ST.LOUIS (BP)--The death of W.A. Criswell did not signify the passing of an era, only the passing of "the greatest pastor of the 20th century. I don't think anybody else even comes close," said Rick Warren, keynote speaker at the Criswell College alumni luncheon held in St. Louis, June 11, during the Southern Baptist Convention.
LONDONDERRY, N.H. (BP)--Having surrendered my life to the gospel ministry at age 10 and begun my preaching/teaching ministry in my 12th year, W.A. Criswell's book "Why I Preach The Bible To Be Literally True" made an eternal impact on my life.
DALLAS (BP)--The man who wanted a church on the corner in the heart of the city was laid to rest Jan. 16 after a memorial service at the church he pastored for half a century. An estimated 2,700 people assembled in the downtown Dallas First Baptist Church and utilized several remote facilities to remember Southern Baptists' most famous pastor-preacher, W.A. Criswell, who died Jan. 10 at age 92.
DALLAS (BP)--Southern Baptist leaders with ties to First Baptist Church in Dallas offered remembrances of W.A. Criswell, recounting his leadership, vision and influence before a crowd of 2,700 gathered for the Jan. 16 memorial service.
DALLAS (BP)--In a city known for its traffic, cars stood still along Central Expressway at mid-afternoon Jan. 16 to make way for the long procession carrying the body of W.A. Criswell. The caravan's progress was announced throughout the Metroplex by news helicopters hovering in the air.
D'IBERVILLE, Miss. (BP)--The line of people and preachers stretched back 20 people at the altar at First Baptist Church, Dallas. It was the concluding service of the 1983 School of the Prophets. At the time, I was 20 years old and had traveled from my hometown of Cookeville, Tenn., with a friend. We had made the pilgrimage from Dallas in a '70s-model Volkswagen for the school and to have our "Brush With Greatness" -- perhaps a brief meeting with Dr. W.A. Criswell.
LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--The first time I heard W.A. Criswell speak in person was in November 1973. A buddy and I skipped our college classes and drove 350 miles to hear Dr. Criswell speak at the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco. Criswell was the renowned pastor of the largest Baptist church in the world, First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. For me, as a young Southern Baptist, the opportunity to hear Criswell in person was the equivalent of a Catholic getting to hear the Pope. I was determined hear this living legend.
WASHINGTON (BP)--President Bush joined Southern Baptists and religious leaders across the nation paying homage to the life and ministry of W.A. Criswell, pastor emeritus of the First Baptist Church of Dallas and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
"Dr. Criswell was an important spiritual leader for America," Bush said in a prepared statement to Baptist Press. "He was a man of deep and abiding faith who brought comfort to the thousands who heard his message of hope, love and compassion."
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--An Internet tribute honoring the life and ministry of W.A. Criswell has been created by the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, according to Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the SBC.
DALLAS (BP)--W.A. Criswell was a legendary Texas Baptist pastor who influenced a generation of Southern Baptist preachers to preach confidently and faithfully the Word of God and those who knew him said he was a "giant of the land."
Criswell, longtime pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas and founder of Criswell College, died in the early morning hours of Jan. 10 in a private residence. He was 92.
He served as pastor of one of the nation's largest Southern Baptist congregations from 1944 until 1991 when he was given the title of senior pastor. He had held the title of pastor emeritus since 1994.