State Baptist schools share about campusescomment (0)
November 21, 2013
By Julie Payne
It was an opportunity to hear from the heart of the leaders in Christian higher education, said Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.
In a relaxed Q&A format on stage, Lance spoke with each of the three Alabama Baptist college and university presidents Nov. 12 during the Alabama Baptist State Convention annual meeting at Whitesburg Baptist Church, Huntsville.
Lance first spoke with Andrew Westmoreland, president of Samford University in Birmingham, questioning him about what he sees happening at Samford now as well as in the future.
“Dr. Lance, I could answer that question in a lot of different ways, and I could choose to go negative,” he said, citing elements like the nation’s culture that has gone adrift. Westmoreland said he chooses instead to speak of the positive spirit of Christ on the campuses of Samford, the University of Mobile (UMobile) and Judson College in Marion.
A short video was then shown of Samford football player Jeremy Towns’ testimony.
“He came to faith in Christ at Samford University,” Westmoreland said after the video presentation, adding Towns has led dozens of Samford students to Christ. “I can’t wait to see the life-changing impact of Jeremy Towns in the decades ahead,” he said.
There are “plenty of problems in my business,” Westmoreland concluded. “But don’t ever forget that these are life-changing institutions.”
Next Lance asked Mark Foley, president of UMobile, what he sees in the future of the school.
Foley began by sharing about the passion of once again seeing “this nation under the influence of Jesus Christ.” He noted one way to do that is to invest in young men and women who are bringing the Word of Christ to the nation.
He added, “What you really invest in is people. What you really invest in is the expansion of the culture of Jesus Christ in believers and through believers … and the ripple effect goes on and on and on. So thank you for being a part of what we do and for allowing us to do it.”
David Potts, president of Judson, was asked by Lance to share about the school and how it’s impacting the cause of Christ.
Potts said Judson has been involved in local missions, believing that missions is across the street and around the world. “We call that faith-based service learning,” he said. “It’s a way in which we engage in tutoring children — helping kids at schools that are underprivileged” and building ramps for senior citizens in the community, he said.
Potts also noted the existing partnership between Judson and Kachin Theological College in Myanmar, a school of about 800 students. He noted that Baptists a great distance from the U.S. are establishing Baptist colleges and contacting Alabama Baptist colleges and universities to partner with them.
Judson student Sau Nam then joined Potts on the stage to share about her experience coming from Kachin College to Judson.
As Judson College is celebrating 175 years, “God is changing my life,” she said. “I am grateful for your giving (and) support.” She also shared a poem about Ann Judson.
Lance concluded the Christian Higher Education presentation by recognizing Rick Marshall, chairman of the Education Commission, and Bill Goodwin, chairman of the Board of Aid for Students in Church-Related Vocations, for their service.