All my life in ministry I’ve had some connection to our BMA Theological Seminary — lecturing, Seminary Rallies, traveling with seminary professors to teach overseas and, of course, taking classes. However, my short years as a missionary have presented me with extraordinary examples of how our seminary (please notice the emphasis on our) has cooperated in furthering not just my particular mission, but also the call of those from around the world.
In 2018, we had a graduate I knew would benefit from studying at our seminary. They, with open arms, took that student, and provided a welcoming atmosphere for a foreigner who has now finished a master’s degree.
In February 2020, when we came home for furlough, we never dreamed a 12-month delay in returning to the field would ensue. We needed a place to live, but can you imagine renting a house in the Philippines and then also in America? Our seminary came to our rescue, providing us with one of their small, furnished apartments. I don’t have to tell you the blessing that was to us.
After achieving our accreditation credentials for the Bible College here in the Philippines, we were mandated to upgrade the degrees of our theology teachers. Once again, our seminary raced in as a hero on a white horse. Dr. Philip Attebery just finished two weeks of intensive teaching. In July, Dr. Thom South will come to teach another two weeks of intensives. These classes will lead to four of our Filipino teachers graduating with a master’s degree from our seminary. There will also be on-going instruction as we continue to work with the 16 other students who have begun seminary training through our seminary.
Thank you to our seminary president, Dr. Charlie Holmes for the spirit of cooperation, sending seminary professors to us and, of course, to Dr. Attebery and Dr. South for coming to us to teach this summer.
Small? Yes! Accreditation qualified? Yes! Mission-oriented? Yes! Doctrinally sound? Yes! Highly academically qualified professors? Yes! Should I attend? Yes! I am praying you will change your vocabulary from our seminary to my seminary. You will be blessed and be able to be a blessing as a result.
May started with our music department music recitals. All our music students are required to study piano and voice. Because of the pandemic we only have one graduating music student this year and several freshmen music majors. So we combined this recital into one event.
Baccalaureate is a service for graduates that is an opportunity for them to honor the Lord for the accomplishments of their studies, and to commit their study to His service. The pandemic forced us to have this year’s service on campus at First Baptist Church.
Our first ceremony at graduation was presenting Dr. Doug Lee with a “Presidential Medallion.” This medallion is then presented to the next president upon his retirement from office.
On behalf of Louisiana Baptist University, Dr. Lee formally presented my doctoral credentials by hooding me with the PhD hood. Donna and I could not walk in graduation at home because of pandemic restrictions.
Donna earned her master’s degree in education. Doug Lee presented her educational hood. I am very proud of her accomplishment and was glad to be the one to present her with her diploma.
Missionary Fellowship —With most of the travel restrictions now lifted, we had the rare opportunity for all of our Philippine missionaries to gather. Fil Kakilala from Panay, Danny and Rita Ballard from Luzon, Cris and Alicia from Tangub, John and Louella Page from Panay, and Doug and Diane Lee and Stan and Donna Scroggins from Negros. After graduation, we all gathered for a meal at a local restaurant.
We welcomed Jimmy Walker back to the Philippines as the guest speaker for graduation and to participate in the Darlene Carey Christian Academy Dedication. (See article in the May 25 issue of the Baptist Trumpet.)
Following graduation, our teachers enjoyed learning new teaching skills and procedures led by Jimmy Walker and Dr. Philip Attebery. Jimmy Walker and Donna departed Saturday, May 21 for America. Donna will return in late July. Doug and Diane departed Sunday, May 22. They will return in August. So, woe is me as I spend these next few weeks alone. I plan to travel to Leyte and to the island of Guam, looking for opportunities to church plant.
We always enjoy visiting the many BMA churches on our island. When we have visitors, the local churches are very gracious to invite them to speak in their churches. Dr. Attebery enjoyed the opportunity to speak in both a mission church in the very poor village of Lanutan and a more affluent church in Tangub.
Our regular Tuesday Bible study continues to meet and grow. I am now teaching the book of Judges — last week was “Ehud had a plan.” Doug Lee began this Bible study with a group of Grab delivery drivers. I’m teaching them for Doug while he is on furlough.
From Stan —For the third time, I will be attempting to travel to Leyte to meet with our missionary, J.R. Alfred Suico. While there, I will look forward to baptizing and taking part in serving their first Lord’s Supper. In mid-June, I am planning to travel to the island of Guam, where there is a large population of Filipinos. The purpose of this trip is to seek opportunities to start a work in this United States territory. We have really enjoyed and are grateful for Dr. Phlip Attebery’s visit with us, teaching in our master’s program. This will be a blessing to our Bible College for years to come.
From Donna —We were not sure when our passports would be back with our new visas, but when they arrived, I knew I was going to make a trip to the United States. Family needs are the main reason for my travel, so I will be based in Bullard, Texas with our daughter’s family and our grandkids. I’ll also travel to Huntsville, Ala. to check on Stan’s mom, then up to Columbia, Mo. to be with our second daughter, Kelsey and her husband, Josh. I’ll plan to return to the Philippines in mid-July. Please give me a call to visit your church and personally report on our work. Facebook Messenger is the best way.
Stay up to date with the Scroggins and their work in the Philippines by visiting their website and checking-out their blog at thescroggins.com. You can also partner with Stan and Donna by giving through your local church or the BMA Missions website.