Hello Everyone. I’m Lee Whitlock, facilitator for the course. Sorry for the late start, but as you have seen from Rick, please read Chapters 1 and 2 and reflect on them. I was in Knoxville helping to lead a funeral service for a friend from my Southern Baptist Theological Seminary days 40+ years ago.
That seems a good place to begin my introduction. I graduated from SBTS in 1974 after having studied with Dr. Oates and others. Going to SBTS in those days was a deeply rewarding experience. I went there with a Math and English B.A. from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Math and English? Sounds like a strange combination. It’s a long story, but I was fortunate enough when I went to the J. Paul Truluck School of Lake City High in South Carolina to have excellent teachers in both subjects. As a matter of fact, the required first year’s math class’ textbook was the same one we had used in my senior year in high school.
After graduation from GSU, I taught math to 8th graders for one year and discovered that I did not have a passion for teaching. I also didn’t have the stamina! At the back of my mind was always the call to some kind of ministerial service, so I entered SBTS and graduated in 1974. My main area of concentration was in New Testament. In 1971 before going to SBTS, there was a movie that came out with George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward that proved prescience: “They Might Be Giants.” This is what I found with the SBTS faculty. It was a privilege to study with the giants that roamed the campus for the time I was there.
After graduation, I served as Associate Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Greenville, NC, for 2 years. Then, I served as Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Rowland, NC, for 2 years, followed by 5 years as Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in Cooleemee, NC. In 1981, I returned to SBTS to work toward a Ph.D. For reasons I’m sure will be covered as we study together this month, I did not finish that work.
As Rick indicated, the Oates Institute is trying to get Dr. Oates’ book on line for you to read. Amazon has several used copies that you can order. For anyone that wants a new copy, there is a new copy available through Amazon for the low, low price of $665.69. Better hurry. I’m sure someone will snatch it up. I still have my copy from studying with Dr. Oates. The cover price is $2.95.