Southern Baptist readers may know that Roy Fish, longtime professor of evangelism at Southwestern Seminary, passed away earlier this week. His funeral is being held today at Southwestern. Dr. Fish was one of the most beloved men in the Southern Baptist Convention, a soul-winner and a teacher of soul-winners. He taught for over a half-century at Southwestern and later served as interim president of North American Mission Board. The Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions at Southwestern is named in his honor.
Since my seminary education took place at Southern and Southeastern Seminaries, respectively, I never took a class with Dr. Fish. But his influence looms large, even in my own studies. My personal evangelism professor in my MDiv program was Timothy Beougher, currently the Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at Southern Seminary. Some of my doctoral students in evangelism were undertaken with my friend and colleague Alvin Reid, the Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism at Southeastern. (Though my primary doctoral studies were in historical theology and Baptist studies, I took nine seminar hours in evangelism and missions, which is more or less my unofficial minor.) Both men studied personal evangelism under Dr. Fish for one or more of their graduate degrees.
Alvin has written a wonderful tribute to Dr. Fish today at Between the Times. I hope you will read it. May Dr. Fish’s love for the lost continue to permeate Southern Baptists as we seek to push back the darkness and make disciples of all peoples here, there, and everywhere.