Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) hosted approximately 325 alumni and friends for a luncheon in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
The event was held during the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention in Baltimore, Maryland on June 11.
A panel moderated by Ed Stetzer featured Danny Akin, Bruce Ashford, Nathan Finn, Trillia Newbell and Thom Rainer. The discussion focused on the church’s engagement of culture in the 21st century and Christian’s role as “sent people of God.”
Stetzer posed the question, “How do we live out the unchanging call?”
Akin focused on the need for expository preaching to deliver the word of God.
Rainer highlighted the millennial population as the largest mission field ever in America as “80 to 85 percent of this generation is not Christian.” However, he believes this population is open to the truth of the gospel.
Ashford called believers to “be faithful to the Scriptures and to do the hard work of doing so meaningfully … proclaim Him with our lips and promote Him with our lives.”
Akin gave a brief update on the seminary in the past year as he celebrated 10 years as president of Southeastern in early 2014. “We are all over Africa, Southeast Asia and South America,” Akin said. “It is exciting to see all that God is allowing us to be a part of at this particular time in history.”
Southeastern met its 10 year, 50 million dollar, campaign goal.
“We are not ashamed of what we believe, but we want to make sure we speak the truth in love,” Akin emphasized. “When we do that we are modeling the life of the Lord Jesus and we can be sure that God is pleased.”
David Whitlock, president of Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU), and Stan Norman, provost of OBU, presented Akin the Herschel H. Hobbs Award for Distinguished Denominational Service from OBU.
J.D. Greear, lead pastor of The Summit Church, in Durham, North Carolina and president of the SEBTS alumni association, pledged 500,000 dollars over the next five years in financial support to Southeastern from The Summit Church.
Greear believes that Southeastern effectively reaches the nations through training effective pastors, preachers, scholars and evangelist. He noted that a seminary can do things that the local church cannot do as well independently.
Jonathan Six, director of alumni development, said, “Only through gifts from our alumni are we able to continue to provide a world-class theological education for an affordable tuition. I am personally grateful for J.D.’s generosity.”
Six sees the national alumni luncheon at the SBC as the most important event the association hosts throughout the year. “It was a memorable time of fellowship and a great opportunity to experience one of Baltimore’s finest venues, Camden Yards Baseball Stadium,” he said. “I am always thankful to have the opportunity to provide a quality experience for those we value most.”
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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.