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Former missionary, educator named to seminary faculty

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–A Baptist college professor and International Mission Board-appointed missionary/theological educator to Romania has been named associate professor of New Testament and Greek at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In their March 11-12 meeting, trustees received the one-year presidential appointment of Charles L. Quarles, who has spent over 10 years as a pastor and brings extensive teaching experience and a mission mindset to the seminary.

Trustees also approved the two-year reelection of Loretta G. Rivers as instructor in social work, and the one-year reelection of Tate Cockrell as instructor in counseling.

“Not only does Dr. Quarles bring to our faculty his excellent academic credentials and publications, but also significant ministerial experience in the pastorate and in global missions,” said NOBTS Provost Steve Lemke.

“He has a mind of a scholar, the heart of a pastor and the passion of an evangelist,” he stressed.

Quarles’ appointment highlights one of the distinctive characteristics of the seminary’s faculty: experience in international missions, Lemke said. “Dr. Quarles will be the seminary’s eighth faculty member who has served as a missionary in an international setting, and more specifically, the third faculty member in the Division of Biblical Studies, who has served as a missionary under appointment by the IMB,” he said.

Quarles spent the last three years as a career missionary and theological education team leader for the International Mission Board in Bucharest, Romania, where he most recently served as associate professor of New Testament and Greek at the Bucharest Baptist Theological Seminary and University of Bucharest.

Quarles has also participated in short-term missions trips to Zimbabwe and Kenya, Africa; Kazakhstan; and Moscow and Novgorod, Russia.

The grandson of Chester L. Quarles, a longtime friend and donor of New Orleans Seminary, Quarles previously served as the chairman of the Bible/Theology Division and as associate professor of New Testament and Greek at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Pineville, Ky., where he has served since 1996. Before that, he served as adjunct professor of New Testament and Greek at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Germantown, Tenn.

For over 10 years, Quarles served as pastor in churches in Tennessee and Mississippi, most recently as senior pastor of Hickory Ridge Baptist Church in Memphis, where his church was recognized for exceptionally high number of baptisms in 1996 by the Tennessee Baptist and Reflector. In 1989, the Mississippi Baptist Record recognized Concord Baptist Church in Bruce, Miss., where he pastored, as the fourth fastest growing church in Mississippi.

Extensively published in scholarly books and journals, Quarles authored Midrash Criticism: Introduction and Appraisal (University Press of America, 1998), an in-depth introduction and appraisal of a new critical approach applied to Gospel studies, which utilizes genre criticism, redaction criticism, and historical criticism.

Quarles also authored articles and other works for the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Biblical Illustrator, Westminster Theological Journal, and Holman Bible Dictionary, as well as lessons in the Family Bible Study curriculum published by LifeWay.

Quarles earned his bachelor of arts degree in sociology and classics (Greek), graduating magna cum laude, from the University of Mississippi in 1986. He then received both his master of divinity degree, graduating magna cum laude, and his doctor of philosophy degree in New Testament with minors in theology and Old Testament from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in 1989 and 1995.

In other business concerning faculty, trustees:

— approved promotions for Jerry N. Barlow to professor of preaching and pastoral work; Jerry W. Pounds, Sr., to professor of Christian education; Argile A. Smith to professor of preaching; and Asa R. Sphar III to professor of psychology and counseling.

— granted tenure to P. Endel Lee, Jr., Leavell College assistant professor of preaching and pastoral work; and Robert B. Stewart, assistant professor of philosophy and theology.

— approved preliminary sabbaticals for Kenneth B. Taylor, Jr., associate professor of urban missions, occupying the Chester L. Quarles Chair of Missions, and Michael D. Sharp, associate professor of music theory and piano, both during the 2003-2004 academic year.

— approved final sabbaticals for Jerry N. Barlow, now professor of preaching and pastoral work; Walter E. Brown, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew; Becky Parker Lombard, associate professor of music theory and organ; and Will H. McRaney, Jr., associate professor of evangelism occupying the Max and Bonnie Thornhill Chair of Evangelism, all during the 2002-2003 academic year. Final sabbaticals for Spring 2003 were approved for L. Thomas Strong II, dean of Leavell College and associate professor of New Testament and Greek, and William F. Warren, Jr., professor of New Testament and Greek occupying the Landrum P. Leavell II Chair of New Testament and Greek.

— received Mid-Year Sabbatic Reports from R. Allen Jackson, associate professor of youth education occupying the J. M. Frost Chair of Christian Education; James L. Shaddix, dean of the chapel and associate professor of preaching; and Gerald L. Stevens, professor of New Testament and Greek. Also received Final Sabbatic Reports from Argile A. Smith, chairperson, Division of Pastoral Ministries, now professor of preaching occupying the J. D. Grey Chair of Preaching; and R. Dennis Cole, chairperson, Division of Biblical Studies, professor of biblical archaeology occupying the McFarland Chair of Archaeology.

    About the Author

  • Shannon Baker

    Shannon Baker is director of communications for the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey and editor of the Network’s weekly newsletter, BRN United.

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