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Bayou Baptist Church
I pastored Bayou Baptist Church in west Slidell during my MDiv days at the seminary. Originally a 1950s mission of First Baptist Church of Slidell, the church plant was intended to take advantage of the westward growth of the city. The church, however, eventually became landlocked in an island of nowhere behind a subdivision when plans for Highway 190 West were diverted off the original course that would have run right in front of the church. Still, the little church was a training ground for young seminarians like me. Unfortunately, when I came as pastor, they just had had a church split right down the middle. They were considering two options: (1) closing the doors for not being able to pay the bills, and (2) calling a pastor, paying him next to nothing, and trying to move into the future. They called me as pastor. We did not close the doors, and the church still is active to this day.
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I was so proud the first Sunday I received my first weekly paycheck, small as that amount really was now that I think about those days. That check was my first, official ministry income. Jean had been a business major in college, and her skill, training, and business head meant that forever afterwards in our family she always has made a dime look like a dollar. Jean made me feel like I just had earned a million dollars, and even though I hadn’t, I knew she still loved me all the same.

Dr. Donald Minton, long-time professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, resident of Slidell and member of First Baptist Church, for many years had been a faithful supporter of Bayou Baptist Church—spiritually, ministerially, and financially. We put together a “Dr. Minton Day” to celebrate this service and faithfulness. Pictured left to right with the honorary plaque given to Dr. Minton during the celebration are seminary graduate Rev. Charles Red, former minister of music, myself, former pastor and seminary graduate Dr. Gerald Love, Dr. Donald Minton himself, and former pastor and seminary graduate Dr. Gail DeBorde.
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I developed a puppet ministry, starting from scratch. I wrote the scripts and trained the youth volunteers. We had programs for backyard Bible clubs, worship services, and Vacation Bible School. This ministry sticks out in my head because one of my early converts in my professional career as a minister was one of the teenagers I had recruited for this puppet ministry. This young convert matured at light speed even beyond her age and became one of the most faithful members of the church, not only in the youth ministry, but in many other areas as well.
Baptist Campus Ministry
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After sending out 60 resumes trying to find a teaching position the spring I graduated from seminary with my PhD, I happened up by a fortuitous set of circumstances with a job as campus minister in the Alabama Baptist State Convention’s BCM program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Once again, I had been called into a difficult situation. The campus ministry budget had been run into the ground by poor administrative oversight until seriously in the red. Local churches were disaffected with the campus ministry program as a result. I was brought on board the campus ministry program at UAB to bring the BCM’s rampant budget cost overruns under control and repair the damage caused by poor cooperation of the BCM work with the Birmingham Baptist Association and local Southern Baptist churches in the area. During my seven years as campus minister, our BCM budget was running in the black after the first year and never failed to do so in any of the successive years, mission fundraising tripled, student involvement in mission work quadrupled, weekly program attendance grew an average of 10% each year, and I had visited or participated in the Sunday services of 126 churches of the Birmingham Baptist Association by the end of my time in Birmingham. UAB as a school was mostly a computer campus, so we were a commuter BCM program. However, we still had the distinct privilege of having our own BCM Center on the corner of 8th Ave. South and 10th Street right across the street from UAB campus buildings.
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Whether rafting down Tennessee’s Ocoee River or dressing the part for a BCM “Tacky Tourist Party” shows that, whereas I definitely had an academic side during those BCM days, that cerebral tendency to being an egg-head did not mean I was absent a flair for cutting up and drama. I played lead electric guitar, and after a famous fling in my doctoral gown slinging an electric guitar one year as the master of ceremonies for the Baptist Campus Ministry’s State Convention Annual Talent Show, I became known around state BCMs as the “Doc of Rock.” We raised the roof. I still have that flair, since, during the time I taught at the seminary as a professor in the New Testament Department, I also played lead guitar in the praise band at First Baptist New Orleans when I was not doing interim work.
Seminary (NOBTS)
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Fulfilling a call to teach took fifteen years—eight years of training, and seven years of waiting. While I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a campus minister in Birmingham and was able to use gifts and talents that otherwise would have lain fallow, my core call deep in my inner being was to teach. My passion was teaching New Testament Greek. My favorite exegetical courses were Acts, Romans, and Revelation. I enjoyed as well taking students through the history and literature that lays the foundation for a solid background of the New Testament and helping them mature in the principles of good hermeneutics. I developed the only language lab the seminary has ever had, developing the programs myself.
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Jean and I love to entertain. Jean is a great cook, and students love to eat. Whether an annual Christmas dinner with New Testament faculty or just students over for fellowship, we have enjoyed their company and conversation.
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Our home always has been a base of ministry. Classes even have been conducted in our den when ice storms had the seminary shut down. Student skits for class sessions have added fun to the topics, culminating in so many graduation celebrations. With book signings and more, a life of academia has been our greatest joy in ministry.
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Local church
During my seminary career, commitment to the local church has been a priority. When not faithfully supporting my home church at First Baptist New Orleans, usually playing guitar on the praise team, I have served in multiple interim pastorates across south Louisiana—not to mention disaster recovery, revivals, presentations, mission trips, and other activities through the years. Our Habitat for Humanity team after Hurricane Katrina even got the attention of the forty-third president of the United States, George W. Bush.
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Professional > Jean Ministry Publications Presentations Sermons