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Longtime church history prof dies

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–Claude L. Howe Jr., professor emeritus of church history at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, died Nov. 8 in Slidell, La. He was 79.

Howe joined the NOBTS faculty in 1959 and served until his retirement in 1994. He also was chairperson for the division of theological and historical studies from 1972-94.

A frequent writer for scholarly journals and the Southern Baptist Convention, Howe wrote “Seventy-Five Years of Providence and Prayer,” a history of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, published in 1993. Other writings include “The Theology of William Newton Clarke” and “Glimpse of the Baptist Heritage.”

“Dr. Claude Howe was one of our local legends,” NOBTS President Chuck Kelley said. “His students will never forget either his encyclopedic knowledge of Baptist history or his machine-gun delivery of the same.

“His colleagues will remember him as a model scholar, serious about his coffee and his tennis, who was also a faithful friend and colleague. The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary family will miss him,” Kelley said.

Twice a graduate of NOBTS (bachelor of divinity, 1957, and doctor of theology, 1959), Howe also earned a master of science in mathematics from Purdue University. He completed additional studies at Oxford University in England. Before studying at NOBTS, he served three years as a finance officer in the U.S. Army.

Howe pastored Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Sand Hill, Miss., from 1954-60.

In 1986, Howe was given the NOBTS distinguished alumnus award. In 2002, he received the distinguished service award for outstanding contributions to Baptist history by the Baptist History and Heritage Society.

Howe, who spent his retirement years in Picayune, Miss., is survived by his wife Mollie Howe; a son, Kenneth; and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Joyce, and one grandson.

Funeral services were Nov. 11 at First Baptist Church in Picayune.

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