Theologian Hull dead at 83. New Testament scholar and theologian William Hull died Dec. 10 following a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He was 83. Hull taught New Testament 17 years at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and later served as the seminary’s dean and provost. After about 12 years as pastor of First Baptist Church in Shreveport, La., he became provost and professor at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. After his retirement from Samford in 1996, he was named theologian-in-residence at Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham. Hull was preceded in death by his wife, Wylodine, in 2012. Survivors include his son, David, pastor of First Baptist Church of Huntsville, Ala., and daughter Susan Hall Walker of Charleston, S.C.
Benghazi victim served Austin church. American teacher Ronnie Smith, who was gunned down during a morning jog near the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, served on staff at Austin Stone Community Church in Austin before moving to Libya. The church is affiliated with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and Acts 29, an independent church-planting network. Smith was director of equipping and resources at Austin Stone Community Church from 2009 to 2011, and before that, he served two years as a pastoral intern. No one immediately claimed responsibility for Smith’s Dec. 5 murder, but Islamist militants in October had called for the kidnapping of American citizens in Libya. Hospital officials said the teacher had been shot multiple times. His death came 15 months after an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Smith held a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and had been teaching chemistry at the International School Benghazi for 18 months. His wife Anita and their young son returned to the United States several weeks ago for Christmas break. Smith stayed behind to help his students through midterm exams and had planned to join his family in a few days.