New Orleans Baptist Seminary President Chuck Kelley honored three alumni with the distinguished alumni award at the seminary’s luncheon.
During the luncheon, Kelley also announced the receipt in Baltimore of another gift of $1.5 million from the donor for the Caskey Center for Church Excellence.
Jeanine Bozeman, NOBTS senior professor of social work, was one of the three alumna honored at the luncheon. She has taught there since 1985.
“You’re looking at the only woman who has ever served as a chair of one of the faculty divisions in the history of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary,” Kelley said. “She was the chair of the Division of Christian Education and Ministries [from 1997 to 2003].”
In accepting the award, Bozeman recognized her late husband T. Welby Bozeman, who taught New Testament and psychology of religion at Louisiana College.
“I am of course very honored to get this award, but you know what, I really think it would be more appropriate if it read ‘T. Welby Bozeman,'” she said. “My deceased husband was the wind under my sails, always confirming, always encouraging.”
Kelley said he and Bozeman are “working on a dream together” to establish an accredited master of social work program at NOBTS.
Bozeman received from NOBTS a Master of Religious Education degree in 1969, a Doctor of Education in 1984 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1999.
Honoree Tommy Green has served 18 years as senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Brandon, Fla., which has partnered with the North American Mission Board to plant New Orleans area churches. Green has served as president of the Florida Baptist Convention, and has taught at the seminary’s extension center which meets at his church in Brandon, and has pastored churches in Alabama and Georgia. He and his wife Karen have three sons.
Green first knew Kelley as a professor, studying under him while earning a Master of Divinity in 1983 and a Doctor of Theology in 1989.
The biggest joy of teaching, Kelley said, is to see the “light bulb come on” as students grasp a concept and to see students succeed in ministry.
“I’ve had the joy of watching both of those moments in Tommy’s life,” Kelley said.
Green called on people to partner with him and First Baptist Church of Brandon in planting churches in New Orleans.
Honoree John Killian, an adjunct professor at the NOBTS extension center in Birmingham, Ala., is active in the Alabama Baptist State Convention, serving on the board of regents for University of Mobile and the board of governors for Judson College. He was elected president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention in 2012.
Killian has pastored Maytown Baptist Church in Maytown, Ala. since 1998. He received the Master of Divinity from NOBTS in 1997 and the Doctor of Ministry in 2005.
Kelley extolled Killian for his service.
“If you’re an Alabama Baptist, you know John Killian,” Kelley said. Killian, in accepting the award, said he’s proud to be identified with NOBTS.
“New Orleans Seminary is the most balanced seminary in Southern Baptist life,” he said. “And if my name can be attached to New Orleans Seminary, it’s the honor of a lifetime.”
Killian and his wife Jeanie have a son and daughter.
Also during the luncheon, Kelley reported to the alumni that the Walmart near the seminary is nearing completion, with a fall 2014 opening in sight. Other luncheon highlights include the opening of the Doris Kelley Showers of Blessing Resource Center, the Leake Magee Christian Counseling Center and the launch of the Caskey Center.
Kelley briefed alumni on a graduation held at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss.
“I want to tell you where you’ll find Jesus,” Kelley said. “You will find him at the intersection of the lost and the least.”