Samford Christian ministry students made a pilgrimage to Marion, Alabama on Sunday, September 25 to take part in a history-filled induction ceremony. They were joined by faculty, families and several members of the Samford executive leadership team including President Beck A. Taylor and his wife Julie.
“This trip was a wonderful way to reorient myself to the true purpose and high call of Christian ministry. It was a great reminder of the giants who came before us and how much we benefit from all their hard work,” said senior Christian ministry major Shelbi McGee.
Samford University was chartered in 1841 in Marion and was established in large part due to the influence of Siloam Baptist Church. The Samford contingent started their day at Siloam where Samford President Beck A. Taylor preached at the 11 a.m. worship service. Samford guests then enjoyed lunch hosted by the members of Siloam. After lunch, the group visited the old Howard College campus (now Marion Military Institute) and were challenged from scripture shared by Professor J.D Payne in the former Howard College chapel, which was built in 1857. The tour continued to the grave site of Harry, a 23-year-old slave who lost his own life while rescuing students from a fire in the main building in 1854. Professor Galen Jones encouraged the students to be servants of courage who save people from the flames. They returned back to Siloam’s sanctuary, where the Christian ministry students received a globe-shaped pin, reminding them that they are called to serve God faithfully, making disciples of all nations.
“This was a memorable day for our program, and it was a blessing to return to our roots to challenge and to pray for these students,” said Scott Guffin, executive director of the department of Christian Ministry. “We are especially grateful for the hospitality of Siloam Baptist Church and pastor John Nicholson.”
“Visiting Marion gave me a better idea of what I stand for by representing Samford and its Department of Christian Ministry. The history I learned and saw is a true testament of God’s mercy and provision for those who turn to Him,” said junior Jarrett Clift.
The Department of Christian Ministry completed its fourth year of the program in April of 2022 and has graduated thirteen students. “We continue to grow and currently have 56 students in the program, including majors and minors,” said Guffin. This fall, Ashton Holt is the first student to participate in the accelerated B.A./M.Div. program in partnership with Beeson Divinity School, which allows students to begin taking graduate courses in the senior year of their undergraduate work.
In addition to the partnership with Beeson Divinity School, the department has established agreements with four of the six Southern Baptist seminaries that will grant our Christian Ministry graduates Advanced M.Div. status, which allows them to enter these seminaries with automatic graduate credit for multiple courses taken in the undergraduate Christian Ministry program.