This spring Southern Baptist seminaries across the country conferred new ministry degrees on students and sent them out to make disciples of the nations.
For churches, training and equipping leaders is an important responsibility and at times can be a challenge.
But as Alberto Ocaña, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Northside in Hialeah, explains, having a close relationship with a seminary is very good for church health.
“I was a music professor at seminary in Cuba and completed my thesis at the same seminary,” he said and added that his time at the institution equipped him with tools to better serve.
Northside has a close relationship with the nearby New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Center for the Americas. Many of Northside’s members have either taken short certification courses or completed longer programs at the Center.
“Church can teach you most of the essentials for ministry but in seminary one can gain a much deeper education,” he said.
The Florida Baptist Convention congratulates all of the following Florida Baptists who graduated from seminary in the last couple of weeks.
Gracie Ammons from Lynn Haven, MA
Raymond Cordova from Boca Raton, BA
Tyler Gibbens from Sarasota, MDiv
Leonard Goenaga from Miami, PhD
Herman Griffin from Tampa, MA
Rickey Houston from St. Petersburg, DMin
Lane Jones from Lakeland, MDiv
Steven Madonna from Wellington, MDiv
Lauren Morris from Plant City, MDiv
Alex Robinson from Orlando, MDiv
John Ryman from Dunnellon, MDiv
Anthony Scialabba from Hollywood, MAIS
Kristopher Woods from Gainesville, MDiv
Benjamin Woolbright from Groveland, ThM-N
From Gateway Seminary:
Daniel Hayes Furukawa – MDiv
Joel Lamour – DMin
Paul S. Mixon from Crestview, BA
Jocelin Maurilus from Miramar, BA,
Lynnda Maurine Floyd from Melbourne, MA
Ryan Garrett O’Kelly from Melbourne, MDiv
Eddie Bevill from Coral Springs, DMin
Stefan S. Bomberger from Coral Spring, ThMA
Ernest Johann Lagarejos Celestial from Jacksonville, BS
Deborah Eppinger from Tallahassee, BS
Zachary Allen Fuller from Merritt Island, BS
John Kahrs from Jacksonville, ThMA
Lauren Rae Konkol from Maitland, ThMA
Christe Eleise Marshall from Marianna, BS
Nicholas McCarty from North Port, MA
Micah Noelle Nave from Bradenton, PhD
Ronald David Rentz Jr. from Quincy, Th MDiv
Barry Sproles from Jacksonville, Th MDiv
Kathryn M. Walliser from Wimauma, MA
Spencer C. White from Milton, BS
By Keila Diaz, Florida Baptist Convention, June 8, 2018