Training You Can Trust -- By: Mark L. Bailey

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 160:637 (Jan 2003)
Article: Training You Can Trust
Author: Mark L. Bailey


Training You Can Trusta

Mark L. Bailey

The coat of arms of the Fitzgerald family of Ireland shows the figure of a baboon carrying a baby, and underneath is the Latin motto, Non Immemer Beneficii. The story connected with this strange device says that long ago the father of the family was away at war and had left his household in the charge of one or two old retainers and some women servants. Suddenly the enemy came to the house, and all fled, forgetful of the little baby, the future heir of the family. A pet baboon noticed the baby, ran to the cradle, caught up the child, and ran with him to the top of the abbey steeple, holding him out for the people to see. The servants were all in terror, but the baboon carried the baby down safely to the ground. When the child’s father returned, he felt that he owed a debt of gratitude to the beast that had saved the heir of his house. So he set the monkey in the center of his knightly shield and placed beneath the motto, “Not unmindful of his kindness.”1

While I do not have such a family crest, I am not unmindful of God’s kindness in my life in bringing me to this moment. As I step into the role of president of Dallas Theological Seminary, I do so with a sense of honor and humility. I am honored that the board, in consultation with the administration, faculty, staff, and alumni, would believe that it is the will of God that I should serve the Lord in this way. I am also humbled by the outstanding legacy of leadership that threads its way through the years of our Seminary’s history.

Our heritage is observable in our presidents, faculty, and faithful alumni who serve the cause of Christ all around the globe. God has used the support and endorsement of our previous three living presidents

to confirm my understanding that He has been behind this appointment. I express my heartfelt thanks for the encouragement and support of my esteemed colleagues on the faculty and staff.

In October 1900 John Knox McLean, president of Pacific Theological Seminary, Oakland, California, spoke at the Conference on Congregational Seminaries. He entitled his address, “The Presidency of Theological Seminaries.” In that address he noted the difficulty of a faculty member moving into the role of president. If that happens, “What will most probably result? Resentment on the part of fellow professors, corporate friction, personal irritation, all-around discord, and general chaos. He is more than likely to find himself a Joseph among his brethren, his best intentions misconceived and thwarted, left alone, stripped of h...

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