FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Moments before standing to preach a sermon in a Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary chapel service, well-known Southern Baptist preacher and former SBC president Jerry Vines was presented with a book written in his honor by prominent SBC pastors and theologians. The unexpected recognition left Vines in an unfamiliar state—speechless.
I was totally unprepared for this. There are a lot of emotions welling up in my heart, and I just say, “Thank you.”Jerry Vines
“I was totally unprepared for this,” Vines admitted. “There are a lot of emotions welling up in my heart, and I just say, ‘Thank you.’”
Southwestern Seminary Dean of Theology David Allen, who grew up in and was called to ministry under Vines’ ministry, served as general editor of the book and presented it to Vines. Allen wrote the foreword to the book.
“For 60 plus years, Dr. Jerry Vines has been preaching the Gospel,” Allen said. “You might say that his ministry, in many ways, is John 3:16 in a nutshell. From small rural churches in Georgia all the way to the great mega-church First Baptist in Jacksonville, Fla., and everywhere in between, over the past 60 plus years of ministry, Jerry Vines has preached the Word. He has been a model, an example, a mentor, an encourager to so many of us in what it’s all about when it comes to biblical preaching, to expository preaching.”
The book is titled “Preach the Word! A Collection of Essays on Biblical Preaching in Honor of Jerry Vines” and features a number of prominent Southern Baptists as contributors. Authors include past SBC presidents Johnny Hunt, O.S. Hawkins, and Paige Patterson, along with other SBC pastors and theologians, Stephen Rummage, Steve Lemke, Steve Gaines, Mac Brunson, Steven Smith, Emir and Ergun Caner, Malcolm Yarnell, Jeff Pennington, and Adam Dooley. Additionally, the book concludes with a reprint of Vines’ famous convention sermon “A Baptist and His Bible” along with an introduction to the sermon by the late Adrian Rogers. Peter Lumpkins served as managing editor of the book.
“Much of what I know about preaching today I owe to Dr. Jerry Vines,” Allen said. “I love him, I appreciate him, I’m thankful for him; but all of us as Southern Baptists and beyond are in his debt.”
“Martin Luther said toward the end of his own ministry, ‘ I simply taught and preached the Word. Otherwise, I did nothing. The Word did it all.’ Dr. Vines, I know you, I know your heart, and I know that the Word does it all through you. It is my honor to present to you this honorary volume.”
Vines, Dooley and Brunson were on campus as guest speakers at Southwestern’s spring expository preaching workshop. The workshop also featured seminary preaching faculty and President Paige Patterson as presenters.