Seminary opens missions mobilization center

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's new Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization officially opened Oct. 9 during the seminary's Heritage Week.

The center will mobilize prayer and people through the seminary community for fulfilling the Great Commission.

Functions at the Bevin Center will include a major missions conference at the seminary, training events, affinity group fellowships, cultural immersion experiences, hosting missionaries in residence and an expanded missions week on Southern's campus as well as expanded missions trips around the world.

Glenna and Matthew Bevin provided an endowment to fund the center in remembrance of their late daughter, Brittiney, whose passion for the Gospel drove her life. At the dedication of the center, Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. introduced Matthew Bevin to explain why he and his family provided the endowment.

Bevin, speaking to the seminary's trustees, foundation board, faculty and students, told the story of the oldest of his 10 children, who possessed a heart for missions from the time she was young. Bevin used the biblical phrase "salt and light" to describe Brittiney's compassion for "the least of these."

As young as age 14, Brittiney sensed a call to pursue missions vocationally. The Bevins sent her on overseas missions trips to India and Romania to share the Gospel and to work in orphanages. The trips confirmed to her parents and to Brittiney that God had called her to spread the Gospel to the nations. Only weeks after returning to Louisville from Romania in 2003 when she was 17, Brittiney Bevin died in a car accident on Lexington Road, right in front of the Southern Seminary campus.

Bevin said Brittiney's desires are being fulfilled by the legacy now being left to a generation of young Christians ready to answer the call to world missions.

"We have confidence that Southern is an institution that will steward this in a way that will serve God best," Bevin said.

Concluding his comments, Bevin read a prayer that Brittiney recorded in her journal the night before she died. The prayer emphasized her heart for the lost and the downtrodden. She wrote her "dangerous prayer" and hoped to be fully deployed for the Gospel of Christ.

"You hold the only peace that can fill the deepest hole," she wrote. "But how do I get it? You said, 'Ask and you shall receive.' I am asking and I know that you will give it to me. Every week you bless me so much and teach me lessons after lessons. I know that once again you are showing me your love. I can't fathom how much you feel when one of your children suffers, but I've had a glimpse of your heartache. Please fill me with your wisdom that I won't just watch others suffer, but that I'll be able to say what they need to hear. As a new week approaches, my dangerous prayer is that you'll place brokenhearted people in my path and fill me with you so that I can let your love heal their pain."

Because of the Bevins' gift, Southern Seminary now owns the "stewardship of this story," Mohler said.

"Matt and Glenna Bevin are a wonderful Christian couple whose vision and generosity are so evident in the establishment of this new center and its endowment. To know them is to know their heart for missions and the deep personal dimension of this commitment, especially as it is linked to the memory of their daughter Brittiney and her heart for missions," Mohler said.

"The Bevin family is demonstrating Christian stewardship in its very essence in establishment of this center and endowment," Mohler continued. "In doing so, they are not only continuing a missions vision in honor of their daughter and her memory, but they are doing something that will make a real and immediate difference on the mission fields of the world."

The center's opening festivities culminated in a prayer of dedication by chairman of the trustees, Todd Fisher, and a ribbon cutting by Glenna and Matthew Bevin at the new offices of the center on the second floor of the Honeycutt Campus Center.


Reported by the communications staff of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. More information about current and future opportunities through the Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization is available at the center's website, missions.sbts.edu.