MOUNT VERNON — Brewton-Parker College President Steve Echols led his faculty and staff in signing the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 at the school’s convocation on August 25th. This is a positive move on the part of Dr. Echols that will surely endear him to Georgia Baptists across the state.
Truett-McConnell College President Emir Caner set a precedent in 2011 by leading his faculty and staff to affirm the BF&M as adopted in 2000 by the Southern Baptist Convention.
Echols had the faculty at Tennessee Temple University sign the same confession of faith prior to coming to Brewton-Parker, but The Index does not know of any other Baptist institutions of higher learning that have followed this well-favored example.
At the BPC convocation at Saliba Chapel, Echols welcomed the students and spoke to them about the meaning of heritage. He centered his message on II Timothy 1:5-6, where Paul reminds Timothy that his sincere faith dwelt first in his grandmother, Lois, and his mother Eunice.
The president indicated that the passage applied not only to individuals, but also to institutions. He exclaimed, “We are an institution of heritage for which we are grateful.”
Echols went on to explain that because Brewton-Parker is a Southern Baptist institution and proud of its heritage, the faculty, cabinet members, athletic staff, and student development staff would sign the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as its doctrinal position.
Echols further explained, “Since 2011 Brewton-Parker College has ascribed to the BF&M 2000 as its doctrinal position. However, the signing in this August 25 convocation service is a visible display of our commitment. The affirmation of adherence by these groups highlights that we are a Georgia Baptist Institution that serves Georgia Baptist Churches.
“These groups were asked to sign because they have a direct impact in informing and shaping our students concerning matters of doctrine. We want to assure our GBC churches that Brewton-Parker College will practice fidelity to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 in all we teach and propagate.”
After the signing of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, Echols spoke to the students about mission. “We have a heritage. We have a mission. We’re here for a purpose,” he said. “Regardless of what purpose you may have had in coming here, God’s purpose has been to bring you here so that you might have a transformational experience. We’re thankful for the heritage we have here and what God wants to do in this place. We have a mission and our mission is to ultimately send you out on a mission as graduates who are committed to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Echols added, “I feel that it is essential that Brewton-Parker College establish that it is here to serve the Kingdom through serving the local church. We want to be a college that is known for the mission of seeing the lives of students transformed both academically and spiritually for the glory of God.
“We seek to send forth graduates who are passionate about serving the Lord Jesus Christ in whatever their chosen vocation or calling may be. This means that they must be taught a biblical worldview that can engage the culture. Georgia Baptist churches as well as other evangelical churches need to know that they can be assured that if they send students to BPC they will be taught sound doctrine.”
This is a powerful and positive move in the right direction for Brewton-Parker; and the school has a president who is a proficient leader, perspicacious scholar, powerful preacher, and a prototypical Christian.
Psalm 37: 23 declares, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and he delighteth in his way.” Brewton-Parker College has had its challenges in recent years, so the eyes of Georgia Baptists are upon the school and the new president, but it appears that his first steps are worthy of praise.