Spring 2010 Graduation

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary conferred 190 degrees at the Seminary’s five commencement ceremonies during the month of May. At the Northern California graduation, a pastor from one of the largest African American churches on the west coast received a doctor of ministry degree, as well as the William O. Crews Presidential Leadership Award; and a recent parolee of San Quentin received a diploma in Christian Ministries.

Jessie Lee Reed is the first graduate from the Seminary’s Contextualized Leadership Development program (CLD) held in San Quentin Prison. Incarcerated for 24 years, and paroled in June 2009, Reed began studying through the CLD program while at San Quentin, and completed his final class after his release. He received a diploma in Christian Ministries at the Northern California commencement ceremony, and was publicly congratulated by Seminary President Jeff Iorg.

“We are pleased to recognize this accomplishment by a man who has overcome many obstacles,” said Iorg. “This commencement marks a beginning point for Jessie, and for all the graduates who move into a new phase of ministry distinguished by the training they have received at Golden Gate.”

President Iorg challenged the graduates to build a ministry based on the model illustrated by the church planting team in Thessalonica (Acts 17). “Communicate the Gospel in the most strategic place possible and the most strategic way possible,” Iorg said. “You will find that strategic place at the intersection of your experience, passion, calling, and life-setting.”

Iorg continued his charge to the graduates, “Communicate the central person of the Gospel – Jesus. Preach Jesus Christ crucified, Jesus Christ buried, Jesus Christ resurrected – believe and preach the name of Jesus.” He concluded by reminding the graduates, “When you preach the Gospel, you will have some opposition. But know this as well; when you preach the Gospel you will also have positive response – people coming to know Jesus Christ.”

The Seminary’s highest student award, the William O. Crews Presidential Leadership Award, was given to two students: master of divinity graduate Reed J. Redus from the Northern California campus, and doctor of ministry graduate Anthony L. Dockery from the Southern California campus. Dockery is pastor of St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church in La Puente, California.