In the most recent meeting of our executive committee, we received reports from our three college and university presidents. Reporting first was Dr. Steve Echols president of Brewton-Parker College. He began his remarks by referring to Joshua 3:5, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
He said that Brewton-Parker College is claiming that verse since the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reversed their position regarding the financial status of the college. He expressed appreciation for those involved in the process and to God for that wonderful blessing. He said that last year was a difficult year, but the college expects to be at just over 600 in total enrollment this fall.
He added that God blessed the college through renegotiation with one of their contractors that made it possible for the needed dorm renovations to be completed. He reported that in their August 25 convocation service, the faculty, student development staff, cabinet members, and athletic staff signed the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
He said that the college is grateful to Georgia Baptists as the convention has stood by the college with the knowledge that Christian education is needed in South Georgia. He expressed appreciation for the leadership of the convention and assured members that the college will remain faithful to what has been given to the school. He added that the college is just getting started in seeing what amazing things God will do to glorify His name.
Next, Dr. Don Dowless, president of Shorter University, said that Shorter considers it a privilege to be one of the Baptist schools in Georgia. He said that the university believes in engaging the culture and taking Jesus into the marketplace. He declared that the mission of the university is to advance God’s Kingdom with a commitment to academic excellence, spiritual growth, Christian leadership, and global service within the context of a biblical worldview.
He reported that the university has 1,900 degree-seeking students enrolled and 30 high school dually enrolled students. He added that these students come from 36 states and 24 countries seeking a higher education experience in a university where 82% of the faculty have or are pursuing terminal degrees.
Dr. Dowless stated that Shorter University is again rated as one of the best in the Southeast by The Princeton Review. He reminded executive committee members that each student enrolled at Shorter University must take a biblical worldview class. Dr. Dowless shared about various outstanding accomplishments of students and expressed appreciation for the campus ministry led by David Roland. He said that Shorter University is very thankful for what Georgia Baptists do for the school. He added that Shorter University could not exist without the Cooperative Program.
Dr. Emir Caner, president of Truett-McConnell College, reported that 2,019 students are enrolled at the college. He said that they are thrilled with what is happening on the campus as students have been saved in the dorms, in classes, and during the recent fall spiritual emphasis week. He shared that Truett-McConnell is standing firm for religious liberty as their refusal to hand out abortion-inducing drugs has led the college to be involved in a court case. He said that whether they win the case or not, it is their intention to stand for the Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of the consequences.
He added that the college, along with 187 co-defendants, will appeal to the Supreme Court. He stated his conviction that the most important biblical principal in all of this is religious liberty. He said that the college will not give up their stand on religious liberty, because it would be better to close the doors of the college as it stands for life than for the doors to be open and the college stand for darkness. He thanked the executive committee for allowing him to serve as president of Truett-McConnell College.
I am extremely grateful for these three fine men, for their outstanding devotion to Jesus Christ and for the profound spiritual impact that they are having upon the lives of students in their institutions.