Faculty members’ personal witness for Christ yields 5 professions of faith
Stereotypically speaking, professors do only two things: teach and write mind-numbing treatises. But by actively living out the biblical principles they teach, the professors at Southwestern Seminary prove this stereotype untrue. Over a two-week period this summer, three different Southwestern professors, through faithful evangelistic witness, collectively saw five people give their lives to Christ.
Associate Professor of Church History Stephen Presley
Presley has recently been filling the pulpit at the First Baptist Church of Friendswood, Texas, and on Sunday, May 29, God afforded him the opportunity to lead a young man to Christ. The young man had been attending the church for some time with his wife, but he apparently did this only to make his parents happy. Each week, the young man sat with his parents on the front row, and as Presley preached, the man’s lack of interest in all things spiritual was easily discernible.
In the weeks leading up to May 29, however, God had been softening the man’s heart, convicting him of his sin and showing him his need for salvation. Then, after hearing Presley’s sermon on Malachi 3:13-4:6, which emphasized the hope of the Gospel and the pressing need to follow Christ “today,” the young man responded to the invitation to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior. Presley recalls, “He said that the Lord had been speaking to him all week, and he just couldn’t shake Him!”
As Presley and the young man prayed together, the man’s parents praised God through tears of joy. Presley recalls that the whole church rejoiced with him, and Presley utilized that moment to remind the congregation that the work of evangelism and ministry should not cease just because they currently lack a permanent pastor. “It is the responsibility of the church, not just the pastor, to share the Gospel,” Presley said.
Instructor of Women’s Studies Katie McCoy
McCoy, a participant in this year’s Crossover effort in St. Louis, Mo., led three girls to Christ on June 7 through this annual evangelistic push. Two of the girls were sisters, and the third was their cousin. They were ages 12, 10 and 7.
“The 10-year-old was really tuned in and focused when she heard the Gospel,” McCoy says. “After praying, she said she felt ‘awesome and amazing.’”
Follow-up discipleship with the three girls will be conducted by Tower Grove Baptist Church in St. Louis, with which Southwestern is partnering for Crossover. McCoy says the salvation of these three was “worth the whole trip.”
Adjunct Faculty in Applied Ministry Charles Stewart
On the morning of June 9, a witnessing opportunity in Stewart’s home resulted in Anthony, a man in his late 20s, praying to receive Christ. Anthony is a project-manager-trainee for a roofing company, which had been contracted by Stewart because recent hail damage necessitated the replacement of his roof. Anthony arrived with Sean, the project manager, whom Stewart had met and evangelized several weeks prior.
As Sean performed a walkthrough of the house in order to observe the roofing crew, Stewart engaged Anthony in a Gospel conversation. He attempted to use his go-to evangelism tool—a Romans 6:23 card—but while searching for one in his wallet, Stewart realized that he had given away his last card the previous day.
“Sean saw what I was doing,” Stewart recalls, “and he gave me the Romans 6:23 card from his wallet that I had given to him several weeks ago!” Stewart proceeded to use the card to present the Gospel to Anthony, and when confronted with the choice between accepting or rejecting the message of Jesus Christ, Anthony chose the former.
“When Sean eventually returned,” Stewart notes, “he joined Anthony and me as Anthony prayed to receive Christ as Savior and Lord.” Considering the circumstances that brought about this magnificent result, Stewart says, “Who ever knew that God could use hail to keep a man out of hell?”