Alumni Q & A with Patrick Harmon
CHRIS MARTIN | January 19, 2017
Q: Tell us about your ministry and family.
A: I have been serving as the Minister to Students at First Baptist Church of North Augusta, SC for over two years.
I have a beautiful wife named Keri. We will celebrate our 10 year anniversary this coming June. We have two children, Kayley is five and Jackson is three, and one more due in May.
Q: Why Southeastern?
A: I wanted to attend a Great Commission seminary that was one not only in name but in practice. I also wanted a challenge.
When Keri and I were beginning to consider seminary, we had several friends who recommended a number of seminaries other than SEBTS that we should pursue. Yet, after much research and a few campus visits, SEBTS shined brightest. Several of our deciding factors included: The school’s Great Commission emphasis, the rigorous academic study involved with earning an M.Div., the beautiful campus and housing options (we lived in Flaherty Farms), its location near Raleigh, and of course Danny Akin.
Q: What was your most influential moment at Southeastern?
A: I never really had a major ‘ah-ha’ moment while in seminary. Looking back, my entire career at SEBTS was quite influential.
Being a business major in college, I never received any form of theological training before my time at Southeastern. So I entered seminary completely green and graduated with a great foundation to minister in the local church.
Q: What is the greatest joy that you have as a pastor?
A: My greatest joy comes in two very different ways, one of which is teaching and reasoning through the Scriptures weekly with my students. The second way is through taking students on international mission trips to proclaim the gospel.
Q: What challenges do you face as a pastor?
A: As any student pastor would tell you, how to prioritize our time is always a challenge. Learning to say no and being at home as many nights as I can has been immensely beneficial to my family and to my ministry.
Q: What advice do you have for current and future pastors?
A: Learn to say no. If someone’s idea or request doesn’t fit the vision you have prayerfully considered for your ministry, then politely show them how it doesn’t fit. Secondly, take some time to learn your strengths and weaknesses.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: My family loves to spend time together. We like to ride bikes and scooters on the North Augusta Greenway, or play in our backyard.
Q: What was your favorite class or professor at Southeastern?
A: My favorite class at Southeastern was Church History II with Dr. David Hogg. I referred to his class as ‘storytime,’ and I loved his lectures.
My favorite professor would have to be Dr. John Hammett. He taught me how to study and love theology. I sat under him for all three of my Systematic Theology classes. Dr. Hammett recommended that after graduation we try to read at least one good book on theology per year. So far, I have followed his advice and would encourage any reading this to do the same. I’m currently finishing up “The Illustrated Life of Paul” by Dr. Chuck Quarles.
Q: What is one book that everyone should read?
A: “The Insanity of God” by Nik Ripken. It’s like I was reading a modern-day book of Acts. It was humbling to read how the gospel is making its way around the world amidst intense persecution.
Q: What has God been teaching you lately?
A: The Lord has been teaching me about character recently. Specifically, that God, in his infinite wisdom, has created each of us with different strengths, character traits and personalities as means of furthering his Kingdom.
Q: Southeastern is known as a Great Commission seminary, how did Southeastern prepare you to be a Great Commission pastor?
A: Southeastern opened the doors of the world to me through an academic setting. No other seminary in the world so effortlessly merges theological study with the Great Commission.