Alvin Love '82
Counting the Cost of
The term "work-study" has
a totally different meaning to Rev. Alvin Love '82 than it does for the
typical college student. While most people think of an on-campus job that
requires perhaps 10 hours a week, those two words describes Love's priorities
- in that order - while he was a student at Trinity.
"I was married and had a
child when I was in school," he recalled, "so I had a full-time job as
I was finishing my degree. I had to take care of my family, and I wanted
to get my degree. The Lord made it possible for me to do both."
A year after graduating from
Trinity with a bachelor's in theology, he accepted the position as pastor
of Lilydale First Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side. During his time
there, the church membership has grown from near 200 to more than 1,200.
"When I became pastor of
Lilydale in 1983, the only request I made of the church was that we grow
together. God has blessed us to do just that. In a day when the average
pastorate at one church is only five years, I'm grateful that we have continuity
and stability. I think that continuity is a big reason for how well our
church has developed.
"Over the years, our church
has increased its witness in the community. We have tried to develop the
whole body to be responsive to the call of our Christ and the needs of
His people. As our church grew stronger, it allowed me to expand the scope
of my ministry and explore other ways to enrich myself while also strengthening
Trinity named Love to its
board of trustees in 2000. In 2002, he was elected president of the Baptist
General State Convention of Illinois, the largest organization of African-American
Christians in the state. Whether in his role as a trustee, president, or
pastor, his platform remains centered on one issue that his father impressed
"My dad told me, 'If you
think that education is costly, try ignorance!' Education opens the door
to greater opportunities for service. I try to do whatever I can to help
young people pursue their education because it eliminates one disadvantage
from their chances of success. Christian education is vitally important.
If we are to serve the Lord and build His kingdom, we have to know how
He wants us to accomplish those goals. We can't do that without reading
and studying His Word.
"Trinity provided me an opportunity
to develop a Christian worldview enhanced by a solid theological framework.
I experienced the importance of acknowledging and accepting diverse opinions
and backgrounds, which is a critical component of effective leadership.
It has helped me as a church leader as well as a community leader."
Love, a Chicago resident,
enjoys playing golf and bowling. He and his wife, Carolyn, have one son.
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