Southern Seminary to serve Louisville in fourth annual 1937 Project
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will participate in Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s Give A Day Week of service with the fourth annual 1937 Project, April 23. The mayor’s office said the outreach, which honors the seminary’s role in helping the city recover from the 1937 Great Flood, is “one of the largest, most consistent groups over the last four years.”
“The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is an integral part of our Give A Day week of service,” Fischer said. “Last year they helped over 3,000 kids participate in a toy giveaway and this year they will organize a cleanup in Shelby Park, work with the Louisville Nature Center, among many other projects. We are sending a message that Louisville is taking its place among the world’s great cities, and compassion is one of our greatest strengths! For that, I have to say to all of you — thank you. What you’ve done has been amazing and inspiring.”
The 1937 Project unites students of Southern Seminary and the city of Louisville for a day of community service. Volunteers will gather April 23 to serve in more than 20 teams across Louisville. According to seminary leaders, the outreach is designed to further its gospel witness and practically meet the needs of Louisville residents, as well as modeling Christian service for future church leaders.
“The 1937 Project is a great way for students at Southern to represent Christians to the city of Louisville as those who show ‘perfect courtesy toward all people’ (Titus 3:2). And people are noticing,” said Jeremy Pierre, dean of students and associate professor of biblical counseling at Southern. “Just recently, Mayor Greg Fischer said to me, ‘Boy, Southern Seminary has really stepped up for our city in the last few years.’ I replied, ‘Well, Jesus told us he came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as ransom for many. We are just following in his footsteps.’”
The past four years of the 1937 Project have included restoring homes in the community, painting, cutting down trees in Seneca Park, and helping Scarlet’s Bakery prepare for construction.
The Great Flood of 1937 devastated Louisville, with the Ohio River reaching so far inland that rescue teams saved people from second story windows of downtown buildings. During the crisis, Southern Seminary buildings were used to house orphans and flood victims. Former SBTS President John R. Sampey invited the mayor to use his office for an extended time.
In 2011, Fischer established three pillars for Louisville: to be a city of healthy living, lifelong learning, and compassion. Since its creation, Fischer has sought to create various projects and campaigns to further the involvement of Louisvillians in caring well for the city they call home. The creation of the 1937 Project is one way in which the seminary community has been involved.
In a letter to Southern, Fischer expressed his gratitude for the 1937 Project, saying he looks “forward to continuing our partnership with the seminary as we strive to keep Louisville the most livable and compassionate city in the world.”
If a church or organization would like to submit a potential project, visit www.sbts.edu/1937. Students and families can visit the same link to register for service projects by April 19.