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FROM THE SEMINARIES: Former SWBTS preaching prof Harold Freeman dies; Greenway, Stinson honored at SBTS

Harold Freeman, who taught preaching 27 years at SWBTS, dies

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — Harold Freeman, a professor of preaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for 27 years, died April 14 at age 83.

Freeman was invited to join the Texas seminary’s faculty in 1974 by then-President Robert Naylor. He also served as associate dean for the Ph.D. program and held the Ralph and Bess Smith Chair of Preaching, retiring in 2000.

Southwestern President Adam W. Greenway said Freeman’s contributions “to the great tradition of text-driven preaching that has long characterized our seminary are significant and perhaps best seen in the fruitful ministries of the countless students he taught over the years, and in particular the many doctoral students he supervised.”

Freeman was pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Dallas from 1967-1974. He held a divinity degree and doctor of theology from Southwestern and an undergraduate degree from Baylor University.

He was the son of C. Wade Freeman, a Southwestern alumnus who served as a pastor and as director of evangelism for the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Harold Freeman sensed a call to the preaching ministry at age 12.

Throughout his ministry at the Fort Worth campus, Freeman encouraged his students “to let the text shape the message and not make the Bible serve your sermon structure.” He also encouraged students to find the practical application — that is, the “so what?” — of a text. He was the author of “Variety in Biblical Preaching” and had traveled to Australia, Hungary, Romania, Poland and Ukraine to teach.

Survivors include his wife Alice of more than 60 years; two children, Hal and Amy; and multiple grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial service has not yet been scheduled.


Mohler honors Greenway & Stinson as they go to SWBTS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) — Two longtime administrators at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary were recognized April 18 during chapel for their elections to the leadership of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

R. Albert Mohler Jr., Southern’s president, presented gifts and certificates of appreciation to his former colleagues Adam W. Greenway and Randy L. Stinson who in March were named as the next president and provost, respectively, at Southwestern in Fort Worth, Texas.

Greenway, a master of divinity Southwestern graduate, was dean of Southern’s Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry and Stinson was provost and senior vice president for academic administration. Mohler called their elections a “moment of pride” for Southern, where both have earned Ph.D. degrees.

“This is our opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to two of our own who have now, in the providence of God, been called to serve a sister institution at a very historic time,” Mohler said. “They have been, for virtually a generation, a part of the Southern Seminary family. Thus, a part of our heart goes every time someone leaves to go to another place of service.”

Mohler said the election of Greenway and Stinson marks an historic moment for Southwestern and points to “great days ahead” for the seminary.

“These elections,” he said, “mean such good things for such an important institution — an institution dearly needed by the Southern Baptist Convention at full strength and influence and dearly needed by the whole evangelical world.”

Mohler presented Greenway a page from Hebrews 12 from a King James Version of the Bible printed in 1614 and Stinson a page from Psalm 19 from the same KJV edition.

Greenway joined the faculty at Southern Seminary in 2007, shortly after he earned a doctorate of philosophy degree from the Billy Graham School. He served as the William Walker Brookes Associate Professor of Evangelism and Apologetics and became dean of the Billy Graham School in 2013.

“I cannot tell you what Southern Seminary means to me and to my family,” Greenway said. “I would not have been prepared and able to be president of Southwestern Seminary had it not been for my time and experience here.”

Stinson, as Southwestern’s new provost and vice president for academic administration, worked in a similar role at Southern as provost and senior vice president for academic administration and was the seminary’s Basil Manly Jr. Professor of Leadership and Family Ministry.

“This seminary has shaped us in every conceivable way,” Stinson said about him and his family. “This institution is not about the buildings and the bricks; it has been and always will be about the people. The people here have been incredible to us over the years, and we’re so thankful.”

Paul Chitwood, a fellow alumnus and president of the International Mission Board, preached in the chapel service after Mohler’s recognition of Greenway and Stinson.

A reception in the Duke K. McCall Sesquicentennial Pavilion following chapel gave faculty, staff and students a chance to thank Greenway and Stinson for their service to the seminary.

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  • SWBTS & SBTS Staff

    Reported by the communications staffs of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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