Joel Gregory was installed Sept. 1 as holder of the George W. Truett Endowed Chair in Preaching and Evangelism at Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary. In 1968, First Baptist Church in Dallas established the George W. Truett Chair in Evangelism in Baylor’s department of religion to honor the congregation’s longtime pastor. Earlier this year, the agreement was amended to establish the new chair at the seminary that bears Truett’s name. “I am humbled beyond any statement to be named to a chair called by the name of George W. Truett,” said Gregory, a longtime professor of preaching at Truett Seminary. “No pastor in American history had more influence as the pastor of a local Baptist church. … I could only wish that I could begin to be worthy of holding such a chair. It is an honor, an inspiration and a legacy.” Gregory earned his undergraduate degree in Greek and religion, as well as his Ph.D. in religion, from Baylor. He earned the master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1973 and taught preaching there from 1982 to 1985. He served two terms as president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and is founder and president of Joel Gregory Ministries, an international ministry of teaching, preaching, counseling and writing. His pastorates include First Baptist in Dallas and Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth.
Carroll Institute establishes center for chaplain studies. B.H. Carroll Theological Institute received $400,000 to establish the Gerald E. Marsh Center for Chaplain Studies. The Marsh Center will offer master’s and doctoral degrees for training chaplains; provide inter-faith research and development of chaplain issues and programs; inform the public about chaplaincy; and promote and advocate effective chaplain ministry. “The Marsh Center is truly one of a kind,” institute President Gene Wilkes said. “No other graduate institution offers such in-depth preparation for chaplains. One-third of the master-level curriculum is specifically designed to develop competencies for this unique ministry. In making this large gift, the anonymous donor recognizes the growing influence and value of well-trained chaplains who minister in settings where other religious workers rarely go.” Named for Gerald Marsh, the center honors a seminary professor who taught pastoral ministry 25 years. Marsh served 32 of his 39 years in the military as a chaplain, retiring in 1988 from an 11-year post as the senior chaplain of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Jim Spivey, a senior fellow of the Carroll Institute who retired in 2001 as senior chaplain of the U.S. Army Reserve, has been appointed director of the Marsh Center.
Texas Baptists plan rebuilding project in Acuña. Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery program is working in partnership with First Baptist Church in Del Rio, First Baptist Church in Acuña, Texas Baptists’ River Ministry and Eagle Pass-based Mission Border Hope to help rebuild Acuña, Mexico, where a tornado Memorial Day weekend destroyed about 400 homes. Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery ministry plans to mobilize volunteer teams beginning at spring break 2016 and throughout next summer. In preparation, a vision trip to Acuña is scheduled Oct. 1-2 for pastors and church leaders. Cost for participants will include travel to and from Del Rio and meals. Disaster Recovery and River Ministry will provide lodging. To register for the vision trip, click here.