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Higher education that “everyone” needs, can afford

SPECIAL TO THE JOURNAL

Long time resident of Crenshaw County, Dr. Ira Walton Sr. was joined this past September by Dr. Daryl Franzel, a 40 plus year veteran of the ministry. The joining of these two passionate preachers of the Gospel in Jesus Christ has brought to the County, a vision that will impact local, national and global people groups for an eternity. The Vision is based upon the need to reach each generation and to prepare them to succeed and then to pass their success on to the next generation and on. Education, in principles both moral and practical are lacking in many cultural groups around the world today, creating lifestyles of crime, poverty and despair. A systematic process of working with children in youth camp, day school, summer programs and then finally the college level Seminary will give the tools needed for success. All of this needs to be accomplished in a way, so that everyone might be able to participate without fear of a monumental debt, which enslaves people for years.

Three major questions arise in the contemplation of this life changing process. The first question deals with a vehicle of operation that can train individuals to be the moral, spiritual and service minded leaders in their cultural circles. This vehicle is the Alabama Baptist Seminary, a school of higher learning designed to focus on education and a moral life code, not making money. Secondly, a school that not only allows all people, but seeks to be a school that brings all people closer to God and to each other. This school needs to be A school that gives a first rate education at a very low rate of cost. Finally, this needs to be a school that can work with students of all educational, financial and ethnic backgrounds. Yes, it needs to be a school with the heart of God and not the biases of man.

The second question is this; what makes Alabama Baptist Seminary such an important vehicle of operation? The first point is a school faculty of diverse backgrounds and experiences while at the same time with a mindset unified in Christ. This unified faculty working together to reach everyone where they are at and bring them to where God wants them to be in His will for them. Second point, is a diverse student body seeking a common ground and a common goal for their life, and the impact that they can achieve in others.  Finally, a student body, being equipped to not only changes their own lives but can be a large influence on others.

The third question is this; how can the cost of education be kept down to an affordable level? First, let me say this; no education is free! The fact is someone has to pay for the education. The student either totally pays for their own or others pay for them.

The cost of education at Alabama Baptist Seminary is minimal to the student, with the rest being made up by donations from churches, groups and individuals. Next, there is a sacrificial investment by the professors and staff, who have committed their life to investing in others.

Let us take a deeper look at the leadership of Alabama Baptist Seminary. These are two men, north and south, black and white serving together as brothers for the good of the community and the cause of Christ.

The Chair of the Board of Trustees is Dr. Ira Walton Sr. He is the long time pastor of Crenshaw Community Baptist Church. Dr. Walton founded the church some 20 plus years ago and in those 2 decades all the current buildings grounds have been developed with a pay as you go program, resulting in a debt free campus. Dr. Walton is a retired Gunnery Sergeant from the Marine Corps. He has been an entrepreneur and involved in law enforcement.

The President of the Alabama Baptist Seminary is Dr. Daryl Franzel. He has pastured three churches over a period of 40 years. Dr. Franzel has served as a Professor in both secular as well as Bible colleges. He was a Trustee of Atlantic Baptist College, also served as an adjunct professor at Atlantic for a number of years. Dr. Franzel has served in the armed forces, during the Viet Nam war, and in law enforcement. Dr. Franzel has been an entrepreneur and spent most of his time, over 45 years in education at one level or another.

These two men work side by side with a love for God, a love for the people, sharing the vision God gave for this mission. Come and check out for yourself and see what part you can play in this mighty effort.