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NOBTS holds first post-Katrina graduation comment (0)

January 5, 2006

BIRMINGHAM — New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary celebrated a historic graduation Dec. 17 — its first since Hurricane Katrina. In spite of the disruption caused by the storm at the start of the semester, 137 graduates completed their degrees.

The graduation, held at The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, marked another milestone in the seminary’s effort to recover from the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

The tone of the ceremony was triumphant and worshipful. The graduates understood the significance of the event.

In his remarks to the graduates, New Orleans Seminary President Chuck Kelley praised the work of the students and faculty following the hurricane, calling their efforts “the stuff of legend.”

“It’s taken two things in particular for these graduates to get where they are, and these faculty members to accomplish what they have accomplished,” Kelley said. “It has taken grit and grace — the essential qualities that will follow you the rest of your life in ministry.”

Although the graduates faced circumstances like no other seminary class, Kelley said they also received more grace than any other seminary class, such as the efforts of Southern Baptists to provide free housing and financial assistance for the seminary family.

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