ANAHEIM, Calif. – Midwestern Seminary’s Alumni & Friends Luncheon on June 15 at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting was highlighted by the announcement of a new endowed chair honoring John H. Powell, a presentation of the 2022 Alumnus of the Year Award, and a Q&A led by President Jason Allen with historians Thomas Kidd and Jason Duesing.
Midwestern Seminary Vice President of Student Services Dr. John Mark Yeats welcomed attendees to the luncheon and then Lee Roberson, chairman of Midwestern Seminary’s Board of Trustees, gave the opening prayer. During the lunch, Jason Waller led guests in worship.
Following worship, Allen welcomed guests expressing his delight in gathering with fellow alumni and friends of Midwestern Seminary. He shared recent news on seminary updates, including the launch of brand new For the Church Cohorts, the growing faculty including the hire of Dr. Thomas Kidd as research professor of church history, and the missional work of the student body as they serve around the globe.
After providing institutional updates from the past year, Allen announced the establishment of the John H. Powell Endowed Chair of Pastoral Ministry in honor of John Powell who tragically passed away in Houston, Texas, on July 16, 2020.
As a close friend to John Powell and the Powell family, Allen shared of the importance of this newly established endowed chair in his honor, saying, “John Powell was a friend that always outfriended all his friends. To know John was to know a phenomenal human. He was a sacrificial servant of our Lord Jesus Christ and the best friend one could have.”
The John H. Powell Endowed Chair of Pastoral Ministry was developed in partnership with Patrick and Katherine McGinty, the Powell family, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, the North American Mission Board, and many other generous donors.
Describing the impact of this new endowed chair, Allen stated, “I believe it is a worthwhile effort to honor a most honorable man. Our hope is that the life, ministry, and influence of John Powell can radiate out from Midwestern Seminary to churches around the globe through this new endowed chair.”
In the world of higher education, an endowed chair in one’s name is amongst the highest honors an institution can bestow on an individual. Due to his faithfulness in years of ministry, love for the local church, his Christ-like example of sacrificial love and friendship, and generous donors on his behalf, Midwestern Seminary will have a lasting marker on its campus community of John H. Powell’s significant contribution and impact for the church and for the kingdom.
In addition to the newly established endowed chair, Allen also announced the recipient of Midwestern Seminary’s 2022 Alumnus of the Year Award.
Todd Fisher, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, was announced as the 2022 Alumnus of the Year Award recipient. Fisher graduated from Midwestern Seminary in 2001, receiving his Doctor of Ministry, and has served in pastoral ministry for over 25 years.
Reflecting on Fischer’s faithful ministry, Allen said, “Todd Fischer is known as faithful pastor, bold preacher, and man of conviction. Demonstrating in the local church what we hope to produce for the church in each passing year at the seminary, we are delighted to honor Todd because he’s led a ministry that we have seen, appreciated, and is worthy of commendation.”
After the announcements of the endowed chair and award, Allen led a Q&A with historians and Midwestern Seminary faculty members Jason Duesing and Thomas Kidd, focusing on the topic, “The Future of the SBC.”
In their discussion, they spoke on how the historicity of evangelicalism gives hope for the future of evangelicalism and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Concluding the event, Allen thanked the audience for being present for such a historic and memorable day in the life of Midwestern Seminary.