by Norm Miller
PINEVILLE, La. (LCNews)--Committed to equip students called by God to be marketplace missionaries from CenLa to around the world, Louisiana College announced the formation of its School of Missions & Ministries and a related scholarship in a press conference April 10.
Formerly named the Division of Christian Studies, the School of Missions & Ministries will offer a BA in Missions & Ministries with emphases in pastoral ministry and biblical studies, evangelism and discipleship, church planting, and apologetics.
“I see God raising up even in this room young people who say I want to be like [the apostle] Paul, to be a tentmaker,” said LC President Dr. Rick Brewer. “To go to an Omaha, a Kansas City, a Houston, a Dallas, a Los Angeles and plant churches and share the Gospel,” but to do so as self-supporting servants not dependent on income from those people they attempt to reach.
“I believe there’s a generation wanting to do that,” Brewer said. “And I believe there’s a good number in this room that are wanting to do that. I believe that we’re going to see 10, 20, 30 students together go and plant churches based on what they learn here.”
The new bachelor’s degree comes with the Fred Lowery Missions & Ministries annual scholarship award of $6,000 for enrolling freshmen called by God to Christian vocation. Students must provide a church endorsement letter and a letter describing their salvation experience and God's call upon their lives.
“This scholarship honors Dr. Lowery’s commendable ministry legacy, and we trust students will follow a similar path,” Brewer said.
“I don't feel worthy for anything to be named after me,” said Lowery, who was the pastor of First Baptist Church in Bossier City for 30 years. “But I’m grateful because of what it means because that's what I believe in. I think our world today, more than ever, needs the gospel of Christ."
“Joy fills my heart to know that Louisiana College will prepare future pastors, missionaries, church planters, worship leaders, and others who will serve God in the marketplaces of the world,” Lowery added. “I am humbled and grateful to associate myself with the Missions & Ministries scholarship.”
“With his lifetime of Christian ministry still ongoing, Dr. Lowery provides a benchmark of servanthood that will challenge students who aspire to serve God whether in church ministry or other vocations,” Brewer said. “Fred has prepared himself well for ministry theologically and academically, and we are delighted and honored that he would lend his name to a scholarship that will help others do the same.”
Dr. David Hankins, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, cited Southern Baptists’ “long history” of preparing people to serve as God calls them, and noted such efforts at LC began in 1906.
Hankins noted his gratitude that LC would “renew in a magnificent way” the commitment to prepare the next generation of God-called leaders and servants. The scholarship “in honor of my good friend Fred Lowery is simply an extra blessing for me,” Hankins said.
LC’s Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Randy Harper served on Lowery’s staff at FBC Bossier for more than seven years, said: “Under Dr. Lowery’s leadership, First Bossier led the state in baptisms and church growth. He is a churchman, a Baptist statesman, and a prolific author. Dr. Lowery is loyal and compassionate as a friend and fellow missionary for the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Harper is pastor of Bellaire Baptist Church in Bossier City.
President of Student Leadership University in Orlando, Florida, Dr. Jay Strack said, “Dr. Fred Lowery was greatly used in my life as I traversed the country as an evangelist. He encouraged me through his example and speech to have deep, biblical content in all messages.
“I have had the privilege of preaching in Dr. Lowery’s pulpits in two mega-churches over the years, both of which were overflowing with new believers and the great emphasis of discipleship,” Strack continued. “He has been a leading statesman in the Southern Baptist Convention, dealing wisely with every cultural and moral debate. I believe he can assist students with the currents of cultural change from a biblical perspective.”
Concluding the press conference, Lowery said, “I want to compliment you Dr. Brewer, the Board [and others] in making this college more like God wants it to be. And that’s exciting because the need has never been greater.”
“I believe God is at work in Louisiana College,” Lowery said, “And because of that, I believe the best is yet to come.”