Truett professor and Baylor alum celebrates 50 years of ministry
Renowned preacher (and Truett Seminary professor) Joel Gregory, BA ’70, PhD ’83, gave his first sermon at age 16 — in June 1964. Fifty years later, he’s still at it.
The Baylor graduate and professor celebrated a half century of sharing God’s word earlier this month at The Church Without Walls (Brookhollow Baptist Church) in Houston. In addition to teaching at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary and preaching in churches all over the world, Dr. Gregory has served as a summer guest preacher at The Church Without Walls each of the last nine years.
“The opportunities that 50 years have afforded me would have been beyond a surprise; they would have belonged to fiction,” says Gregory. “That I would get to preach where I have preached, as long as I have preached and to whom I have preached, would at 16 have appeared to me to be a novel about ministerial life. … The opportunity at Truett to teach with beloved colleagues extends into its 10th year with all encouragement to continue that teaching. Last year, I preached or taught 200 times in 20 states, Oxford, Jamaica and Rome. The calendar ahead looks similar. … Life has sweetly come full circle, back in Waco and back at Baylor as a home base. That may be the biggest surprise of all.”
Gregory graduated from Baylor with a bachelor’s degree in religion in Greek in 1970, then went on to earn his M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1973 and his doctorate in religion from Baylor in 1983. He led seven Texas churches over a period of 25 years, including First Baptist Church of Dallas, and twice served as president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Gregory came back to Baylor as professor of preaching at Truett in 2005.
He has also written or edited 10 books, most recently being selected by the Baptist World Alliance to compile its study of representative Baptist preaching all across the world. The result of his work, Baptist Preaching: A Global Anthology, was released in June by Baylor University Press.
Sic ’em, Dr. Gregory!