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Texas pastor donates 12,000 books to SWBTS Houston campus

HOUSTON, Texas (BP)–Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Havard School for Theological Studies in Houston recently celebrated the donation of a 12,000-volume theological library during the school’s convocation.

Texas pastor W.C. “Buddy” Burns, a 1966 graduate of Southwestern Seminary, donated the library. He is a 1966 graduate of Southwestern Seminary and has served as pastor of churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas for 45 years. For 13 years he was pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Port Arthur, Texas.

Burns now serves churches as a transitional pastor. His current transitional pastorate is at the First Baptist Church of Iowa Park, Texas.

At his ordination to full-time ministry many years ago, Burns said that his pastor, Bob Eklund, issued a challenge to him to learn everything he could about the Bible.

“Dr. Eklund challenged me to read a book a week,” Burns said. “I have kept that promise to him for most of my ministry.”

Over the years Burns accumulated nearly 12,000 books, in addition to many tapes and sermons. It reached the point where it became a challenge to find a proper place to store his library.

Burns said that after much prayer God led him to give his entire collection to the Houston campus of Southwestern Seminary.

“I would not be where I am today if it had not been for my work at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,” Burns said. “I desire to give my library to the seminary that shaped me and molded me.”

Denny Autrey, dean of the Havard School for Theological Studies, said that the Burns donation will make a huge impact on the Houston campus.

“We currently have between 3,800-4,000 volumes,” Autrey said. “With Mr. Burns’ donation … our library will triple in size. We plan to renovate our study carrel area for the additional books. But we are grateful to have such a gift.”

Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson applauded Burns’ generosity.

“Buddy Burns did it right,” Patterson said. “He built a great library of 12,000 volumes and used it to inform his preaching. His love for young preachers prompted him to give the library to our Havard School in Houston. This puts our library ahead monumentally. God bless Brother Burns, and may his example inspire others.”

Burns accompanied his donation with a challenge to other pastors in a similar situation.

“My challenge to others now is to give their libraries to Southwestern Seminary,” Burns said to those gathered at the Jan. 24 convocation. “This will be an extension of their ministry to further the kingdom of God.”

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  • Brent Thompson