Walking through biblical history

Published 10:40 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Abercrombie’s faith studies lead him to ancient sites

By Whitley Kilcrease

While it can be fascinating to research and study historical and biblical sites such as the Parthenon, Roman Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel, there are few who actually have the opportunity to travel to such sites.

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One former Troy resident recently had the chance to touch and see historical locations where spiritual forefathers such as Paul and Peter walked, lived and perished.

Justin Abercrombie, a former Troy Bank and Trust employee who now lives in Louisville, Ky., recently returned from a trip abroad with the Southern Seminary Expeditions of Italy and Greece.

The tour was lead by Jeff Dalrymple and Sean Perron and offered field lectures from experts in theology, ethics and church history.

Abercrombie traveled along with other seminary students and instructors of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, including Dr. Russell Moore, Dr. Gregory Willis and Dr. Phillip Bethancourt.

The group traversed multiple sites across Italy and Greece, following the footsteps of the apostle Paul and other church founders.

“I’m encouraged that through all the many massive challenges that faced the gospel of Jesus Christ that God’s purposes continue to be fulfilled,” Abercrombie said.

“I am very appreciative for this traveling opportunity and I hope to use this experience to spread the gospel and encourage those who are believers in their faith.”

During his journey, Abercrombie visited several historical sites around Rome, including the infamous Roman Colosseum, The Christian Catacombs under the city and the Seven Hills of Rome, which form the geographical heart of modern Rome within the walls of the ancient city.

Abercrombie said history took on a powerful perspective at the Roman Colosseum, where believers in Christ died for their faith, and the Christian Catacombs, where many of said Christians were buried afterwards.

His travels in Italy also took him to Vatican City, including a tour of the well-known Sistine Chapel within the Apostolic Palace of Vatican City and the “university city” of Perugia, including the walled, medieval province of Gubbio.

While in Greece, Abercrombie visited the cities of Athens, Delphi and Appolonia, as well as historical sites such as the ruins at Corinth, Mount Olympus, Mars Hill and the Parthenon atop the acropolis in Athens.

He also participated in the Helping Hands Refugee Ministry.

“By visiting such biblical and historical scenes, the Bible’s hue becomes visible and bright,” Abercrombie said.

“History’s black and white accounts rise in living color.”

Abercrombie also said he is thankful for his home church of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, which has aided him financially during his seminary through the Cooperative Program.

“I am excited to be a part of this fine expedition to Italy and Greece and I believe it provided me with an opportunity to further my ministry,” Abercrombie said. “Standing where the Reformers stood and walking behind those who led the early church made for an unforgettable journey of a lifetime.”

Abercrombie serves as ambassador to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and is also an intern for Bethancourt, a fellow traveler on the trip abroad.

He said he one day hopes to guide the church well and spread the gospel of Jesus effectively, correctly and broadly.

Abercrombie is married to Cammie Kelley Abercrombie of Elba.