After 37 years, Terry announces retirement from SWBTS

Jack Terry Jr., vice president of institutional advancement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, announced during the fall meeting of seminary’s Board of Trustees Oct. 18 that he will be stepping down from his position at the end of the year.

Terry said he would assume a “semi-retired” status Dec. 31 and will continue to work for the seminary part time. He will remain chairman of the seminary’s centennial celebration committee, which is preparing events for Southwestern’s anniversary in 2008.

“Barbara and I thank you,” Terry said. “It has been a great, exciting journey.”

Seminary President Paige Patterson lauded Terry’s contribution to Southwestern as a teacher, dean, administrator and vice president.

“There is not an anthill in the U.S. where Jack is not on a personal, first-name basis with some of the ants, and has tried to get them to contribute to Southwestern,” Patterson said. He also announced that the seminary community would “throw a gala celebration” for Terry in March.

“If there were a Mt. Rushmore here on the campus, I think there would be three faces on it: B.H. Carroll, L.R. Scarborough and Jack Terry,” Patterson said. “We can never pay back all the generosity and contributions to this institution in his 37 years of service.”

Once the dean of the religious education school at Southwestern, Terry moved into the role of vice president and began fund raising for several building projects. Among other projects, he raised the funds to construct the seminary’s Ray I. Riley Alumni Center and the Jack W. MacGorman Conference Center, home of Southwestern’s Center for Leadership Development.

This summer, Fort Worth Business Press recognized Terry as one of Fort Worth’s outstanding mentors. Greg Tomlin, director of public relations at Southwestern, said Terry has exhibited the qualities of a godly leader in his various roles at the seminary.

“When you look at Jack Terry’s life, you see all of these churches he has had his hand in from East Texas to Kaiserslautern, Germany,” Tomlin said. “Each one of them has benefited from his ministry, even as he was serving at Southwestern in some capacity. He is a true church leader, a gifted communicator, and a trusted friend.”

Terry will continue to raise funds for the seminary, including for the construction of a new 3,500-seat chapel. Seminary trustees were shown a digital “fly over” of the new building, which will serve as the center of campus life. Patterson said the new chapel was “essential to our future growth.” Southwestern is one of the few theological schools in the country, he said, that still has no freestanding chapel.

Trustees approved the process allowing the seminary administration to pursue the full architectural design and funding for the new chapel. Vice President of Business Administration Greg Kingry said that there was a “sense of urgency” to get the new chapel well underway by the seminary’s centennial celebration in 2008.

In other business:

-- Trustees elected Craig V. Mitchell as assistant professor of Christian ethics, effective immediately. Mitchell, who has been serving at Southwestern under presidential appointment for three years, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. During his military career, he tested air and spacecraft at sites across the United States. He holds three master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from Southwestern Seminary. Mitchell is a research fellow with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

-- Trustees voted to award the seminary’s B.H. Carroll Award to Steve and Kathy Spotts of Euless, Texas. Steve Spotts is president and CEO of Pathology Partners, Inc., a specialty laboratory company based in Irving, Texas. The company specializes in cancer diagnostics and detecting gastrointestinal diseases. Spotts often speaks to secular business leaders on the how to run successful operations according to biblical principles. The B.H. Carroll award is given annually.

-- Patterson announced that the seminary would soon bring recommendation to its trustees to enhance its program of study in biblical archaeology. George Kelm, a retired Southwestern Seminary faculty member, will assist in the development of the program.

Patterson said that the goal of the program was to have at least two professors in the program so the seminary could offer a Ph.D. in archaeology. Southwestern is already home to the Tandy Archaeological Museum, which houses a collection of Israeli antiquities from Tel Batash or Timnah, a Philistine city described in Judges 14.

Patterson also announced that the seminary would soon bring a recommendation to trustees that the school develop an Anabaptist study center in honor of longtime professor William R. Estep.

-- Kingry reported on the extensive investigation his office conducted to assess the best direction the seminary should take with respect to insurance coverage, comparing fully funded with self-funded programs, and also responding to a recommendation from the Southern Baptist Convention.

Established 1908 Fort Worth, Texas