ANKENY, Iowa—More than 700 alumni, friends, and students of Faith Baptist Bible College and Seminary gathered on Thursday, Sept. 17, for the installation of its new president, Jim Tillotson. The day began with the installation chapel featuring a pictorial look at all the presidents of Faith, starting with Dr. William H. Jordan, who founded the school in 1921. The chapel service ended with the presentation to President Tillotson of his academic regalia by Jim Randolph, who was the chair of the presidential search committee.
The evening activities began with the installation dinner for about 160 guests in the Nettleton Center classrooms. Following the dinner, the guests moved to the gym for the installation service. The service included several memorable features:
- Kevin Koester, a fellow believer and the Iowa state representative from the 38th district, greeted the guests. He recounted how Faith personnel have been active in community affairs and pointed out the strategic role Faith plays in the community.
- Rev. Tim Capon, representative for the Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches, brought the invocation, asking God’s blessing on the new president.
- Former president Dr. James D. Maxwell III read the apostle Paul’s charge to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1–8. The words, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” certainly are appropriate for the new president.
- Dr. Ernie Schmidt, interim president, led in the investiture part of the service by presenting the presidential medallion to the new president. President Tillotson will wear the medallion at all academic affairs.
- Dr. Gary Anderson, president of Baptist Mid-Missions, challenged the new president to model Christlike leadership. President Tillotson commented that this was one of the finest messages he has heard on Biblical leadership.
Several institutions sent representatives to support President Tillotson in his new ministry: Dr. Kevin Bauder, faculty, Central Baptist Theological Seminary; Dr. Brent Belford, provost, Central Baptist Theological Seminary; Dr. David Doran, president, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary; Dr. Laura Douglas, provost, Des Moines Area Community College, Urban Campus; Pastor Thomas Hlad, alumnus, Appalachian Bible College; Dr. Martin Marriott, president, Maranatha Baptist University; Dr. Matt Morrell, president, Central Baptist Theological Seminary; Dr. Larry Oats, dean, Maranatha Baptist Seminary; Dr. Charles Petitt, president, Piedmont International University; Dr. Stephen Pettit, president, Bob Jones University; and Dr. John Greening, GARBC national representative.
In President Tillotson’s address he said he did not come to change Faith but to champion Faith. He committed himself to be a leader of integrity and godliness and to lead Faith to continue its mission of equipping men and women to take the Word to the world.
A highlight of the service came near the end when five of President Tillotson’s closest friends and advisors prayed over him. Those men were Dr. Gary Anderson; Pastor David Shoaf; Pastor Jason LaFlamme; Dr. Doug McLachlan; and his father, Dr. Richard Tillotson.
The service ended with a stirring rendition of “How Great Thou Art” by the Faith and Alumni Chorale, the Faith Brass and Percussion, and the congregation.
Faith says, “We have entered into a new chapter in the life and ministry of Faith. Please join with us in praying for President Tillotson as he leads the institution.”
- Watch a recording of the installation service.