I got to experience the preaching of a true saint earlier today. Dr. M. O. Owens, Jr. is 98-years young and let me tell you, he preached up a storm. I was privileged to hear Dr. Owens preach at Binkley Chapel on the campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary today.
What was the occasion? It was the induction of Dr. David Alan Black as the chair of New Testament Studies at Southeastern. This honor was a double honor. One to honor Dr. Owens who is STILL PREACHING as Pastor Emeritus at Parkwood Baptist Church in Gastonia. And secondly to honor Dr. Black as the first “chair” of this area of the seminary.
Binkley Chapel was packed with faculty, students and dignitaries. The ceremony started off with some fantastic music from the Southeastern Seminary choir and orchestra. Phenomenal!
Their version of “Be Thou My Vision” was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. I’m telling you, I felt a little piece of heaven had dropped down upon us as I listened to that throng of people sing. Wow!
Ok…so, I’m sure you want to see Dr. Black and Dr. Owens. Here they are along with Danny Aiken, President of the seminary.
That’s Dr. Owen on the right and Dr. Black in the middle with President Aiken on the right.
Dr. Owens preached about “Running with the Gospel.” It was an outstanding message and I’m not just saying that to be nice. Dr. Owens continues to preach every Sunday at Parkwood Baptist in Gastonia, NC. He’s amazing! He’s been preaching for 70 years. He was a teenager when the depression started.
He preached about the fact that we must run with the Gospel and unfortunately this is not happening to the degree it needs to in our country. He stated that the United States of America is the third largest mission field in the world with over 200 million unsaved people, behind only China and India. He challenged the students and this bald-headed preacher to preach the Gospel boldly and without fear.
Let me tell you that I needed to hear that message this morning. It was such an encouragement to me. He implored us to prayer. Dr. Owens said, “We must pray more than we are praying now. I can tell you that.” Ooh! That hit me. I know I’m not praying enough. I work hard and a lot. But, I’m not praying enough. Satan wants me to work and serve and serve and work and keep me off my knees and out of my prayer closet in concerted, deep prayer. No prayer…no power! I know what my marching orders are! Thanks Dr. Owens!
Certainly anyone who knows me knows how much me and my family loves Dr. Black. Andrew and Clara call him “Docta Bwack.” It’s precious! He and Becky Lynn, his wife, have been in our home many times and we have been to Bradford Hall (their home in southern Virginia) several times as well. I’m privileged to say that Dr. Black is a mentor of mine. And he has taken time to encourage me on many, many occasions. I’ll never forget the 17-hour trip in a refugee truck from Addis Ababa to Burji in Ethiopia. It was Dr. Black who encouraged me to write my first book.
I’m indebted to Dr. Black for many, many things, but mostly for his desire to be a “Paul” to this “young Timothy.” Thank you kindly, sir!
Oh…by the way…we had the chance to see the Hall family last night in Wake Forest. Who’s that? Well, they are a wonderful family that we met out in Nashville at the Annie Moses Fine Arts Academy a couple of years ago. Dr. Hall is a dentist and he and his wife, Kathryn have four of the sweetest and kind young ladies, (Jessica, Natalie, Lydia and Valerie), you’ll ever want to meet. Here’s a picture of our family with them when they visited recently.
Isn’t it wonderful when the Lord brings “like-minded” people into your lives no matter where you are. Everywhere you go there are believers sprinkled everywhere if you are looking. Today in a BoJangles in Zebulon, NC we met a wonderful Christian, retired-couple. What a blessing!
It’s been a great day! And now it’s on to meet up with a fine young man we know who’s on base in Cherry Point, NC at the Marine Base there. Anyone want to guess who that is?
Until next time…