Today, we are going to hear from Linda McLaurin, a recent BWI graduate. To read previous posts from this series, Thoughts from Graduates, click here to learn from a seminary graduate, and here to learn from a college graduate.
Graduation was not the true intent of my starting this program. I just wanted to become better equipped in serving the Lord. To lead those who were already Christians to develop a desire to know God more and develop a life where He took priority. I wanted to be able to answer questions about the Bible being true and God’s Word. So many lost today believe that the stories in the Bible are made up and I wanted to better defend my faith as I encountered opportunities to share with them. I also wanted to become better equipped to serve the church. The diploma was a nice reward.
I have been a pastor’s wife for thirty-five years and have often been called upon to assist my husband in his ministry. Through the years, I have listened to many confidences and people have come to me wanting counsel. I wanted to see if in those thirty-five years I was leading them the right way. Through this program, I learned that perhaps I have been on the right track, but because of the program, I believe that I am better equipped to continue in serving the church and assisting my husband with his ministry.
First of all the program offered by the Biblical Women’s Institute is such a blessing. I believe it serves as a real help to women who are ministering in their churches. Not all of us are called to get a degree in ministry, but the Biblical Women’s Institute opens the door for many women to become better prepared to serve in their homes and churches according to God’s plan. BWI strengthens women to serve alongside their husband in ministry or, for those not married to a minister, to more effectively serve in their local church.
Deuteronomy 6:6-12 is a call for the people of Israel to remember God’s commandments and what He has done for them. I believe these verses apply to us today. To hide His Word in our hearts and to remember what He has done for us through His Son’s death. I see the BWI as an instrument in helping one obtain a better knowledge of God through His Word, understanding doctrine, church history, and Baptist history. I never thought knowing church history was that important. I believed you just needed faith to help you show the world Christ. I have learned that to reach today’s lost we must be able to answer the questions they have about our beliefs and faith. My mind is not as good at remembering things as when I was young, but I now have resources to help me respond to some of their difficult questions.
I enjoyed and benefited from the classes. I loved getting to know some of the ladies in my classes. At first, I was a little intimidated because I was so old and was fearful of taking the classes. As time wore on, I felt welcomed and became more relaxed. I was amazed at how hungry some of them were about learning more about God and how they could recall Scripture. I respected them greatly. I will miss getting to know more of these young ladies who work so hard to serve Christ, now that I have graduated. There were also some older women in classes with me. Several of them were women whose husbands were called to pastor later in life. I admired these women for the courage they had to return to school and become better prepared to serve alongside their husbands in ministry.
I will miss the weekly trips to the campus and getting to know the teachers as well. Several teachers just had a heart and love for what they were teaching and made learning more desirable.
You ask me what is a sixty year old going to do with a diploma. My answer is that I am going to use it to bring Christian women into a closer walk with God and use it to bring the lost to Christ. I hope to use what I have learned to serve our association and church in a better capacity. I pray I will use it to serve Him more faithfully and to the best of my ability for you see our work is never done. We are to live for Him each day and I pray I will use it to bring glory to His name. I could never have finished if He had not been with me.
I am the wife of an associational missionary. I have to say my husband was supportive. He drove me to class when he could and encouraged me to take the classes. I appreciate Southeastern for offering this program for women. I would encourage any woman and especially pastors’ wives to attend.
Linda is a native North Carolinian, growing up in Gastonia and living most of her adult life in Eastern North Carolina. Linda has been married to Dougald McLaurin, Jr. for more than 40 years, and has served alongside him in ministry while he has pastored several churches in the area. Linda attended Appalachian State University, received her degree from Fayetteville Technical Community College, and now her diploma from the Biblical Women’s Institute of Southeastern Theological Seminary. After 31 ½ years with the North Carolina Educational System, Linda is currently retired and resides in Nashville, NC. She is engaged with her husband in the ministries of the Tar River Baptist Association where he serves as Associational Missionary; the ministry of her local church, Ephesus Baptist Church in Spring Hope; and involved in women’s ministry in her church and community.
Linda has two adult children. Her daughter Lisa lives in Fayetteville, NC and her son Dougald III lives in Youngsville, NC and is on staff at Southeastern Theological Seminary.