FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Don and Pat Goates chose to honor James Eaves by naming the Speaker’s Room in Southwestern Seminary’s new J.W. MacGorman Chapel for him. The room was dedicated as part of a daylong event Dec. 1 where Southwestern honored the many ministry partners who made construction of the new chapel possible.
Eaves succeeded Goates in pastoring Grace Baptist Church of Grandview, Texas, after serving as interim for the church and was one of Goates’ professors when he studied at Southwestern. The impactful relationship between Goates and Eaves, both veterans and both preachers, led the former student to want to honor his former professor with the dedication of a room in his name.
“He was a professor, a mentor and a friend,” Goates said. “He’s always been a superb story-teller.”
Eaves demonstrated that trait during the dedication of the James Eaves Speaker’s Room as he recalled listening to L.R. Scarborough preach at his church as a boy.
“I never saw him preach and give an invitation where he wasn’t weeping as he pleaded with the lost to be saved,” Eaves said.
That memory remained with him from childhood, Eaves said, spurring him on in a passion for reaching the lost with the Gospel. The speaker’s room now named for Eaves contains a handwritten, framed sermon from Scarborough, among pictures, sermons and other memorabilia from other theologians including current Southwestern president, Paige Patterson.
Eaves, who during the dedication spoke of nothing but fond memories of his time as a professor and as a pastor, said his life and ministry have been a blessing from the Lord.
“We’ve loved our whole life—everything that’s happened,” Eaves said. “We’re thankful to God.”
Eaves’ wife, Jeane, echoed his sentiments, adding that they are also thankful to the Goates for honoring them with the dedication.
“We are so grateful to Don and Pat Goates for their love and their wanting to do this for us,” Jeane said.
Eaves served as emeritus evangelism professor at Southwestern and then director of the evangelism and church growth department of the North American Mission Board. Eaves also served as a pilot in the United States Air Force.