Jack MacGorman donates personal library to Southwestern Seminary

Katie Coleman
| Oct 16, 2020

J.W. “Jack” MacGorman, long-time professor of New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and namesake for the MacGorman Chapel and Performing Arts Center, is donating his personal library to the seminary.

“Dr. MacGorman is an incredible treasure of Gospel faithfulness who gave more than five decades in service to Southwestern Seminary,” says President Adam W. Greenway. “That he would now honor this institution with his library, papers, and other valuable items is even more evidence still of the blessing he has been to the seminary. A long-beloved and honored figure, Dr. MacGorman is the epitome of what it means to be a Southwesterner.”

MacGorman, who will celebrate his 100th birthday in December, devoted his career to the teaching and training of its students.

“We figure he has likely taught more [Southwestern] students than anyone has or ever will,” says MacGorman’s daughter, Linda, noting his first job after completing his first degree at the school was to begin teaching seminary students. 

A two-time graduate of Southwestern, MacGorman began teaching at the seminary in 1948 when he joined the seminary faculty as professor of New Testament. He ultimately served for 53 years, retiring in 2001.

The donation includes thousands of titles from MacGorman’s time as a student and faculty member, as well as many titles from his father, also a minister. Additionally, MacGorman is donating many of his files, notes, and records from classes and sermons dating back to the 1940s.

Linda, who lives in Springfield, Missouri, and recently traveled to Fort Worth to oversee the transfer of her father’s materials, notes that it has long been her father’s desire to ensure that his library would be received by those who could most benefit from it for their own theological education and ministries. 

There is no better home for his books, Linda says, than the seminary he dearly loves. “Those books were so near and dear to him,” she says.

MacGorman’s legacy is intertwined with that of the seminary, founded by B.H. Carroll in 1908. MacGorman knew or worked under eight of the seminary’s nine presidents. Even after his 2001 retirement, MacGorman remained closely connected with the institution, attending chapel, for example, into the 2010s.

“He was not at the seminary when [L.R.] Scarborough was the president, but he feels a connection to Dr. Scarborough, because he had professors that were hired by Dr. Scarborough,” Linda says of the school’s second president. “He feels like he has a connection to every president of the seminary except B.H. Carroll. It is meaningful for him to be so much a part of the institution and to have been there for so much of the institution’s history.”

MacGorman will celebrate his 100th birthday on Dec. 26, 2020, with family. He cannot receive other visitors, but would enjoy receiving celebratory notes and cards from friends, colleagues, and former students. Correspondence may be sent to: 34 Chelsea Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76134-1915