Blessing a seminary for years to come: how one couple’s legacy is helping the next generation of African pastors

by Bonnie Shaw on February 25, 2021 in Great Commission

An endowment fund set up through Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF) has assisted the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary (NBTS) in building a new state-of-the-art theological library.

NBTS has been an integral part of evangelical learning since it was founded. What started out as a preacher’s training class in May 1898 grew into a seminary that has become one of the best evangelical theological institutions in Africa. NBTS strives to be a world-class theological institution, training God-called persons and contributing to the transformation of society, to the glory of God.

The seminary is a launching point for pastors who will go on to minister around the continent, including pastors from Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). As enrollment in the seminary continues to increase, NBTS is working to enlarge facilities to meet the growing needs of its students.

The Edward and Rachel Humphry Endowment was established in 2006 through Texas Baptists by the Humphreys’ son. The trust was established with an emphasis that the money would be used to assist Baptist ministry work in Nigeria, including a hospital in Ogbomoso and NBTS. The couple had been active in mission work in Nigeria for years, and the endowment was their son’s way of ensuring that their heart for missions continued long after their passing.

“They had a strong abiding love for the work they had in Nigeria and the endowment is a beautiful way to honor and continue that love,” Ward Hayes, Treasurer/CFO of Texas Baptists, explained. “They had a beautiful legacy in Nigeria while they were alive, and now it gets to continue.”

The money provided by the Edward and Rachel Humphry Endowment will go towards building a new hybrid library, which will hold a mix of traditional printed material and electronic resources. The old library, which was originally constructed in 1955, could only seat 135 students. With over 900 students enrolled in 2020-2021, the new library will be big enough for all the students to comfortably access its resources. The library’s expansion will better meet the needs of the students as they prepare to go out and serve around the continent.

In addition to going towards the cost of the new building, the endowment will also provide for books and digital resources for the library. This will give better materials for teaching, learning and research for students and lecturers.

The funds from the Edward and Rachel Humphry Endowment are helping NBTS create better facilities for training up the next generation of pastors in Africa. But the impact of the endowed gift will not stop there.

”Because an endowment fund generates revenue, the initial gift grows year by year,” Jerry Carlisle, director of TBMF, explained. “The generated revenue means an endowment actually produces new money; it is that money which is distributed for ministry. As a result, the original endowment will continue to produce funds for God’s work in Nigeria for years to come. Through endowment gifts, your legacy extends far beyond your lifetime.”

For more information about giving through an endowment, contact the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation at 214-828-5343.

Read more articles in: Great Commission, Texas Baptist Missions Foundation

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