Russell Dilday To Retire From Baylor University's Truett Seminary

March 17, 2000

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Dr. Russell Dilday, distinguished professor of homiletics at Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary and special assistant to the president, will retire in August after six years at the seminary.

In recognition of his services as one of the seminary's first faculty members, Dilday will speak during Truett Seminary's chapel at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, March 23, in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church Waco. He and his wife, Betty, will be honored that afternoon at a reception from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the main church parlor.

"All of us at Baylor University are grateful for the service of Russell Dilday, not only to the university and Truett Seminary, but also for his lifetime of extraordinary service to Texas Baptists, and indeed Baptists throughout the world," said Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr.

A renowned teacher, speaker and writer, and two-term president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Dilday joined Baylor and the Truett faculty in 1994 after his controversial firing as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He assumed the post of interim dean of Truett in March 1995 when Sloan, then dean of the seminary, was elected the 12th president of Baylor. Dilday currently teaches Biblical Interpretation and Preaching at Truett.

A graduate and distinguished alumnus of both Baylor and Southwestern Seminary, Dilday has served as pastor of Baptist churches in Antelope, Clifton, Houston and Atlanta, Ga. In 1994, he was named by Texas Monthly as one of the "Texas Twenty" -- persons across the state who "have proved to be pivotal forces in their respective fields and, by extension, Texas." He also was recognized by The Baptist Standard as one of the "10 most influential Texas Baptists in the 20th

century." Dilday's publications include You Can Overcome Discouragement; The Doctrine of Biblical Authority; Personal Computer: A New Tool for Ministers; and Communicator's Commentary: I & II Kings.

"Russell Dilday is a national treasure among Baptists," said Dr. J. Bradley Creed, dean of Truett Seminary. "He has served as a pastor, church planter, and as one of the most influential leaders of his generation in theological education, having served as president of Southwestern.

"At the conclusion of his ministry here, he has been a very effective and popular teacher of ministry students," Creed said. "We at Truett Seminary wish Russell and Betty all of God's grace and blessings as they enter a new phase of their lives. Russell will continue to be a faithful Christian servant in his preaching ministry."

"It isn't often one has an opportunity to participate in launching an institution that promises to have such an enormous impact on the future of Christian ministry and on the contour of Baptist life in Texas and around the world during the next century," Dilday said. "These six years at Truett Seminary have been fulfilling in part because my wife, Betty, all three of our children, and I have a longstanding and profound love for Baylor University, but primarily because we've been able to continue God's call to serve in ministry training. So we are grateful to the Lord for His providential leadership in the past ,and we will continue to support our alma mater and its new seminary in the days ahead."

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