on Monday, April 17, 2023

Two faculty additions by presidential appointment were announced at the April 11-12 trustee meeting of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, along with reports of God at work.

Appointed were Don Wilton, recently retired senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, South Carolina, and W. Andrew “Ted” Williams, coming from his position as pastor of Galilee Baptist Church, Zachary, Louisiana.  

Jamie Dew, NOBTS president, welcomed trustees by reporting excitement on campus due to spiritual formation taking place.

“This is a very vibrant season of life right now,” Dew said.

Dew pointed to the more than 6500 gospel conversations held by students this academic year that yielded more than 800 decisions, a student-led prayer walk in the community, and student participation in Serve Day where students and faculty participate in door-to-door evangelism and in various service projects in the community.

The spring semester Serve Day came the day following the spring meeting. Trustees whose schedule permitted them to stay participated.

Returning to the NOBTS faculty, Don Wilton was appointed ministry-based professor of preaching and pastoral ministries. Wilton served on the NOBTS faculty as associate professor of evangelistic preaching from 1987-1993, and holds an M.Div. and a Th.D. from NOBTS. Wilton served 30 years at First Baptist Church, Spartanburg.

Wilton’s decades-long ministry has spanned continents through his preaching and teaching in evangelism conferences, on academic campuses and churches, in crusades and revivals, and at many convention events. As president of The Encouraging Word television ministry, Wilton’s sermons reached into millions of homes globally.

Known as Billy Graham’s pastor, Wilton was close friends with Graham and served many years on faculty for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Schools of Evangelism and The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove.

Andrew “Ted” Williams was appointed associate vice president of auxiliary services and assistant professor of expository preaching. Since 2018, Williams has taught as adjunct faculty in the NOBTS and Leavell College prison extension center. He holds an M.Div. and a Ph.D. in preaching from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Professionally, Williams has directed and administered construction, maintenance and housing projects.

Trustees took a moment away from business to express appreciation to Fred Luter Jr., pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans, with a standing ovation. Last year, trustees voted to rename the seminary’s student center in his honor. The building will be dedicated June 14, following the close of the convention.

Luter expressed his gratitude to the trustees saying, “So many others are worthy … I can’t tell you how much this means to me.”

Faculty members granted rank promotion were Jeff Audirsch to professor of Biblical studies; Rhyne Putman to professor of theology and culture; and Tyler Wittman to associate professor of theology.

Tenure was granted to Alan Bandy, professor of New Testament and Greek; Blake Newsom, associate professor of expository preaching; and Tyler Wittman, associate professor of theology.

In other action, trustees approved a Korean track and a Spanish track Bachelor of Arts in Church Ministry, with classes to be taught in each language. A ministry to women specialization in the doctor of ministry program was also approved.