African-American scholarships double to 20

FORT WORTH—In anticipation of doubling the number of scholarships offered to African-American students at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, trustees there approved the president’s recommendation to name them in honor of two alumni, Eugene Florence and Shadrach Meshach (S.M.) Lockridge.

“We started last year making 10 of our scholarships directly available to African-Americans and this year we are adding 10 more,” SWBTS President Paige Patterson announced during the April 10-11 trustee meeting at the campus.

At the age of 100, Florence was awarded a master of divinity degree in 2004 for coursework he had completed in 1951. At that time, during the period of segregation, the seminary did not offer a master’s degree program but instead had night classes available for blacks to earn a diploma. He preached in chapel in 2006—at 102 years old. Over the course of 70 years, Florence pastored four churches in Texas.

Lockridge, a Texas native who began his ministry in Ennis, pastored Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego for 41 years and was best known for his message “That’s My King,” which features a six-and-a-half-minute description of Jesus Christ that has been played in thousands of churches over the decades.

Trustees also approved Patterson’s recommendation to move the J. Dalton Havard School for Theological Studies in Houston to Sagemont Baptist Church, at the church’s invitation. The move will provide more accessible facilities. The board authorized the school to sell the current Broadway campus.

A proposed budget of $35,947,605 was approved for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, down from the previous year’s $36,833,962 figure.

Faculty promotions were approved for Mike Wilkinson from assistant professor of theology to professor of theology; John Yeo from assistant professor of Old Testament to associate professor of Old Testament; Matthew McKellar from associate professor of preaching to professor of preaching; and Terri Stovall from associate professor of women’s ministries to professor of women’s ministries.

Michael Crisp was approved to occupy the Edgar “Preacher” Hallock Chair of Baptist Student Work.

Trustees also approved graduates for spring and summer commencement exercises, a new social media policy and a reduction in the baccalaureate of humanities and biblical studies degree from 129 to 125 hours.

Kevin Ueckert, pastor of First Baptist Church of Georgetown, was re-elected chairman. Connie Hancock, pastor of Springboro Baptist Church of Springboro, Ohio, was elected vice-chairman and Philip Levant, pastor of Iglesia Bautista La Vid of Hurst, was elected secretary. All officers were elected by acclamation.

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