With the unmistakable sound of New Orleans jazz beckoning the way, 700 alumni and friends of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary gathered for a luncheon June 16 in conjunction with the 2021 SBC annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.
There, after greeting old friends and even making a few new friends, attendees heard from Fred Luter Jr., who shared that serving in New Orleans is a challenge and requires courage and commitment.
Several NOBTS leaders introduced various seminary initiatives, including a new emphasis, Prepare Her, designed to help prepare women to serve God; a church planting partnership between the seminary and the North American Mission Board; and a new “house system” to build community among students who live on campus.
‘Light in the darkness’
NOBTS President Jamie Dew, who recently celebrated his second anniversary leading the seminary, described his commitment to approach every task with “a vision and obsession to bring the light of Jesus Christ into the darkness” of our world. He called on attendees to financially support, to send students to and to pray for the school “of providence and prayer.”
Earlier in the day, Dew addressed convention messengers during the joint seminary report.
“God has been faithful to us at every step of the way,” he said. “I am grateful to be able to share with you what God is doing at NOBTS and Leavell College.”
In his time in New Orleans, Dew said he has discovered a people who are humble — “people who delight in simply loving Jesus and serving you,” he told messengers.
New mission statement
Several months after being in the role of president, Dew said he sat down with NOBTS’ leadership team to draft a missions statement: “New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College prepare servants to walk with Christ, proclaim His truth and fulfill His mission.”
These principles drive everything the institution does, Dew said.
“We’re supposed to be servants … we are supposed to serve not just each other but to the broken of this world and there in the darkest places shine the light of Christ.”
Dew summarized the three tenants of the mission statement as devotion, proclamation and mission.
- Devotion: “None of us have the power in ourselves to do [this ministry], therefore we rely every single day on the fullness of the Spirit to guide us,” Dew said.
- Proclamation: “We have been known as a preacher school, an evangelism school. In the last year, our students have shared the gospel 11,313 times and they have led 1,187 people to faith in Christ,” he continued.
- Mission: After announcing NOBTS recently relaunched its Global Missions Center, Dew concluded, “It is time for NOBTS to stand up and to give back to you and the Kingdom the very best we can.”