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Midwestern Seminary Alumni & Friends Luncheon at SBC24 Features Concert by Sandra McCracken, Honors Alumnus of the Year

Posted June 12, 2024 by Michaela Classen

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind—Midwestern Seminary hosted the annual Alumni and Friends Luncheon at the SBC annual meeting on June 12 in Indianapolis, featuring a private concert by award-winning singer and hymn writer Sandra McCracken. During the luncheon, President Jason Allen delivered institutional updates and presented the award for Alumnus of the Year.

To open the event, McCracken led guests in singing hymns including “Be Thou My Vision,” “Come Thou Fount,” and original songs “Flourishing,” “Christ is the Life of the World,” and “We Will Feast in the House of Zion.”

McCracken’s music is known for blending biblical themes in lyrics with melodies suited for congregational singing.

Introducing the concert, Kody Gibson, vice president of Communications and Brand Strategy at Midwestern Seminary, shared Midwestern Seminary’s prayer that the concert would bless pastors and ministry leaders gathered as they sang truths of the gospel together.

After the concert, President Jason Allen shared key updates on Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College.

He began by reflecting on God’s faithfulness to Midwestern Seminary since its founding as the sixth Southern Baptist seminary in 1957. He noted the institution’s enrollment growth to 5,200 students, total net assets of $100 million, and the filling of three fully funded endowed chairs in the 2023–24 academic year.

Allen said, “Our goal is to produce a generation who will give their lives to serving the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe we can draw a direct line from our convictions and our mission to the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention who resonate with those and who are sending us their students in such record numbers.”

Allen went on to share institutional initiatives in which alumni and friends might partner with Midwestern Seminary in prayer.

First, he shared Midwestern Seminary’s commitment to cover 100% of tuition for the first year of residential study for master’s students in the For the Church Cohorts.

“Often, that first year is a daunting hurtle financially. By God’s grace and through generous donors, we’ve made that first year not just manageable, but free on the tuition front,” Allen said. “We are placing a premium on residential theological education. The closer to our campus a student lives, the more fully and completely we can invest in them.”

Second, Allen highlighted Midwestern Seminary’s Missions Moonshot goal to produce 100 career missionaries annually.

“Right now, the IMB has more slots funded than they have missionaries to go,” Allen said. “We need to challenge our congregations to call out the called, and we are partnering with the IMB to see missionaries step forward and to go with them.”

Finally, Allen reflected on Midwestern Seminary’s recent acquisition of the Charles Spurgeon Heritage Collection for the Spurgeon Library.

Noting the collection’s value for producing Spurgeon scholarship to edify churches, Allen said, “I expect that in generations to come, if the Lord tarries, we will see hundreds of dissertations come out of that library.”

Allen noted that Midwestern Seminary’s gratitude for such gifts stems from the institution’s commitment to serving Southern Baptist churches with doctrinal faithfulness and missional zeal.

He concluded, “I’m grateful under God to be at the front end of this stewardship on behalf of Southern Baptists, and to do so with so many friends like you in this room.”

Following the updates, Allen presented Tim Lubinus with the award for 2024 Alumnus of the Year.

Lubinus, who earned a Doctor of Ministry from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2013, serves as executive director and treasurer of the Baptist Convention of Iowa.

Previously, Lubinus served Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa, from 2006 to 2014 as the regional and global ministry director, where he led the church’s strategies for missions, church planting, and local outreach. Before serving in Iowa, Lubinus and his wife, Darlene, served in Asia for 16 years as IMB missionaries.

Allen shared, “To know Tim personally is such a joy. He has a heart for the Church and the role of a state convention to serve churches.” Noting that Lubinus’ doctoral studies emphasized church planting and revitalization, Allen added, “This is a work he has undertaken with excellence.”

Another Midwestern Seminary alumnus contributed to the events of the annual meeting on Wednesday. Dean Inserra, lead pastor of City Church in Tallahassee, Fla., who earned a Master of Arts in theological studies from Midwestern Seminary, gave the convention sermon.

Preaching from Hebrews 12:1–3, Inserra encouraged the Southern Baptist messengers gathered to keep their eyes on Christ as they pursue their common mission.

Highlighting the centrality of God’s Word to the Church’s mission, Inserra encouraged the audience to embrace doctrine for missional faithfulness, saying, “Our belief that the Bible is true fuels us to want to make sure every single person on the face of the earth has the opportunity to hear that salvation is found in no man but Jesus Christ.”


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