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Director of Advancement Awarded in National Contest

Director of Advancement Awarded in National Contest

Either we truly believe that God is God, or we crumble when we face difficult circumstances.”

Glennis Lamb, Director of Advancement and PhD student at Calvary, recently received an honorable mention award in a national essay contest. 

At the urging of some of her graduate professors, Lamb entered the contest which was sponsored by Townsend Press. Townsend was soliciting articles on “What do you believe, and how did you come to believe it?” offering awards and essay publication.

Lamb explained, “I wrote about how tragedy has a way of truly defining what we believe. Either we truly believe that God is God, or we crumble when we face difficult circumstances.” Her essay detailed struggles in her life and how she came to a deeper belief in God through them.

In her article, “The Ultimate Goal: Allowing Tragedy to Shape My Deepest Beliefs,” Lamb wrote that the question she wrestled with was, “Do I really believe God is God?” Through the painful experiences she faced, she found that God was ever faithful.

Lamb discovered Calvary University through her son, who recently graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree from the school. She followed him to Calvary shortly thereafter to complete her own Bachelor’s degree in Bible and History. After graduating with her undergraduate degree in just two years, she completed her Master of Arts in Bible and Theology and started in Calvary’s PhD program. She was hired as Director of Advancement in September of this year.

“My big goals are, I want to teach…” Lamb said, “and I want to write curriculum from an apologetics point of view. And I’m a real big history buff… I’m actually thinking about starting on my master’s in History.”

She is excited about her opportunities here at Calvary, both in Advancement and in investing in students’ lives. She has told more than one student, “If I can do this at my age… you can do this!” Lamb is committed to encouraging Calvary’s students to persevere and rely on God.

Looking toward the future, she said, “I will stay here as long as the Lord can use me here and as long as I am a blessing to others… I am sure I will go through many ups and downs, but being faithful to the Lord is the bottom line to my reason for working at Calvary.”

Church Being Revitalized by Calvary Alumnus

Church Being Revitalized by Calvary Alumnus

Pastor Chris Williams and his congregation are putting their faith to work revitalizing a local church.

Calvary University (CU) alumnus Chris Williams is excited about the new direction God is taking his congregation. Williams graduated from CU in 2003 with a Master of Science in Christian Studies, and a Master of Divinity in 2013. He is now senior pastor of Fellowship Church, Greenwood (FG), in a role he has filled for six years.

Recently, FG undertook the project of revitalizing another local church, First Baptist Church of Raymore. Williams pointed out that, “We are a recipient of another church pouring into us and investing in us when this church had died… and our dream was always to pay forward what Lenexa [Baptist Church] did for us.”

When First Baptist of Raymore approached Williams to discuss pursuing revitalization, he brought it before the church leadership and members to discuss it and pray over it. Ultimately, they felt that God was giving them the chance they had been praying for to invest in another church body.

Williams and the other leaders at FG see the hand of God at work as they prepare to send fifty of their members to the new church site. “We’re doing exactly what was done for us. We’re giving them people; giving them dollars. We’re giving them mission and vision to see that church become a vital part of its community.” Williams said that Raymore is the fastest growing city in Cass County and the third fastest in the KC Metro area, so the opportunities for engagement and impact are vast.

The body of FG voted unanimously on the proposition to delegate their time, money, and leadership to First Baptist of Raymore. Williams said FG is unified in their enthusiasm to see the Raymore campus “living for the good of that community, the glory of Christ, and the salvation of all.”

When Williams first came to CU in 1997, he was untrained. He said, “I didn’t even know what a quiet time was.” His time at CU proved formative for his spiritual growth. “It was transformative in my faith journey. I really learned and grew a desire to love God’s word and to study it in a dispensational, verse-by-verse manner, with that literal historical grammatical approach to Scripture.” Williams believes CU helped him develop his love for the Word of God and states, “It was at Calvary that I learned what a disciple was and actually became one.”

