Evangelistic Leadership Emphasized in Extension School

From the challenging discussions in the class on pastoral care, led so ably by Charles E. Wittschiebe, these same students emerged with a clearer insight of human nature and the way to meet the many prob­lems of counseling. Professor Wittschiebe was also director of the extension course.

Secretary, Ministerial Association General Conference

WATCHING scores and scores of eager students registering for their courses is always interesting; but it was especially in­spiring to see 140 ministers gathering from eight different countries of this great con­tinent of South America. They came from Chile in the south and from the high Andes in the north; from the tropical areas of Brazil and the great plains of the Argen-tine; from the jungle valley of the Amazon and from the land of the Incas. What an interesting sight! On the faces of these men was written enthusiasm, eagerness to learn, and consecration of heart.

The first few days of a university exten­sion course are a period of adjustment, for the students usually represent many differ­ent backgrounds. The students all had one common need—a clearer vision of the Lord Jesus and greater inspiration to carry the gospel to their people.

Think of the advantages this fine group of younger ministers had. as under the ex­pert leadership of Arthur L. White they traced the background history of prophetic guidance in the Advent Movement. The messenger of the Lord and the inspired counsels of His Spirit will have a new place in the hearts of these workers. No one can study day after day for two months the story of the providential experiences of the pioneers without partaking of that same spirit of spirEvangelistic Leadership Emphasizeditual adventure.

From the challenging discussions in the class on pastoral care, led so ably by Charles E. Wittschiebe, these same students emerged with a clearer insight of human nature and the way to meet the many prob­lems of counseling. Professor Wittschiebe was also director of the extension course.

Our class on evangelistic leadership really began under the impact of a large evangelistic campaign, when between 5,000 and 6,000 people came night after night to the Pecambau Auditorium to hear the Advent message proclaimed in English and translated into Portuguese. Siegfried Kuempel, dean of theology in our Brazil College, proved an excellent translator, and the public lost nothing of the messages. These meetings continued during the two months of the Extension School, but after the first week they were held on Sunday nights only. Our Central church, seating more than 1,000, was packed twice for each message.

This evangelistic program became the clinical division for the course on evange­listic leadership. The music for these large meetings was furnished by the excellent college choir, one of the finest musical or­ganizations in the great city of Sao Paulo. This was not the only evangelistic program in operation in this area. Another cam­paign was being held in Casa Verde, a sub­urb of the city, for this conference is on fire with evangelism.

In our first Seminary Extension School held in 1949-1950, we had 86 students reg­istered. For the 1961 school, 140 were en­rolled. We were meeting during the summer, but Sao Paulo is about 3,000 feet ele­vation, so the climate was really delightful. A spirit of oneness marked these groups. Although they spoke different languages, yet the students could understand one an­other, for Spanish and Portuguese have the same linguistic background. As teachers we did our work in two sections, each teacher having his own translators. But over and above the language of words and sounds is the language of love, and that welded the school into a unit. "That they may be one" was the prayer of our Lord— and that prayer was wonderfully fulfilled during these intensive weeks of the Exten­sion School in South America.

 


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Secretary, Ministerial Association General Conference

August 1961

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