Matt Bevin’s family tragedy and strong Christian faith

Earlier this evening, the news broke that Matt Bevin was elected as the next governor of Kentucky. As that news rippled across the country, what may not have been as well known is Bevin’s fervent Christian faith and connection to Southern Seminary where I teach. Several years ago, Bevin endowed our school’s center for global missions. This came about as a result of a devastating family tragedy. You can hear Bevin share the story above in his own words, or you can read Aaron Hanbury’s 2012 report below. Don’t miss this one.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary officially opened its new Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization, Oct. 9, during the seminary’s Heritage Week. This center will mobilize prayer and people for the fulfillment of the Great Commission through the Southern Seminary community.

Functions of the Bevin Center will include a major missions conference, training events, affinity group fellowships, cultural immersion experiences, hosting missionaries in residence, an expanded missions week on Southern’s campus as well as expanded missions trips around the world.

Glenna and Matthew Bevin provided an endowment to fund the center in remembrance of their late daughter, Brittiney, whose passion for the gospel drove her life. At the dedication of this center, R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, introduced Matthew Bevin to explain why he and his family made this gift.

Speaking to the seminary’s board of trustees, foundation board, faculty and students, Matthew Bevin told the story of Brittiney, who was the oldest of his 10 children. From the time she was a young girl, Brittiney possessed an incredible heart for missions, according to her father. He used the biblical phrase “salt and light” to describe Brittiney’s compassion for “the least of these.”

As young as 14 years old, Brittiney sensed a call to pursue missions vocationally. The Bevins sent her on overseas missions trips to India and Romania to share the gospel and to work in orphanages. These trips confirmed both to her parents and to Brittiney that God called her to the work of spreading the gospel to the nations. Only weeks after her return from Romania, when she was 17 years old, Brittiney Bevin died in a car accident on Lexington Rd., right in front of the Southern Seminary campus.

Matthew Bevin said that his daughter will not physically be able to fulfill her calling, but her desires are being fulfilled by the legacy she left behind. The Bevins desire to see Brittiney’s calling live on through a generation of young Christians ready to answer the call to world missions.

And, according to Matthew Bevin, Southern Seminary is the best institution to house and operate such a center. He said: “We have confidence that Southern is an institution that will steward this in a way that will serve God best.”

Concluding his comments, he read a prayer that Brittiney Bevin recorded in her journal the night before she died.  Her prayer emphasized her heart for the lost and the down-trodden. She wrote her “dangerous prayer” and hoped to be fully deployed for the gospel of Christ.

She wrote: “You hold the only peace that can fill the deepest hole. But how do I get it? You said, ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ I am asking and I know that you will give it to me. Every week you bless me so much and teach me lessons after lessons. I know that once again you are showing me your love. I can’t fathom how much you feel when one of your children suffers, but I’ve had a glimpse of your heartache. Please fill me with your wisdom that I won’t just watch others suffer, but that I’ll be able to say what they need to hear. As a new week approaches, my dangerous prayer is that you’ll place broken hearted people in my path and fill me with you so that I can let your love heal their pain.”

18 Responses to Matt Bevin’s family tragedy and strong Christian faith

  1. Robert Frank November 4, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    Very powerful.

    • kathy spath November 4, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

      The only way that our Lord could show her what she wanted to see, was to have her stand face-to-face , and experience first hand. Imagine her joy!

  2. Rita Mallory November 4, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

    She’s guiding her work and fulfilling it at God’s right hand now. A true legacy that will never be forgotten. What a powerful prayer and memory this young lady left. God speed her father as he leads the great State of KY.

  3. Annette Story November 4, 2015 at 11:39 pm #

    Kentucky is so blessed to have a governor with a strong Christian faith and moral values. We all need to pray for him and his family every day.

    • Jane Black November 5, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

      He will make a wonderful governor for our state if others, Democrats and Republicans will put things aside and work together for the betterment of our state and our people.

      • Beth Bluestein November 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

        His daughter knew her mission in this world and she followed it to her untimely death. I pray that her father will be so inspired that he too will allow The Holy Spirit to lead him throughout his office. I believe he can…and WILL!!

  4. Beverly Thompson November 5, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    God has blessed us with a christian governor. Pray that he can allow God back into our schools. Our God is waiting patiently to be allowed into our schools and government. Thank you God for this Christian family…………………

    • Beth Bluestein November 5, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

      Totally agree with you Beverly!! “Wherever two or more are gathered…”

  5. Roy Fuller November 5, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    History is filled with individuals who were “right” on matters of faith and belief and yet who were also inept or tyrannical in their political role. I personally hope and pray that our Governor-Elect is neither and that he ends of being a better leader than some of his positions suggest he might be. While I do not agree with most all of his political positions, I am willing to reserve final judgement of him until I see how he governs.

    • Beth Bluestein November 5, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

      Roy- that’s all we can ask…that everyone–his supporters as well as his critics keep an open mind and give him a chance to get acclimated and then express his opinions and plans. I like that he doesn’t appear to be indebted to anyone at this point so — all I can do is pray and educate myself along the way. I ask that you try and do the same!!

  6. Kim Steinmetz November 5, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

    Beautiful.

  7. Margie HowRd November 5, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

    I pray that he will put God back in pur schools and government . Praises that we have a Christian in office and willing to proclaim it !

  8. Margaret K. McDowell November 5, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

    This amazing story of a young women…. Her fearful prayer touches my soul.. She is helping/ healing people from heaven. The answer to her fearful prayer. Her faith was remarkable. It is encouraging…each day I pray for people I love and some I do not know. I have fear. I know a change is coming. Her life story is full of promise and gives one faith, even in tragicity.
    Prayers for all who knew and loved her.
    Thankful to know her story.

  9. Betty Jurgensen November 6, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    Well spoken and touching. I can picture her as a very loving, giving and christian young lady. May het hopes and dreams be carried forward through someone else.

  10. Rachel Sexton November 6, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    Rachel Sexton

    Wow! This is amazing to hear her heart this clear! Her love for our God is remarkable and very unusual for young woman of her age! How inspiring to know that her love for a God was so deep up to her last breath! That’s what God is looking for.

  11. Ceasar suarez November 7, 2015 at 10:14 am #

    Wow what faith and love for God, to live and give back no better legacy to show in this day and trouble times GOD bless America, we sure do need it and pray for our leaders

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Today’s Links // Pray for Your Church, Satan & Marriage, #BookLoverProbs, Quiz on Doctrine of Scripture, Sexual Integrity | Word + Life | KevinHalloran.net - November 6, 2015

    […] Matt Bevin’s Family Tragedy and Strong Christian Faith. Denny Burk shares a great story about the faith of Kentucky’s new Christian governor. […]

  2. Weekend Reading: November 7, 2015 | PJ Wenzel - November 7, 2015

    […] of KY, Denny Burk posted this video from Southern Seminary that features Guv-elect Matt Bevin speaking to the chapel about his teen daughter who died in a car […]

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