1605 Danielson Road, Kalispell, MT 59901

Montana Christian College Inaugurates Jones As Eighth President

KALISPELL, Mont. – Montana Christian College inaugurated Dr. Marvin Jones as its eighth president in a ceremony convened on the school’s campus at Kalispell, Montana, on Oct. 20. 

Drawing from across Montana and states as far away as Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and California, about 100 people attended the event that featured members of Montana Christian College’s Board of Directors, long-time friends of Jones, as well as Montana State Representative Matt Regier. 

Others associated with Southern Baptist entities also attended: Dr. Emir Caner, president of Truett McConnell University, Cleveland, Georgia; Dr. Blake Thompson, president of Mississippi College, Jackson, Mississippi; and Dr. Adam Groza, Gateway Seminary, Ontario, California. 

Introduced by Dr. Barrett Duke – executive director of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention – inaugural speakers referenced numerous biblical passages to encourage and challenge Jones. 

Keynote speaker Dr. Stephen Rummage – pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City – related from Titus 1:7-9 pastoral qualifications, which he applied to any Christian leader inclusive of a college president. 

Identifying traits of a Christian leader, Rummage said, “Leadership is always stewardship.” Like a servant overseeing the master’s house, he’s not the owner of the house, but he’s been given responsibility for the house “because the master has charged him with it.” 

A Christian leader must be blameless, and above reproach. “A blameless leader is someone whom others have no reason to accuse of living inconsistently with his faith or his calling [and who] represents the Lord Jesus well,” he said. 

A Christian leader “must hold fast to the trustworthy word of God,” Rummage said, which gives the power to teach correct doctrine and the ability to rebuke those who speak against the truth. 

Comparing biblical truth to an anchor, Rummage said to Jones, “We know that you have the anchor of faith and confidence in God’s word…. of a life above reproach and integrity before God…. of a calling to lead and the stewardship given to you from God.” 

Rummage encouraged Jones to use that anchor to embolden God-called men and women in sound doctrine and to rebuke detractors against God’s truth. 

“The Christian college sits at the intersection of church and culture. It prepares Christians to work in culture,” Duke said, noting he was pleased to introduce District 4 Representative Matt Regier as one who brings biblical truth into the culture of his political role. 

“The wise man should not boast in his wisdom, and the strong man should not boast in his strength, and the wealthy man should not boast in his wealth, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me,” Regier said, citing Jeremiah 9.23-24. 

Secular culture is growing increasingly antagonistic toward the biblical principles of humility and dependence on God. People in the ’90s were apathetic. A decade later came mockery. “Today, we’re moving into hatred,” he said, recalling that Jesus said not to marvel at the world’s hatred. 

Regier noted the 1963 US Supreme Court decision to remove the Bible from public schools to the 2021 Virginia 4th Circuit Court of Appeals allowing inter-gender locker rooms as evidence that Christians “aren’t the home team, anymore.” 

While lamenting the moral slide, Regier warned the college and churches to “teach the wisdom of Genesis and the wisdom of Revelation, and every book in-between, or we’re going to fail.” 

Then Regier recited MCC’s mission statement: “Montana Christian College exists to instruct and mentor Christian students to shape the church and influence culture by reflecting the character of Christ,” he said. “Now that – that is hope. That is hope.” 

Dr. Ronnie Rogers – pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Norman, Oklahoma – cited Revelation 1:9 in delivering the first of two scriptural challenges to President Jones. 

The Apostle John was humble, a brother in Christ, a co-laborer, and one who suffered in tribulation. Rogers challenged Jones to be the kind of disciple John was and to preside during times of trouble with Kingdom awareness. 

“The work you have embarked upon is Kingdom work,” Rogers said. “It is significant, not insignificant; it is eternal, not temporal; and there are no small works of service in the Kingdom.” 

Rogers said the hand of “almighty God” put Jones in the role and that he should serve with “indisputable and undaunted steadfastness.” 

The second scriptural challenge came from Luke Taylor, pastor of Veneration Church in Kalispell. He said Jones “has been an amazing leader for this school facing difficult times. I have no doubt that God has called Dr. Jones in this moment, in this time, to lead this new season at Montana Christian College.” 

After reading Colossians 2:6-8, Taylor said the world screams philosophy, screams human tradition, and “screams equality in ways the Scripture does not define it. The world screams everything that is anti-Gospel.” 

Taylor advised Jones not to “run after philosophy and human tradition” but keep the college “built upon Jesus and Jesus alone.” He advised Jones to walk in Jesus, be rooted in Christ, cling to what is true, and live in a posture of thanksgiving. 

Preparing to bestow the presidential medallion upon Jones, Dr. Duke said, “The universe bends toward Dr. Jones. It’s been an amazing thing to see what God has done since he brought Dr. Jones and Stacy to this college. The Lord has clearly shown us that this is God’s man for Montana Christian College.” 

Duke said the medallion represents “the hopes, prayers, and sacrifices of those who came before us, who had the vision to see that God’s people needed a biblically faithful college to train future generations.” 

“This college is here so those future generations could follow their calling, whether in the pulpit or the pew, with the very best preparation possible,” Duke said, “so that this part of the world would never be without a faithful gospel witness at home, at work, at church, or in the community, and even to the end of the earth.” 

Promising his remarks would be brief, Jones said, “My vision has been well-stated by everyone on this platform. It is in my heart to help build, along with our good faculty, a school that will honor Jesus Christ.” 

Regardless of the degrees students may earn, Jones wants graduates to depart “knowing that their purpose in life is to serve the Lord in their chosen vocation. That’s my goal.” 


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