Editor’s note: For a more timely delivery of information about people and places, “In the Know” listings will be found soon on the expanding website nurturingfaith.net.
Donna Forrester, who led Fellowship in early 2000s, faced long illness
Donna Forrester, who died Dec. 31 at age 66, served as minister of pastoral care and counseling at First Baptist Church of Greenville, S.C., from 1989 until 2006 when she retired on disability. She served the 2000-2001 term as moderator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
Mercer mourns “Papa Joe” Hendricks who helped integrate the university
Joseph M. Hendricks, who died Dec. 19 at age 81, served Mercer University for more than 40 years. Known lovingly as “Papa Joe,” he played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement such as bringing African student Sam Oni to campus in 1963 amid controversy. Hendricks held several positions including director of religious activities, dean of students and professor of Christianity.
Pat Pattillo known for communication skills, influence
Wesley (Pat) Pattillo, who died Dec. 22 at age 75, served for 10 years as associate general secretary of the ecumenical National Council of Churches USA. He retired in 2011 to Birmingham, Ala. Earlier, Pat led communications and development efforts at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he influenced a generation of young Baptist communicators. He also held positions at Samford University and Hong Kong Baptist University.
Fred Prouser was celebrity photographer, generous benefactor
Variety called Fred Prouser, who died last year at age 63, “a fixture on the red carpet and a recognizable face to the stars.” The Los Angeles-based photographer for Reuters captured classic images of Ellen DeGeneres, Whitney Houston, Al Pacino, Angelina Jolie, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton and scores of other celebrities. In his estate he left gifts to Baptists Today/Nurturing Faith and other moderate Baptist causes related to religious liberty and identity.
Gifted preacher Bill Self built strong congregations
William L. Self, who died Jan. 9, a day before his 84th birthday, retired in 2012 after 20 years of leading Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Ga., through times of tremendous growth. Earlier he was pastor of Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Atlanta. He served on the boards of the Alliance for Christian Media and Day1. A lectureship on preaching in his honor was established at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology.
Willetts to assume dean-ship of McAfee School of Theology
Jeffrey G. Willetts, professor of divinity, founding dean and former vice president at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in Arlington, Va., has been appointed dean of Mercer University’s James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology, effective July 1. NFJ
Nurturing Faith honors the memory of former director Mary Jane Cardwell of Waycross, Ga., who died Jan. 13 at age 58. Her warm laugh, kind spirit and generous heart will be missed.