Seminary grieves at passing of retired professor
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary was grieved by news of the passing of retired faculty member William “Bill” Caldwell, March 2. He was 75.
Caldwell served in the seminary’s School of Educational Ministries for 30 years. He retired from his role as associate dean and distinguished professor of administration in 2006.
“I shall never forget his quick wit, dry humor and brilliant mastery of the administration of the local church,” said Bob Welch, professor of administration and dean emeritus in the School of Educational Ministries. “Southwestern, churches in the Southern Baptist Convention and church administration throughout the world have lost a significant leader.”
Welch said he first met Caldwell when he took classes under him at the seminary’s extension center in Shawnee, Okla., in 1982. He added that, since that time, Caldwell has been his friend and mentor, playing an influential role in both his studies and his career.
“I remember Dr. Caldwell’s commitment to the local church,” said Wes Black, one of Caldwell’s former students and colleagues and now acting dean in the School of Educational Ministries. “He often took volunteer leadership responsibilities in his own church rather than speaking engagements out of town because of this commitment.”
Black added that Caldwell was well known for his “leadership in staff administration and church business,” and for his role as a trainer with the National Association of Church Business Administrators.
Caldwell received a B.A. from Howard College (now Samford University) in 1954, after which he went on to earn both his M.A. in Religious Education and his Ph.D. from Southwestern Seminary. Prior to joining Southwestern Seminary’s faculty in 1976, he served in various roles as a consultant for the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board, as a professor and as a minister of education at several churches.
Caldwell is survived by Dianne, his wife of 55 years, and their children, William Gerald, Jr., and Glen Janis (Caldwell) Apgar, who were standing by his bedside when he passed away.
A visitation service has been planned in Caldwell’s memory from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Laurel Land Funeral Home in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 5. A graveside service has been planned for the following day at 10 a.m. at the Laurel Land Memorial Park Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at 11:30 a.m. at Agape Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.