While I had just come back to faith and was starting to grow in my home church, First Baptist Church Murfreesboro, I had never envisioned going to seminary. In need of spiritual growth and understanding, everything pointed me in that direction; however, our family is a single income family with four children. My job was crucial and I could not see how I could possibly attend seminary.
Just when I thought that there was no hope, I was surprised by a flyer about a seminary that would be housed in my church. I found out that classes would be done in intensives on Friday night and Saturday and that the tuition was subsidized through the generosity of grants. I finally got it all together and started my seminary journey at Central Baptist Theological Seminary - Tennessee.
This format allowed me to complete my degree without missing any work or taking too much time away from my family. At the same time, I was able to develop an understanding of how to apply the skills from seminary to my sense of calling as a marketplace minister and allowed me to find ways to execute this ministry. After completion of seminary, my home church ordained me and blessed me in this calling.
I am extremely grateful for Central for the work it has done in my life by providing a thought provoking broad theological education.
Hartsfields Receive Award
Central Seminary Faculty Awarded for Making a Difference
Central Seminary Professors Dr. Amy Harris-Hartsfield and Dr. Wallace S. Hartsfield II received the Difference Maker of the Year Award from the Urban League of Greater Kansas City at a luncheon on December 5, 2013. The award for distinguished leadership in community service spotlights the Hartsfields’ stellar service and highlights the importance of education and economic development in strengthening urban communities. Central Baptist Theological Seminary joins the Urban League in celebrating the accomplishments of the Hartsfields, both of whom serve on the faculty of the seminary.
The mission of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City is to enable African Americans and other disadvantaged persons to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights. They honor civic and community leaders, public servants, philanthropists, and corporate executives for their signal efforts to challenge the status quo, lead change, and improve the quality of life for minorities and others.
The Hartsfields’ have led Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, where Dr. Wallace S. Hartsfield II is the pastor, in several projects to address issues of depression, physical and mental health, and the academic and civic development of youth. The projects target the community where the church is located, and the Hartsfields have helped to secure grants of over $150,000 total to fund the work.
Dean of the Seminary Dr. Robert E. Johnson commended the Hartsfields for their work in the community:
Central Seminary is proud to claim Dr. Amy Hartsfield and Dr. Wallace Hartsfield, not only as valued members of our faculty, but also as persons who model Central’s goal to train leaders who will be equipped for the work of strengthening urban communities. As Dean, I applaud the Urban League’s recognition of the Hartsfields for their distinguished work strengthening the quality of life in Kansas City’s urban communities. Their labors in those contexts bring valuable experience and insight to their work as theological educators. I wish to congratulate them for their outstanding accomplishments!