GREENSBORO, N.C. — Randall Lolley’s remarkable influence on pastoral ministry and theological education expands as those blessed to have been his students, parishioners or scholarship recipients move about.
The Lolley mark of personal warmth, honest intellectual pursuit and unwavering integrity is a good stamp to bear — and is most apparent in the Tarheel State where Randall and his wife, Lou, have long lived and served.
Despite health challenges, the Lolleys came from their home in Raleigh to Greensboro for the June celebration of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s 25th year. They were celebrated themselves in a fun-filled, “Love Boat”-themed gathering of CBF of North Carolina.
Hundreds of friends joined them, including a horde of graduates of the old Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in the town of Wake Forest, N.C. — where Randall was president from 1974-1987 — and those blessed to have sat in the pews of the First Baptist churches of Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Raleigh along with other places where Randall has preached and taught.
“Randall and Lou Lolley are beloved by Cooperative Baptists around the country, especially those in North Carolina,” said Larry Hovis, executive coordinator for CBFNC. “Through his presidency at Southeastern Seminary he shaped an entire generation of ministers. Through his pastorates at several flagship North Carolina churches he shaped an entire community of free and faithful Baptists.”
Hovis called the Lolleys “an inspirational team” for a large swath of Baptists in North Carolina and beyond.
A highlight of the gathering was the opportunity to greet the Lolleys and to get a signed copy of Randall’s new book, Journey with Me: Redemptive Threads Woven Through the Bible, published by Nurturing Faith in collaboration with CBF of North Carolina and the support of more than 100 sponsors.
The book — a gift from the Lolleys to the two collaborating organizations — is a collection of sermons that takes the reader on an inspiring journey from Genesis through Revelation. The chapters are based on sermons that Randall preached at First Baptist Church of Greensboro.
“Randall Lolley is a gospel wordsmith,” said Hovis. “Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in his recent book, Journey with Me, a collection of sermons in which he preached through the Bible.”
Hovis noted that Randall’s preaching touches both the mind and heart.
“These sermons both inform and inspire,” he said. “This book is unusual in that it can serve as both a reference book for preachers and teachers, and as a devotional guide for those seeking daily spiritual nourishment.”
The book is available at nurturing-faith.net. However, copies bought directly from CBFNC (cbfnc.org) provide greater support of a scholarship fund that honors the Lolleys.
The Randall and Lou Lolley Fund for Theological Education was created by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina to continue the Lolley legacy through ongoing support of those preparing educationally to be ministry leaders.
“We are grateful for all those who have contributed to the fund through the years,” said Hovis. “Our Lolley scholars have become first-rate ministers of the gospel; the fund is accomplishing its purpose.”
Hovis expressed hope that the fund and its influence would continue to grow. For more on the fund and the various ways to support its mission, visit cbfnc.org. NFJ