Alumni Stories

Rev. Dr. Ghuna Kumar (M.A., 1992)
Gospel Friends Ministry | Tamil Nadu, India

Ghuna Kumar is a dynamic and faithful witness for Jesus Christ in his home country of India. Whether he is talking with the van driver or preaching in a village where there is no church, Ghuna’s number one priority is sharing the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

A passion of his is training and equipping other believers to be witnesses for Christ. Over the last 15 years, the Lord has used Ghuna instrumentally to establish three homes for hundreds of destitute and orphaned children in his country, three medical clinics (serving 100 daily) and numerous medical camps (serving 5,000 annually) for the health and welfare of local communities, vocational training for some (close to 100 annually) of the most vulnerable women in his society through nursing and sewing schools, a theological school (Living Hope) to train (80 annually) indigenous ministers for the work of the gospel, the building of 70 new churches and the birthing of 700 new village congregations, and a ministry to families through television, seminars, and counseling.

By God’s design and power, more than 20,000 Hindus have received the sacrament of Christian baptism through the ministry of Ghuna Kumar and Gospel Friends.

 

Dr. Thomas H. McCall (M.A., 1996)
Associate Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School | Deerfield, IL

Wesley Biblical Seminary was not originally high on Tom’s list of seminary options, but visiting with professors left an indelible mark on him and resulted in a change of heart and mind. He still speaks glowingly of the way the professors modeled a life of radical hospitality and self-giving love while he was a student at WBS.

“The spiritual life at WBS was strong,” Tom remarks, “as was the Seminary’s commitment to teaching Christian orthodoxy that is unabashedly Wesleyan.” By Tom’s own admission, his educational experience opened new horizons, provided tools for critical thinking, fostered a commitment to the interpretation of Scripture and culture, shaped a biblical and orthodox understanding of the Triune God, and cultivated a sense of this God’s passion for the world.

The strong foundation procured at WBS served Tom well as he continued on to Calvin Theological Seminary to complete his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology in 2004. He then accepted an invitation to teach at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL, where he is the Associate Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology and the first Wesleyan to hold a professorship in theology at the institution.

Tom is fully committed to the idea that “without good theology, the church suffers,” and he seeks to serve the church by producing the kinds of solid theological resources that edify and nurture the church’s life. Such a commitment is visible in his contributions to pertinent conversations in theological studies. For example, Alan Padgett, Professor of Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary, praises Tom’s Which Trinity? as the best work on the doctrine of the Trinity to combine analytic philosophy with Christian doctrine. In Tom’s words, “I will be forever grateful for the intellectual and spiritual formation I received at Wesley Biblical Seminary.”

 

Stuart Kellogg (M.A., 2006)
President/General Manager, 16 WAPTTV | Jackson, MS

After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in broadcast journalism, “Stu” Kellogg worked for a number of television stations—Dallas, Oklahoma City, Cedar Rapids, New Orleans, Mobile, and Syracuse—in the area of news and marketing. His hard work and dedication to his profession resulted in being named the President/General Manager of 16 WAPTTV in Jackson, MS in 1991. During those early years at WAPT, Stu came to rely on Dr. Matt Friedeman, a professor at Wesley Biblical Seminary, for regular commentary on local politics. Unbeknownst to Stu, this connection with WBS would have a lasting impact on his life.

What began with a simple conversation (and the reading of J.W. Bready’s England Before and After Wesley) with Dr. Friedeman about the life and ministry of John Wesley soon fueled a desire to enroll in a formal degree program. In addition to “helping the Bible come alive” and “learning the power of the small group experience,” Stu credits WBS with helping him grapple with how the gospel engages and “impacts the secular culture” in which he works and lives.

Over the years, Stu has served as Chairman of the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters, The United Way of the Capitol area, and the Boards of Goodwill and Make-A-Wish Foundation. He is one of the founders of the Prison Ministry Collaborative—a Christian-based program that helps former prisoners succeed after incarceration—and teaches weekly at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Wesley Biblical Seminary and Belhaven University and on the boards of the Young Business Leaders, the Salvation Army, and Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service Board. He and Beth, his wife, are members of Ridgecrest Baptist Church where Stu is an ordained Deacon and teaches Sunday school.

 

Rev. Dock S. Cooper, III (M.A., 2007)
Pastor, Agape Christian Fellowship | Jackson, MS

Dock Cooper needed to find a seminary that would make it possible for him to pursue a Master’s degree alongside full-time employment in the financial industry. He also was looking for a theological education in line with his upbringing in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. WBS provided just such an opportunity, and Dock credits the seminary with shaping the biblical, theological, and practical framework that makes for fruitful ministry in the local community.

WBS “transformed my approach to reading Scripture, offered me sound doctrine in a world where such doctrine is undervalued, and grounded me in a commitment to the missionary nature of the church,” Dock says.

In 2006, Dock was led to plant Agape Christian Fellowship, an interdenominational congregation with close theological ties to the Methodist tradition. Through Dock’s pastoral leadership, the church plant has grown to a congregation of 100+ members. Now gathering as a congregation on the campus of WBS, Agape Christian Fellowship ministers weekly within the neighborhoods in and around the seminary and is committed to being a transformative presence in this local community.

In Dock’s own words, “We want to join hands with the parents [in the neighborhood] to affect change in families as well as the school system.” In and through Dock’s leadership (and the help of countless others), his church is doing more than occupying the corner of Manhattan and E. Northside Drive in Jackson; it is moving into the neighborhood and participating in God’s redemptive mission in the world.