NEW ORLEANS (BP)–J. Hardee Kennedy, retired academic vice president and professor emeritus of Old Testament and Hebrew at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, died Dec. 28 in Meridian, Miss. He was 88.
Kennedy served 34 years on NOBTS’ faculty during a career of nearly 40 years in education.
Educated at Clarke College in Newton, Miss., Mississippi College and NOBTS, Kennedy was elected to the seminary faculty shortly after completing the doctor of theology degree in 1947. From 1959-68 he served as dean of NOBTS’ school of theology. He was named vice president for academic affairs in 1972, serving in the position until his retirement in 1981.
“For generations of seminary students, J. Hardee Kennedy was the perfect illustration of the word ‘proper,'” said NOBTS President Chuck Kelley. “Gracious in spirit, dignity personified in manner, passionate in scholarship and ministry, and impeccable in integrity, Dr. Kennedy set a high standard for the life, character and behavior of a minister of the gospel. We will miss him.”
Kennedy was active in church work for more than 60 years. In 1996, he was named pastor emeritus of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Clarke County, Miss., where he held his first pastorate during the 1930s and then returned as pastor in the 1980s.
He was born near Pachuta, Miss., and ordained to the ministry by Harmony Baptist Church in Clarke County, Miss., in 1939.
Kennedy was active in denominational work, serving on various committees of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist conventions of Mississippi and Louisiana. During his academic career, he authored six books, including “Studies in the Book of Jonah” and “The Commission of Moses and the Christian Calling.” He also penned numerous journal articles in the area of biblical studies.
Survivors include a daughter, Jeannine Kennedy Thames of Meridian, and one grandson. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Virginia Gamble Kennedy of Bowling Green, Ky.
Funeral services for Kennedy were held Dec. 31 at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. Memorials may be made to the Cemetery Fund of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, c/o Marshall West, 12044 County Rd. 280, Vossburg, MS 39366.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: J. HARDEE KENNEDY.