ATS and AU Commemorate 100 Years of Shared History
On Lexington Avenue on April 19, Asbury Theological Seminary hosted a Joint Worship Celebration with Asbury University as part of the Centennial Celebration. This service commemorated H.C. Morrison’s founding of Asbury Seminary while he was president of Asbury College. Bristol House, a collective of young worship leaders based in The Woodlands Methodist Church, led powerful times of praise and worship. The presidents of both institutions, Dr. Timothy C. Tennent and Dr. Kevin Brown, gave inspiring messages about the past and future of the institutions.
Dr. Tennent recalled the evangelization of this part of Kentucky and Francis Asbury’s founding of Bethel Academy in 1790 near what is now Wilmore. Many decades later, H.C. Morrison convinced his friend John Wesley Hughes to choose Wilmore, the seat of a revival, as the place to fulfill his dream of founding a holiness college. John Wesley Hughes founded Asbury College in 1890. H.C. Morrison, while president of Asbury College, founded Asbury Seminary in 1923. “100 years later, we still believe in the fully sanctified life,” Dr. Tennent said, going on to recount the many foundations that Asbury Seminary still holds to. “We thank God for the momentous nature of this event today,” he said.
Dr. Brown offered insights about implications for ministry in light of the expected technological growth in our society. Given the exponential changes upon us, “What endures in the future?” Dr. Brown asked. He named, among other things, sound thinking, truth, virtue, sacrifice, service, the mind of Christ, humility, steadfastness, and love. He explained that though the methods and modalities employed to fulfill the institutions’ missions will change, “The Mission of Asbury University; the mission of Asbury Theological Seminary, does not change.”
President Brown presented Asbury Seminary with a birthday gift: an early-1900s oil painting of H.C. Morrison by the famous painter Paul Plaschke of Louisville. Trees, symbols in the Bible of life and growth and strength, were then gifted to each institution. Rev. Dr. Matt Barnes presented an October Glory Maple to Asbury University, to be planted near Hughes auditorium, and Dr. Sarah Baldwin presented a Wildfire Black Gum to Asbury Seminary, to be planted in front of B.L. Fisher Library. “By giving these trees as gifts to each other, we acknowledge that we are called to be like these trees, firmly rooted in our faith and bearing good fruit for God’s Kingdom, always displaying His splendor,” said Rev. Barnes.
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