On Saturday morning, April 29, a small group of people met in the parking lot of the United Brethren National Office in Huntington, Ind. They came to send off three men who were beginning the 640-mile bike ride to Myerstown, Pa.
The ride celebrated the relationship of Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown with the United Brethren Church. Evangelical Seminary is a preferred partner when it comes to graduate education; a number of United Brethren ministers over the years have graduated from Evangelical, and three United Brethren ministers (all Huntington University grads) have served as president of Evangelical.
Dr. Anthony Blair, an ordained UB minister, is the current president. Blair came to Huntington for the send-off. Both he and Bishop Todd Fetters gave some remarks to the bicyclists, and then led a time of prayer for them. The bikers were:
- Dr. Mark Draper, Executive Director of the Pense Learning Center and Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Evangelical.
- Kevin Henry, Vice President of Finance and Operations at Evangelical and National Director of the Evangelical Congregational Church.
- Rev. Ralph Owens, a retired minister in the Evangelical Congregational Church.
Here are the remarks from Bishop Todd Fetters:
It’s my honor to be a part of this bike launch today. The United Brethren in Christ and Huntington University have a longstanding and significant bond with Evangelical Seminary.
Many of our pastors who received their undergraduate and graduate education from Huntington University went on to receive further graduate degrees from Evangelical Seminary in Bible, theology, or counseling (marriage and family studies).
Huntington University and the United Brethren in Christ have a strong leadership tie with Evangelical Seminary. We are proud that three of the last five Presidents at Evangelical received their education at Huntington University and were ordained United Brethren in Christ pastors – Dr. Ray Seilhamer, Dr. Kirby Keller, and now Dr. Tony Blair.
Tony and I think it is pretty significant that the current President and the current Bishop are graduates of both institutions. Our connection has helped to reenergize the relationship between Evangelical and the United Brethren in Christ.
I’m proud of the shared history that our denomination has with Evangelical Seminary and Huntington University. Since 1897, Huntington University has been our preferred partner for Christian liberal arts education. And, I am happy to call Evangelical a preferred partner for graduate training. Both the University and the Seminary have bold, creative leadership, and faculty that are scholarly and caring. It’s no wonder that students that emerge from both institutions have a passion for Jesus Christ, a love for His Church, and a commitment to share the Good News in their neighborhoods and among the nations.
May God continue to bless the purposes of these institutions as they help equip the Church to impact this world for Jesus Christ.
Also coming out in the early hours were Amos and Annalee Rawley, who serve the New Hope UB church in Huntington. Both are graduates of Evangelical Seminary.
Evangelical was using the event to raise $100,000 for our Annual Fund for Transformational Leadership.