Southern Baptist Convention Leader to Speak at Gardner-Webb University on March 17

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GWU Alumnus Dr. Frank Page (’73) to Address GWU Community, Local Ministers

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University will host a morning of free events featuring Dr. Frank Page, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee and a GWU alumnus, on Tuesday, March 17. Page will speak at the University’s Dimensions program at 9:30 a.m., and he will conduct a question-and-answer session with local ministers at 10:45 a.m.

During the Dimensions program in the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center, he will share experiences chronicled in his book, “Melissa: A Father’s Lessons from a Daughter’s Suicide.” Page and his wife, Dayle, lost their daughter to suicide in 2009. His book examines scriptures that helped him through the painful time and through continuing challenges.

“It is my privilege to return to my alma mater to encourage students in their spiritual growth,” Page said. “It is also my intent to assist students with some of the difficulties they face in this 21st century culture. As a man who has experienced life in its many heights and depths, I hope to use some of that experience to encourage students to focus on their relationship with Christ.”

After Dimensions, Page will meet with ministers in Hope Hall in the Tucker Student Center to discuss “Mental Health and the Church: Tearing Down the Walls of Silence.” The free event, which will include a luncheon, is sponsored by the GWU Office of Church Relations and is limited to the first 100 people who register. Those who are interested may sign up to attend by visiting

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college-age students,” shared Dr. Tracy Jessup, GWU Vice President for Christian Life and Service and Senior Minister to the University. “Furthermore, one in four adults suffer some form of mental disorder. Christians are not immune, but historically, the church has been somewhat silent about the topic of mental illness. As an institution whose purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education, we want to serve our students and the church in helping to break the silence and offer hope. Dr. Page is uniquely qualified to help guide this conversation at Gardner-Webb as one who has walked through the valley of his daughter’s own suicide.”

A 1973 GWU graduate, Page now works with the SBC to encourage Baptists everywhere to help reach men, women and children with the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. He and his wife have served together in pastoral ministry for 35 years, beginning in Texas and concluding in South Carolina. For more information about Page, visit

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 704-406-4277 or email with your request.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).