KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)—In what President Jason Allen called an answer to prayer for one of the “most significant institutional needs” since Midwestern Seminary’s inception in 1957, the school has received a $7 million pledge from an Oklahoma family for a new student center.

Allen said he could not adequately express gratitude to God for His providence in uniting the seminary with Harold and Patricia Mathena, members of Oklahoma City, Quail Springs, who have pledged $7 million to Midwestern Seminary as a lead gift toward an approximately $14 million student center.

“This is one of the largest gifts in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention and in the history of theological education in North America as a whole,” Allen said in announcing the Methenas’ gift.

The proposed student center of approximately 40,000 square feet will hold a gymnasium, recreation and fitness areas, cafeteria, bookstore, student commons area and space for additional staff or faculty offices.

“There is still much, much work to do, including raising the additional funds needed. As we plan to accomplish this project debt-free, we are praying God will raise up men and women across the SBC and beyond to partner with us., Allen said.