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FAITH & FAMILY — Divine education as students graduate from Port Arthur Theological Seminary

Three students will graduate from the Port Arthur Theological Seminary on Baccalaureate Sunday (May 31) at the Solid Rock Missionary Baptist Church.

The ceremony begins at 11 a.m.

Pastor Richard Keaton Nash said the seminary prepares students for Christian education, pastoral leadership and other various areas of Christian ministry.

“The seminary is the same as a Bible college,” Nash said. “It starts with an associate’s degree and goes up to the doctoral level. The students meet on a monthly basis in a classroom setting. They are engaged in various levels of studies based on the curriculum and academics they have signed up for, like Christian education, pastoral readership, counseling, the ministry of music and other areas of evangelism.”

Pastor Robert Earl Collins Sr. of Roadway to Glory Evangelistic Ministries in Groves will receive his bachelor of theology degree.

Collins said the award is an honor that God allows him to see.

“I told Roadway that while the degree is for me, the wisdom of the educational process is aimed towards the goal that God has for me,” Collins said. “Receiving the degree is just a personal honor.”

Collins’ degree in theology follows his love for history and the word of God.

“I really wanted to go deeper and further down into the word of God to understand the history of His word and I just want to thank Pastor Nash and the school for their great help in doing that,” he said. “They made it possible and I thank God for that.”

Sis. Beverly Yvette McCall also of Roadway to Glory will receive her associate’s degree in education.

“If I don’t know, I can’t teach,” McCall said. “I can’t tell anyone else about it and cultivate the understanding that I have in the word of God. It’s not hard for me to talk to people. I meet people, and it’s like I’ve known them forever.

“Having this degree helps in being able to articulate and meet people where they are in their journey. Being able to talk to someone and knowing what you’re talking about is the most important thing.”

Rev. Harry Abrams Jr. from Solid Rock Baptist Church will receive his master of theology.

Abrams said going through the master’s program at the seminary taught him more about interpreting the word of God into today’s world.

“At the seminary, what I have learned is to look at the text from a third person perspective, meaning, what was the writer saying and what did he mean to say and shifting that to a first person perspective and asking myself, ‘What is it saying to me in 2020?’ The most difficult part is asking how to share that with my audience in today’s terms. That’s what I’ve gained from the Port Arthur Theological Seminary. It’s a skill and applying it is much more difficult than talking about it.”

Abrams also holds a master’s degree from a secular college as a trained counselor. He practices at Baptist Hospital in Beaumont with a concentration in mental health and is working on his doctorate in psychology.

“I love learning,” he said. “I really do. Learning gives meaning to philosophy because when you learn, you change. When you change, you affect the people around you. You produce change in a positive way.”

Nash said the church is very proud of Abrams.

“(Abrams’) been a part of our church and in the training program for a number of years,” Nash said. “He’s very gifted in many areas. Matter of fact, he’s also enrolled in a doctoral program at the moment. He’s an extremely high achiever and we are very proud to have him in our ministry.”

The ceremony is open to the community. Social distance guidelines will be in place and guests are recommended to wear masks.

“It’s impossible to govern a nation without God and the Bible,” Nash said. “We see that this affirmation applies even to the area of education. A healthy society functions at its best when the foundation of learning is rooted and grounded upon the word of God. We see such a drifting in this world from that foundation, but we are proud to be graduating a group of students and community members who see that vision.”

I.C. Murrell, editor of The Port Arthur News , will be a guest speaker at the ceremony.

Solid Rock Baptist Church’s baccalaureate theme for 2020 is: “Don’t ever stop learning, don’t ever retire from working and serving humanity with your talent and skills.”

To confirm your attendance, call 409-983-7654.