The Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary on July 14 celebrated its 65th Foundation Day with a convocation to mark the occasion. Instead of the usual Friday, dialect group worship gatherings, the seminary community began with a procession, led by Cordilleran gongs from the Grover Tyner Administrative Building towards the seminary amphitheater and “Saurenity” prayer garden.
The convocation was opened with a prayer led by Mike Dizon, the Vice President for Academics of the Student Council. The President, Dr. Armand Canoy welcomed the community and its guests, thanking God for the rich history of the seminary beginning with the Foreign Mission Board Missionaries leading to the present. This was followed by a reading of the history of the seminary by Ms. Beth Agwayaway recounting the milestones of the seminary and the transitions of its leadership. It was met by sounds of affirmation as the community’s both old and new members listened to the seminary’s 65 year story. Giving the Message was President Emeritus, Dr. Alfredo G. Saure, providing a light, yet meaningful commentary on the acronym P.B.T.S. (People-Oriented, Baptist-Heritage, Theologically-Sound, Spirit-filled), representing its core values.
On being “Spirit-filled”, he reminded listeners of the challenge not only to be “academics” and “theologians” but “kneel-ologians” who are filled with the Spirit. Dr. Saure ended with a challenge of becoming D.E.A.D. to self. To die is to “Dethrone the Self”, “Enthrone the Savior”, “Abandon Sin” and to “Dedicate our Lives”. He urged listeners that this Foundation Day is a reminder to dedicate and re-dedicate one’s life in “closeness” (to de-dikit) to Christ.
The short convocation was also participated by special musical numbers from the Seminary Dialect Groups (International, Vis-Min, and the Tagalog). Offerings were given while some staff and faculty participated in a Unity Dance.
As the 78th Psalm summons the congregation to do, this Foundation Day is a chance to “tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord and his might and the wonders that he has done.” (Psalm 78:4 ESV) PBTS continues to thank the Lord as she remembers God’s goodness 65 years ago.