Carl R. Wrotenbery, a longtime friend of Carroll Institute, entered the Lord’s presence on Sunday, June 19, 2016, after a long illness. Carl was born in Mount Pleasant, Texas, on Dec. 14, 1929, to P.H. and Gertrude (Cates) Wrotenbery and attended public school in Tyler and Tyler Junior College. His undergraduate degree was from Baylor University. He held a Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Texas in Austin and a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Carl married Julia Winn on July 27, 1952, and they had two children, R. Alan Wrotenbery (deceased) and Martha Runnels. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Julia Winn Wrotenbery; his
daughter, Martha Runnels; three granddaughters; a brother; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Carl Wrotenbery was a member at Agape Baptist Church in Fort Worth at the time of his death and a former member of University Baptist Church and Gambrell Street Baptist Church. He was an avid woodworker who showed his work at craft shows and sold numerous pieces.
Dr. Wrotenbery was part of the early planning meetings in 2003 to launch Carroll Institute and served on the Strategy Group. In early spring of 2003, Dr. Wrotenbery’s volunteer assistance was employed to access, acquire, and catalog all library resources, both hardbound and digital. He helped to develop relationships with Park Cities Baptist Church, Dallas, and Gambrell Street and Agape Baptist Church in Fort Worth to house some of Carroll’s library holdings. He spent many hours of tireless service in organizing those library resources.
In 2006, Dr. Wrotenbery was named as a Distinguished Fellow and Professor of Theology and Library Science at Carroll Institute. Prior to coming to Carroll, he served as Professor and Adjunct Professor and Dean of Libraries at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1985-1994). He also served as Director of the Library at the University of Corpus Christi (1962-1973).
Dr. Wrotenbery has contributed several journal articles and has authored books including:
- Baptist Island College: An Interpretative History of the University of Corpus Christi, 1946-1976 (Austin: Eakin Press, 1998)
- After the Last Song: Dealing With Violent Death (Privately published in 1999)
- Manuals: Ministering to Those Grieving From Violent Death (1992), and Coping With Grief (1990; revised 1995)
Carl Wrotenbery was a member of the Texas Library Association, American Library Association, Southern Baptist Library Association, Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, American Academy of Religion, Southern Baptist Historical Society, Texas Baptist Historical Society, and the American Theological Library Association.
The Memorial Service for Dr. Wrotenbery will be held Saturday, July 9, 2016, 11 a.m. at Agape Baptist Church in Fort Worth. Dr. Russell Dilday, Chancellor of B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, will bring the message. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to B.H. Carroll Theological Institute or the Alan Wrotenbery Music Scholarship fund at Baylor University.