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Southwestern academic chair named for LifeWay’s Draper

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary inaugurated the James T. “Jimmy” Draper Jr. Chair of Pastoral Ministry during a special chapel service at the school on Nov 9.

Southwestern also inaugurated the Dick Baker Chair of Music Missions and Evangelism during the ceremony. Baker has composed numerous hymns and served as a minister of music at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, for 12 years.

Seminary Provost Craig Blaising introduced Draper during the ceremony as “a model and mentor to numerous young pastors.” He said people often refer to Draper as the “prince of pastors” because of his servant’s attitude and kind heart.

Draper, who is a third generation Southwestern graduate, said the seminary has been the setting for some of his earliest memories and has been a significant part of his family’s past.

“[Southwestern is] a very special place in our lives, so I’m just excited to play a small part in that.”

That “small part” actually is far-reaching, since Southwestern pays a professor’s salary with the interest generated by endowments that establish academic chairs. By providing money for that salary, the chair allows the seminary to take the general resources once directed to paying that professor and instead use the resources to keep tuition and fees low.

Draper said he was grateful to everyone that helped fund the endowment used to create the chair.

Larry Ashlock will be the first professor installed to the Draper Chair of Pastoral Ministry. While Draper does not choose who receives the investiture, he said he is pleased with the inaugural choice.

“I have a lot of confidence in him [Ashlock],” Draper said. “I wanted them to choose someone who taught practical rather than theoretical pastorship.”

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