“Pray for the circumstances of our seminary family,” said New Orleans Theological Seminary President Chuck Kelley. “They’re all over the southeastern United States. Virtually all of us on campus now are homeless. My wife and I have what we can put in our car in an hour, and that’s it. We’re all homeless.” [see story in Baptist Press]
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is one of six seminaries serving the Southern Baptist Convention. Like the City of New Orleans, it is now underwater, and may be for some time. We have no idea of the devastation, and the full extent of the damage may not be known for months. The entire campus may be lost or catastrophically compromised.
Chuck Kelley loves the school he leads, and he loves his students. He has led NOBTS with a firm vision and his own deep Christian conviction. He is an evangelist who also loves the city he has called home for so many years — a city that represents one of the greatest and most challenging mission fields in North America.
He, his wife Rhonda, and the senior seminary leadership have now moved to Atlanta for some time, operating out of their North Georgia extension campus.
Today, they will be meeting to consider the future of their school. They must develop a plan, based on what they know now. I am confident of this — no hurricane is going to keep Chuck Kelley and the NOBTS family from doing what God has called them to do.
Their students and faculty have lost almost everything. They still have their faith, their calling, and their Christian hope. Let’s pray for Chuck and his team as they meet today — and then let’s help them recover and rebuild.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. [Jeremiah 29:11-14, English Standard Version]