Pastor Williams is clear about his mission at Fellowship Church. “I want to help everyone who comes to the Fellowship to understand that they were created on purpose and for a great purpose.” Having received training in how to know and serve God, Williams now works to provide others with the training they need. “I want to help them discover that purpose and then give them the encouragement and the tools and the training that they need to go live in that purpose.”

Pastor Chris Williams of Fellowship Church Greenwood

Fellowship Church’s new campus in Raymore

2019 Calvary Grad Has Found Her “Dream Job” Educating Displaced Youth

2019 Calvary Grad Has Found Her “Dream Job” Educating Displaced Youth

“I just knew that I would always want to be pursuing Christ, and I knew Calvary would be the place that prepared me for a lifetime of that.”

When Celeste Williams came to Calvary as a freshman, she had no idea where God would lead her or what she wanted to do for her career.

“I just knew that I would always want to be pursuing Christ,” Williams said, “and I knew Calvary would be the place that prepared me for a lifetime of that.”

As her love for children surfaced, she chose Elementary Education, even though the classroom wasn’t her favorite place to be. But in retrospect, she sees that, “Studying elementary education led to my dream job.”

She graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education in Calvary’s most recent graduating class of 2019, and she has hit the ground running. She now works as the Education Director for Global FC, a local organization engaging and equipping youth from conflict and war zone areas of the world. The organization uses soccer opportunities, one-on-one tutoring, and mentorship to inspire and invest in children that are too often overlooked.

Williams found her way to Global FC through their partnership with Calvary. She had attended soccer games and interacted with the kids, and when Global FC started their education program. “This is somewhere that I can fit,” she realized. She plugged herself into the community, and keeps busy developing and organizing the ever-growing education program. As the program expands, Global FC finds new ways to reach the displaced communities of Kansas City.

“We have this new program,” she said, “that we’re figuring out called soccer literacy, which is for kids who have been in the states a year or less, so they don’t speak English much or read it. So we combine soccer drills with vocabulary and sentences to give them something a little different as they’re learning.” The kids Global FC reaches are almost universally enthralled with soccer, and it has proved a powerful tool for connecting with them.

Other programs are in the works for family literacy and high school graduates transitioning, so Williams stays busy recruiting volunteers, training tutors, and looking for partnerships for grants and other funding. But once work is done and the computer is closed, she’ll take any excuse to pay a home visit to one of their students. “Once I show up at a house, I end up being there for a couple hours usually.”

Despite spending more time on her computer than she ever expected to, Williams loves where she is and the opportunity she has. The community at Global FC has become invaluable to her.

She said, “[We] come and start to invest, not because we pity them and feel bad for them and think they have nothing, but because we believe that they have so much to give back to us.” Their capacity for unconditional love astounds her, and God is teaching her that, “It has to be a choice for me to allow God to love [these kids] through me…I can’t do everything… but I can be faithful to my role and allow God to work though me and through others.”

When Williams talks about her work and the kids, she can’t stop smiling. “I call my current job my dream job because it combined my love of children, families, culture, relationships, teaching, sports, missions, and even random things.” She points out how God has been at work, directing her steps here.

“The crazy thing is, this job did not exist when I started college; I was simply following God’s leading at each step along the way, and He graciously brought me here.”

With college behind her and exciting opportunities ahead of her, Williams has fallen in love with the mission field in her back yard. “I think a lot of life lessons that I learned here at Calvary are helping me… and there’s a part of me that’s 100% ready to go to another country and share about Jesus… But another part of me is like, this is the mission. Right here.”

Norm Baker Named 2019 Alumnus of the Year

Norm Baker Named 2019 Alumnus of the Year

“It was all for God’s glory!”

Norm Baker, adjunct faculty member in the Bible and Theology Department, was given the Calvary University (CU) Alumnus of the Year Award at the 2019 Commencement ceremony on May 11.

“It was all for God’s glory,” said Baker as he accepted the honor.

“You are what we all want to be,” said Dr. Christopher Cone, President of CU. “You have been trustworthy in the classroom, you have taught the word faithfully, and that’s all any of us are after. So, thank you for your example. Thank you for serving the Lord.”

