Following commencement ceremonies at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kan. (May 18), two local CENTRAL Wisconsin Site graduates were commissioned the following day at New Covenant Baptist Church in Milwaukee, Wisc.
Hattie Mitchell and Darlene Turner-Harper received Master of Divinity degrees from the seminary, marking the 10th graduating class from the CENTRAL Wisconsin seminary site. Key founding partners, faculty, and even the visionary whose work helped instigate the creation of the seminary site all participated in the celebratory worship service.
Those present included Rev. Dr. Carmen Porco, CEO of Housing Ministries, a key ministry partner of CENTRAL Wisconsin; Rev. Dr. Arlo Reichter, retired executive minister of American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin and founding site administrator (retired); Rev. Dr. Timothy Ashley, recently retired pastor of First Baptist Church of La Crosse, Wisc., and founding site coordinator (retired); and Rev. Dr. Roy B. Nabors, pastor of New Paradise Missionary Baptist Church in the St. Louis area, and founding pastor of Community Baptist Church of Greater Milwaukee. As a longtime advocate for accredited theological education in Milwaukee in a Baptist voice, Nabors was integral in articulating the originating vision for the seminary site, one that has grown and changed – and continues to change to this day.
Rev. Dr. Trinette McCray offered a message for both the graduates and the site’s wider learning community illustrating the ways in which “God Gives Completely.” The message drew on multiple examples throughout the Biblical narrative in which God was at work through “two women” to change the world.
The worship service was followed by a reception, hosted by New Covenant Baptist Church pastor, the Rev. Dr. Fred Crouthers.
Founded in 1901, Central Seminary is Baptist in heritage and ecumenical in practice as it prepares women and men for seeking God, offering courses in a dozen locations and serving more than 30 Christian denominations.