Reformed Quarterly Volume 7, Issue 4
Sam Patterson leaned forward in his chair and stared at Erskine Wells, a prominent lawyer and a devout Presbyterian, as Patterson made a compelling case for a new seminary that would be committed to the full, final authority of Scripture and the Reformed faith. Erskine listened patiently, then countered, “Sam, you’re a great man of God, but you’re in an ivory tower. I’ve got my feet on the ground, and from a businessman’s point of view it’s not feasible. We don’t have any land, any buildings, any faculty, or students.”
Patterson, undaunted, shot back, “Erskine, how big is your God?” And Erskine swallowed hard, then replied, “When do we start?”
So, with faith and great vision — amid much prayer — RTS was born; the classroom doors opened in September, 1966. Now, twenty-two years later, after remarkable growth and development, a similarly historic step has been taken by RTS trustees — to open a second campus in Orlando, Florida, in the fall of 1989.
Although Florida is the third most populous state, sporting a healthy growth rate and unprecedented opportunities for evangelism and church planting, surprisingly it has no accredited Protestant seminary. However, the role of pioneer is not foreign to RTS and, having surveyed the need and opportunity, we have decided to respond to the open door the Lord has placed before us.
With an extraordinary faculty, including R.C. Sproul, Richard Pratt, James M. Boice, J.I. Packer, Steve Brown, Os Guiness, and others, the Florida campus should play a major role in the future growth and development of RTS, assuring a major impact on the Christian community in the future.
Meanwhile we are also busy in Jackson, adding majors in church music and youth ministry, planning doctoral programs for missions and counseling, and considering other ways in which we can continue to expand and improve our ministry. In this issue you can catch a glimpse of the fine speakers visiting our campus –people like veteran missionary John Kyle and biblical expositor Charley Chase. Such excellent resources have always made it possible to turn out students like John Findlay and Bob Wojohn, whose creative and innovative ideas featured in this issue are making a significant difference in churches.
We are pressing on, trying to accomplish as much as we can as quickly as we can in 1989 and thereafter. We pledge to continue to stand on the solid rock, but we won’t stand still.