Who was B. H. Carroll?
B. H. Carroll (1843-1914) was a giant among Baptist leaders. While pastor of First Baptist Church of Waco for almost thirty years, he strengthened the Baptist witness and profoundly influenced the social life and political structures across Texas and the South. He became a legendary expositor. He was involved at every level of Baptist life. Other denominational leaders consulted with him on all important decisions. Yet, Carroll’s most enduring legacy was in theological education. In his pastoral study, he tutored Baylor ministerial students and developed theological courses that were put into the university curriculum. Carroll chaired the Baylor board of trustees, served on its faculty, and was Dean of the Bible Department. He led the trustees to start Baylor Theological Seminary (1905) and later convinced the BGCT to separate it as a free-standing institution (1907). In 1908 he chartered it as Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Altogether, Carroll taught for forty-three years. By publishing his curriculum in the Baptist Standard, he extended his influence across the South. He did more to form the theology and shape the ideals of preachers than any other person of his generation. George W. Truett said this was Carroll’s crowning work and his real passion: “No other task in all his life seemed so completely to enthrall his thoughts and energies as the task of Ministerial Education…this man, in season, out of season, pleaded forever for the better education of God’s preachers.”