Posted by Jack Brymer on 2010-04-06

The late Philip Wise, a 1970 Samford University graduate who also served as a trustee from 1997 -2002 when he moved out of the state, has been memorialized by a group of his peers with the dedication of a book entitled For Faith and Friendship. Wise died March 30, 2009, of cancer at the age of 60.


The group, known as the Trinity Group, was started in 1990 by a trio of Alabama scholars including Wise to reflect on faith and friendship. The other members were Fisher Humphreys, who retired in 2008 after teaching Christian theology for a combined 38 years at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Samford University, and T. J. Mashburn, a professor at the University of Mobile for more than 25 years. Wise was pastor of First Baptist Church in Dothan at the time but later moved to the pastorate of Second Baptist Church, Lubbock, Texas.

Over time the group grew to 12 members and meetings became less frequent and took the form of weekend retreats. As friendships deepened, conversations moved beyond purely academic interests to personal matters including families, churches and the places where they worked.

The book is the outcome of those conversations.

When the Trinity Group began to discuss the theme for the book, Wise suggested the members write about how their minds have changed over the years. Wise finished his chapter, “How My Mind Has Changed about the Pastorate,” about a year before he died -- making the book unusual in that it contains a chapter by the person to whom it is dedicated.

In addition to Wise and Humphreys, members of the group with Samford connections who contributed chapters to the book include: alumnus LaMon Brown ’70, pastor of First Baptist Church, Bunkie, La; Brad Creed, Samford Provost and Executive Vice President; Gary Furr, pastor of Vestavia Hills, Ala., Baptist Church and former adjunct religion professor; Paul Basden, former Samford Campus Minister and founding co-pastor of Preston Trail Community Church in Frisco, Texas; and Ralph Wood, former Samford professor of religion now at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Royalties from the book, which sells for $20 plus shipping, will be donated to The Philip and Cynthia Wise Scholarship Fund. "I am glad that we can dedicate this book to Philip," Humphreys said. "It is a small tribute to a great man who also was my dear friend."

Cynthia Adams Wise also graduated from Samford with an undergraduate degree in 1969 and a master’s degree in 1970.  The Wise children are also Samford alumni---Philip, Jr., in 1997 and Fisher in 2005 with a J.D. degree from Cumberland School of Law in 2009.

The book is available from Insight Press. It may be ordered online at or by calling toll-free 1-877-214-7927.

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.