The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary officially opened its new Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization, Oct. 9, during the seminary’s Heritage Week. This center will mobilize prayer and people for the fulfillment of the Great Commission through the Southern Seminary community.
Functions of the Bevin Center will include a major missions conference, training events, affinity group fellowships, cultural immersion experiences, hosting missionaries in residence, an expanded missions week on Southern’s campus as well as expanded missions trips around the world.
Glenna and Matthew Bevin provided an endowment to fund the center in remembrance of their late daughter, Brittiney, whose passion for the gospel drove her life. At the dedication of this center, R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, introduced Matthew Bevin to explain why he and his family made this gift.
Speaking to the seminary’s board of trustees, foundation board, faculty and students, Matthew Bevin told the story of Brittiney, who was the oldest of his 10 children. From the time she was a young girl, Brittiney possessed an incredible heart for missions, according to her father. He used the biblical phrase “salt and light” to describe Brittiney’s compassion for “the least of these.”
As young as 14 years old, Brittiney sensed a call to pursue missions vocationally. The Bevins sent her on overseas missions trips to India and Romania to share the gospel and to work in orphanages. These trips confirmed both to her parents and to Brittiney that God called her to the work of spreading the gospel to the nations. Only weeks after her return from Romania, when she was 17 years old, Brittiney Bevin died in a car accident on Lexington Rd., right in front of the Southern Seminary campus.
Matthew Bevin said that his daughter will not physically be able to fulfill her calling, but her desires are being fulfilled by the legacy she left behind. The Bevins desire to see Brittiney’s calling live on through a generation of young Christians ready to answer the call to world missions.
And, according to Matthew Bevin, Southern Seminary is the best institution to house and operate such a center. He said: “We have confidence that Southern is an institution that will steward this in a way that will serve God best.”
Concluding his comments, he read a prayer that Brittiney Bevin recorded in her journal the night before she died. Her prayer emphasized her heart for the lost and the down-trodden. She wrote her “dangerous prayer” and hoped to be fully deployed for the gospel of Christ.
She wrote: “You hold the only peace that can fill the deepest hole. But how do I get it? You said, ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ I am asking and I know that you will give it to me. Every week you bless me so much and teach me lessons after lessons. I know that once again you are showing me your love. I can’t fathom how much you feel when one of your children suffers, but I’ve had a glimpse of your heartache. Please fill me with your wisdom that I won’t just watch others suffer, but that I’ll be able to say what they need to hear. As a new week approaches, my dangerous prayer is that you’ll place broken hearted people in my path and fill me with you so that I can let your love heal their pain.”
Because of the Bevins’ gift to Southern Seminary, the school now owns the “stewardship of this story,” according to Mohler.
“Matt and Glenna Bevin are a wonderful Christian couple whose vision and generosity are so evident in the establishment of this new center and its endowment. To know them is to know their heart for missions and the deep personal dimension of this commitment, especially as it is linked to the memory of their daughter Brittiney and her heart for missions,” Mohler said.
The Bevins see the center as a fulfillment of Brittiney’s dream to see the gospel reach the ends of the earth.
“The Bevin family is demonstrating Christian stewardship in its very essence in establishment of this center and endowment,” Mohler said. “In doing so, they are not only continuing a missions vision in honor of their daughter and her memory, but they are doing something that will make a real and immediate difference on the mission fields of the world.”
The festivities of the center opening culminated in a prayer of dedication by chairman of the board, Todd Fisher, and a ribbon cutting by Glenna and Matthew Bevin at the new offices of the center on the second floor of the Honeycutt Campus Center.
More information about current and future opportunities through the Bevin Center is available at the center website.