Southwestern Seminary president washes student’s feet
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – During the fall convocation service at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, President Paige Patterson washed the feet of Master of Theology student Anthony Moore, exemplifying Christ’s admonition to service in John 13. Patterson urged students and faculty members to “wash the feet of the saints.”
“If you have come to Southwestern … with anything other in mind than to learn the ways of servanthood, to learn to be a slave to our Lord and to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, which he bought with his own blood, then you have misunderstood the calling,” Patterson said in his convocation message, Aug. 21. While the service of the saints is essential, Patterson noted that Christ also calls ministers to serve the unbeliever.
“He washed the feet of Judas,” Patterson said. “He washed the feet of the man who in a short time was going to betray him. … All your life, you are going to minister to churches. In those churches, there are many of the saved, the saints of God. But in those churches there will also be lost people, many who think that they are OK with God, but in fact they have never been born again. … May I remind you, sweet student, that it doesn’t matter what they are in their hearts or how they act. You are still called to wash their feet.”
Before Patterson spoke, students Jason and Amy Welker, a husband and wife team, performed the fourth in a sequence of dramatizations to celebrate the seminary’s centennial. In this drama, Jason Welker played the seminary’s second president, L.R. Scarborough. He challenged both faculty members and students to passionately testify to the Gospel of Christ: “It is found that so long as the heart of an institution burns hot with fires of soul-winning, it is not likely to drift in its theology from the fundamentals of New Testament faith.”
Following this centennial drama, Craig Blaising, executive vice president and provost of the seminary, presented three newly elected faculty members to the audience. He introduced Laura Zettler as the assistant professor of homemaking and director of the homemaking concentration in the College at Southwestern. Herbert Bateman and Aaron Son joined the seminary’s faculty as professors of New Testament in the School of Theology. These newly elected faculty members signed the seminary’s book of confessional heritage, indicating their agreement to teach in accordance with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
Blaising also introduced five newly-appointed faculty members at the beginning of the convocation chapel: Michael Keas, professor of the history and philosophy of science in the College at Southwestern; Dongsun Cho and Jason Duesing, assistant professors of historical theology in the School of Theology; Jeremiah Kim, director of the Korean D.Min. program and assistant professor of systematic theology in the School of Theology; and Yoon-Mi Lim, associate professor of organ in the School of Church Music.
Archives of the Fall 2008 convocation service and other chapel messages can be accessed on the seminary’s Web site at www.swbts.edu/chapelarchives.