Albert Wardin, a prolific historian who helped make the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives (SBHLA) a global hotspot for Baptist researchers, died Nov. 14. He was 94. A research room in the SBHLA is named after Wardin. A history professor at Belmont University in Nashville for more than a quarter century, Wardin authored more than 10 books along with dozens of scholarly articles and pamphlets. Baptists Around the World, which Wardin edited, was among his best-known books. The nearly 500-page reference work includes articles on Baptists in every region of the world, with statistics about churches and the membership of Baptist groups in each region. He also authored Tennessee Baptists: A Comprehensive History. “I don’t know of anybody comparable to Dr. Wardin’s understanding of Baptists,” said Bill Sumners, retired SBHLA director. “There are a lot of other good Baptist historians who have a broad scope of Baptists, but no one like him that I know.” Wardin was preceded in death by his wife, Lucile. They were longtime members of First Baptist Church, Nashville.
Former Tennessee Baptist Convention president F. Murray Mathis died Nov. 17 at the age of 83. Mathis was pastor of several churches throughout Tennessee, including Third Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, where he served for more than 20 years. A graduate of Belmont University in Nashville and Luther Rice Seminary, Mathis also served churches in Texas. Mathis was preceded in death by his wife, Loretta, and daughter, Esther. He is survived by his son, Archie Lee Mathis and six grandchildren.
Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Greenfield, has called Tony Terrell as pastor.