JACKSON, Tenn. (BP) — Union University has named Georgia pastor Ernest Easley as professor of evangelism in its school of theology and missions.
Easley, pastor of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, has more than 30 years of pastoral ministry experience and has been a denominational leader at both the state and national levels.
Union President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver said of Easley, “His excellent pastoral experience and meaningful leadership within Southern Baptist life is already an example for young leaders. To have him teaching and serving at Union is a blessing.”
Before becoming Roswell Street’s pastor in 2002, Easley had served as pastor of four Texas churches: First Baptist in Odessa; Central Baptist in Jacksonville; First Baptist in Springtown; and Wynnewood Baptist in Dallas.
He has served as chairman and vice chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, vice president of the Georgia Baptist Convention, a member of the Georgia convention’s executive committee, and a trustee of the International Mission Board, among other positions.
Nathan Finn, Union’s incoming dean of the school of theology and missions, said Easley is “a seasoned pastor who brings to Union a passion for personal evangelism, a heart for pastoral ministry and a proven track record of leadership in Baptist denominational life. He will be an asset to our students who are training for pastoral ministry and a blessing to Tennessee Baptists.”
As professor of evangelism, Easley will teach courses and will lead the university’s efforts to assist churches, associations and others in being a resource for evangelism. He also will be responsible for leading and assisting student evangelism teams and assisting with church relations and denominational partnerships.
“I have known and appreciated Union through the years,” Easley said, “and am excited to be a part of all that is now happening at this great university in Southern Baptist life. I look forward to training the next generation of leaders in sharing Jesus as a lifestyle.”
Easley holds a doctor of ministry degree from Luther Rice Seminary, a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Seminary, and an undergraduate degree from Dallas Baptist University.
He and his wife Julie have three children and seven grandchildren. Their son Jordan is senior pastor of Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson.
Easley will begin his teaching duties at Union in the fall 2015 semester.
Congrats from SBC leaders
Among comments from SBC leaders about Easley’s new role at Union:
• Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas:
“Congratulations to Dr. Dub Oliver and the Union family on calling Dr. Ernest Easley as your first professor of evangelism. He will do a tremendous job living out his passion to equip others to reach lost people for Christ as well as mobilizing God’s people to push back on the lostness of America and the world. Dr. Easley is a highly respected Baptist leader nationally and will be able to connect evangelicals from all over the nation to Union University. I commend you on this terrific hire, and it is thrilling to me to know that Union University is willing to set the pace in equipping the next generation of leaders in personal and church evangelism. Now is the time to lead … thank you Dr. Oliver, Dr. Easley and Union University for leading the way.”
• Frank S. Page, president and chief executive officer of the SBC Executive Committee:
“Ernest Easley is a well-known leader throughout our Southern Baptist Convention. He is truly one of God’s choice servants. For two years, he served as the chairman of the Executive Committee of our convention and served alongside me to encourage, counsel and direct the work of our committee. He is a Christian statesman and gentleman. He also has a deep passion for sharing the Gospel and equipping others in that spiritual discipline. I am delighted at his appointment as professor of evangelism and believe this will position Union in a very powerful way for the future.”
• Steve Gaines, pastor of the Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church:
“Ernest and I have known each other for many years. He is a veteran pastor who has led great churches. He is a soul-winner, a Bible preacher and a loving pastor. He can teach evangelism, preaching, pastoral care and leadership from a vantage point of experiential authenticity as well as biblical authority. What a great addition to the Union faculty! Fantastic news!”
• John L. Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention and recording secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“Dr. Ernest Easley, as Union’s professor of evangelism, is a decision of pure gold. Dr. Easley is a faithful and true follower of Christ with a passion for evangelizing and making disciples. His classy demeanor, listening skills and wise counsel speak volumes of authenticity to people. Once you spend just a few minutes with Dr. Easley, you recognize that you are in the presence of a man of God whose life and ministry have been tested on the anvil of life, and he has walked through the challenge with a shout of victory in the Lord. I’m delighted that Union’s impact on future generations has the benefit of Dr. Easley’s ministry.”
• Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Seminary and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“The announcement that Union University has chosen Dr. Ernest Easley to be professor of evangelism is a win for Union, a victory for the churches and rejoicing for the kingdom of heaven. Dr. Easley brings a rich history of pastoral preaching and evangelism to the campus. He will do more than teach. Easley will permeate the campus with love for Christ and for the lost. Fortunate are the students of Union University.”
• Jerry Vines, retired pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“I commend President Oliver for recruiting Dr. Ernest Easley as the first professor of evangelism at Union University. I have preached for Dr. Easley many times at Roswell Street Baptist Church. From that vantage point I have seen his personal involvement and pastoral leadership in evangelism. He will bring that same spirit to Union!”
Originally posted at Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.