Rev. Steve Caskey, from whom the name of the Caskey Center for Church Excellence derived, was a bivocational pastor in rural Louisiana for most of his life. Rev. Caskey was born in rural Louisiana to a farming family, saved in the Palestine Baptist Church, and baptized in a nearby creek. Rev. Caskey graduated from high school as the class salutatorian. Shortly after, he was called to his first full-time pastorate at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Coushatta, LA. Ministry education and personal study were both very important to him. According to family members, Rev. Caskey got up early each morning to study his Bible and prepare sermons. He also read other books to learn as much as he could about the Bible and about ministry.
Later, seeking a more formal study, he enrolled at Louisiana College (LC), where he studied for two years. However, as a busy pastor, husband and father of three with little money, Rev. Caskey could not continue at LC. Throughout the rest of his life, Caskey studied on his own in order to faithfully preach and teach God’s Word.
Though he pastored small churches, Rev. Caskey had a significant impact on his family and the members of the churches he served. His love of learning and his desire to improve his ministry skills made an impact on those who knew him. As a result of that impact, an anonymous donor established the Caskey Center for Church Excellence at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in his honor.
We are confident that there are a lot of “Steve Caskeys” out there. Many pastors are serving faithfully. No one has ever heard of them. They may wonder if their ministry is really significant. They know that God has not forgotten them but wonder if everyone else has. The Caskey Center wants these pastors to know that they are not forgotten. We want to be their resource for encouragement and equipping.
The vision is for the Caskey Center to assist ministers to preach God’s Word, proclaim the gospel, and impact the world for Christ. Our prayer is that this site will provide pastors and church leaders access to the latest research and best practices for ministry in church settings.
Blake Newsom, Ph.D. serves as Associate Professor of Expository Preaching and Director of the Caskey Center for Church Excellence at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Previously, he served as Dean of the Chapel at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as well as Senior Pastor of Dauphin Way Baptist Church in Mobile, AL.