WBU Hosts Jerome Farris for McCoy Lectures Series

PLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University hosted the 14th annual McCoy Lectures Series on Wednesday with pastor Jerome Farris from Detroit, Mich., serving as the guest speaker.

The McCoy Lectures Series was developed by First Baptist with an estate gift from the late Dr. Dorothy McCoy, a longtime math professor at Wayland who died in 2001. McCoy had a great interest in missions and the church wanted to honor her memory.

Farris is pastor of the Gospel Tabernacle Baptist Church in Detroit, located in the midst of the largest Muslim population in the United States. Each year, Dr. Richard Shaw takes a group of students to Detroit and Dearborn during spring break in association with the Wayland Mission Center. While there, they work with Pastor Farris with whom Shaw has been acquainted for a number of years.

On Wednesday, Farris spoke at chapel as well as participated in a luncheon discussion and spoke at First Baptist Church in Happy where Dr. Shaw is the pastor. Knowing that his chapel audience didn’t consist only of Christians, Farris sought to deliver a message of encouragement and inspiration. He did so through the simple focus of God’s love for all. Farris referenced John 3:16 and Acts 10:34 as he challenged students to ask if there were any limits to God’s love.

“I’m so glad He don’t just love ‘good’ people,” Farris said. “All of us have fallen short of God’s glory. All of us have fallen short of God’s grace.”

Farris even said that if Dr. Shaw knew all the things he had done in his life, he would not have been invited to speak.

Quoting from Ephesians 2, Farris spoke of God’s grace and what it meant for mankind. He asked students if God would still love him if her were a liar, killer, suicidal, confused about his gender, or confused about his sexual orientation.

“Would He still love me? Would He still forgive me? Would He still save me? Would He still dare to use me,” Farris asked. “The answer is ‘Yes!’ In spite of my baggage, He loves me. There is nothing I would do that He is not willing to forgive.”

Farris challenged the assumption that Christianity and the existence of God is not real. He asked what would happen if one lived by that assumption, then upon death discovered that everything that had been said in chapel throughout the years was true.

“I stand before you knowing in every fiber of my being that Christ has risen from the dead,” Farris said. “I serve a risen savior.”

Speaking to the non-Christians Farris asked what they had to gain by accepting Jesus.

“You have life, joy, peace, eternal life, life more abundant today and in the life to come,” Farris said. “Accept Him because of the truth that Jesus loves me.”