Meet a Board Member
February 07, 2011
Rex Anderson, CEO and owner of Bayuk Graphic Systems, inc.
My first contact with Westminster was with a student in 1973. I was 19, and I had become a Christian in Paris. There was a student intern at Tenth Presbyterian Church from Westminster, his name was Ray Lanning, and he had the patience to answer my questions and he gave me helpful books to read. That was my first real exposure to a Westminster person; he preached occasionally at Tenth and he taught adult Sunday School.
My next association came from getting to know Ed and Jean Clowney. Ed started an organization called The Huguenot Fellowship, and I joined the board in 1981. Jim Boice was also on the board, and I spent a lot of time with Ed and Jean. We met regularly, and I spent time at their home. I did not have the opportunity to hear Ed teach, other than when he preached at Tenth, but just observing the two of them had a remarkable impact on me. They had tremendous wisdom in the way they approached life’s problems. Whether it was some small issue in the Huguenot Fellowship, or he would go off and talk about something that was of more global importance, he saw everything through the lens of Scripture. That, to me, was just fantastic.
Then I got to know George Fuller, because George preached at Tenth in the summers for about 10 years when Jim was off. George was the first one who had me come and spend time at Westminster. So then I audited five or six classes there. None of the faculty that I took is still there except David Powlison, I took his course on Dynamics of Biblical Change. I took an Old Testament survey course with Tremper Longman, a New Testament survey course with Dan McCartney, Sinclair Ferguson on the Westminster Standards, and Harvie Conn’s last class. I got to know Harvie and well because they were at Tenth, and I had their youngest daughter in my junior high Sunday school class.
Over the past 15–18 years there had been two Westminster grads who have been mentors of mine in a special way. One of them is Bill Edgar who has succeeded Ed Clowney as chairman of the Huguenot Fellowship. The second is Jim Petty. Jim was head of development at CCEF, and Jim and I and several others started a foundation in Philadelphia in the early 90’s called the Children’s Jubilee Fund to provide scholarship support to needy urban families who want to send their children to Christian schools.
Mike Kelly, professor of Old Testament, is a good example of someone that has a heart for the City. I asked Mike to come and talk to the Sunday school teachers at our church about how to teach the Old Testament to children. We invited the whole church, and there was a very good turn out. We asked him to come for one hour. He started at 8, and he was still there at 10:30, with people talking to him - that is how riveted they were. Our church has 50 children under the age of 12, so I asked him to teach them from the perspective of the broad parameters of what God was doing in the Old Testament and he was masterful. People were so enthralled, I finally had to say “we’re done,” because Mike was going strong.
I also owe a special debt of gratitude to Peter Lillback for his wisdom and the counsel he provided to our session during a period of more than 2 years when our church was without a senior pastor. He graciously made himself available to us for guidance, and the Huguenot Fellowship has benefited so much from his creativity as a board member.
If I could take a potential sponsor to Westminster I would take them and put them in class. Hearing those professors, not only the depth of the teaching that was academically rigorous, but it always had a pastoral side, at least in the men that I’ve heard, is the best way to experience Westminster. If we could take the community that doesn’t know Westminster to visit classes at the seminary, it would be life changing!