PHOENIX, Ariz. (SWBTS) -- Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president Paige Patterson gave messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention hope in light of recent LifeWay research reporting a decrease in baptisms among SBC churches. Patterson’s remarks came during his seminary report at the SBC annual meeting, June 14, and were accompanied by an invitation for Southern Baptists to visit the seminary to witness the evangelistic fervor on campus.
“If you are one of those who has been made sad and disheartened by the recent statistics that have been released by LifeWay, you should be concerned,” Patterson said. “But I’m here to say that we should not despair. In fact, if you want to be lifted up and have a new look at what is about to happen among Southern Baptists, come visit a real revival, in progress right now, at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.”
Prior to his address, Patterson showed a video detailing the growing atmosphere of evangelism among students and professors on campus, including reaching every home within a one-mile radius of the seminary with the Gospel. In the video, distinguished professor of evangelism emeritus Roy Fish commented that Southwestern was established on evangelism and that this year, more people have come to Christ through personal evangelism than at any other time.
 “The end is not in sight, it’s just beginning. In every program of the institution, evangelism comes to the front,” Patterson told messengers. Whether it’s music school students sharing the Gospel with people in Times Square before a New York City performance or archaeology students sharing Christ on a dig site, students are passionate about seeing people come to faith in Christ.
Patterson said students in the seminary’s women’s programs not only defend biblical womanhood against secular feminism, but they also win women to Christ. Likewise, students in the theology school apply their instruction in expository preaching to present the Gospel in pulpits across America, and students in the biblical counseling program present the Bible as sufficient to answer all of man’s problems, including the need for a Savior.
“It doesn’t matter which of our programs you enroll in,” Patterson said, “every one of them is focused on one thing: getting the Gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world.
“If you think that Southern Baptists are down for the count, if you believe that all the statistics you are hearing are the end of the line, will you just schedule a trip down to Southwestern Seminary, and would you sit down for a few moments with some of our students and professors? You’ll discover that we’re in a trough, but it’s already bottomed out, and we’re on the way to a new day.”