C.W. Brister, longtime Southwestern pastoral-care professor, dies at 82

FORT WORTH, Texas (ABP) -- C.W. Brister Jr., who taught pastoral counseling and theology to generations of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary students, died Aug. 9, reportedly of complications from Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 82. Brister was a professor of pastoral counseling at the Fort Worth, Texas-based seminary for 45 years.

C. W. Brister
He held the title of distinguished professor emeritus of pastoral ministry, and the Southwestern School of Theology gives an award named for Brister annually to the most outstanding student in pastoral ministry.

“He had such a capacity for caring,” Larry Baker, a former student of Brister’s, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “He took a genuine interest in the people around him. He had a reserved personality, but he took initiative in relating to people.”

Commodore Webster Brister Jr., was born in 1926 in Pineville, La. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana College and went on to earn his master’s degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He received his doctorate from Southwestern, and did additional study at several prominent theological schools, including Princeton Theological Seminary and Oxford University.

Before going to Southwestern, he served as pastor of churches in Louisiana and Texas. He also served as interim pastor at several churches in Texas and Oklahoma.

Brister’s son, Mark, retired last year from the presidency of Oklahoma Baptist University. Besides his son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons he is survived by his wife, Gloria, and his sister, Dolores Bausum of Beloit, Wis.  Baker was scheduled to officiate at Brister’s funeral, set for Aug. 15 at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth. 

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