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By President James E. Brenneman

As we close out this Hispanic Heritage month celebrating 150 years of God’s faithfulness to Berkeley School of Theology, we are mindful that our roots go back to the first missionary efforts of the American Baptist Ministries coming to the Bay Area to plant churches and educational institutions in the 1840’s when California was still a part of Mexico. We also acknowledge that even before that, this land was a colony of Spain, and that like those forebears, we (are still) settled on the unceded lands of the Ohlone peoples of the Ramaytush, Tamien, Chochenyo, Karkin, Muwekma, and Bay Miwok territories.

Those of us who have studied, lived, worked, played and learned, and still do, here at BST, are eternally grateful for the many contributions our Latino/a sisters and brothers in faith and life have contributed to the historic and ongoing formation of our beloved school.

BST was immensely blessed by our first Hispanic faculty member many years ago, Rev. Dr. Eduardo Font, now Faculty Emeritus, whose service, teaching, and leadership at BST, indeed, in other seminaries and classrooms before and since, stands out as a beacon of transformational influence on theological education writ large. We consider the contributions of other former and current faculty, like Dr. Pedro Pablo Morataya, Rev. Liliana Da Valle, Dr. Horacio DaValle, Dr. Enrique Torres, Rev. Alejandro Gaete, Dr. Cesar Melgar, Dr. Rogelio Ovalle, Dr. Eric Sias, Dr. Daniel Beteta, Ms. Corinna Guerrero to name a few. We are blessed by current board members, Rev. Doug Avilesbernal, Executive Minister of Evergreen American Baptist Churches, and Dr. Laura Miraz, Associate Director of American Baptist Home Ministries, who bring council and guidance to our culturally responsive and expanding mission and ministry. And to top it off, our buildings and offices remain well-cared for and clean because of Señora Gloria Tejada, who, in spite of her husband’s recent death, remains the head of their thriving family business, J.G. Best Maintenance Service.

We are grateful that the largest segment of the largest increase for many years in our incoming cohort of students this year are students in our Spanish speaking B.A. equivalency program, Entrenamiento en Liderazgo Cristiano. We are grateful for the vision and leadership that has brought about our new Spanish-language D.Min. track in Ministerial Training and Leadership for Latino/a Churches led by Dr. Pedro Pablo Morataya.

Whenever I hear the festive song, “O Santísimo, Felicísimo . . .Alegría, Alegría,” I am transported to my childhood home-church in Ybor City (Tampa), where abuelita Dominga would usher into our midst the presence of divinity as she led us singing (translated here), “O Most Holy One, O Most Blessed (lit. Happy) One . . . Joy, Joy!” For me and I trust for you also, that spirit of holy jubilation and gratitude sums up the faithful divine presence across time and space and cultures of BST at its best. One of my new favorite songs, especially, as we consider the theme of this 150th Anniversary Year is, “La Bondad de Dios!” (The Faithfulness of God!). I invite you to listen to the song sung by Puerto Rican Christian artist Blanca, here, in prayerful worship of the God “whose steadfast love endures forever; whose faithfulness extends to all generations.” (Ps. 100:5)

BST Mourns the Passing of Dayle Scott

It is with great sadness that BST announces the loss of former board member and trustee emeritus, Rev. Dr. Dayle Scott, who passed away on Thursday, October 7. Dale was a ’57 graduate of BST, a former faculty member of BST, a pastor of churches in Northern CA, and staff leader in Christian Education, nationally and regionally. Dayle was a kind, insightful and wise leader, full of positive energy and contributing to the BST Board right up until just before his passing. Prayers and condolences go out his wife, Dr. Darlene Scott and his family and friends as they adjust to life without their beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. A Celebration of Life will be held at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church on November 20 at 1:00pm.

BST’s own Dr. Valerie Miles-Tribble will present the 46th annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture titled, “Our Pedagogical Charge: Weaving Hope and Justice into the Gossamer-thin Fabric of Religious Democracy” on November 17, 2021 at 6:00 PM PST.

Each November, the GTU faculty honors a distinguished professor who embodies the scholarly standards, teaching excellence, and commitment to ecumenism that define the GTU. Nominations are made by GTU faculty and are then considered by the Council of Deans, which selects the lecturer. BST is so proud of Dr. Miles-Tribble for receiving the 2021 selection!

You can register for this free, virtual event here.

Paul (‘87) and Corrine “Peanut” Brassey are currently retired and living in Chehalis, WA.

Timothy (‘85) and Chia-Wei Malone are currently living in Davis, CA where Timothy is serving as a Campus & Community Minister & Substitute Teacher. Timothy has held a variety of ministry positions in Northern California and they have 6 children.

Johnny M. and Levonne Wilson (‘83) are currently living in Springfield, MA where Johnny serves as a Transitional Pastor and serves with several groups with the ABC denomination.

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