Unfortunately for the students of CU, Baker has decided to retire. However, he will continue to serve the CU community with a pen.

“He has his next assignment,” said Dr. Cone, “which is to write for Calvary University Press and we’re very excited about that.”

CU Press is a new venture being developed this year. Dr. Mike Dodds will be stepping away from his familiar roles as Dean of the College and Department Chair for Ministry Studies, to become the first director of CU Press. He will continue to teach as a Professor of Ministry Studies. Baker has been asked to be a regular contributor to CU Press.

Baker was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1950. Soon after, his family moved across the country to upstate New York. As a young boy he enjoyed riding on trains with his father and grandfather who worked for the New York Central Railroad. His uncle owned a Christian book store, and Baker enjoyed browsing while having a popsicle. He speculates that this is where he first developed a love for books.

After his family moved to Aurora, Colorado, a few year later, Baker attended Aurora Central High School. His sister started going to the youth group at Aurora Bible Church. When she told him some cute girls were there, he decided to go with her. It was there that Baker heard the gospel message preached and received Christ as his personal Savior. Shortly after that, his parents rededicated their lives to Christ, and the Bakers started attending church as a family.

While in high school, Baker often heard evangelists and missionaries speak of the need to reach the lost for Christ. He dedicated his life to serve wherever God called him. His teachers encouraged him to go into an acting career because he loved drama. However, Baker sensed God leading him in a different direction, and after graduating from high school in 1967, he went to Frontier School of the Bible to prepare for overseas ministry.

During his time at Frontier, Baker heard about the work in Africa from missionaries with Gospel Missionary Union (now Avant Ministries). In 1971, he was accepted as a missionary with GMU to go to Mali, West Africa. During the missionary candidate training he met his future wife, Mary Alice, and they were married on September 18, 1971.

After raising support, they left for Switzerland to study French in April 1972 and then headed to Mali in July 1973. The next couple of years were spent learning the Bambara language and the culture. Baker particularly enjoyed hearing the Malian proverbs and stories that had been passed down verbally for many generations. He quickly developed a love and deep respect for the Bambara people.

Norm and Mary Alice served with Gospel Missionary Union for fifteen years. They raised their family of three sons and one daughter while living in the bush. Baker helped with church planting and discipleship training. He translated discipleship materials and assisted with a new revision of the Bambara Bible. During their last few years in Mali, Baker taught at the Mana Bible Institute, training Malian pastors and church leaders.

In 1986, Baker received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Calvary Bible College (CBC). He then served as the Missionary in Residence there from 1986 to 1987. He became the pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church where he served from 1987 to 1991. During that time Baker received his Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Theological Seminary. The Baker family then moved to Dallas, Texas, where Norm attended Dallas Theological Seminary and graduated with a Master of Theology degree in 1998. He also became the pastor of Stanley Bible Church in Overland Park, Kansas, in 1998, where he served for ten years.

In addition to pastoring, Baker taught Bible & Theology classes at Calvary from 2001 to 2005. He returned as an adjunct professor in January 2012, a total of twelve and a half years of service at Calvary. He has also enjoyed supporting CU’s theatre department as well as attending athletic events.

On the CU campus, Baker is fondly referred to as “Stormin’ Norman.” His love for studying and teaching the Word of God has been his life-long passion. He has had a sincere love for his students, as evidenced in his one-on-one interactions with them as he continues to disciple and prepare others for ministry. And, his students have returned that love. At Baker’s retirement party, student after student shared how much he has influenced their lives.

“Each one of these students,” Baker said, “helped me be a better teacher by their attitude in the classroom. That’s all I can say.”

The Alumnus of the Year award is given annually to a CU graduate who has shown faithfulness in ministry and has maintained a strong connection with the school in the years since graduation.

_____________________

Special thanks to Sara Klassen for compiling the biographical data for this article.

The Alumni of the Year Award was presented to Norm Baker at the 2019 Commencement ceremony on May 11. The award is given annually to a CU graduate who has shown faithfulness in ministry and has maintained a strong connection with the school in the years since graduation.

