgia, and the states surrounding Georgia.”
Reynolds, 49, came to Southwestern Seminary Jan. 1 after four years as a ministry consultant with Injoy Stewardship Services in Duluth, Ga. The company is a part of John Maxwell’s ministry that partners with churches to raise funds for capital improvement and debt retirement, Reynolds said.
Before that, he was the senior volunteer chaplain for the Hawaii County Police Department in Hilo, Hawaii, for five years. For six years, he served as a volunteer police chaplain with the Duncanville, Okla., police department. He was endorsed by the Home Mission Board (now the North American Mission Board) of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“To this day, my 21-year-old daughter will harass me for moving her from Hawaii to Oklahoma when she was a little girl,” Reynolds said with a laugh.
Reynolds is a two-time graduate of Southwestern Seminary. In 2000, he completed his doctor in ministry degree in missions. Reynolds’ focused his doctoral study on developing methods for evangelizing Mormons.
“When I was planning my doctorate work, Dr. Al Fasol told me to go to the library and put my hands on every dissertation on Mormonism,” Reynolds said. “I didn’t find a single one. That is how I came to study Mormonism and develop strategies for winning Mormons to faith in Jesus Christ.”
From 1991-1997, Reynolds served the mission board as the national consultant on Mormonism through the Interfaith Witness Department. During that time, he developed “The Mormon Puzzle: Sharing the Faith with Your Mormon Friends,” a book and study materials for churches. Many of his strategies were forged as he worked in Hawaii.
“There are statistics that say Hawaii has the highest number of Mormons per capita in the United States outside Utah and Idaho,” he said. “They are difficult to witness to, but the Lord used our ministry to win many to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Reynolds has learned that when the Lord blesses a ministry, whether it’s a church or a seminary, it becomes necessary to build new buildings, expand parking lots, and do many other things that require spending money. After he began pastoring churches more than 30 years ago, Reynolds said the Lord blessed his ministries, and the churches always grew in size.
“That’s when I learned that a pastor has to be a fundraiser, too,” he said. “As a ministry consultant, my responsibility involves counseling the leadership about timing, leadership and strategies related to their capital stewardship campaigns.”
Southwestern Seminary has many new initiatives towards which Reynolds will lend his experience and expertise. Reynolds said that endowments and scholarships for students are crucial for the mission of Southwestern Seminary to continue into the future. In addition, there are priority needs for a building to house the newly-established Roy Fish School for Evangelism and Missions, and to create a School of Biblical Archaeology and an Anabaptist Study Center.
Southwestern Seminary is one of the few seminaries in the United States that has no freestanding chapel. Plans have been completed for new 3,500-seat campus chapel, complete with an indoor-outdoor baptistery, book collections and a 108-foot prayer tower. Seminary President Paige Patterson has set building the new chapel as a top priority as the seminary approaches its 100th anniversary.
Reynolds and his wife Nancy recently celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary. Nancy has served as a music minister in Hawaii, directed a 50-voice children’s choir at a private school, and performed with the Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma. Currently she is a sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics and leads sales teams in Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas.
“People call her ‘Wonder Woman,’” Reynolds said.
The Reynolds have three children: Aaron (deceased), David, 23, and Hannah, 21.
Reynolds looks forward to traveling, speaking in churches, developing relationships and serving Southwestern Seminary from his base in the Atlanta area. As he looks to the future, he said he tries to see things from a heavenly perspective.
“I know that Southwestern Seminary is bigger than me or any one single person,” Reynolds said. “My goal as a regional development officer will be to see that 300 years from now the seminary is still training pastors, leaders, music ministers, teachers, administrators, missionaries and other ministers to expand the Kingdom and bring glory to God.”