By Jenny Williams
The Bethany Seminary community in Richmond, Ind., is preparing for an event that seldom occurs in the life of an educational institution: the inauguration of a president. On Saturday, March 29, Jeff Carter will be inaugurated as the seminary’s tenth president in its 108-year history. Bethany invites all to join in the event via webcast at 9:45 a.m. (Eastern time).
Patterned as a worship service, the inauguration carries the theme “Can I Get a Witness?” chosen by Carter and speaking to a message of discipleship found in 1 John 1:1-2: “The Word that gives life was from the beginning, and this is the one our message is about.... The one who gives life appeared! We saw it happen, and we are witnesses to what we have seen.”
The event is scheduled during the seminary’s spring board meeting, enabling trustees to attend and be part of the program. A number of Bethany faculty, staff, and students as well as trustees will take part in the service, including musical offerings, roles in the inauguration ceremony, and statements of witness. Special guests will include delegates from Brethren colleges and neighboring seminaries.
The inaugural speaker will be Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Widely known and respected in the field of homiletics, Long will give a sermon titled, “Faithful Witness: Engaging the Senses.” The author of numerous books and articles on preaching and worship as well as biblical commentaries, Long served as senior homiletics editor of “The New Interpreter’s Bible,” and is an editor-at-large for “Christian Century.” He has also previously taught preaching at Princeton, Columbia, and Erskine Seminaries.
An inaugural dinner for the Bethany community and guests will take place the evening of the 29th. To watch the webcast of the morning’s inaugural service, viewers can go to www.bethanyseminary.edu/webcasts .
-- Jenny Williams is director of Communications and Alumni/ae Relations for Bethany Theological Seminary.