On Monday, we celebrate the national holiday of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 91st birthday. Stop! Consider that fact. No other such federally recognized national holiday exists for any individual U.S. citizen. Even President George Washington now shares his birthday holiday with President Lincoln. It is the only federal holiday that celebrates so vividly, not only Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and dream, but also the dream and challenge of many cultures, languages, races, and peoples still becoming “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.”

In this time of national political turmoil, in the midst of a life and death pandemic, when violent white insurrection struck at the heart of the U.S. Capitol, the MLK, Jr. national holy-day stands as a beacon of memory and hope. It symbolizes the proper means to the political ends we all long for. It invites us to fight the good fight for all that is noble, true, loving and just, no matter what.

Congratulations times-two to Dr. Snow Flesher, Dean of BST and Professor of Biblical Interpretation, whose national scholarly reputation and expertise in Hebrew Bible has once again been recognized, this time by the National Council of Churches' appointment of her to serve as section leader for the group of scholars updating the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Her appointment to this significant work underscores one of the many reasons the Appointments and Review Committee of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), "unanimously and enthusiastically" recently reappointed Dean Flesher to the GTU Core Doctoral Faculty for another six years because of her tireless teaching and leadership at BST, her service to the American Baptist denomination and to the academic guild of biblical scholars. BST is a founding seminary of the GTU, a consortium of eight seminaries, six centers of inter-religious studies, five affiliate institutions, making it the largest Ph.D. program in religious studies the country.

We welcome back this semester Dr. Sangyil Sam Park, Professor of Preaching and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, from his sabbatical leave where he continued to expand his scholarly work on prophetic preaching and Korean reunification and reconciliation. We are sorry, due to COVID restrictions, that he was unable to travel to STT Abdiel Seminary in Samarang, Indonesia to teach an intensive course there. We also congratulate Dr. Park in being reappointed to the Core Doctor faculty of the GTU.  

It is with great sadness that BST mourns the loss of Larry Thomas, M.D. Dr. Thomas was one of the founders of Tropical Health Alliance Foundation (THAF) and specialized in Tropical Medicine, focusing in Ethiopia and helping thousands of individuals suffering from bilateral cataract blindness. THAF has completed over 24,000 surgeries over the years and has plans for over 100,000 more. Dr. Thomas took the remarkable photos that hang in the downstairs BST hallway, that were generously donated by Reverends Scott (M. Div ’72) and Carolyn McOwen. We are so thankful for the life and legacy of Dr. Thomas and his dedication to Christ. This was the source of his inspiration to help the poor, heal the sick, and give sight to the blind. Dr. Thomas will be missed for many, many years to come.

Are you interested in a representative from BST preaching or presenting at your church?

REV. Dr. James Brenneman, President
Rev. Dr. Lori D. Spears, VP of Institutional Advancement
Rev. Dr. LeAnn Flesher, VP of Academics & Professor
Rev. Sam Fielder, Executive Assistant to the President

Contact us at 510-841-1905 ext 239 or email us at lspears@bst.edu

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