Our Beloved Alma Mater

Posted on September 26, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

We are home from a wonderful weekend with Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport, leading a spiritual warfare seminar Friday and Saturday, consultation with missions leadership and preaching on Sunday. We are excited about lunch this week with Dr. Jasper and Dottie McPhail, missionary heroes who opened Southern Baptist work in India and are now retired in Clinton. Thursday through Saturday I will be attending the annual mission leadership network conference in Phoenix and looking forward to preaching next Sunday at our home church, Morrison Heights, for their Global Impact Celebration services at 9:00, 10:45 and 6:00.

One of the delights in returning to Mississippi for retirement has been to renew relationships with Mississippi College, our alma mater. I graduated in 1964 and Bobbye in 1966. I will never forget meeting her at the top of the stairs in the library early in her freshman year. She captured my heart and the rest is history!

We have stayed connected over the years, especially during our years of furlough in Clinton; many of our classmates and friends have served in leadership and on the faculty. Mississippi College was the first senior college established in Mississippi, dating back to 1826. It is now a Baptist University with more than 5,000 students. Living less than a mile from the campus, we often walk the beautiful grounds, attend programs and events and find opportunities to interact with students.

Nelson Hall, with its clock tower is the administrative center of the campus; itʼs chimes striking the hour can be heard all over town. The most notable historic landmark is the “Old Chapel,” now known as Provine Hall. Built before the Civil War, General Grant used it as a hospital for his troops and the ground floor as a stable for his horses in the campaign that eventually resulted in the fall of Vicksburg. It now houses the Christian Studies Department.

It has been gratifying to participate in orientation and then debriefing of the students serving in summer mission assignments. I have had the privilege of speaking in chapel each semester, will be speaking at the honors banquet later this fall and teaching a missions and evangelism course in the spring semester. There are almost 300 international students enrolled at MC, most of them from mainland China, so we are anticipating that this will be a primary channel of ministry involvement when whenever we are home.

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