Influential Missiologist Remembered at SBTS

A memorial worship service was held on Friday for one of Southern Baptists' most influential and innovative missiologists, who passed away earlier during the week.

The service, hosted by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in its School of Church Music, was held in remembrance of Calvin Guy, who died July 25 at the age of 88. From 1946 until his retirement in 1982, Guy served as a professor at SBTS. He was serving as chairman of the school's missions department when he retired.

According to a statement released by SBTS, Guy "often challenged the mission techniques that were popular during the mid-20th century. Guy believed that missionaries were too 'westernized, institutionalized, building-ized, and subsidized' in their approach to missions."

His teaching, according to SBTS, influenced generations of Southwestern students who then went to serve as Southern Baptist Convention missionaries in foreign lands.

"In the fall semester of 1949, for example, when 1,435 students were enrolled at the seminary, Guy noted during a chapel service focused on missions that more than 300 of those students had declared their intention to go into missions service overseas," the SBTS statement said.

Long after his retirement, Guy continued teaching and preaching. He continued to teach part-time at Southwestern, but also served stints at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.; and at Criswell College in Dallas.

Guy traveled extensively, visiting with and teaching indigenous Baptists in nations across the globe. According to an obituary provided by his funeral home, as recently as 2004, he organized and led a conference for Baptist pastors in Bangladesh – a nation with whose native Baptists he had enjoyed a long and productive relationship.

A native of Jackson, Tenn., Guy received his undergraduate degree at Union University and master's and doctoral degrees from Southwestern. He was preceded in death in 1994 by his wife, the former Terrye Maddox. He is survived by two children, two siblings and several nieces and nephews.