Waco: Baylor University inaugurated Judge Kenneth Winston Starr as its fourteenth president. The largest Baptist university in the world will be lead into the future by a Christian servant leader who has demonstrated his devotion to higher Christian education in the courtroom, classroom and in the halls of power and politics.
The ceremony was a deeply moving and historic day for the Baylor family, and a day of significance for all Christian institutions of higher education because Baylor is the flagship of the Christian armada waging war in the spiritual struggle for the hearts and souls of the next generation of young leaders.
With Judge Starr at the helm of Baylor those of us who value distinctively Christian scholarship have a new champion. Judge Starr lived and exemplifies the very values he seeks to instill into the hearts and minds of the young men and women who come to Baylor to be equipped for world-wide servant leadership.
During the ceremony, Judge Starr’s daughter Carolyn Starr Doolittle stepped forward to read a text from the Old Testament prophet Micah. As she glanced over her shoulder at her dad she read with passion and heartfelt commitment:
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 (NIV)
With these words the LORD reminded Judge Starr of His path to greatness and significance.
After Judge Starr took on the robes and mantle of leadership over the Baylor he stepped to the podium affirming his vision of the future and linking his vision to the hallowed past.
These words from the crest of Baylor University will be his guiding principles—for the Church—for Texas. Under his watch Baylor will serve in the tension between these two realities. Baylor will champion of the cause of Christ and church by advancing the Kingdom through the lives of wave after golden wave of young leaders.
Baylor will continue to inform our greater society how the claims of Christ speak into the injustice and deceptions of our secular world. Starr noted in his address how the “Free Church” movement puts Baylor in a position to seek truth without fear by inquiry, study, and research because as “the truth will set us free.” He also stressed the importance of the individual conscience in one’s spiritual and intellectual journey.
Baylor was founded during the days of the Republic of Texas by Judge R.E. M. Baylor back in 1845 with a vision to be a “city on the hill” that would be “for all ages to come!” I believe under Judge Starr’s watch the light on the hill will shine brighter.