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Mission & Purpose
The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture seeks to engage culture as salt and light, presenting and defending the Christian faith and demonstrating its implications for all areas of human existence.
The Center has a two-fold purpose: (1) To convey graciously and apply effectively the Christian worldview to all areas of culture and to the human condition; (2) To encourage and support the Church in its redemptive work.
Dr. Daniel L. Akin became the sixth president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary on January 15, 2004, after a unanimous vote of election by the Seminary’s Board of Trustees. Known as an advocate for international missions and expository preaching, he also has a reputation as a faithful husband and father and genuine man of God. Akin is admired and respected by many Southern Baptists for his dedication to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and his commitment to teach and proclaim His Word. Akin, who previously served at Southeastern as Assistant Professor of Theology and Dean of Students from 1992-1996, was Vice-President for Academic Administration/Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, a position he held until his return to Southeastern. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Criswell College in 1980, Akin went on to earn both a Master of Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1983 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1989. His pastoral experience includes serving 10 churches in Texas, Florida, Alabama and Virginia in both interim and full-time capacities. He has also edited and authored numerous articles and books including A Theology for the Church, the 40-volume Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series on the entire Bible, 1,2,3 John (New American Commentary), Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs (Holman Old Testament Commentary), God on Sex, and Engaging Exposition.
Dr. Vincent Bacote is an Associate Professor of Theology and the Director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL He is the author of the The Spirit in Public Theology: Appropriating the Legacy of Abraham Kuyper (2005), and has contributed to books including On Kuyper (2013), Aliens in the Promised Land (2013), Keep Your Head Up (2012) and Prophetic Evangelicals (2012). He has been a regular columnist for Comment and has also had articles appear in magazines such as Books and Culture, Christianity Today, Think Christian and re:generation quarterly and journals such as The Journal of Markets and Morality, Christian Scholars Review, Urban Mission and the Journal for Christian Theological Research. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Christian Ethics. He resides in Glen Ellyn, IL with his family.
Cliff Benson III is a Managing Partner at American Homesmith LLC, a North Carolina homebuilding company serving eastern N.C. He has worked in the areas of investment and asset management since 2001, managing several operating companies. Mr. Benson serves on the board of Ewater America LLC and is also involved with several 501C-3 organizations. He is currently serving as Chairman of the board of National Christian Foundation Raleigh and Mission Increase Foundation Raleigh. Mr. Benson is also serving on the board of directors at St. David’s School in Raleigh and Finding Purpose Ministry, a ministry to men in Raleigh, and is a deacon at Capital Community Church He lives in Raleigh N.C. with his wife Anna and their three children.
William Lewis Boddie is President and Chief Executive Officer of Boddie-Noell Enterprises. Bill is a graduate of Rocky Mount High School, Louisburg College, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bill began working for Boddie-Noell Enterprises, Inc. in high school and joined the company full-time in 1977 He began his career as crew member at Hardee's in Chapel Hill and then worked in many levels of the company including operations and marketing. Bill was named President and CEO in 1995. Bill is a board member for N. C. Baptist Children’s Home, Communities In Schools of Rocky Mount, Wesleyan College Board of Visitors and Independent Hardee’s Franchisee Association. Bill is an Eagle Scout and is on the Executive Committee and Board of the East Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts. Bill, an active member and deacon of First Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, is a member of C12. Bill previously served as Chairman of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce and board member for Rocky Mount United Way, NC Hospitality Education Foundation, Rocky Mount YMCA, Nash Community College Foundation, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, RBC Bank Local Board and Payments Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Bill and his wife, Kim, have four children and reside in Nashville, NC.
Don Dancer is currently Distinguished-Practitioner-In-Residence at Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he teaches Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Governance and Antitrust law. He was previously the Executive Vice President and General Counsel at International Rectifier Corporation, a publicly-traded (NYSE) semiconductor company located in El Segundo, California. For more than 20 years prior to joining IR, he was the senior counsel to multiple divisions of the General Electric Company. His GE assignments included service as the General Counsel of a joint venture between GE and a large Japanese industrial firm and international assignments in Hong Kong and Barcelona, Spain, during which time he was also a Director of various GE ventures in Taiwan, Indonesia, India and several European countries. He is currently on the Board of Advisors for Elon University School of Law and a trustee of his church in Greensboro. Don and his wife Lucy have been married for 40 years and have two married children.
Dwight Gibson holds the Director of Program Outreach post working to build networks in evangelical seminary and church outreach through a variety of activities; convening and engaging diverse audiences in the Protestant evangelical community. Dwight works closely with Stephen Grabill, Director of Programs and International and Chris Robertson, Program Outreach Coordinator, to serve as a focal point in this outreach and also manages the public intellectual oversight of the adjunct scholars. Dwight earned a B.A. in Communications from Indiana Wesleyan University and M.A., Broadcasting and Fundraising from Wheaton College Graduate School. Bringing over 20 years of senior level expertise, his career spans the globe of corporate, non-profit and evangelical networks in professional alliances and personal relationships. Dwight transports a proven leadership quality in his engaging work style and similarly looks forward to contributing in this fashion to the Acton team as a whole. Dwight resides in Philadelphia with his wife Jacqueline and together they have three children who currently attend universities in the U.S.
