FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- Bill Tolar, a preacher-scholar who provided transitional leadership at key junctures for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and multiple Southern Baptist megachurches, died Dec. 29 following a battle with cancer. He was 90.
A faculty stalwart at Southwestern for more than 30 years, Tolar served as the seminary's acting president in 1994 after then-president Russell Dilday's departure amid the Southern Baptist Convention's Conservative Resurgence. As a biblical backgrounds and archaeology professor, his students included then-future SBC presidents Jimmy Draper, Charles Stanley, Morris Chapman, Jack Graham and Ronnie Floyd.
Among his more than 50 interim pastorates were First Baptist Church in Dallas, Houston's First Baptist Church and Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. Tolar preached his most popular sermon "Creation: Chance or Choice?" more than 100 times to thousands of Southern Baptists -- the last delivery apparently coming less than four months before his death. He also preached multiple times at the SBC Pastors' Conference. Read More