Fall Colloquy XX “Carroll Celebration”

A Significant and Historical Event

Students, friends, and guests of B. H. Carroll Theological Institute gathered on Monday and Tuesday, 10-11 of November 2014, to celebrate the life and legacy of the seminary’s namesake, Benajah Harvey Carroll, on the centennial anniversary of his death.

The festivities began at the Carroll Hub in Arlington, Texas, on Monday afternoon with a special time of greeting, worship, and reflection as the Colloquy sessions began, led by Carroll President Gene Wilkes, Drs. Larry Ashlock, Stan Moore and Carroll doctoral students. Dr. Alan Lefever, Director of the Texas Baptist Historical Museum and Archives, Adjunct Professor of History at Truett Seminary, and Carroll biographer, spoke of Carroll’s life and the impact Carroll made upon Texas Baptists during his lifetime. Dr. James Spivey, Senior Fellow of the Faith and Heritage Cluster and Professor of Christian Heritage, brought the session to a close by presenting a paper analyzing the Carroll legacy that continues even today.

Following the Monday afternoon session, a Carroll doctoral student, Jeremy Greer, presented to his peers, doctoral faculty, and guests, a summation of his doctoral dissertation on Matthew’s gospel.

Tuesday morning, more than fifty participants boarded a bus in Arlington to travel to Waco, Texas, and its First Baptist Church, where Carroll served as pastor for more than three decades. Along the way, Dr. Karen Bullock, Director of the Carroll PhD Program and Professor of Christian Heritage, spoke of early Texas Baptist life before B. H. Carroll, and both the differences and similarities between the ministry-needs of his world and ours today.

Dr. Bill Pitts, long-time Professor of History at Baylor University, met the Historical Tour Bus at the Oakwood Cemetery in Waco, and conducted a walking tour of graves connected with the people significant to the Carroll story. As it was Veterans’ Day, the cemetery was decorated with both Confederate and American flags, signifying the divided nation during the Civil War. The group then moved to the First Baptist Church and took a tour of the Sanctuary where Dr. Pitts highlighted the details of Carroll’s life for those who had joined the group in Waco.

Luncheon was served in the Fellowship Hall for more than 100 guests, who feasted on the legendary George’s Barbeque. Dr. Dan Aleshire, Executive Director of the Association of Theological Schools, an author noted for his expertise on the history and present trends of theological education in America, spoke about its future. His message was one of challenge and hope, as culture, diversity, inclusiveness, and technology, are changing the face of theological education today.

Following the luncheon, the group adjourned to the Sanctuary and worshiped together in a special service styled from the 19th century. Music and scripture readings were taken from the era when Carroll was pastor of FBC Waco, and Dr. James Spivey delivered a sermon written and made famous by B. H. Carroll himself – “My Infidelity and What Became of It.”

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