A Letter from Dr. Richard

May 27, 2020

Dear Friends,

Congratulations on your graduation! I am excited for each of you. I am sure that your seminary experience has been a challenging time. The demands placed upon you over the last several years have typically been more than you have had time to handle. That is exactly the way it should be too, because that is what life and ministry are like. The challenge of completing assignments in the midst of a hectic schedule has, therefore, prepared you to move forward in ministry with strength.

At this momentous time in your lives, let me encourage you to give your time and attention to walking closely with the Lord. You will soon discover—if you haven’t already—that there will always be someone in ministry that is more gifted than you are. You cannot do anything about that. You can, however, do something about your relationship with the Lord. So let me encourage you to walk closely with Him. Give yourself to spending time in the Word and prayer. Remember the words of Robert Murray M’Cheyne: “It is not great talents that God blesses, so much as great likeness to Jesus.” Strive to be like Christ, my friends, in all that you do.

Let me also encourage you to keep studying and expanding your knowledge base. Seminary is not intended to give you every piece of knowledge that you will ever need to know for life and ministry. It is designed to give you the tools that you need to continue growing and learning for yourself for the rest of your lives. Give your time to reading, therefore. Even if you are only able to read 10 pages a day, if you do this every day, you will read 12-15 substantial books each year. Don’t let the busyness of life keep you from this.

Finally, let me also encourage you not to neglect your family. Ministry will take as much time as you let it. So, don’t let it take you away from your family all the time. Set boundaries. Be intentional. Give time to your spouse and children—if the Lord has given these things to you. Invest in them. Pray with and for them. Be real with them. Let them see you fall short, but let them also see you repent. Look for opportunities to let them see that you really do love Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Let them see that that is more important to you than anything else in your life.

I am looking forward to watching the Lord use each of you to build His Church in the years to come. Please keep in touch and do let me know if there is ever anything that I can help you with. Feel free to call, text, or email at any time. My cell number is 228-697-1305. I would enjoy hearing from you!

Your brother in the Lord,






Charge to the Class of 2020
from Professor William Wood