SBTS mourning death of student

Communications Staff — June 23, 2008

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is mourning the loss of student Alan Rivers, who was killed Thursday morning in a motorcycle crash in Indianapolis, Ind.

Rivers, 52, a resident of Carmel, Ind., had begun pursuing a master of arts degree in missiology last December. Rivers surrendered to full-time ministry two years ago and had served as a deacon in Harvest Bible Chapel, a church plant that began last September in Indianapolis.

Rivers died from head trauma after crashing his 2004 Suzuki Intruder near Carmel Drive and Keystone Avenue in Indianapolis. Rivers was transported to Methodist Hospital where he later died. His was the only vehicle involved in the crash.

Ronald White, a master of divinity student at Southern, serves as the pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel. White had become close friends with Rivers over the past few months through their work at the church. Rivers and his wife Bobbie had recently begun attending Northside Baptist Church in Indianapolis, White said, with hopes of becoming IMB missionaries after Alan had completed his studies at Southern.

“Alan and Bobbie served our young church in so many ways and he and I became good friends,” White said. “Alan and I had just spent about 30 hours together last week as we attended the three days at the SBC Convention.”

“I expressed to him how thrilled I was that he was willing to step out in faith and prepare for the future years in ministry on the mission field. I feel that we developed a good friendship and our hearts were knit together on God’s Mission and His call on our lives to preach the Gospel and disciple others.”

Rivers worked in the legal profession and held a law degree from Tulane University. He was also a graduate of Louisiana State University and was a veteran of the U.S. Army. Over the past few years, Rivers had worked as a small business consultant, White said, but in recent years had experienced a growing desire to preach the Gospel to the nations. Rivers formerly served as an elder at First Baptist Church of Carmel and was also a board member for Evangelical Baptist Missions (EBM).

A memorial service will be held for Rivers at 2 p.m., June 28 at Northside Baptist Church. Rivers is survived by his wife Bobbie.

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