Frank Page Speaks at GGBTS

Hear the Call, Heed the Command

"What will be on your tombstone?" asked Frank Page, president-elect of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee while speaking to Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary students, faculty, and staff on September 2, 2010 during Chapel.

Page, in his first public speaking engagement to a Southern Baptist seminary since his election in June, told the story of how Louis Pasteur found the cure for rabies and saved the life of Joseph Meister, a young boy who was infected with what was at that time an incurable infection. “Of all that Pasteur could have written on his tombstone, he requested simply ‘Joseph Meister Lives,’” Page said. “What will be on your tombstone?” he asked his listeners. “I hope it will be ‘She (or he) followed the call of God.’”

Referring to 1 Samuel 3, Page described how Samuel heard God’s call several times, yet at first he thought Eli was calling him. “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening,” Samuel eventually responded to God, and Page noted that “God calls us so that we might say yes to salvation, and to come into a love relationship with him. He also calls us to ministry, to service, just like he called Samuel.”

Page cautioned the seminarians, “Even though Satan will attack you in your ministry, you will never walk alone. God will always be with you.” He noted how two thirds of the men he went to seminary with are no longer in ministry. “Times are tough, for me as well as any other person,” he said, “but this is a calling from God – it’s not something I can ignore.” He encouraged his listeners to remember, “God has called you to ministry, and this will mitigate the difficulties that will come your way. You were called by God.”

“Hear the call, heed the command,” Page said. He urged his listeners to ask God daily, “What do you want me to do today? Who do you want me to speak to today? May I hear the call, may I heed the command.”

“Do you hear God whisper a direction? Do not let the call of God go unheeded,” Page urged. “At age four I knew I was going to be a Baptist preacher. God’s call stayed clear for me.” He reminded his listeners to respond as Samuel did, “Speak Lord – your servant is listening. Where do you want me to go, what do you want me to do?”

“What will be on your tombstone?” Page concluded. “I hope it will be, ‘He followed the call of God.’”

Listen to the message