Bryant Hicks, retired missions professor, missionary and Kentucky pastor, dies at 88

Communications Staff — January 14, 2014

W Bryant Hicks croppedWade Bryant Hicks, retired professor of missions at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, died Jan. 12, according to an obituary in today’s edition of Louisville, Ky.’s Courier-Journal. He was 88.

“Bryant Hicks was a man of deep passion and great energy, who shared that passion and energy with his students,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the seminary. “He helped to shape a generation of Southern Baptist missionaries. He was also a man of great kindness and collegiality. Our hearts go out to his wife Peggy and the entire Hicks family. The Southern Seminary family is praying for them.”

Hicks, a United States Navy veteran and member of Louisville’s Lyndon Baptist Church, taught at Southern Seminary for more than 40 years, as a full-time faculty member from 1965 until 1993, and then as a senior professor from 1994 to 2006. In 1983, he assumed an endowed professorship as the M. Theron Rankin Professor of Foreign Missions.

“For more than four decades Dr. Bryant Hicks faithfully served Southern Seminary by teaching missions in the classroom and transmitting a passion for seeing the nations reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Adam W. Greenway, dean of the seminary’s Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry. “As a member of the founding faculty of the Billy Graham School, he had an impact on countless students who are today serving cross-culturally as well as many future pastors who have led their churches toward greater missions commitment. All of us in the Billy Graham School send our prayers and condolences to the Hicks family in their time of loss.”

Before joining the seminary’s faculty, Hicks was a missionary to the Philippines for 10 years with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Before that, from 1950 to 1955, he pastored Buck Run Baptist Church near Frankfort, Ky.

The current pastor of Buck Run, Hershael W. York, also teaches at Southern Seminary, which gave he and Hicks a unique relationship.

“When I first came to Southern Seminary, Bryant Hicks’ office was right across the hall from mine, and he was incredibly kind, warm and welcoming,” he said. “When I became pastor of Buck Run in 2003, I learned that he, too, had served there and was one of the most beloved pastors that Buck Run had ever had. Though his tenure had ended nearly 50 years earlier, he and Peggy still held a special place in the hearts of Buck Run members. Dr. Hicks had, in large measure, instilled in Buck Run the missionary passion that it still holds today. I remain in his debt; I mourn his departure; I rejoice in his homecoming.”

Hicks earned a bachelor’s degree from University of North Carolina, and the master of divinity and doctor of philosophy degrees from Southern Seminary.

Hicks leaves behind his wife, Peggy G. Hicks; son, Wade B. Hicks Jr. (Marian); daughter, Bonnie Hicks Ginter (Brownie); son, Lee Greene Hicks (Debbie); brother, Robin Hicks (Julia); eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The Hicks family will hold a funeral at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Lyndon Baptist Church, 8025 New Lagrange Road. A visitation will precede the service beginning at 9:30 a.m.

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