FORT WORTH, Texas – Moments before standing to preach a sermon in a Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary chapel service, well-known Southern Baptist preacher Jerry Vines was presented with a book written in his honor by a number of leaders, pastors and theologians. The unexpected recognition left Vines in an unfamiliar state – speechless.
“I was totally unprepared for this,” Vines, who also served as Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president, admitted during the March 5 presentation. “There are a lot of emotions welling up in my heart, and I just say thank you.”
David Allen presents Jerry Vines with a book written in Vines’ honor. Allen was the editor of the book.
Southwestern’s dean of theology, David Allen, who grew up in and was called to ministry under Vines’ ministry, served as general editor of the book and presented it to Vines. Allen wrote the foreword to the book.
“For 60 plus years, Dr. Jerry Vines has been preaching the gospel,” Allen said. “You might say that his ministry, in many ways, is John 3:16 in a nutshell. From small rural churches in Georgia all the way to the great mega-church First Baptist in Jacksonville, Fla., and everywhere in between, over the past 60 plus years of ministry, Jerry Vines has preached the Word. He has been a model, an example, a mentor, an encourager to so many of us in what it’s all about when it comes to biblical preaching, to expository preaching.”
The book is titled Preach the Word! A Collection of Essays on Biblical Preaching in Honor of Jerry Vines. Among its contributors are past SBC presidents Johnny Hunt and Paige Patterson along with other Southern Baptist leaders, pastors and theologians, including Steve Gaines, Mac Brunson, Stephen Rummage, Steve Lemke, Malcolm Yarnell, Steven Smith, Adam Dooley, Emir Caner and Jeff Pennington. Additionally, the book concludes with a reprint of Vines’ famous convention sermon “A Baptist and His Bible” along with an introduction to the sermon by the late Adrian Rogers.
“Much of what I know about preaching today I owe to Dr. Jerry Vines,” Allen said. “I love him, I appreciate him, I’m thankful for him; but all of us as Southern Baptists and beyond are in his debt.
“Martin Luther said toward the end of his own ministry, ‘I simply taught and preached the Word. Otherwise, I did nothing. The Word did it all.’ Dr. Vines, I know you, I know your heart, and I know that the Word does it all through you,” Allen said. “It is my honor to present to you this honorary volume.”
Vines, Brunson and Dooley were on campus as guest speakers at Southwestern’s spring expository preaching workshop. The workshop also featured seminary preaching faculty and President Paige Patterson as presenters.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Keith Collier is director of news and information for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.)