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Honeycutt, Roy Lee (1926-2004) | Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Archives

Name: Honeycutt, Roy Lee (1926-2004)

Historical Note:

Roy L. Honeycutt, Southern’s eighth president, was born in Grenada, Mississippi on October 30, 1926. A graduate of Grenada High School, Honeycutt entered the United States Army in 1944 and served in the Philippines and Japan until 1946. After his tour of duty, he married June Williams on August 31, 1948. They had three children.

Honeycutt earned his B.A. from Mississippi College in 1950. He entered Southern and earned an M.Div. in 1952 and a Ph.D. in 1958. During his student days, Honeycutt pastored a number of churches, including the New Salem Baptist Church in Bardstown, Kentucky, and the First Baptist Church of Princeton, Kentucky. Honeycutt joined the faculty at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as Associate Professor of Old Testament. He was made full professor in the department in 1960 and became its chairman in 1963.

In 1971, Midwestern made him academic dean, a post he held until 1975, when Southern hired him as Dean of the School of Theology and Professor of Old Testament. In 1976, Honeycutt was named Provost of Southern. After the retirement of Duke McCall in 1981, the trustees of Southern asked Honeycutt to serve as president. Honeycutt’s term as president came in an age of great change in the SBC. Although he opposed the conservative resurgence, he called for compromise and sought to move the school toward a conservative-liberal partnership. Unsuccessful in that mission, Honeycutt resigned the presidency in 1992 and became provost.

Honeycutt published extensively over the course of his academic career. He wrote Amos and His Message, his first book, in 1963, and then produced commentaries on Exodus, II Kings, and Hosea in the next decade. Jeremiah: Witness Under Pressure, written in 1981, represented Honeycutt’s final book. Honeycutt earned several honorary degrees from Mississippi College, William Carey College, Bellarmine College, and Campbellsville University. Long a member of Crescent Hill Baptist Church, Southern’s eighth president passed away in December 2004 while living in the Louisville area.

Note Author: Jason Fowler and Owen Strachan

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