Jamie Dew, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College president, greeted messengers at the 2023 SBC annual meeting in New Orleans by expressing how glad he was Southern Baptists had come to New Orleans and how “delightful” it had been to host them.
Noting the uniqueness of the city, Dew said New Orleans has “everything,” from diversity in religious beliefs, brokenness and opportunity, and wealth and poverty.
“We have said from day one that we believe that if you can do ministry in our city, you can do ministry anywhere,” Dew said, “because this city brings everything to bear on your formation and on your ministry.”
Dew thanked Southern Baptists for entrusting him, his family and his team with the responsibility of preparing students for ministry and for their continued support through Cooperative Program giving. Serving alongside hardworking Southern Baptist churches that are humble and faithful to Christ gives him “hope and pride,” Dew said, adding that NOBTS and Leavell College are committed to preparing students to support SBC churches well.
Pointing to culture’s chaotic condition, Dew said there are wrong ideas at every turn.
“Theological education matters now more than ever before … correcting those lies, those mistruths with the truth of God’s word is absolutely essential,” Dew said.
Training up a new generation that are theologically sound and willing to “go into the darkness” is crucial Dew said. Dew expressed his gratitude for the six “wonderful” Southern Baptist seminaries that are committed to that work.
Dew explained that the NOBTS mission statement is a commitment to prepare servants “to walk with Christ, proclaim His truth, and fulfill His mission,” a task that is accomplished by instilling into students’ “DNA” the principles of servanthood, devotion, proclamation, and mission.
As followers of Jesus, believers must follow Christ’s example and become a servant to others, Dew said. Dew pledged that the seminary takes the job of implanting these principles into students’ lives “very seriously.”
“My dear friends, I want you to know that we get up every single day and give ourselves to doing the work you put us there to do,” Dew said. “It’s a tremendous honor and a privilege. You’ve given me the best job in the whole world.”