Says SES President Dr. Richard Land, ‘The Lord Helped Me
Understand the Need for Someone to Come Alongside
Us at SES’ and ‘Keep Us Connected as Partners in Ministry’
October 29, 2020
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Board of Trustees of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), a leading educational institution in Christian apologetics, has approved the recommendation of SES President Dr. Richard Land to appoint Dr. Hayes Wicker to serve as Director of Spiritual Life.
Dr. Wicker begins his work full time at SES in mid-November.
Evangelical leader Dr. Land says, “I am delighted to be able to make this announcement about Dr. Hayes Wicker’s new role as Director of Spiritual Life at SES. As we were putting an emphasis on creating more of a virtual campus in regard to the COVID pandemic, I believe the Lord helped me to understand the need for someone to come alongside us here at SES and be the ‘spiritual glue,’ connecting all the parts: students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, donors. As I prayed about the role of a Director of Spiritual Life, the concept formed in my mind and heart of someone who could stay connected to all parts of the SES family and keep us connected as partners in ministry.”
Dr. Land adds, “At the same time, I was renewing fellowship with an old friend and colleague, Dr. Hayes Wicker. He had moved into the Ballantyne area of Charlotte after retiring from a long and fruitful ministry as Pastor of First Baptist Church in Naples, Florida. During his tenure there, Dr. Wicker was elected by his peers as President of the SBC Pastors’ Conference of 46,000 pastors, and President of the Florida Baptist Convention. As Dr. Wicker and I renewed our friendship, it became clear to me that God had dropped the answer to my prayers right on my front porch.
“As we discussed the potential faculty position,” Dr. Land continues, “we both sensed God’s leading to pursue it further. Dr. Wicker said he felt a strong leadership from the Holy Spirit to invest himself and his almost 50 years of pastoral and preaching experience in mentoring and investing in the lives of younger preachers. So, we have called, and Dr. Wicker has accepted, the ministry role of Director of Spiritual Life, as well as Adjunct Professor of Preaching and Pastoral Ministries.”
Dr. Land points out that as part of the new responsibilities, Dr. Wicker will oversee chapel “and help it become a significant ministry in the lives of the SES family.” Dr. Land concludes, “We are excited about what God is going to do in and through Dr. Wicker as he joins our ministry team at SES.”
Says Dr. Wicker about his SES appointment,“I hope to draw from 49 years of pastoral experience as I seek to be a shepherd to students, alumni, staff, and friends of SES. The Lord let ‘His work appear’ to Dr. Land, the trustees, and to me (Ps. 90:16). Our prayer is that He will then ‘confirm the work of our hands’ (Ps. 90:17).”
Adds Dr. Wicker, “I look forward to preaching in chapel and various churches as God opens doors, as well as to a mentoring role and teaching practical ministry as an adjunct professor. We will prayerfully attempt a creative paradigm that combines the digital with Christ-like personal connection.”
SES just completed one of the premier annual events in Christian apologetics: its 27th annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA), which was boldly virtual for the first time ever. The conference—featuring a record-breaking 75 speakers who addressed the inspirational theme of “Hold Fast” across six days this month—drew more than 1,500 registered attendees from all over the world.
To learn more about this year’s NCCA virtual conference, and to sign up to access its virtual sessions, which are available until April 15, 2021, visit conference.ses.edu. For 27 years, SES’s National Conference on Christian Apologetics has given believers the tools, knowledge, and motivation to defend their beliefs in a culture that is sometimes hostile toward Christianity.
Dr. Land explores many timely topics in his daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” as well as in his weekly column for The Christian Post, where he serves as executive editor. He also teaches classes at SES on a regular basis. This month, SES offered a new class on “Christian Theology, Racism, and Social Justice.” Land was “lead teacher” and welcomed Dr. Alveda King, Kay James, and Ralph Reed as prominent guest speakers to address various aspects of these issues. The course was live-streamed. Learn more about this and other SES classes here or visit ses.edu/apply.
To interview Dr. Richard Land of Southern Evangelical Seminary, contact Hamilton Strategies, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.