After months of planning, packing, and pushing, my wife and new Wesley Seminary faculty member, Safiyah Fosua, and I have arrived in Marion. We just completed our first official work week on campus and are the proud recipients of the new generation of faculty IDs. Change abounds as we faculty discuss the best ways to arrange classrooms and use space in the new seminary facility scheduled to open the fall semester of 2013.
I have longed to return to the creative climate of campus life that promises the awe myriad questions and the joy of Spirit-inspired discovery. For me, there is no greater satisfaction than serving in a teaching/learning environment.
I come to Wesley Seminary with varied educational and denominational experience, which I pray will provide me with the flexibility to relate well to seminarians. For the past ten years I have served at two agencies within the United Methodist Church: the General Commission on United Methodist Men (GCUMM) as a Field Services Director and the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) as Director of Evangelism. Both agencies are located in Nashville, Tennessee.
Prior to that, I worked as a conference Coordinator of Church Development for the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, as a Missionary in Residence in New York City, and as a missionary to Ghana West Africa. Add a few teaching experiences at three institutions, co-founding a new church, serving as pastor in a small church in Iowa and you’ve completed the Cliff Notes version of my twenty three years in ministry.
I now look forward to this chapter in my life in which I will serve within a Wesleyan theological institution. Yes, there will be new acronyms to learn—alphabet soup seems to be endemic to people with Methodist roots J There is, however, a refreshing commitment to holiness and diversity here that encourages me.
Safiyah and I had the privilege of attending a portion of the Wesleyan General Conference in June. That two full days of the conference were spent in worship, witness, and repentance says much about the spiritual priorities in place. The General Superintendent’s opening report, especially that of a death-to-life miracle of a drowned girl prayed back to life by the Christian community in Mozambique that started revival and church growth, reassured us that we were coming to join with others who are earnestly pursuing God.
The act of repentance for the ill treatment of First Nation Peoples, and the genuine tears of remorse shed on the platform and in the auditorium reminded us of God’s call to live godly and peaceably with one another. I sense that the winds of the Spirit are blowing – through the Wesleyan Church, through Wesley Seminary, through IWU.
I come to the Wesley Seminary humbly, hopeful and ready to serve.