Oct. 16, 2015
For Immediate Release
By Jordan Snider and Josh Christian, student news writers
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. Frank Page, the president and chief executive officer of the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, spoke about the importance of evangelism and missions at the Baptist Heritage Lecture Series in the Banquet Hall of the Badgett Academic Support Center recently.
At chapel, the next day, he spoke about the suicide of his daughter, Melissa.
|Dr. Frank Page speaks on missions and his daughter’s suicide at Campbellsville
University Baptist Heritage Lecture Series and chapel. (Campbellsville University
Photo by Jordan Snider)
“Missions is crossing barriers and meeting people at their point of need,” Page said at the Baptist Heritage and Lecture Series.
Page used many examples of how we are to evangelize and how we should act on the mission field. Page said Jesus is the best example of evangelism, especially during his encounter with the women at the well (John 4). During that time men were not supposed to speak to women but Jesus did and explained the gospel to her in a way she was able to understand.
“How do you evangelize in different cultures in America? It’s all about perception. You have to get people out of the walls of the church and into the community,” Page said.
Page was the pastor of a church in Greenville County, S.C. and shared with the students and faculty a few ways that he and the church congregation got out of the walls of the church and started evangelizing in the community.
“We started the single mother oil change, where 200 women and their children would come to have their cars worked on for free. We would have people ministering to them while the work was being done. We also started a six day a week free clinic that included dental work, a pharmacy and medical center,” he said.
During a question and answer session, Page was asked “What made you aware of needing to meet the spiritual needs of people through missions?”
“I first realized that on a mission trip to Mexico and since then I have learned more and more about meeting the needs of people and sharing the gospel with them where they are at,” Page said.
Another student asked, “What are the first steps a small church should take when trying to reach out to people?”
“As a small church you need to discern the needs of the people in the community you are trying to reach out to. You have to start small, maybe ministering to just a few families at a time and let it grow,” he said.
“I stand here, as a pastor, to tell you we need to be like Jesus when we minister to people. If you meet people where they’re at they will come to you and listen,” Page said.
Dr. John Hurtgen, dean of the School of Theology, welcomed the students and faculty. Dr. Twyla Hernandez, the assistant professor of Christian missions, introduced Page and closed in prayer.
At chapel, Page told the story of his daughter’s suicide and living with suicide.
“It was about 10 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving (in 2009) when I got up to work in our yard. I was there by myself when I received a cryptic call from my daughter,” Page said.
Page told about the scene as he approached his daughter’s house. Emergency units were already there and quickly pointed him to the hospital.
“This began the story of being left behind,” Page said.
“I did the only thing I knew to do… I began to cry out to the Lord,” Page said.
Referencing the book of Job from the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, Page read, “The Lord giveth and taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord,” (Job 1:24).
“Jesus knew trouble comes to everyone,” Page said, “I have to tell you, you will go through trouble and experience all kinds of struggles.”
“God is preparing a place for you in Heaven, but He wants to have a relationship with you now.”
Page also talked about the matter of suicide as a whole.
“Suicide is an epidemic in our culture. It is the number three cause of death in your age group,” Page said to the students who were attending. “They don’t talk about it in Germany and other cultures but they are killing themselves at a higher rate.”
“There may be someone in here, today, considering it,” Page said.
“I can tell you as the father of a daughter who has committed suicide that the Lord has never left me,” Page said, “He is our only source of help.”
Page continues traveling the country to bring about suicide awareness.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering over 80 programs of study including 24 master’s degrees, seven postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.