Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2007-04-23

Samford students Grant Taylor and Christopher McCaghren have received awards for outstanding study of biblical languages. Both awards honor longtime Alabama Baptist pastor William M. Todd of Skipperville.

Taylor, a student at Samford's Beeson Divinity school, and McCaghren, a senior communication studies major, received their awards April 17 during this year's Biblical Studies lecture series sponsored by Beeson.

Taylor received the 2007 W. M. Todd Biblical Languages Award, given annually to a Beeson student who is engaged in the study of biblical languages. The award is intended to encourage the recipient to proceed as far as possible in their study of Greek and Hebrew. Taylor, a native of Johnson City, Tenn., is a graduate of Union University.

McCaghren received the Biblical Greek Award, given to a Samford undergraduate in recognition of outstanding achievement in the study of the subject. The award honors the 50th anniversary of Rev. Todd's graduation from Howard College, now Samford University. McCaghren, from Montgomery, plans to enroll at Beeson in the fall.

Rev. Todd was known by his congregations for his emphasis on biblical preaching. He was pastor of Blountsville Baptist Church, Four Mile Baptist Church in Shelby County and Spring Hill Baptist Church in Barbour County before retiring in 2004.

The Biblical Languages Award recognizes Rev. Todd's love of the study of Greek and Hebrew, which he began at Samford and continued at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Rev. Todd said he wanted to provide for the Biblical Greek Award to acknowledge the debt he feels to the late Samford religion professor Dr. Vernon Davison, who encouraged his own study of biblical Greek, and to foster an undergraduate's interest in the subject.

Darrell L. Bock, research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary, presented the Biblical Studies Lectures. His topic for the three-day series was "Jesus in the High Definition Public Square."

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.