Vines honored at Southwestern preaching workshop

Longtime expositor tells students: Just preach the Word of God. Book by book, paragraph by paragraph: I believe that"s the way to do it._x009d_

FORT WORTH—A new book edited by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s David Allen celebrates the life and ministry of Jerry Vines, with a copy presented to the well-known expositor in chapel March 5 during the seminary’s annual Expository Preaching Workshop.

After accepting the book, titled “Preach the Word! A Collection of Essays on Biblical Preaching in Honor of Jerry Vines” (Free Church Press), Vines received a standing ovation from seminary students and faculty.

“I was totally unprepared for this,” Vines said. “A lot of emotions welling up in my heart—I thank you.”

Vines said he has great admiration for everyone who contributed essays to the volume. After the service he signed copies of the book.

Allen, who grew up under Vines and was called to ministry during Vines’ pastoral tenure in Rome, Ga., served as the book’s general editor and wrote the forward also. Peter Lumpkin, pastor of Corner Stone Baptist Chapel in Waco, Ga., served as managing editor.

Among the contributors to “Preach the Word!” are Southwestern President Paige Patterson; O.S. Hawkins, president of the SBC’s GuideStone Financial Resources; Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn.; Mac Brunson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.; and Malcolm Yarnell, systematic theology professor at Southwestern.

“His ministry in many ways is John 3:16 in a nutshell,” Allen, who serves as dean of the School of Theology at Southwestern, said of Vines. “From small rural churches in Georgia all the way to the great megachurch First Baptist in Jacksonville, Fla.”

Vines served as a pastor for more than 60 years, 23 of those at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville. He also served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention for two terms and authored many books including “Power of the Pulpit.” He travels around the country hosting conferences of that same name to help pastors.

“He is the best combination of a scholar and country preacher in the Southern Baptist Convention,” Allen said, quoting the introduction of Vines given by Adrian Rogers at the 1987 SBC annual meeting.

At that convention Vines preached his now-famous sermon, “A Baptist and his Bible,” which the new book also contains.

Allen’s personal connection with Vines began when he heard him preach years ago.

“I was called to preach under Dr. Jerry Vines,” Allen said, recalling Nov. 18, 1973, when he first committed his life to ministry. “He was my example, my mentor, my encourager. Much of what I know of preaching today I owe to Dr. Jerry Vines.”

Vines is especially well-known for his expository preaching. During his time at First Baptist he preached through the entire Bible.

In chapel Vines preached from Genesis about Joseph, encouraging believers to “dare to dream big dreams for God.”

“Just preach the Word of God,” Vines said later as a word of advice for those training to be pastors. “Book by book, paragraph by paragraph: I believe that’s the way to do it.”

Vines preached through the entire Bible at First Baptist, Jacksonville, and also ministers to people across the nation through his books, DVDs, CDs and Sunday School curriculum.

“All of us as Southern Baptists and beyond are in his debt,” Allen said.

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