FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — Miles Seaborn Jr., one of the leading figures in the formation of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, died Jan. 22 at his home in Fort Worth. He was 81.
Seaborn retired from Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth in 1997 after 29 years as pastor. He and his wife Jeanne previously served 10 years with the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) in the Philippines.
A Drumright, Okla., native, Seaborn attended Oklahoma Baptist University on a track scholarship. He earned a bachelor of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary before heading to the international mission field in 1958.
He was instrumental in the 1998 formation of the SBTC, serving as president of the convention’s predecessor organization, the Southern Baptists of Texas Inc. Seaborn also served in many denominational and associational roles, including SBC first vice president (1997) and chairman of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustee board (1998-2000).
“Miles Seaborn was a man of great courage and conviction,” SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards said. “His many contributions to Christ’s Kingdom will only be fully revealed in heaven.”
Bob Pearle, who followed Seaborn as pastor at Birchman and served alongside him on the SBTC Executive Board, said Seaborn’s contributions to ministry would be missed.
“He relocated this church and was way ahead of his time when they had one church in two locations. Later, they unified the church back into a single location. Miles had a great missionary heart. He touched thousands of lives,” Pearle said.
In addition to his time in the Philippines, Seaborn preached in numerous other places such as Indonesia, Argentina, Uruguay, Hong Kong, Japan and throughout southern Africa.
In presenting the H. Paul Pressler Distinguished Service Award to Seaborn at the SBTC annual meeting in 2006, the Houston judge said he initially “threw cold water” on the idea of a new state convention in Texas as Seaborn and others were laying the groundwork for it.
“The fact that we’re here today … is due to the vision of Miles Seaborn,” Pressler said at the time. “And Miles, I’m grateful for you. You saw it; you understood it. I didn’t. And thank you for leading. I’m very grateful to you,” Pressler told messengers.
Seaborn is survived by his wife Jeanne; two sons, Miles III and Neal, and two daughters, Ina and Gay, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services were pending with Greenwood Funeral Home in Fort Worth.
Reported by the staff of the Southern Baptist Texan (www.texanonline.net), newsjournal of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.