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Criswell College names Creamer as president

DALLAS (BP) — Barry Creamer was elected as Criswell College’s seventh president in a unanimous trustee vote July 7.

Creamer, 51, has served as Criswell’s vice president of academic affairs since 2011 and as professor of humanities since 2004. He will begin his presidency at the Dallas college on Aug. 1.

Jimmy Draper, the college’s interim president, said Creamer “has poured his life into this school for 10 years and has proven his ability as a scholar, administrator and effective leader. He has a brilliant mind with a compassionate heart. He values people and will lead by his example and with wisdom and grace. No better choice could have been made.”

Creamer has been Criswell’s chief operating officer and has managed the college’s day-to-day operations since last November when former President Jerry Johnson became president of the National Religious Broadcasters.

Johnson, who hired Creamer for the college’s faculty in 2004, said Creamer is “the right man, at the right time, for all the right reasons. As a former Criswell student [and as a] professor and administrator, he is a Criswell man through and through. He knows and loves the college; as well, the college knows and loves him.”

Creamer said he is honored “to build on an already storied and influential foundation to lead the school through what I believe are its most promising days.”

Jim Richards, executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and chairman of the presidential search committee, said Creamer understands the college’s “historic connection to the founder, Dr. W.A. Criswell. … He has an understanding of the future of the school,” whether in expanding the curriculum or considering its optimal location in the Dallas area.

Creamer frequently comments on cultural and theological issues on the radio program he hosts, “For Christ and Culture,” on KCBI-FM in Dallas-Fort Worth. In the apologetics arena, he has spoken at numerous conferences and engaged in public debates with non-Christians. Creamer also is a trustee of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Having served churches in a variety of roles since 1982, Creamer was pastor of Woodland West Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, his hometown, from 1987 during his mid-20s until 2004. He first affiliated with Woodland West as pastor of a mission church.

Creamer earned a Ph.D. in humanities from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2000, a master of divinity degree from Criswell College in 1994 and a bachelor of arts in English from Baylor University in 1985.

While at Baylor, Creamer began a ministry to students at Texas State Technical College. During the week he knocked on doors, handed out flyers and witnessed. He preached in the campus chapel building initially once a week, expanding to three times a week until his graduation.

Creamer’s academic writing includes a chapter, “Article XIII: Stewardship,” in the 2007 academic book “The Baptist Faith and Message 2000: Critical Issues in America’s Largest Protestant Denomination.”

He and his wife Joan have four adult children.
Reported by Brandon Smith, director of communications for Criswell College.

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