Thomas Albert Bland Sr., 85,
of Raleigh died Oct. 9 following a lengthy illness. He was ethics professor at
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary 1956-1993, was founding pastor of
four North Carolina churches and interim pastor of 41 others.
Bland was founding pastor of
Holly Hill (Burlington), Greystone (Raleigh), Woodhaven (Cary), and Triangle
(Raleigh) Baptist churches. He was named Church Planter of the Year by the Baptist
State Convention of North Carolina in 1985.
His son, Tom, is pastor at
First Baptist Church, Morganton._ÑŒ_ÑŒ Bland graduated from the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1947, and earned B.D. (1951) and Th.D. (1956)
degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He did
postdoctoral study at Yale, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Union Theological Seminary. He
served three years as professor of sociology at William Jewell College in
In Baptist academic circles,
he is remembered particularly for his expertise in developing and teaching
frameworks for ethical decision-making in an ever-changing society and for his
knowledge of, and substantial experience in urban and suburban church starts
and related ministries.
Bland is survived by his
wife, Eunice Andrews Smith Bland of Raleigh; daughter, Cynthia Bland Biggar
of Concord, Mass., son, Thomas A. Bland Jr., pastor of First Baptist Church of
Morganton; stepdaughter, stepson and five grandchildren.
A memorial service will be
held at Greystone Baptist Church, 7509 Lead Mine Road, in Raleigh, on Tuesday,
October 12, 2010 at 11:00 a.m.
Participating will be Randall Lolley, Thomas
Jackson, Cynthia Bland Biggar, Thomas A. Bland Jr., and Phyllis Mayo.
The family will receive friends
at 10:00 a.m. in the church’s Gathering Room and then again following the