FROM THE COLLEGES: Northeastern adds Williams as VP, dean, professor; Cedarville students aid refugee children
Northeastern adds Lee Williams as VP, dean, history professor
By Sarah Carr
BENNINGTON, Vt. (BP) -- Amid blizzard conditions, Northeastern Baptist College trustees confirmed Lee Williams as senior vice president/dean of academics and professor of history during their March 13-14 meeting in Bennington, Vt.
Williams will join Northeastern's administration July 1 as the college's second dean, preceded by Brian Harmon.
"It is difficult to express the excitement I feel at the privilege of joining God in a work that is changing New England," Williams said.
"The administration, faculty, staff and students have been carefully selected by the Spirit to accomplish a mission 'which you would not believe, though it were told you,'" he said, referencing Habakkuk 1:5. "God's grace in giving me this opportunity is truly overwhelming."
Williams has been on the faculty of the College at Southwestern in Fort Worth, Texas, since 2007, currently serving as senior associate dean and associate professor of history.
He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history and M.A. in U.S. and European history from the University of Arizona with an undergraduate degree from Oklahoma Baptist University. He has also taught on the faculties of Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, the University of Arizona, Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., and Henan University of Science & Technology in Luoyon, China.
New board chairman Phil Waldrep said Williams' "experience and commitment will help us impact the Northeast in a greater way."
The trustees also adopted the second seven-year phase of NEBC's 28-year strategic plan. "Firming the Foundation for the Future" has concluded, moving into phase two, "Forming the Framework for the Future."
The second phase includes 12 steps that Northeastern plans to accomplish over the next seven years focusing on its financial stability and expansion of academic offerings, the student body and campus facilities. In the campaign, NEBC "hopes to see God glorified through this institution in the pattern of Haggai 1:8 where the Lord says, 'Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified.'"
In light of the strategic plan's second phase, NEBC President Mark Ballard sees Williams' appointment as timely as well as providential.
"As we launch into the second phase of our 28-year strategic plan for impacting the Northeast, there is no question in my mind that the Lord has uniquely prepared Dr. Williams to join our executive team for 'such a time as this,'" Ballard said.
"Dr. Williams brings a wealth of experience that will aid NEBC as we build upon our foundation to 'Form the Framework for the Future.' We rejoice at the Father's provision of Dr. Williams to serve as our senior vice president."
In trustee elections in addition to Waldrep, a Southern Baptist evangelist from Decatur, Ala., Doug Echols was elected as vice chairman. Echols is senior pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Yorktown, Va.
Northeastern Baptist College, founded in 2013, offers bachelor and associate degrees and is located in the heart of the Northeastern U.S. in Bennington, Vt. The college operates in partnership with the Baptist Convention of New England and the Green Mountain Baptist Association in Vermont and is online at nebcvt.org.
Cedarville students aid refugee children
By Alyssa Speicher
CEDARVILLE, Ohio (BP) -- Cedarville University students are engaging with refugee children in nearby Dayton, Ohio, through a ministry called King's Kids.
Every Sunday, Cedarville students visit Christ the King Anglican Church to interact with the large African refugee population in an urban neighborhood. Students visit the homes of children and youth between ages 4 and 19 and bring them to the church for games, fellowship and discipleship.
The refugee population consists of families from many African countries and cultures. Although Cedarville's students face a language barrier and the Muslim backgrounds of the refugees, they seek to build relationships and share the love of Jesus.
"The children often want to accept what we tell them about Jesus and the Bible, but they also want to hold on to their Muslim beliefs," said Erika Belmont, a student leader in the ministry.
The children are divided into groups by age for weekly sessions led by student volunteers. The youngest age groups play games and learn Bible verses, older boys play soccer and hold open-ended Bible discussions and older girls do activities and study 1 Corinthians 13.
A few times a year, King's Kids hosts special events for the kids and leaders. Last semester, they went camping and ice skating, and most recently, King's Kids brought 21 refugee children to Cedarville University to participate in activities. Cedarville students hosted the refugee children overnight, played games with them in the engineering building and held a spa day for the girls.
"I want to challenge Cedarville students to look outside of themselves and the campus and take the time to get to know someone who is different than they are," Belmont said. "Students are missing out if they are invested only with students on campus and church once a week."
More than 20 Cedarville students regularly participate in King's Kids sharing a common heart for refugees, Muslims and inner-city children. Since they are a group of likeminded individuals, they form deep relationships with each other and grow as a team.
Cedarville University, online at www.cedarville.edu, is an accredited Baptist institution, now with an enrollment of 3,760 undergraduate, graduate and online students. The university has a partnership with the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio.