Meet Dr. Blake Newsom – new director of the Caskey Center!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey with Christ.

  I am a small-town guy from Grenada, MS. My walk with Jesus began as a young man alone in my bedroom when I asked Jesus to save me. I had been under intense conviction for several days and would kneel by my bed asking God to forgive and save me. One night as I was kneeling and crying out to God, I was overwhelmed by a sense of His presence, which brought peace to my troubled soul and assurance that Jesus had heard my cry for salvation. The Lord saved me and moved upon my soul in such a way that I have never questioned my conversion. I grew slowly but steadily in my faith over my high school years and into college. I graduated from Delta State University with a degree geared toward coaching, the profession I was launching into when God called me to full-time ministry. My wife – whom I met at Delta State – and I moved to New Orleans to complete my M.Div., which I had begun at the extension center. Our expectation was that our time in New Orleans would be limited to two years. We ended up staying nine years, five as a student, eventually earning a Ph.D. in Preaching, and four as the Dean of the Chapel. My wife, Brooke, and I also were blessed with three kids while in New Orleans: Judson, Levi, and Nehemiah. While serving on faculty, I began an interim at Dauphin Way Baptist Church in Mobile, AL, where my family and I eventually accepted the call from God to serve as Senior Pastor. I served at Dauphin Way for close to six years before returning to take on the role of Director of the Caskey Center.  

2. What are you looking forward to the most working at the Caskey Center?

God has called me to encourage and equip ministers. The passion for pastors, which was kindled at NOBTS, has only intensified since I have been away from the seminary in the local church. I look forward to being a champion for pastors, the ones who are on the front lines in the thick of the battle, making an eternal difference.

3. You previously lived, studied, and served at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. What are you and your family most excited about moving back to New Orleans?

While the food is the best in the world, and the city certainly offers some extraordinarily neat experiences, we are most excited about the people with whom we will connect. We look forward to resuming previously established relationships as well as cultivating new relationships. 

4. What are some highlights of your new role as a Caskey Director?

I am honored to take part in the encouragement and equipping of Southern Baptist pastors. Often, the emphasis within the Southern Baptist Convention is on mega churches and recognizable platform preachers; however, in reality, these tend to be the outliers in our convention. We are primarily a convention of pastors faithfully serving in settings not large in scale from an earthly perspective but incredibly large in scale and importance from an eternal perspective. I am excited to help us focus on pastors who not only comprise the vast majority of our laborers but also serve as the structural backbone of our convention.  

5. Do you have any preferred tools or methods for evangelism?

While I have engaged with a number of evangelistic methodologies over the years, I have adapted to take a simple structural approach to evangelism tailored to personal, conversational engagement of the lost. I follow a general outline, consisting of three parts. Part one is the reason/need for Jesus in which I talk about sin, its reality and effects. Part two is the Person of Jesus, focusing on His identity and purpose. Part three is the response to Jesus, detailing faith and repentance. I use a variety of Bible passages, illustrations, anecdotes, and application approaches coalescing around the three structural components of my evangelistic outline. 

6. How do you view Christians’ role in evangelism? Tell us about how evangelism impacted you. 

We have an evangelism mandate from Jesus. Each Gospel in the New Testament has the Great Commission mandate in its closing chapters, and Acts begins with a Great Commission mandate in its opening chapter. Evangelism is a non-negotiable for obedience to Jesus. It is also an absolute blessing. We have the tremendous honor of telling people about the One who changed our lives. We have the blessing of being involved in the Christian family business of telling others the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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