Academic journal article Baptist History and Heritage

A Tribute to Buddy Shurden

Academic journal article Baptist History and Heritage

A Tribute to Buddy Shurden

Article excerpt

Buddy Shurden has been among the most significant leaders in Mercer University's historic Christianity Department, certainly in the modern era of Mercer's history.

His decision to leave a major administrative post at Southern Seminary and to turn away from the opportunity to become the president of a Baptist college in order to accept the distinguished Callaway Chair of Christianity at Mercer marked a time of resurgence for Mercer's Christianity department. Buddy recruited outstanding faculty to join him, was persistently the most sought after teacher in the college, and quickly garnered the respect and admiration of colleagues throughout the College of Liberal Arts and the university. By his presence and his devotion to students, faculty colleagues, and the university, he made Mercer a better university. He will always be regarded as one of Mercer's most important leaders.

Among moderate Baptists, Buddy Shurden was the voice of courage, holding high and writing passionately and persuasively about the distinctives that have historically set Baptists apart as a faith community. Because of his knowledge of Baptist history and his eloquence in interpreting that history, Buddy became one among a small cadre of Baptist leaders whose voices and actions assured that the principles and priorities of the Baptist tradition were not sacrificed or intimidated by the virulent voices of a rampant fundamentalism that ultimately diminished the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). …

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