Following Commencement ceremonies at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas on Saturday, May 18, 2019, 2 local CENTRAL Wisconsin Site graduates were Commissioned by the faculty and alumni of this learning community on Sunday, May 19 at New Covenant Baptist Church in Milwaukee.
Hattie Mitchell and Darlene Turner-Harper both received their Master of Divinity degrees from the seminary after having fulfilled all of the requirements for the degree. As members of the graduating class of 2019, they mark the 10th graduating class from the CENTRAL Wisconsin seminary site.
The worship service marking the occasion was a celebration, an affirmation, and a proclamation of God’s complete gifts for ministry. Key founding partners, faculty and even the visionary whose work helped instigate the creation of the seminary site all participated in the worship service.
Rev. Dr. Carmen Porco is CEO of Housing Ministries, key ministry partner of CENTRAL Wisconsin. Rev. Dr. Arlo Reichter is retired Executive Minister of American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin and founding Site Administrator (retired). Rev. Dr. Timothy Ashley is recently retired pastor of First Baptist Church of La Crosse, Wisconsin and founding Site Coordinator (retired). Rev. Dr. Roy B. Nabors is currently pastor of New Paradise Missionary Baptist Church in the St. Louis area, and founding pastor of Community Baptist Church of Greater Milwaukee. As a longtime advocate for accredited theological education in Milwaukee in a Baptist voice, Pastor Nabors was integral in articulating the originating vision for the seminary site, one that has grown and changed – and continues to change to this day.
Rev. Dr. Trinette McCray offered a message appropriate to the day, for both the graduates and the wider learning community of the site. She illustrated the ways in which “God Gives Completely,” drawing on multiple examples throughout the Biblical narrative in which God was at work through “two women” to change the world.
The worship service was followed by a reception, hosted by New Covenant Baptist Church, pastor – Rev. Dr. Fred Crouthers. The congregation of New Covenant served as models of the gift of hospitality. The entire day was a testament to the faithfulness of God who calls people to participate in God’s creative action in the world.