Celebrating 50 Years: The Enduring Legacy of Faithfulness
In 2 Timothy, we find the final, departing words of the Apostle Paul, arguably the greatest Christian who ever lived. Knowing that his departure was at hand, this letter passes the mantle to his faithful, young protégé with these words: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
The word “faithful” is the key. There is no “hidden meaning” to this word. First Corinthians 4:2 says, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” The word “faithful” in 2 Timothy 2:2 is the same word found in 1 Corinthians 4:2. We all know what “faithful” means. Upon this foundation of faithfulness is built one’s legacy.
Paul had established his legacy—a consistent legacy of faithfulness to the Lord. He loved and the mission entrusted to him. Nothing would change that. But for that legacy to live beyond Paul, he would have to pass that legacy to another who would also prove faithful. Paul did that in Timothy, whom Paul exhorted to commit to other faithful men. Thus the legacy endured.
Just as individuals build a legacy, so do institutions. Decades ago, Dr. B. Gray Allison had a vision from God to begin an institution where every professor believed all God’s Word all the way through to provide sound theological training for pastoral, evangelistic, and missional vocations throughout the world. That vision finds clear verbal expression in the Seminary’s purpose statement. Those of us who are so privileged to serve here do so in the midst of the founder’s vision.
As Paul passed along his legacy and mission to his young protégé, Timothy, so Dr. Gray and the Seminary trustees passed the mantle to the next generation. As God led Paul to continue his legacy of faithfulness in Timothy, so Dr. Gray and the Seminary trustees passed the legacy of faithfulness to the next generation of faithful leadership.
The legacy continues. The light of Mid-America’s commitment to personal evangelism and missions has never dimmed. The legacy continues. As the original vision and legacy of Mid-America began and became personified in Dr. Gray, that same vision and legacy of Mid-America continues and stands personified in Dr. Michael Spradlin.
Mid-America’s bold commitment to the full inerrancy of all of the Scriptures has never wandered, never faltered, never drifted, never shifted. This is why Mid-America remains the benchmark of conservative biblical theology by which other institutions may be evaluated. Complicated? No; just the simplicity of staying the course no matter what.