Norm Baker (top right) played a part in the 2018 Calvary University theatre production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Baker has enjoyed supporting the CU theatre department and attending athletic events in addition to his service in Calvary classrooms. 

“It was all for God’s glory,” said Norm Baker as he accepted the Alumni of the Year Award at the 2019 Commencement ceremony on May 11. 

Seeking Nominations for 2019 Alumnus of the Year

Seeking Nominations for 2019 Alumnus of the Year

Weekly Portraits of Calvary Life

Do you know a Calvary graduate who deserves to be honored as the 2019 Alumnus of the Year?  Please fill out the contact form here with your nomination and a paragraph describing his or her qualifications.  The deadline for submissions is Sunday, March 31.  Please help me compile a list of worthy individuals from which the President’s Cabinet will choose an honoree.  In general, we are looking for someone who is an outstanding example of faithfulness and who has maintained a strong connection with Calvary in the years since graduation.  Thank you for your assistance!

Sara Klaassen

Alumni Relations Coordinator

Upcoming Calvary Events

Newsies performances               March 15-17

Chorale Tour                                March 18-26

Feast & Fund Auction                 March 29

Cherrish Palmer’s Senior Recital        March 29

Music Department Spring Concert     April 12

Calvary University and Word of Life Bible Institute Announce Partnership

Calvary University and Word of Life Bible Institute Announce Partnership

SCHROON LAKE, NY – March 4, 2019 – Calvary University President, Dr. Christopher Cone, and Word of Life Bible Institute President, Roger Peace, announced a sweeping partnership between the two institutions, designed to strengthen both schools and provide significant benefits to students, staff and faculty, and alumni of both institutions. The partnership is crafted to provide a platform of collaboration and sharing between CU and WOLBI, as the schools move toward developing collaborative programs, shared access to campus facilities to enable both schools to broaden their reach, and cross-pollination and sharing of faculty.

The agreement includes significant tuition scholarships for Word of Life two-year program graduates who wish to continue their education through one of Calvary University’s four-year programs, and exchanges scholarships for staff and faculty of each school to attend the other. The agreement also benefits alumni of each school, allowing CU graduates scholarshipped access to Word of Life’s camp facilities, and WOLBI graduates scholarshipped access to educational programs at CU.

Peace and Cone formally announced the partnership to the student body of 370 while Cone had been teaching (the Book of Revelation) at the Word of Life campus in Schroon Lake. The announcement was met with excitement as students appreciated how the agreement would open doors for them to continue their preparation and schooling. Cone said he was “thankful to be working closely with such a likeminded and similarly-missioned group,” additionally noting that, “God continues to use Word of Life mightily in the lives of so many, and it will be a joy to see how God uses this partnership to improve how both schools serve and prepare students.” Peace, who will be speaking in the Spring at Calvary’s main campus in Kansas City, said, “the partnership builds on our commitment to prepare this generation in reaching their generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” and “as we move forward together, this partnership provides students an opportunity to prepare for future in a significant way.

Calvary University is an independent private, regionally accredited and nationally accredited university focused on “preparing Christians to live and serve in the church and in the world according to the Biblical worldview. Calvary offers a broad range of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and a doctoral program (Ph.D in Bible and Theology). Most of Calvary’s programs can be taken on campus or online.

Word of Life Bible Institute is fully accredited, and the mission is to educate each student within a rigorous academic and structured discipleship atmosphere, preparing him or her to live a life of maximum effectiveness for the Lord. The main campus is in Schroon Lake, NY, and teaching sites are located in Hudson, FL., and additional sites internationally.

For more information about the partnership, contact president@calvary.edu or president@wol.org To inquire about admissions to Calvary University, contact admissions@calvary.edu (Kansas City), co.admissions@calvary.edu (Fort Morgan, CO). To inquire about admissions to Word of Life, contact admissions@wol.org.

For more information go to: https://www.calvary.edu/wolbi/

Click here for the details and to read more about the benefits of this partnership.