Rowell Urges Audience to Leave Comfort Zone at Campbellsville University Address

By Heather Campbell, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “We need to get up and go and believe that God is going to do something,” said Larry Rowell, minister of education at Campbellsville Baptist Church and guest speaker at Campbellsville University’s chapel/convocation March 21 in Powell Athletic Center.

Rowell said he remembered growing up in a small town in southern Georgia and learning about the story of Jonah and the whale. He said he has come to see how our own lives reflect Jonah’s.

Rowell told the story of Jonah being afraid of God’s calling on his life and how he ran from God.

“I think Jonah was afraid because of prejudice,” said Rowell. “What we don’t know causes us not to like something.”

He said God calls us to do something about our prejudices. Jonah was afraid of the people of Nineveh because it was not a good place, said Rowell.

“I wonder how often God calls us to leave our comfort zone and leave our prejudices,” he said.

He said that God does want us to leave our comfort zone and prejudices. He talked about Krystal Hutchinson, a former CU student who is now a missionary in Africa. He said that she has left her comfort zone, but said that God is working through her and equipping her for what he has called her to do.

Rowell also said that we, like Jonah, get too occupied with our stuff rather than saving people. He said the United States has 5 percent of the population of the world but holds 95 percent of the world’s wealth.

He urged everyone to check their prejudices and their joy in stuff.

“God wants to do some marvelous things in your life,” he said, “120,000 people in Nineveh repented all because one man told of God’s love.”

Rowell received his associate of science degree from South Georgia College in 1975 and his bachelor of science degree from Valdosta State College in 1977. He graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1981 with a master’s degree in religious education.

Rowell previously served as a missionary in West Africa before coming to Campbellsville, from 1987 to 2003. Before that, he served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Lyons, Ga. from 1983 to 1987 and as associate pastor of Beargrass Baptist Church in Louisville, from 1981 to 1983.

Rowell serves as chaplain for the Campbellsville-Taylor County Rescue and is a member of the Campbellsville Kiwanis Club.

He and his wife, Edwina, have one son, Parker, who is a CU alumnus.

Campbellsville University, now celebrating her Centennial year, is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,310 students who represent 100 Kentucky counties, 32 states and 28 foreign nations. Listed in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” 14 consecutive years as one of the leading Southern master’s colleges and universities, Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his eighth year as president.

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