by Norm Miller
Louisiana College President Dr. Rick Brewer announced the formation of the Wayne and Martha Jenkins Center for Evangelism and Missions that will reside on the college’s campus.
Brewer made the presentation January 23 at the Louisiana Baptist Convention’s annual evangelism conference, or E-CON, where Wayne’s upcoming January 31 retirement was noted, and his lifetime of Christian service was celebrated.
Keith Manuel -- Evangelism Associate for the LBC -- preceded Brewer, noting that Wayne had completed 33 years of mission trips to Brazil that garnered more than 100,000 conversions to Christ and planted 65 churches.
“We are your legacy,” Manuel stated as he gestured to the LBC staff, who had assisted Wayne and were assembled on the platform. Wayne served as the LBC’s Director of Evangelism – Church Growth Team since 1990.
The impetus for Louisiana College honoring the Jenkins originated at the LBC. Manuel brought the idea to Brewer, who conceived of the Center as a starting place but did not rule out a scholarship in honor of Wayne and Martha at some time in the future.
Brewer said the new Center would complement the Missions & Ministries degree recently launched at LC. “This will be a place that will forever in perpetuity honor the legacy of ministry of Wayne and Martha Jenkins,” said Brewer, that will equip “evangelists and missionaries, and those who will be transformational leaders.”
Cheers and amens began to fill the room as Brewer read the inscription on a plaque he presented to the Jenkins, and the moment concluded with a standing ovation.
The plaque states:
"On the occasion of your retirement and years of faithful service to the Lord, the Evangelism & Church Growth Team, along with Louisiana Baptist churches and individuals, in partnership with Louisiana College establish the Dr. Wayne and Martha Jenkins Center for Evangelism and Missions on this the 23rd day of January, 2017."
“The Wayne and Martha Jenkins Center for Evangelism and Missions will be a resource of information and inspiration for Louisiana College students and Louisiana Baptist churches interested in training and mobilizing for spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ at home and abroad,” Brewer said in a later interview.
“The Center will sponsor events and activities directly related to evangelism and missions, including evangelism endeavors and mission trips undertaken by students and faculty, and will forge and enhance an ongoing partnership with the Louisiana Baptist Convention's evangelism and missions initiatives.”
Brewer noted that Wayne and Martha graduated from Louisiana College in 1970, and that 12 others -- children, grandchildren and sons-in-law -- have attended LC.
Manuel told LCNews: “God brought Wayne and Martha together at Louisiana College and used them as wonderful examples of what he can do with two lives totally surrendered to the calling of evangelism and missions. One day in heaven they are going to be surrounded by literally thousands of people who were saved directly or indirectly by their faithfulness to proclaim the good news of Jesus. Also, all over our state, nation, and world are men and women who were called to ministry and missions through the work of the Jenkins family. God will use the opportunities provided through this Center to shape the hearts of future generations of young men and women at Louisiana College, just as he did when Wayne and Martha were students, to carry the light of the Gospel to all peoples.”
Citing a book written by LR Scarborough, “With Christ After the Lost,” LBC Executive Director Dr. David Hankins said: “What an apt phrase for the man whose life and ministry we are honoring tonight. Wayne has spent his life with Christ after the lost.”
Wayne has encouraged all within his sphere of influence “to do the number one task given to us by our Lord, and that is to tell people about Jesus, Hankins said. “We are better for it, and the Kingdom of God is larger for it.”
Brewer said the “life lived by Wayne and Martha Jenkins in sacrificial service to our Lord and others is the life Louisiana College seeks to encourage and equip our students to live. Louisiana College is therefore deeply pleased and highly honored for the Jenkins to lend their name to the campus resource we happily call The Wayne and Martha Jenkins Center for Evangelism and Missions.”