Thank you Dr. & Mrs. Akin!

It has been a joy this month to celebrate Dr. and Mrs. Akin on 15 faithful years of service at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary! In one day, graduates of SEBTS and C@SE gave over $1,200 in honor of the Akins. The stories we have heard from students and graduates alike confirm that many in the Southeastern family have been impacted in some way through the ministry and service of Dr. and Mrs. Akin.

I, personally, am immensely grateful for sweet Charlotte Akin. Prior to coming to SEBTS to finish my degree I followed her and Dr. Akin from afar on social media. Mrs. Akin’s posts were/are centered around others. She is always edifying others, not for her own praise, but to draw others to Jesus. About a year after living in Wake Forest and having a few short interactions with her, I wanted to know more about her life. I crafted an email to her asking to have lunch and then thought “yeah right, like she will actually have time (or honestly, the desire) to go to lunch with me!” To my delightful surprise, she agreed! I was able to learn more about Charlotte, the girl who was miraculously brought to faith through Jesus Christ and who grew into a mature, vibrant warrior for Him. That one move on my part sparked a friendship that I will forever cherish. Mrs. Akin is not only my seminary president’s wife; she is my friend and a woman who I aspire to emulate as she emulates Christ.

I have learned much about leadership from Dr. and Mrs. Akin. One unusual quality that they both share as leaders is accessibility. My first time on campus I was amazed that the President’s Office was so highly visible with a “Welcome, come on in” sign on the door. In previous jobs, I would have never even imagined emailing a president’s wife directly asking for a casual lunch. The Akins are leaders who make others feel comfortable, welcome, and valued no matter who you are or where you come from. I am grateful for how they champion those around them. I join with a host of others who say thank you, Dr. and Mrs. Akin, for how you live, love, and lead others to love the Lord with all we have and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

This month, we are honoring Dr. Akin’s 15 years of ministry and leadership at Southeastern Seminary. If you have a story about his impact on your life please feel free to share it with us at alumni@sebts.edu and we’ll post it to the blog. Additionally, in honor of Dr. Akin, we are asking alumni and current students to contribute $15 in his honor to the For the Mission campaign by clicking here.

Akin April - A Warm Welcome

I had just begun was my first day of seminary - Dr. Akin’s Hermeneutics class at 8:00 am in Binkley 101. To say that I was nervous for my first class with the president of the school would be an understatement. Thankfully, Dr. Akin quickly calmed my fears, warmly greeting us students and making us all feel right at home. He even encouraged us to reach out to him and schedule a time to meet.

Coming from a large, state university, it was not every day that I had the opportunity to interact with the school’s president, let alone have an open invitation to sit down for a face-to-face. Both surprised and excited about Dr. Akin’s invitation, I jumped at the opportunity and emailed him. Sure enough within a few minutes, he personally responded and I was in his office a week later. He made the time for me. We talked about everything from church, preparing for marriage, to unfortunately his fondness for Georgia football :).

In all seriousness, this small act of kindness by Dr. Akin really exemplifies the kind of man and leader he is. I really believe that what separates Southeastern from other places is both the mission of the school and the quality of the people here. This all starts with Dr. Akin and his leadership. Southeastern is truly a Great Commission school that values people. And for this, I am truly grateful.

-Billy Vernon, M.Div, 2018

This month, we are honoring Dr. Akin’s 15 years of ministry and leadership at Southeastern Seminary. If you have a story about his impact on your life please feel free to share it with us at alumni@sebts.edu and we’ll post it to the blog. Additionally, in honor of Dr. Akin, we are asking alumni and current students to contribute $15 in his honor to the For the Mission campaign by clicking here.

Akin April From Twitter

Hopefully you follow us on Twitter and you’ve had a chance to read through the comments on a recent tweet that asked people what their favorite Dr. Akin story, memory, or quote is. But if not, we’ve collected them here for you to enjoy. Feel free to add yours in the comments below.

Brian Sherwood (@BrianTSherwood): Preaching Phil. 1:21 at my DMin graduation. I still ask myself, "Do you believe it?"

Jordan R Willard (@JordanWillard): On communicating the Word: "What you say is more important than how you say it. But how you say it has never been more important."

