Former presidents speak at chapel

March 10, 2010  

PLAINVIEW – Former Wayland Baptist University President Dr. David Jester returned to campus Wednesday to speak to current students, faculty and staff, some of whom were here while he served as president from 1981-87.

Now 80 years old, the former missionary to Nigeria who was born and spent many of his early years in Tanzania, spoke with a soft cadence and accent while addressing the chapel audience. Scrapping his prepared message, Jester spoke from the heart about the importance of missions and how he has seen the hand of God evident throughout his career as a missionary and educator.

Jester was inspired by the recent massacre in Nigeria and how Islamists are trying to reclaim the area where he once served as a missionary and drive out Christianity.

Missions becomes real, and I believe it is time we wake up in America,” he said, challenging Baptists to realize, “We have marching orders.” 

“Don’t love with an agenda, but love others as God loves you,” Jester said.

The former president praised Wayland’s leadership for its endeavors in Kenya, offering training and a religion degree in the African nation.

“We need to reach the unreached, but we need to provide training,” he said. “Thank God Wayland is in Kenya.”

Jester also praised young people who are fearlessly taking the gospel into dangerous areas. He then challenged to students of Wayland to find the potential within them to do the work of God.

Jester, who lives in Louisville, KY, had not been on the Wayland campus since resigning in 1987. He spent the day touring the campus to see all the changes since he was last there. He also spoke to two religion classes and celebrated his 80th birthday, albeit five days late, with an afternoon tea given in his honor.