Dwayne Cline named Distinguished Alumnus
This year, the Alumni Office honoured seminary graduate Rev. Dwayne Cline [MDiv 2009] for his work as Lead Pastor of Hughson Street Baptist Church in Hamilton, Ontario, with the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Under Dwayne’s leadership, the church bought a nearby warehouse to increase the church’s impact within the community. The warehouse is already being used for a food bank and a clothing depot and is home for two local organizations while it undergoes renovations. The new building will eventually house a new sanctuary and become the base for many of the church’s ministries. The church also runs a local soccer day camp, which brings in up to 300 children from the local community.
Dwayne Cline believes that a church must follow God’s instructions to the Israelites in Jeremiah 29:7 to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
To do this, a church should ask questions such as, “How can you bless the local schools or hospitals? Where in the community is there poverty? It may be only situational poverty, like a burned house, a car accident or a divorce, but ask where you can come alongside people. How can your church bless local businesses? Bless the power brokers, the MPs, the MPPs?”
Hughson Street Baptist Church is in north Hamilton where fifty-five percent of the children live below the poverty line. Over one hundred and fifty people use the church’s food bank every month, and members of the church volunteer at a local breakfast club every Wednesday morning. Sixty-five percent of the congregation lives within walking distance of the church, and ninety percent of the congregation serves in their community. This is important to Dwayne; he asks that members of the church live within the community in order to fully be a part of the ministries. Together, Dwayne and the congregation have been able to nurture and mentor individuals in the church, discern where God is at work in the neighbourhood and answer His call to go out in the name of Jesus.
The Distinguished Alumni Award honours and celebrates people like Dwayne, who have gone on to become Christian leaders of influence, whose lives are marked by intellectual maturity, spiritual vigor and moral integrity, and whose witness faithfully engages the culture with the Gospel.