As the year 2017 comes to an end, so does my tenure as Interim President-Dean of Gammon Theological Seminary. The journey has been a source of joy and challenge. I shall always be grateful for the trust of the Board of Trustees, the support of the staff, the commitment of the students for academic excellence, and the support of alumni and friends. All of you helped me to succeed in navigating through these uncharted waters. To all of you, I say thanks.
The Board of Trustees has done an excellent job in processing the selection of our next President-Dean. I am excited about the election of Reverend Dr. Ken Walden as our new leader. He is highly qualified and is ready to accept the responsibilities of the job. I ask that you will welcome, receive and support him to the end that Gammon will realize a brighter future.
Pray for me as I return to my status among the retired. My prayers will be offered in the interest of Gammon.
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND WELCOME DR. WALDEN.
The One Hundred and Thirty Fourth Founders’ Day Observances at Gammon Theological Seminary was my crowning experience as the Interim President-Dean. Prior to the observance, there were moments when doubts and fears seemed to dominate my thoughts, and consideration was given to canceling the Banquet. But, I was reminded of God’s goodness and that we could do all things in Christ, our source of strength and success. I asked several of my friends to join with me in giving one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more to support Founder’s Day. They did not let me down.
The turnout at the Banquet was a great success. Congregations and individuals purchased tables. This gave us a great push towards the achievement of success. I am grateful to God for everyone who participated in the Banquet.
One could feel the presence of God from the Opening Worship Service with Bishop Tracey S. Malone, Resident Bishop of the Ohio East Annual Conference, as the Preacher to the Closing Worship Service with Reverend Dr. George Ashford, Jr., Lead Pastor of Journey United Methodist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, as the Preacher. They were the bookends, and everything in between went exceptionally well. I want to thank everyone who participated.
Now, let me say a special word about Chaplain Tabitha Rankin and the five (5)
Graduating Seniors from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, who will enroll in Gammon in the Fall of 2018. They will be among our brightest and best students, and will emerge as Prophetic Leaders of the 21st Century. It was a great joy in having them participate in the entire Founder’s Day Observances.
Let me conclude by simply reminding everyone that we must embrace the art of giving generously in order to recruit and maintain students who are committed to academic excellence and service to God through the ministry of the United Methodist Church. Put Gammon in the Budget of your local Church. Make Gammon a priority among your personal charitable organizations and you will help insure the availability of committed pastoral leaders of the future.
Thanks for allowing me the honor of being a part of the Gammon Staff. Please remember, that the best is still yet to come.
With every good wish, I am
I never played organized football, but as an announcer of high school football games in Atlanta, I was a fan of the game. It was a joy to watch high school football players giving their best to win the game. The “two minute drill” was a critical time in every close game. A score by any means could be the difference between victory and defeat. In the last two minutes of the game, each team gives everything they have to insure victory. Nothing is held back. Everything is on the line.
Now, Gammon Theological Seminary is in the “TWO MINUTE DRILL”. Our 134th Founder’s Day Observance is upon us. We must give our very best to insure victory. Every detail must be meticulously cared for. Our staff has been working long and hard preparing for a productive experience. Also, our students have conscientiously given their best in moving us closer to the goal line for the winning score. I will always be grateful for their faithfulness in the “two minute drill”.
The Board of Trustees is challenged to make a Herculean decision in selecting our next President-Dean of Gammon. The Search Committee has prayerfully gone about their task of working to present the best qualified person to the Full Board for election. They too, are a part of the “two minute drill”.
The Founder’s Day Committee has been diligent in securing some of the brightest and best scholars/preachers as our presenters. They are also a part of our “two minute drill”.
The winning play for Gammon Theological Seminary is in the hands of our Alumni and Friends. These are the men and women who give their financial resources to help us recruit and retain our students. I thank God for every member of the team during our “TWO MINUTE DRILL”.
Therefore, I am going on record in declaring a last minute, come from behind victory.
May we never forget, however, that the real KEY TO OUR SUCCESS IS GOD.