'Momentum for the mission' spoken by Dr. Joseph Owens at CU's President's Club Dinner

'Momentum for the mission' spoken by Dr. Joseph Owens at CU's President's Club Dinner

Nov. 26, 2014
For Immediate Release

Speaking about “momentum” at the President’s Club Dinner was Dr. Joseph Owens, chair of Campbellsville University’s Board of Trustees and pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky. (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)

By Drew Tucker, communications assistant

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “I want to share this thought: momentum for the mission,” Dr. Joseph Owens, chair of Campbellsville University’s Board of Trustees, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky. and featured speaker, said at the President’s Club dinner that was held recently in Winters Dining Hall on campus.

“When I speak of momentum,” he said, “I’m speaking of that strength and force that something has when it’s moving that will allow it to continue growing faster and stronger as time passes.”

Owens said every campaign needs momentum, especially the campaign that CU is currently in -- a campaign the club members are helping keep alive. He said the members are the difference makers by adding to the momentum and “propelling CU to the greatness that God has for us.”

He said one of the greatest examples of how momentum was the difference maker and what it can do for a mission was with the story of David and Goliath, with the Israelite army camped in the Valley of Elah trying to cross over to meet the Philistines, but were too scared to face Goliath.

“What a monumental campaign it was for Israel’s army to face this daunting giant,” Owens said. “There were naysayers who said, ‘It’s too big; this army; this giant. It’s impossible and cannot happen.’ But God sent a difference maker named David. God used David to bring momentum back to that battle – to help Israel win and champion a campaign that was so huge in their face.”

Owens said everyone in the room is David and God wants to use them to keep the momentum moving in this $61.1 million campaign. He said he knows the amount look huge, quoting the naysayers from Israel’s army about it being too big and impossible.

David fired his slingshot, Owens said, killed Goliath, cut off his head and completed the campaign. He said David didn’t come to that valley with no momentum. David understood his mission: to ensure he protected his Father’s sheep.

CU Sound performing during the President’s Club Dinner. From left, Blake Whitlock of Hodgenville, Ky.; Jeremy Bell of Harlan, Ky.; Jericho McCoy of Campbellsville, Ky., and Andrew Butler of Vine Grove, Ky. (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)

Owens said when David was tending to the sheep, a lion and a bear came along, and God helped David defeat them. Owens said the lion and the bear are CU’s last Centennial Campaign and her current Our Time This Place-Next Century Campaign.

“There were some who said then, ‘it won’t happen,’ but with God’s power and your commitment, we made that $35 million campaign,” he said. “As a matter of fact, the trustees decided that momentum was already moving so greatly that we said, “Let’s extend it to $50 million.” David said, “I know we can handle this giant because of what God has already done. The lion, the bear, this fellow, he’s not going to be a problem for my God, because he’s come in with momentum.”

Saul had tried to put armor on David to fight Goliath, but David said he wasn’t used to it and took it off. Owens said David never changed his tactics, even through intimidation when he met the Israelite army and Goliath. He was who he was and never changed.

“CU has not changed,” he said. “We’re still who we were and who we are. David decided to just be who he was and not try to be somebody else. God used him in a powerful way, so when it came to Goliath, the shepherd boy had his shepherd stick, his slingshot and his rocks, and he did what he was good at, and that’s what I’m trying to say to you tonight. Thank you for being who you are. I’m not asking you to be someone different, I’m asking you to be the best person you can be. You all are Davids. You all are difference makers. Let God use what you have.”

Owens said the school changed his life so much, and he and his wife are not people of wealth. He is a local pastor in Lexington and is a shepherd like David. He and his wife have made a sacrificial pledge so others could come to CU, and even though they’re almost paid off 50 percent of it off, they don’t want the momentum to wane, so they will put their pledge back where it originally started.

“We are not afraid because God is still on our side,” he said. “So, David, go get ’em. Bring down your giant.”

From left, Ryan and Ashli Watts of Frankfort, Ky. receive a plaque from CU President Dr. Michael V. Carter for their induction into the President’s Club. (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, said God has continued to bless the institution.

“It is truly a story that inspires,” he said. “It’s a story of sacrifice and it’s a story of service to others. It’s a story of putting Christ first. It’s a story of helping people to believe in themselves when they didn’t believe in themselves to begin with.”

Carter spoke about what he is thankful for this year, including a freshman class of over 500 students, the freshman chapel program FIRST CLASS, God’s power in people’s lives, the growing number of transfer students, students who chose to sit out a semester or two and have come back and “an incredibly dedicated faculty and staff who give themselves sacrificially daily to help make sure the needs of the students are met.”

He also said he was thankful for coaches who pray with students in the locker room, gym and on the field.

“I am incredibly thankful for the heart of CU that is shown through our campus ministry program,” he said. “We make time to make sure that the Lord, Jesus Christ, is lifted up on this campus in a very real and meaningful way.

“I dare say that for most of us here tonight, where would your lives be if you did not have that personal encounter with the Lord, Jesus? Where would your lives have gone? I’ll guarantee you my life would not have brought me to CU had it not been for my wife sharing what Jesus meant to her with me when I was 17.”

He said CU is unabashedly evangelical on campus. The chapel series and public policy series has had many speakers. Over 100 decisions came out of the freshman class this year.

Carter said he is thankful that God has been moving through Campbellsville for over 100 years, and quoted Psalm 119:1, “Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.”

“May we be those people,” he said. “May we hold our head high. Since August, we have touched over 100 different churches. We are church connected, Christ centered. We’re seeing lives changed through the power of Jesus Christ so that they can go into a world that is hurting and has complex problems, so that they can solve those problems.”

“I’ve had the incredible pleasure of working with Dr. Joseph Owens as the chairman of our Board of Trustees,” he said. “He has a heart for what happens here every day, and not only does he have a heart for the mission but he has a heart for the people – especially the students.”

New members for the President’s Club were recognized during the event, including Linda Beal, CU instructor in mathematics, from Columbia, Ky.; Barry and Sharon Caudill of Louisville, Ky.; Joe Lee, representing Don Franklin, of Campbellsville, Ky.; Pete and Dr. Donna Hedgepath, dean of the CU School of Education;

Edward and Brenda Holmes of Lexington, Ky.; Leon and Debbie Nelson of Campbellsville, Ky.; Daniel Poset of Maleen, Ala.; Mike and Kym Stein of Campbellsville, Ky.; Doug and Kathleen Tucker, representing Tucker Diamonds and Gold, of Campbellsville, Ky.; Ryan and Ashli Watts of Frankfort, Ky.; and Chad Pearson, representing Bluegrass Cellular, of Campbellsville, Ky.

CU Sound featuring students Blake Whitlock of Hodgenville, Ky.; Jeremy Bell of Harlan, Ky.; JerichoMcCoy of Campbellsville, Ky., Andrew Butler of Vine Grove, Ky.; and Seth Hayes of Leitchfield, Ky., along with Hou Guo-Zhu “Zoe”, performed special music during the event, directed by John Rausch, men’s and women’s head bowling coach.

Dr. Frank Cheatham, senior vice president for academic affairs, said the invocation, while Dr. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, gave the benediction. Benji Kelly, vice president for development, hosted the event.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.

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