Alumni, friends learn about ‘fresh winds blowing across Seminary Hill’ at SBTC annual meeting
Adam W. Greenway, president of The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, declared that there is no closer bond between a seminary and a state convention of churches than “the ties between Texans and Southwestern Seminary.”
Speaking at the Alumni and Friends Breakfast at the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) annual meeting, Oct. 29, in Odessa, Texas, Greenway noted that, “when we’re at our best, Texans talk about not just a seminary or the seminary, but our seminary.”
Though Greenway stressed that every state convention partnership is important, he expressed particular appreciation for the SBTC, noting that they give the largest percentage of Cooperative Program contributions of the all the state conventions.
“There is a bond of trust, there is a bond of connectedness between our state and our seminary that really is unique,” he said.
Calling all the assembled guests members of “the Southwestern family,” Greenway thanked the pastors and church staff members for their sacrificial giving through the Cooperative Program, then shared about the “fresh winds blowing across Seminary Hill.”
He began by sharing about the partnership between Southwestern Seminary and the SBTC in the area of church revitalization.
“All across Texas, we have churches that really just need a fresh touch from God,” Greenway said. “They need a fresh movement of the Spirit of God. They need to re-dream their dream and experience new beginnings. And I’m thankful that, in partnership with the SBTC, we have a new Center for Church Revitalization on the campus of Southwestern Seminary.”
Directed by Kenneth Priest, director of convention strategies for the SBTC, the seminary’s Center for Church Revitalization provides resources, equipping/training events, consulting services, internships, and ministry opportunities to meet the needs of pastors, church leaders, and the local church in general. (Read more here.)
“It’s a beautiful partnership when the SBTC has a pathway for helping churches to experience revitalization,” Greenway said. “To partner with Southwestern Seminary where our students, who are preparing for ministry today, can get hands-on experience in church revitalization, where there is a network of support with our Southern Baptists of Texas Convention; and to take what they’re learning in the classroom and to put it into practice in the field.”
Greenway also shared a reason that 2020 will be “an exceptionally significant year in the life of Southwestern Seminary.”
“Next year,” he said, “we are going to see our 10,000th female seminary graduate.”
“We have been the seminary that has trained women for every right calling within our complementarian convictions,” Greenway said. “One of the important things that I believe God is doing now is raising up a generation of women who want to be empowered and equipped to go forth and to make a difference, to equip and to evangelize and to train other women in the Word of God.”
Greenway expressed appreciation for Southwestern Seminary’s female faculty members, including Terri Stovall, Katie McCoy, and Karen Kennemur.
“The Lord is doing a fresh work at Southwestern Seminary in helping to equip females who want to be able to know the Word of God, to lead people to Christ, and not to become pastors, but to do their work as unto the Lord,” Greenway said.
Other developments on campus that Greenway mentioned include the launching of the B.H. Carroll Center for Baptist Heritage and Mission, with one of its first projects being an extensive biography of Southwestern Seminary founder and first president B.H. Carroll; and the election of new deans for the School of Church Music and Worship, the Terry School of Educational Ministries, and the Fish School of Evangelism and Missions. (Read more about these and other developments here.)
Greenway concluded by encouraging the SBTC to join Southwestern Seminary in building “bridges of understanding” and having “the conversations we need to have, because we desperately need one another more now than ever.”
“I have no responsibility for anything that happened prior to February 27 at 11:15 a.m. Central Time,” Greenway said, referring to the time of his election as president of Southwestern Seminary earlier this year. “A lot of people want to litigate and talk about the past; I want to talk about the future. And I tell you the future is bright on Seminary Hill.
“And I believe, together with our state convention partners like the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, there is no challenge we cannot meet, there is no obstacle we cannot overcome. But it takes us working together. … So any way we can serve you, any way we can bless, any way we can encourage and support you, that is my heart as your president; the president of your seminary, The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.”
In addition to Greenway’s address, the breakfast also featured Jonathan Howe, vice president of communications for the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, who, like Greenway, thanked SBTC churches for their Cooperative Program giving.
Furthermore, the 2019-2020 alumni officers were elected: Byron McWilliams as president, Lash Banks as vice president, and Scott Maze as secretary.