FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary announced Jan. 11 that Gary and Stephanie Loveless of Houston, Texas, have agreed to be the premier sponsor of the highly anticipated “Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible” exhibition coming to Fort Worth in July. The Lovelesses gave $1,000,000, which is considered the Presenting Patron sponsorship level.
“Stephanie and I are extremely excited to sponsor this exhibition of the greatest archaeological manuscript find of the 20th century,” said Gary Loveless, who serves on the seminary’s board of trustees.
“The Lord has graciously blessed us, and we are honored to support the ministry of an institution that is committed to the inerrancy of the Bible, which these Dead Sea Scroll fragments affirm.”
Loveless, founder and chief executive of Houston-based Square Mile Energy, also provided the lead gift for the initial acquisition of Dead Sea Scroll fragments by the seminary in 2010. Additionally, he serves on the advisory board for Living Water International, a ministry he co-founded that provides clean drinking water to nearly 7 million people around the world.
“We are so grateful to Gary and Stephanie Loveless for their visionary sponsorship,” said Bruce McCoy, director of the exhibition. “Because of their generosity, we will showcase rare Dead Sea Scrolls, along with other remarkable, ancient artifacts.”
In 1947, Bedouins discovered the scrolls in caves overlooking the Dead Sea near the ancient city of Qumran east of Jerusalem. Nearly 10 years of excavation in the caves produced fragments from approximately 825 to 870 separate scrolls containing biblical manuscripts, biblical manuscripts with commentary, apocryphal manuscripts and extra-biblical literature.
The Dead Sea Scrolls have made a profound impact on biblical studies, especially in the area of scribal transmission. Dating back to the time of Christ, these documents pre-date the Masoretic Text of Hebrew Scriptures by 1,000 years and demonstrate the accuracy of scribal transmission over the centuries.
The “Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible” exhibition will run from July 2012 – January 2013 inside the seminary’s new MacGorman Chapel and Performing Arts Center. More information can be found at, including how to know when tickets go on sale.
Exhibition sponsorship opportunities are still available at varying levels: Distinguished Patron ($500,000), Leader ($250,000), Benefactor ($100,000), Director ($50,000), Associate ($25,000), and Friend ($10,000 and under). Individuals and companies interested in sponsorship can contact Mike Hughes, vice president for institutional advancement for Southwestern Seminary, at 817-923-1921, ext. 7255.