Convo recap: Pastor Ed Newton and sports broadcaster James Brown come to campus

Convocation this week highlighted the idea of authenticity and humility through the stories of a beggar by a ditch and a sports broadcaster. 

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, Ed Newton, pastor of Community Bible Church in San Antonio, Texas, shared a message of being at a crossroad with the audience. 

“Every one of us is at a crossroad,” Newton said. “It does not matter where you are in life because we have a God who goes before us and who loves us. Wherever we go, he is with us.” 

Newton introduced the character of Bartimaeus, a broke beggar that people thought God had branded with blindness. Newton highlighted how helpless and hopeless Bartimaeus must have felt. 

“Have you ever felt unseen?” Newton asked the audience. “Here’s a guy who’s on the roadside, and he cannot see, but he’s hearing thousands and thousands of footsteps walk by him, and no one pays attention.” 

Ed Newton spoke to students at Convocation in the Vines Center on February 10, 2023. (Photo by Natalie Olson)

Newton said that some of the meanest people in the world call themselves Christians. He admitted to being one of them, and he then said the students were also. 

“Have you ever had a moment where you said something you shouldn’t have?” Newton said. “Like it’s coming out of your mouth, and you want it to come back into your mouth? All of us at one point or another have misrepresented Jesus.” 

From there, Newton preached how Jesus had stopped the moment he heard Bartimaeus’ cry for him. Newton said God has love for his people, and no moment or issue is too big or too small for God. 

Junior Olivia Anderson expressed appreciation for Newton’s message.

“I loved how authentic, down-to-earth and engaging he was,” Anderson said. “God doesn’t need us, and yet he wants us. My hope for myself is that I have that spirit of desperation that Bartimaeus had, and I can give away all I am to follow Jesus.”

On Friday, Feb. 17, sports broadcaster James Brown spoke to the audience about the importance of striving for Christ in
sports media. 

In the interview-style Convocation, Campus Pastor Jonathan Falwell asked some important questions regarding faith.

Brown recapped how he first got into sports broadcasting. After a failed attempt to join an NBA team, Brown vowed to never be unprepared like that again for what the Lord had for him. 

Through that decision, he was introduced to broadcasting. Brown said the foundation in the Lord is the most important thing for him.

“I don’t compartmentalize my faith,” Brown said. “My faith is the foundation and is essential to everything that I do.” 

Brown also discussed the selfish point of view that some broadcasters fall into and how he combats that ideology with his faith.

“There is nothing more self-centered than broadcasting,” Brown said. “We need to broadcast for the Lord. Everything I do relates to scripture, which is why my life verse is Colossians 3:23 because there is nothing I do that is not wholeheartedly (for) the Lord.” 

Brown starts every day with the Lord, setting God’s priorities before his own. Brown explained that he wanted to respond and not react to the voice of God. 

“I start off by asking what the Lord has for me,” Brown said. “There can be so many things that I deem as important, but the Lord might have something bigger and more important than what I have in mind.” 

A fellow student and audience member Jordan Stewart expressed his interest in the message Brown shared. 

“He has a lot of wisdom and a lot of experience,” Stewart said. “He truly loves God and follows (God’s) word with every fiber of his body, even though the status of his position typically would make people bow down to the idols and themselves. He truly stands up for his faith.” 

Teel is a news reporter for the Liberty Champion

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