MBC presents $100,000 gift to Midwestern
MBTS Communications Director
March 22, 2005
KANSAS CITY – In a year of record special contributions, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Board of Trustees dedicated four rooms in the William Koehn and Martha Center for World Evangelism, the seminary’s first expansion project since the original buildings were constructed, and received a substantial gift from the Missouri Baptist Convention toward its new undergraduate program during their spring meeting March 14-15.
As part of the meeting’s activities, four rooms located in the 35,000-square-foot former retreat center were dedicated with ribbon-cutting ceremonies. The rooms included the Kelley Fireside Room, Downing Conference Room, C.W. Scudder Room, and the Board of Trustees Room. The dedication marks the completion of the first phase of remodeling at the building.
“This dedication is an excellent demonstration of how Midwestern, through the faithful support of our friends, is moving forward to train the next generation of pastors and missionaries,” Midwestern Seminary President Dr. R. Philip Roberts said. “The vision of the future at Midwestern is bright and we thank the Lord for His provision.”
During the meeting, the seminary’s Institutional Advancement office reported an unprecedented amount of special gifts to the seminary, totaling $564,309 from Jan. 1 through Dec. 2004.
As part of the dedication ceremonies, Midwestern was also presented with a $100,000 check from the Missouri Baptist Convention toward the new undergraduate college to help fund the Fusion program, which combines classroom training with practical missions work around the globe. Midwestern trustee and former Missouri Baptist Convention president Dr. David Tolliver presented the check in the March 15 chapel service to Roberts.
“We are thankful for the generosity of the Missouri Baptist Convention,” Roberts said. “Their investment here will insure that the work of the Gospel – evangelism, missions and church planting – will be increased in Missouri and across the heartland. We are astounded at the MBC’s encouragement knowing that they already generously support the Cooperative Program and its worldwide mission.”
In other business, the Board voted March 14 to authorize Roberts to execute a potential land sale of up to 50 acres of the seminary’s campus. The resolution includes two parcels of land – one consisting of 33 acres on the seminary’s southeast corner and another of up to 17 acres of woodland on the east side.
The final deal could provide between $8-9 million in revenue. According to Roberts, proceeds from the sales would not go toward the seminary’s cash flow, but would provide money for long-term investments, upgrades for campus facilities and support of the seminary’s endowment.
“This decision by our trustees will provide a world of resource for Midwestern to strengthen its position to be a lighthouse for the Lord in the Midwest and around the world,” Roberts said.
In other business, trustees approved a $5,084,237 budget for the 2005-06 year, up from $4,949,788. The board also approved a $10 per credit hour tuition increase from $120 to $130 for qualified Southern Baptists. Also, rates increased for the non-SBC Baptist students to $170, and all others at $260 per credit hour.
Additionally, the board affirmed the election of two professors to the Midwestern faculty: Dr. Alan Branch, assistant professor of Christian ethics, who serves as the seminary’s vice president of student development; and Dr. Radu Gheorghita, associate professor of biblical studies. The board also renewed contracts for Dr. Michael McMullen, associate professor of church history and Dr. Donald Whitney, associate professor of spiritual formation. Scott Brawner, dean of students for Midwestern’s undergraduate college was also appointed as instructor for Christian education.
The board also established a new faculty position titled “Distinguished Professor,” which would allow the seminary to bring in a widely-known scholar and/or practitioner to teach.
During the meeting, the board elected new officers, which are as follows: Dr. Kevin Ezell, of Kentucky, was reelected as chairman; Dr. Michael Landry, of Florida, first vice chairman; James Freeman, of Missouri, second vice chairman; Dr. Judy Crain, of Maryland, secretary, and at-large member Wayne Parker, of Michigan.
The board also recognized outgoing trustee Gwen Newman, of Georgia, who served as the secretary/treasurer since 1999, for nine years of service to the seminary’s board.
The next trustee meeting is scheduled for Oct. 11-12, 2005, in Kansas City.