Posted by Philip Poole on 2012-04-30

Samford University's Beeson Divinity School dean's advisory board convened April 24 for its inaugural meeting.

Dean Timothy George welcomed the group and affirmed the board's role "to expand the influence, reputation, and resources of Beeson Divinity School." Specifically, the board will assist George and other university administrators in student recruitment and fundraising.

"You have been chosen to serve on this advisory board because of your love for Jesus Christ, your devotion to his church, and your relationship to our school," George said. "We are eager to reap the benefits of your friendship and commitment to the mission of Beeson Divinity School."

As part of the inaugural meeting, board members paused to remember the late Charles W. Colson, who had died just days earlier. Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, was to be a member of the advisory board.

Victor H. Hanson III, retired president and publisher of The Birmingham News, is serving as advisory board chair. Hanson is an active member of Birmingham's Cathedral Church of the Advent.

Other board members include:

Richard Bewes, a noted preacher, pastor, broadcaster, hymn-writer, and Christian communicator. He is retired rector of All Souls Church, Langham Place, London, England.

J. Alan Carter, pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church, Birmingham. Carter is an active leader in the Presbyterian Church in America.

Charles T. Carter, retired pastor of Birmingham's Shades Mountain Baptist Church. Carter is James H. Chapman Fellow of Pastoral Ministry in the divinity school.

J. Norfleete Day, retired Beeson Divinity school faculty member. Day has the distinction of being the first BDS graduate to serve on the faculty. She is a deacon at Vestavia Hills Baptist Church in suburban Birmingham.

Susan Todd Doyle, public relations consultant and writer from Birmingham. Doyle and her family are active members of Covenant Presbyterian Church in suburban Birmingham.

Gary Fenton, pastor of Dawson Baptist Church in suburban Birmingham since 1991. Fenton frequently serves as an adjunct instructor at the divinity school.

Collin Hansen, editorial director for The Gospel Coalition and an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine. He and his family attend Redeemer Community Church in the Woodlawn area of Birmingham.

Leland Hull, a retired dentist from Birmingham. Hull has been an active participant in the BDS Lay Academy of Theology. He and his wife are active members of Cathedral Church of the Advent.

Edwin Hurley, senior pastor of Birmingham's historic South Highland Presbyterian Church. He is active in the Presbyterian Church USA and Outreach Foundation, which coordinates international mission work.

Tim Kallam, senior pastor of Mountain Brook Community Church in suburban Birmingham since 1995. Kallam is a former national faculty member for Walk Thru the Bible.

Russell J. Levenson Jr., rector of St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas. Levenson is active in diocesan activities and is a noted author and retreat leader.

James Earl Massey, dean emeritus and distinguished professor at large, Anderson University School of Theology. Massey has been a frequent and popular speaker at Beeson Divinity School.

Carolyn Maull McKinstry, a Beeson graduate and an associate minister at Birmingham's Trinity Baptist Church. McKinstry has been a civil rights proponent and community leader in Birmingham for many years.

Drayton Nabers Jr., a Birmingham attorney and frequent adjunct instructor at BDS. Nabers is retired CEO of Protective Life Insurance Co. and also served as a justice on the Alabama Supreme Court. He is a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

Thomas C. Oden, Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology and Ethics at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He is an American United Methodist theologian and prolific religious author.

J.I. Packer, professor of theology at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, since 1979. Packer, an ordained Church of England priest, is a prolific author and speaker. BDS hosted a 2006 colloquium celebrating his 80th birthday.

Cokiesha Bailey Robinson, director of growth, Concord Church, Dallas, Texas. Robinson is a Beeson Divinity School alumna.

Richard Simmons, executive director for the Center for Executive Leadership in Birmingham. A former insurance executive, he and his family are members of Cathedral Church of the Advent.

John-Michael van Dyke, rector of Christchurch (Anglican) in Montgomery, Ala. van Dyke also is a leader in the Gulf Atlantic Diocese of the Anglican Church in North America.

W. Clark Watson, a partner in the Birmingham law firm Balch & Bingham. Watson is a former chair of Samford's board of trustees and an active member at The Church at Brook Hills in suburban Birmingham.

Ralph David West, founder and senior pastor for The Church Without Walls in Houston, Texas. West also is a Beeson graduate and teaches adjunctively for George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas.

Roger D. Willmore, senior pastor, Deerfoot Baptist Church in the Birmingham suburb of Trussville. Willmore is an author and frequent speaker for the annual Beeson Divinity pastors school. He is a former president of the Alabama State Baptist Convention.

Beeson Divinity School

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.