Earlier this evening, the news broke that Matt Bevin has been elected as the next governor of Kentucky. As that news ripples across the country, what may not be as well known is Bevin’s fervent Christian faith and connection to Southern Seminary where I teach. Several years ago, Bevin endowed our school’s center for global missions. This came about as a result of a devastating family tragedy. You can hear Bevin share the story above in his own words, or you can read Aaron Hanbury’s 2012 report below. Don’t miss this one.
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary officially opened its new Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization, Oct. 9, during the seminary’s Heritage Week. This center will mobilize prayer and people for the fulfillment of the Great Commission through the Southern Seminary community.
Functions of the Bevin Center will include a major missions conference, training events, affinity group fellowships, cultural immersion experiences, hosting missionaries in residence, an expanded missions week on Southern’s campus as well as expanded missions trips around the world.
Glenna and Matthew Bevin provided an endowment to fund the center in remembrance of their late daughter, Brittiney, whose passion for the gospel drove her life. At the dedication of this center, R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, introduced Matthew Bevin to explain why he and his family made this gift.
Speaking to the seminary’s board of trustees, foundation board, faculty and students, Matthew Bevin told the story of Brittiney, who was the oldest of his 10 children. From the time she was a young girl, Brittiney possessed an incredible heart for missions, according to her father. He used the biblical phrase “salt and light” to describe Brittiney’s compassion for “the least of these.”
As young as 14 years old, Brittiney sensed a call to pursue missions vocationally. The Bevins sent her on overseas missions trips to India and Romania to share the gospel and to work in orphanages. These trips confirmed both to her parents and to Brittiney that God called her to the work of spreading the gospel to the nations. Only weeks after her return from Romania, when she was 17 years old, Brittiney Bevin died in a car accident on Lexington Rd., right in front of the Southern Seminary campus.
Matthew Bevin said that his daughter will not physically be able to fulfill her calling, but her desires are being fulfilled by the legacy she left behind. The Bevins desire to see Brittiney’s calling live on through a generation of young Christians ready to answer the call to world missions.
And, according to Matthew Bevin, Southern Seminary is the best institution to house and operate such a center. He said: “We have confidence that Southern is an institution that will steward this in a way that will serve God best.”
Concluding his comments, he read a prayer that Brittiney Bevin recorded in her journal the night before she died. Her prayer emphasized her heart for the lost and the down-trodden. She wrote her “dangerous prayer” and hoped to be fully deployed for the gospel of Christ.
She wrote: “You hold the only peace that can fill the deepest hole. But how do I get it? You said, ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ I am asking and I know that you will give it to me. Every week you bless me so much and teach me lessons after lessons. I know that once again you are showing me your love. I can’t fathom how much you feel when one of your children suffers, but I’ve had a glimpse of your heartache. Please fill me with your wisdom that I won’t just watch others suffer, but that I’ll be able to say what they need to hear. As a new week approaches, my dangerous prayer is that you’ll place broken hearted people in my path and fill me with you so that I can let your love heal their pain.”