Haskins School grads prepare to teach the Bible
Thirty-four students from the Robert Haskins School of Leadership of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) recently gathered at Oklahoma City, Exchange Avenue to receive diplomas from the Golden Gate Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif. after completing degrees in the study of Christian ministries and theology.
The partnership between Golden Gate Seminary and the BGCO continues the 28-year program to train ethnic church leaders at the highest level of theological education.
“The Robert Haskins School of Leadership continues to embody the vision of Haskins to equip and encourage ethnic leaders across Oklahoma with the critical theological education they require to serve their congregations well,” stated Scott Phillips, leader of the BGCO’s Church and
Family Equipping Team.
“Contextualized leadership is a mandate for today’s pastors and church leaders, especially as the diversity of Oklahoma continues to rise.”
Currently, the program has 139 students in five centers across the state of Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Lawton, Tulsa, Enid and Guymon. BGCO leaders hope to open three more centers by 2011 in an effort to make more accessible quality theological training for pastors unable to leave their field of service to attend seminary.
Anthony Jordan, BGCO executive director-treasurer, delivered the commencement address to the graduates from I Tim. 4:11-16. In his remarks, he challenged the graduates to remain students of the Word of God. The Bible, and the Bible alone, “should be the guiding force behind everything you do,” he said. “Who you are and how you live should be in accordance with what Scripture teaches about the way you should minister to the people of God.”
Jordan challenged them with the very words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy as minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“In speech, life and in love, your life should seek to serve the church of Jesus Christ,” he said. “I have been in the ministry for more than 42 years, and you must have a willingness to love the sheep God has placed in your care.”
Jordan warned them that their love for “the sheep” would be tested, even as it was for the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
“I once asked my Grand Dad what he would have done differently throughout his ministry in the church, and I have never forgotten his answer: love the people more,” Jordan said.
He went on to challenge them to allow the Bible to drive their ministries in ways that allowed the words of Scripture to set the agenda and the path for what they would teach their church.
“The people need to hear from God’s Word not necessarily from you,” he said. “Don’t look for a sermon, but always allow the sermon to come from the text of Scripture.”
Marta Elisa Caceres, director of the Escuela de Teologia de Oklahoma City, presented the diplomas to the students as Haskins congratulated them on their accomplishment. More information on the Robert Haskins School of Leadership can be found at www.bgco.org.