2012 Biennial Meeting Update

July 9, 2012 | 9:46 a.m.

More than 400 delegates and attendees participated in the joint Converge Worldwide and Bethel University Biennial Meetings June 27-29 at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden Ministry Center in Landover, Maryland. Host site pastor, John Jenkins, who also serves as a member of the Bethel Board of Trustees, brought a powerful keynote address on Wednesday evening to open the meetings. Thursday morning President Jay Barnes delivered the first morning worship message followed by the Bethel business meeting conducted by departing board chair, Dan Lindh. Lindh presented delegates with the ballot of seminary faculty and trustee candidates for election or confirmation. All candidates were approved.

Campus Pastor Laurel Bunker spoke to the gathering about what it means to be a holistic educational community committed to seeing that spiritual transformation takes place everywhere in the educational experience. For resident students, guidance and encouragement for students are shared in the classroom, residence halls, sports arenas, as well as chapel. For InMinistry and online graduate students, spiritual transformation is equally critical, and the university attempts to foster it. Provost David Clark interviewed two Bethel students, recent CAS graduate Bryce Johnson and Seminary of the East M.Div. recent graduate Neil Henderson, each articulating the value of their Bethel education with compelling examples of their experiences. The meeting concluded with attendees gathering in prayer triads and praying specifically for the needs of the university as identified by President Barnes.

The Bethel Luncheon was attended by 130 alumni and friends, who gathered for a time to renew acquaintances, hear news from the university, celebrate their relationship with Bethel, and hear from Rod Hairston, a Seminary of the East graduate, pastor of Messiah Community Church, and chaplain for Baltimore Ravens.

Bethel had a great physical presence at the meetings with display space that provided a welcoming presence to all attendees. Bethel personnel at the event had many opportunities to talk with prospective students for all schools, to engage in good conversations with alumni and students’ parents, and to give out hundreds of values bracelets, Bethel totes, and information on programs across the university.     

The next biennial meeting will be held in Minnesota in 2014.