April 26, 2023
On April 19, Asbury University hosted a joint worship celebration with Asbury Theological Seminary as part of the seminary’s Centennial Celebration. This service on Lexington Avenue commemorated H.C. Morrison’s founding of Asbury Seminary while he was president of Asbury College. Bristol House, a collective of young worship leaders based in The Woodlands Methodist Church in Texas led powerful times of praise and worship.
Presidents of both institutions gave inspiring messages about the past and future of both institutions. President of Asbury Theological Seminary Dr. Timothy Tennent recalled the evangelization of central Kentucky and Francis Asbury’s founding of Bethel Academy in 1790 near Wilmore.
“One hundred years later, we still believe in the fully sanctified life,” Tennent said, recounting the foundations of Asbury Theological Seminary. “We thank God for the momentous nature of this event today.”
President of Asbury University Dr. Kevin Brown offered insights about implications for ministry considering technological growth in our society.
“What endures in the future?” he asked, naming these facets: sound thinking, truth, virtue, sacrifice, service, the mind of Christ, humility, steadfastness, and love. He explained that though the methods and modalities employed to fulfill the institutions’ missions will change, “The missions of Asbury University and Asbury Theological Seminary do not change.”
Many decades after Francis Asbury established Bethel Academy, H.C. Morrison convinced his friend John Wesley Hughes to choose Wilmore, the seat of a revival, as the place to fulfill his dream of founding a holiness college. John Wesley Hughes founded Asbury College in 1890. H.C. Morrison, while president of Asbury College, founded Asbury Seminary in 1923.
President Brown presented Asbury Seminary with a birthday gift: an early-1900s oil painting of H.C. Morrison by painter Paul Plaschke of Louisville. Rev. Dr. Matt Barnes, Vice President of Formation at Asbury Theological Seminary, presented an October Glory Maple tree to Asbury University, to be planted near Hughes Auditorium. Dr. Sarah Baldwin, Vice President of Student Life & Dean of Students, presented a Wildfire Black Gum tree to Asbury Seminary, to be planted in front of B.L. Fisher Library.
“By giving these trees as gifts to each other, we acknowledge that we are called to be like these trees, firmly rooted in our faith and bearing good fruit for God’s Kingdom, always displaying His splendor,” Barnes said.