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Former seminary provost William Hull dies

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) — William Hull, 83, former provost and dean of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s school of theology, died Dec. 10 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to a news release from Samford University.

Hull taught New Testament at Southern Seminary for 17 years, during which time he served as theology school dean and became the seminary’s first provost. In 1975, he became pastor of First Baptist Church in Shreveport, La., and in 1987, provost at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.

“Bill Hull was a gifted scholar and a born leader, and he stood as a giant in his generation of Southern Baptists,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary. “He was a dedicated professor and a gifted administrator who helped to define the roles of dean and provost at Southern Seminary.”

Mohler said his personal acquaintance with Hull dates back 30-plus years. “He was always friendly to me, even as we represented two very different visions for both Southern Seminary and the Southern Baptist Convention,” Mohler said. “He was one of the most incisive intellects of his age, and a conversation with Bill Hull could never be boring. Furthermore, he was generous with his thoughts and analyses, sharing these with the public through his careful writings and influential lectures. The history of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 20th century cannot be written without him.

“The last conversation I had with Dr. Hull happened as I called him to let Dr. and Mrs. Hull know of the death of professor Wayne Ward, with whom he had long taught,” Mohler recounted. “Though he was struggling with the ALS he had bravely fought, Dr. Hull insisted on taking the phone. The brief and labored conversation reminded me of the dignity and intelligence of this gifted scholar. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hull family.”

Hull held bachelor of divinity and doctor of theology degrees from Southern Seminary and a bachelor’s degree from Samford. He was a widely published and cited author of works on theology and preaching.

He leaves behind his son David Hull and daughter Susan Hull Walker; his wife Wylodine died in 2012.

The family will hold a memorial service at 2 p.m., Monday, Dec. 16, at Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.
Reported by the communications staff of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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