In a series of meetings and events, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) hosted its Board of Visitors (BOV) and the Board of Trustees (BOT) for its fall 2013 bi-annual meeting.
Over 200 couples make up the BOV, which seeks to assist in fulfilling the mission of SEBTS, financially support the seminary, recruit new students and provide guidance and prayer for development programs.
The BOT consists of 30 members charged with the control and governance of the school. The chief function of the BOT is to establish policy governing the seminary, approve the academic program of the seminary and make certain its quality meets the highest standards possible.
The three days of events were held on the SEBTS campus. They started on Oct. 13 and ended on Oct. 15.
On Sunday evening, the BOV worship gathering featured guest speaker Dr. M.O. Owens Jr., pastor emeritus of Parkwood Baptist Church in Gastonia, N.C. Owens, preached from 1 John.
“Love, loyalty and truth are the three most important facts in life,” Owens said. “Truth is always the same, factual, never changing, complete and beautiful in its glory and wonder.”
A 100th birthday celebration was held in Owens’s honor after chapel.
Monday included a BOV meeting with a Presidential Address, from Dr. Daniel Akin, president of SEBTS, a discussion panel on preaching and departmental reports. Akin shared current student enrolment numbers of almost 3,100, plans to increase the opportunity to take classes online and the progress of the Kingdom Diversity initiative.
The panel discussion featured Akin, Bill Bowyer, lead pastor of Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C, Tony Merida, founding pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C. and Owens.
“The greatest need in the world is for good preaching to emerge,” Merida said. “We can’t settle for mediocrity in the pulpit.”
Monday evening a campus wide BBQ dinner provided a time of fellowship with SEBTS students, faculty, staff and guests.
On Tuesday, the BOT plenary session elected Art Rainer as the vice president for Institutional Advancement at SEBTS.
The BOT were introduced to four new faculty members including: Edgar Aponte, director of Hispanic Leadership Development, Stephen Eccher, assistant professor of Church History and Reformation Studies and Walter Strickland, special advisor to the president for diversity. The trustees also elected Charles Quarrels, professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, to the faculty.
New members of the BOT are Melinda Delahoyde, Jeremy Dollar and Israel Kim.
The installation of the Dr. Ed Young Sr. Chair of Preaching was held in conjunction with Southeastern’s chapel service. Akin presented the highest honor bestowed from Southeastern, the President’s Award, to Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas.
Young serves as the senior pastor of Second Baptist Church. His church has over 63,000 members with five locations and plans are underway for additional campuses. He is a graduate of SEBTS and a former President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Akin was chosen by the BOT to hold the new chair position. “I protested strongly against this because I don’t feel worthy,” Akin said. “I am honored, if there is a person I do look up to for a faithful pastor, it is Ed Young. I am humbled and I am grateful, until my last breath I will be true to the power and inerrancy of the Word of God.”
Young focused his sermon on leadership qualities from the book of Nehemiah. He stated five essential characteristics of a great leader: having a vision, giving away the vision, discernment, tenacity and integrity. Young also stressed the importance of having salt, the prayer of your calling and pepper, which is passion.
“If you step out and people follow you over time, you may have the gift of leadership,” Young said. “Success is being in the center of God’s will for your life. And celebrating it.”
When asked why he hasn’t retired after 55 years in ministry, Young said: “As a servant leader, I just haven’t lost the wonder of it all.”
An Ed Young Chair Installation luncheon was held after the service and featured an interview of Young with Akin. In order to reach the world, Young shared the importance of reaching children and through them, their parents.
“You’ve got to demonstrate that you love their kids from when they are born all the way through,” Young said. “If you love kids you are going to build a church.”
The fall meeting days challenged and energized the Southeastern community to move forward in fulfilling the Great Commission for King Jesus. As Owens stated in his sermon, “Truth brings people together in a way that nothing else will. … We preach that truth.”
To view photos from the installation of the Dr. Ed Young Sr. Chair of Preaching, please click here.
To view photos from the BOV and BOT events, please click here.
To listen or watch the sermon of Dr. Ed Young Sr., please click here.
The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.