"Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we will not give up." Galatians 6:9

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Four ABSW seminarians attended the Orientation to American Baptist Life and National Ministers Conference, January 6-9, at Doubletree by Hilton Orlando. The theme for the event was EMERGE: Baptist Witness in the 21st Century. The students attending and representing ABSW were Anthony Aboagye, Phoebe Jeter, Charles Johnston, and Mawonshang Vashum.

American Baptists gathered at this event to exemplify Jesus’s command to be witnesses empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). The theme, EMERGE, combined two important ideas: the American Baptist biblical foundations, with new and evolving opportunities to be a witness for Christ, and the 200th anniversary of the Judson mission to Burma. Each day of the orientation and conference began and ended with an uplifting spirit-filled worship service, designed and implemented by ABSW alum [1997] Rev. John Polite. Various American Baptist seminarians from all over the United States participated in these services by singing, praying, reading scripture, and performing as praise dancers. 

Charles Johnston shared, “I was amazed by the breadth of culture and experience that comprises our denomination. My brief study of Baptist history had led me to conclude that Baptists do not know how to get along, but this is not what I witnessed in Orlando. Here were hundreds of ministers and soon-to-be ministers all gathered, in spite of our differences, to learn how to be better witnesses of the love of Jesus Christ.”

Phoebe Jeter added, “The EMERGE conference felt like family. I was impressed with how the ABC leadership was so approachable and hands-on with all the participants.”
Workshops during the week included morning orientation sessions for seminarians and new ministers. These workshops introduced everyone to the history, organizations, and traditions in the American Baptist family. Additional workshops included opportunities to be informed and educated about the American Baptist Personnel System (ABPS), the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board, American Baptist Home Mission Society, International Ministries, and other related organizations. Anthony Aboagye commented, “We were exposed to the various vocations within [ABC] and that helped us to consider other ministries instead of looking at pastoring a church as the only available opportunity.”

Other workshops included The Use of Social Media in Ministry, Publishing for Pastors, Sustaining Yourself and Your Ministry, Negotiating Pastoral Compensation, and Building a Natural Health Ministry for Congregations.

Reflecting back on the event, Mawonshang Vashum shared, “[I am] proud to be American Baptist after learning and exploring the work we are doing locally and globally. It is amazing to see how diverse we are, but come under one umbrella to do God’s work.”   

Alumni/Student News

The Rev. Jonathan Zingkhai (MDiv ‘08) will be one of the two keynote presenters at the Tangkhul Naga Theological Assocation Annual Gathering from April 25-29, 2013 in Manipur, northeast India.  Jonathan will be presenting a paper entitled “Theology and the Epidemic of HIV/AIDS: Tangkhul Naga Perspective.” This theological work is a continuation of Jonathan’s Mentor Year Project as an MDiv student, which he continues to develop in his Doctor of Ministry studies at sister GTU school SFTS.  In addition, he will also be preaching and leading workshops.


While in Manipur, Jonathan will also be a representative of City Team International, providing church-planting training for Christian Hindu leaders. This year Jonathan celebrates his twenty-year anniversary of ministry with City Team, where he currently is the Recovery Program Manager at their San Francisco branch.

Another purpose of this trip is to visit two ministries that he began with his wife, Rev. Khan Lolly (MDiv ’05): PreK-5th Grade Elementary school for orphans and impoverished Naga and Burmese children in nearby villages (founded in 2005), and the Spring of Hope HIV/AIDS Center which houses twenty-one orphans (founded in 2006). 


Both Jonathan and Khan are wonderful examples of alumni who are living out the ABSW mission, taking their evangelical heritage, applying contextual theology and contemporary methods, with concern for hope and healing for the locally and globally marginalized, fulfilling their call to live out the justice demands of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For more information about Jonathan and Khan’s various ministry efforts, you can contact Jonathan at City Team at (415) 861-8688 or jzingkhai@cityteam.org.   


Barbara Jim-George (2010) ABSW alum and Doctor of Ministry candidate has been named the recipient of the 2013 “Shine the Light Award” by American Baptist Women's Ministries. The award will be recognized on Sunday July 28, 2013, at the National Conference of American Baptist Women's Ministries in Phoenix, AZ. The award is given to an outstanding light-bearer for Christ iin mission and ministry and specifically for Rev. Jim-George's research on mitigating the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Oakland, CA. This is also the topic of her DMin dissertation. In 2011 the American Baptist Women's Ministries national board created the “Shine the Light Award” to recognize one American Baptist church woman each year who has made outstanding strides in sharing the gospel. Congratulations, Rev. Jim-George!!


Student Highlight


Tripp Hudgins has been invited to present his paper entitled, "From The Sky Down" at the 'Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives' conference taking place at Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford in August, 2013. This conference seeks to explore the multifaceted interaction between local and global dimensions of Christian congregational music by drawing from perspectives across academic disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, history, music studies, and theology.   This paper will focus on localized liturgical acoustemologies and the challenges, both theological and logistical, faced by congregational music makers by positing an eschatological aesthetics for congregational musicking. 


"We sing ourselves into The Kingdom. Song, the music, the words, the movement, the hearing, the singing...it's all potentially symbolic of the eschaton, the emmanent God, the God With Us.” T.H.

Tripp is a GTU PhD student in Liturgical Studies affiliated with ABSW and serves as Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church in Palo Alto, CA.