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Former professor remembered

Jan. 21, 1997


By Amy Priour

Lariat Staff Writer

Dr. James H. Landes, former Texas Baptist executive director and distinguished professor of religion at the University, died Dec. 28 at the age of 84.

Landes was a pastor all his life and he 'communicated those skills to ministerial students,' said Dr. Bill Pitts, religion professor and Landes' son-in-law.

Landes graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., and earned a master's degree from Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth. He was awarded honorary degrees from five universities.

Landes served as a pastor at various churches for 30 years before becoming Texas Baptist executive director.

While he was serving as a pastor, Landes was elected to many key positions, including chairman of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board, president of the BGCT, first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention and preacher for the annual meeting of the SBC. He also served as a trustee for numerous agencies, boards and institutions.

In 1963, Landes helped to rewrite the Baptist Faith and Mission Statement.

Landes also served as president of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene for three years.

William M. Pinson Jr., Landes' successor as BGCT executive director, said in an article in The Baptist Standard form the week of January 8, that Landes epitomized Jesus' words in Mark 10:43, 'Whoever would be great among you must be your servant.'

'God provided him a servant spirit, and he nourished that spirit all his life,' Pinson said.

Landes is survived by his wife Irene, his daughter Ruth Pitts and her husband and two grandsons, Jimmy Pitts of Denton and Bill Pitts and his wife Katherine of Dallas.

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