Dr. Stephen Grabill serves as director of programs, as well as senior research scholar in theology at the Acton Institute, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based think tank that integrates Christian worldview with economics for leaders in the church, academy, and business sectors. He is editor emeritus of the Journal of Markets & Morality, as well as general editor of the NIV Stewardship Study Bible and a founding board member of Stewardship Council, the producer of the study Bible and a leader in the development and delivery of holistic stewardship resources. He graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary with a doctorate in systematic theology, after having spent more than a decade exploring the insights of the Reformed tradition on ethics, politics, and culture. He is well read in the work of Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck, and is the general editor of the Abraham Kuyper Common Grace translation project. He is author of Rediscovering the Natural Law in Reformed Theological Ethics and editor of Sourcebook in Late-Scholastic Monetary Theory: The Contributions of Martin de Azpilcueta, Luis de Molina, S.J., and Juan de Mariana, S.J. He is also co-editor of a new series titled Sources in Early Modern Ethics, Economics, and Law published by Christian's Library Press.
Sidney Hinton founded PowerSecure in 2000 and is the Chief Executive Officer of PowerSecure International (NYSE: POWR). PowerSecure partners with utilities and major commercial and industrial customers across the country to optimize the generation, transmission and utilization of electricity. Specifically, PowerSecure provides distributed generation, utility infrastructure and energy efficiency solutions to utilities and commercial & industrial end customers. During his 30 year career serving utilities and the energy industry, Mr. Hinton has developed and successfully introduced some of the industry’s most innovative solutions. Prior to founding PowerSecure, Mr. Hinton spent 15 years in a number of senior finance and management positions at the Southern Company and Georgia Power Company, ultimately founding and leading Southern’s efforts to deliver unregulated energy services which allowed its large commercial, industrial and institutional customers to better manage their energy costs. After leaving Southern, he served as an Executive-in-Residence for Carousel Capital, a successful private equity firm based in Charlotte, NC, and directed market planning and research for Carolina Power & Light (today known as Duke Energy). Mr. Hinton holds a BBA in accounting from Georgia State University and an MBA from Emory University.
Henry Kaestner is a Managing Principal in Sovereign's Capital, a Private Equity Fund that invests in Christian led companies in emerging markets with offices in Jakarta, Indonesia and Durham North Carolina. Henry is also the Chairman, Co-Founder and previous CEO of Bandwidth.com, a company that together with his business partner, David Morken, he has grown from $0 to $160 million in revenue. The values of Bandwidth.com have always been: Faith, Family, Work and Fitness (in that order). Under Kaestner’s leadership, Bandwidth.com was the 4th fastest growing privately held company in the country from 2003 through 2007, a position it achieved without acquisition or institutional funding. Prior to launching Bandwidth.com Mr. Kaestner founded Chapel Hill Brokers (a predecessor to ICAP Energy), an institutional energy derivatives broker that became the top ranked electricity broker in the country. Mr. Kaestner has also been involved in a number of ministry and philanthropic activities. He co-founded and serves as Chairman of the Board of DurhamCares, and sits on the Board of Visitors at both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Central University School of Business. He serves as an elder in the Presbyterian Church of America and lives in Durham, NC with his wife Kimberley and their three sons.
Preston Parrish serves as CEO of Corporate Chaplains of America (CCA). Based in Wake Forest, NC, CCA specializes in recruiting and placing trained, full-time chaplains in workplaces, who develop caring relationships with employees and their families in the hope of gaining permission to share with them the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ. Founded in 1996, CCA works with companies coast-to-coast, as well as internationally, in order to accomplish its mission. Before joining CCA, Preston served for over two decades in multiple leadership positions with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) as well as Samaritan's Purse, both of which are led by Franklin Graham. Most recently, he served as Vice President of My Hope America with Billy Graham, an unprecedented nationwide and grass-roots relational evangelism initiative across the United States, which culminated in November 2013 in conjunction with Billy Graham’s 95th birthday. Preston also served as Executive Vice President for BGEA, Vice President at Large, and Special Assistant to the CEO. In addition, Preston founded and served as President of AWAKENINGS, an interdenominational ministry of evangelism and spiritual renewal, assisting churches and church-related groups. Preston has ministered on six continents and spoken extensively in many settings including local churches, radio, civic and men's groups, law enforcement personnel and correctional facilities. He has trained thousands of people in biblical principles of evangelism and discipleship. He has collaborated on and published numerous magazine articles and books, including “Windows into the Heart of God: 31 Life-Changing Glimpses of Jesus,” (Harvest House Publishers, 2007). In March 2011, the book “Finding Hope in Times of Grief,” (also from Harvest House Publishers) was published. Co-authored by Preston and his wife Glenda following the January 2006 deaths of his father and their 25 year-old son Nathan in the same week, they have written candidly out of their personal experience, in order to offer the help and hope of Christ to those walking through grief. Preston holds degrees from Montreat College, Wake Forest University, and Wheaton Graduate School. He is ordained as a minister of the Gospel. He and Glenda were high school sweethearts and have four children and four grandchildren.