By Carla Nelson
Special to the
A long-time Opelika pastor was recently honored with an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree. Loren C. Sutton, pastor of Airview Church of God, was honored by the United Bible Seminary of Atlanta, Ga., on Nov. 4. The title is bestowed to individuals who have devoted their lives to theological pursuits or community betterment.
“I felt honored that the seminary honored me with this degree,” Sutton said.
The United Bible Seminary has been in operation since 2007, providing Bible seminary education to Korean church leaders. The seminary’s dean, Young Kim, nominated Sutton after Sutton co-shared the Airview Church of God building with Kim who held Korean services at the church before moving back to their hometown of Atlanta.
“They were looking for a place to meet,” Sutton said of Kim and his wife, Hannah. “They attended our services and became part of our church family and held a Korean service every Sunday afternoon.”
Sutton and his family moved to the Opelika area in 1965 to establish a congregation of The Church of God and built the current church facility at 3015 Old Opelika Road in 1968.
Sutton left the church to travel the 12 Southeastern states of the U.S. to pursue recruitment and development for Anderson University of Anderson, Indiana, in 1974, but returned to Airview Church of God in Opelika in 1981. Sutton retired in 2003, but was asked to return as pastor in 2011.
The United Bible Seminary invited Sutton and his wife, Elouise, to Atlanta to be honored as Sutton was given the Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree. While on campus, he was also installed as president of the seminary. The Suttons will travel to Atlanta several days each month to provide leadership to the seminary.
“I will preach some of my sermons and help equip men and women to serve in ministry,” Sutton said.