JACKSONVILLE, Fl. – Jerry Vines, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) received the “Certificate of Honor” from the Council of Seminary Presidents (CSP) on November 24 during the morning service at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida, where he pastors. This award is the first of its kind ever presented by the CSP.
Albert Mohler Jr., as chairman of the CSP praised Jerry Vine, calling him an exemplary pastor to the SBC. He continued to praise his predecessors and the great congregation they had built.
"When we think about the great First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla., we think of a legacy of ministry. If we could communicate one thing from our hearts to you today, it would be a sense of gratitude for what you as a congregation represent to the world, this community and our convention," Mohler said, "And if we could articulate one aspiration for the thousands of students at our seminaries, it would be that they would go out to minister in the legacy and following the example of Dr. Lindsey and Dr. Lindsey and Dr. Vines. When you think of what the Lord has done in this place, our prayer is that we could see churches like this built across America.”
"Dr. Jerry Vines, your dear pastor, is such an example to the pastors of the Southern Baptist Convention, but you as a congregation do what virtually no other congregation in America does, and that is you share your ministry with churches and pastors all over this nation," Mohler continued.
The certificate of honor, the first ever presented by the CSP, recognized Vines' "example as a Christian pastor, evangelist, preacher, friend to pastors and denominational leader."
The certificate recognized Vines’ “example as a Christian pastor, evangelist, preacher, friend to pastors and denominational leader,” praising his “courage, compassion and true conviction in (his) ministry" and his great "friendship to the cause of theological education, commitment to expository preaching, and (his) generous spirit in encouraging and equipping fellow preachers for the task of the ministry."
Vines at the verge of tears accepted the award and standing ovation, thanking the council for the honor. Vines commented after the service that though it was intimidating to preach before “six scholars,” he is grateful to God for them.
"I'm so thankful as a pastor I can now say to our church and to our families, if God calls your young man or your young woman ... and you want to send them somewhere where the Bible is believed as the Word of God, where the professors believe the Bible, where evangelism is emphasized, you can send them to any one of our six Southern Baptist seminaries," Vines said.
The Council of Seminary Presidents, which consists of the presidents of the six seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention, rotates the chairmanship annually among the members of the council. The council members are Mohler of Southern Seminary; William O. Crews, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, Calif.; R. Philip Roberts, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Mo.; Charles S. Kelley, Jr., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, L. Paige Patterson, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.; and Kenneth S. Hemphill, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas.
By Pauline J.