Sterling Griggs (@sterlinggriggs) and Matthew Daniel (@matthewdaniel34) both recounted Dr. Akin’s response to a search committee that regularly fired their pastors, “I wouldn’t recommend a dog to your church.” To which Matthew replied that he remembers him saying “I don’t hate a demon that much that I would send them to your church.”

Aaron P. Swain (@aaronpswain): 2007 graduation ceremony. A sermon illustration describing his jogging attire.

Philip Blinson (@philblin): In his first year as President, my wife and I were Nehemiah church planters in MA. Dr. Akin heard our 3 month old daughter was having lung surgery. He called to let us know he was praying for her. Never have forgotten that act of compassion. Thanks, @DannyAkin !

Philip Corbean (@PCorbean): We were talking about a mutual friend, @fredmevers, Dr. Akin says that he preached at his church in LA. After the service a man told Dr. Akin that he didn’t believe the holocaust really happened. Dr Akin replied to the man, “I don’t want to talk to you anymore.” Then walked away

Zack and Haley Hicks (@ZachandHaley): His books, I love his books! Christology, in particular is wonderful!

Drew Page (@pastordrewpage): “Let leaders lead.” From Perspectives on Church Government: 5 Views.

This month, we are honoring Dr. Akin’s 15 years of ministry and leadership at Southeastern Seminary. If you have a story about his impact on your life please feel free to share it with us at alumni@sebts.edu and we’ll post it to the blog. Additionally, in honor of Dr. Akin, we are asking alumni and current students to contribute $15 in his honor to the For the Mission campaign by clicking here.

We Are Going To London

My wife and I arrived in Raleigh 10 years ago. We were fresh out of Auburn University (War Eagle!) and ready to take the next step in of faith by studying at Southeastern Seminary.

Words cannot contain the impact that Southeastern has had on our lives, our marriage, our ministry, and our future. During my MDiv studies I met with Dr. Akin to talk through my desire to continue studying at Southeastern and he encouraged me towards the PhD program. Through the course of the following years I studied the missionary theology of British theologian Lesslie Newbigin. Studying Newbigin was the inception of this call to London, England to plant a new church.

We got here, in large part, because of a challenge that Dr. Akin would consistently put before us. From classroom settings, to chapel messages, to informal conversations, Dr. Akin would challenge me, “The question is not ‘Lord, should I go to the nations?’ The question is ‘Lord, why should I stay?’” That challenged lodged deep in my soul and I have not been able to shake it. As degree studies concluded and seven good years of ministry at Providence Baptist Church unfolded - that question still lingered.

Over the years, God has shifted the answer from, “Stay here and make disciples” to “Follow me to London to plant a church.” So, we go. We are making preparations to move our family to London in June to begin the process of learning culture and planting a church. We go with confidence that Jesus is leading us. We go with gratitude for the significant ways that God has brought us to this point through the ministry of Dr. Akin and Southeastern Seminary.

It’s difficult to estimate where we would be without these formative years in the Southeastern family. The theological training we were provided has shaped us in thousands of ways. The friendships we have created still carry to this day. The trajectory of our lives has been fundamentally changed because of the Southeastern family. We are so grateful to God for the grace that this school is to us.

We joined the Summit Network in August and are almost finished with our training. This last year has been full of travel, trainings, fundraising, and team building. God has provided for the ministry in so many ways and we are still trusting God for the final provisions necessary to see this dream become a reality. You can more about our work in London on our church website: Redeemer Queen’s Park. You can also keep up with our family’s journey on our blog: www.TheWestLondonLife.com.

This month, we are honoring Dr. Akin’s 15 years of ministry and leadership at Southeastern Seminary. If you have a story about his impact on your life please feel free to share it with us at alumni@sebts.edu and we’ll post it to the blog. Additionally, in honor of Dr. Akin, we are asking alumni and current students to contribute $15 in his honor to the For the Mission campaign by clicking here.

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Thomas West

Thomas West was born in Montgomery Alabama. After four years at Auburn University (War Eagle!) Thomas and Elizabeth made their way to Raleigh-Durham to begin studies at Southeastern Seminary. Through studying for the Mdiv and PhD, Thomas has served as the College and Discipleship Pastor at Providence Baptist Church for seven years. Now, the Wests are embarking on a new journey of church planting in London. You can follow the West family on their family blog: www.TheWestLondonLife.com