On June 1, 2018, Dr. Joel C. Gregory, Professor of Preaching and Holder of the George W. Truett Endowed Chair in Preaching and Evangelism, commenced his service as the Director of the Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Gregory is taking over the role of Director from Dr. W. Hulitt Gloer, who retired from Truett Seminary at the end of the spring 2018 semester.
“Even as we are grateful for and indebted to Dr. W. Hulitt Gloer for his thoughtful, faithful work as Director of the Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching, we are eager to support and encourage Dr. Joel C. Gregory as he assumes this strategic role,” said Dr. Todd D. Still, the Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Dean and William M. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures at Baylor’s Truett Seminary. “Given Dr. Gregory’s demonstrable skill and stature as a preacher both within and beyond Baptist life and his expansive vision for the future of the Center, I have every confidence that Center is in very good hands and that Truett will become increasingly associated with and appreciated for its commitment to preaching and its support of preachers. Resultantly, the purpose for the Center and the legacy of its namesake will be further extended.”
The Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching aims to provide thorough preparation for the practice of preaching for seminary students as well as ongoing education opportunities in preaching for pastors and others in ministry. The Center is named in honor of Kyle Lake, a 1997 Truett Seminary graduate who died while pastoring University Baptist Church in Waco.
“The endowment of the Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching has been a gift of God to the Seminary and the larger ministry,” said Gregory. “Named for a beloved Truett graduate whose life was suddenly cut short, the Center fields a variety of programs indicated by its name, effective preaching. We are forever indebted to the Lake family for their stewardship.”
Gregory received his BA and PhD from Baylor University and his MDiv from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He served for two terms as President of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and his pastorates include Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, and First Baptist Dallas. Through Joel Gregory Ministries, Gregory provides resources and seminars to pastors around the world. Most recently, Gregory was honored with the “Living Legend” Award by the E.K. Bailey Expository Preaching Conference and was voted one of the 12 “most effective” preachers in the English-speaking world through a survey conducted by Truett Seminary.
“I am truly excited about Joel’s appointment as Director of the Kyle Lake Center,” said Ralph Douglas West, Founder and Senior Pastor of The Church Without Walls in Houston and Adjunct Professor of Preaching for Baylor’s Truett Seminary. “His appointment is a testament to his academic prowess and outstanding preaching. Over his 54 years of ministry, Joel has not only proven himself as an effective preacher but also an effective teacher of preaching. Already, the preaching of many has been enhanced through his service to the Church. It is without question that he will continue to do this work and impact preachers of the gospel to a greater extent.”
Looking toward the future, Gregory plans to continue the good work of the Center begun by Dr. Hulitt Gloer as well as introduce innovative programming and resources.
“My approach will be collaborative with Drs. Scott Gibson and Jared Alcantara, two new colleagues in preaching joining us July 1, 2018. Also working with me will be Shawn Boyd, Truett graduate and program administrator for the range of things the Center does. We intend to make the Center a national resource for preaching by large and small group programs, temporary sabbatical residences, digital tools, an enlarged web presence, and other initiatives,” Gregory said. “Dean Still has both announced and substantially demonstrated his intention to make Truett a center for biblical proclamation and a national resource. We pledge ourselves to that vision.”