Former Boyce Bible School dean dies at 88

Communications Staff — May 20, 2011

Former Boyce Bible School director and dean, David Q. Byrd Jr. passed away, May 18, 2011. Byrd served what is now Boyce College from 1978 to 1989.

“Dr. Byrd was a true Christian gentleman,” said Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. “He was a Southern Baptist statesman and a man of great gentility and kindness. I was very pleased to get to know him, and over the years, to know of his service to the Boyce Bible College and to Southern Baptists. He was a pastor of great devotion, he was a Baptist of tremendous insight and he was one who demonstrated personal care for the students of this institution and others far beyond.”

Hired January 1978, as director of Boyce Bible School, Byrd came to the school promoting his vision of “Bold Mission Thrust,” a concept he advocated in one of his last sermons as pastor of West Jackson Baptist. Bold Mission Thrust was an effort among Southern Baptist to evangelize the entire world by the year 2000.

Byrd became assistant dean of the Ministry Training Center, August 1983. And only a year later, the seminary promoted him to dean of the Boyce Bible School, a post he held from January 1984 to December 1989. Originally, Boyce Bible School trained ministers who lacked a college degree. And Byrd professed a passion for providing ministerial training to adults with families and jobs without a college education, yet who desired the work of ministry.

Boyce Bible School’s enrollment grew significantly during Byrd’s leadership and her number of off-campus centers exponentially increased. Following his deanship at Boyce, Byrd taught at the school adjunctively until 1995.

Prior to his time at Boyce, Byrd served as a president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, a trustee of Union University and as a member of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. He was the pastor of West Jackson Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn. for 24 years.

The Mississippi native earned the master of divinity, master of theology and doctor of philosophy degrees from Southern Seminary.

A memorial service will be held at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Alumni Memorial Chapel, Wednesday, May 25, at 10 a.m. Visitation will be Tuesday, May 24 from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Highland Funeral Home.

Memorial services will also be held at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tenn., Monday, May 23, at 3 p.m. Visitation will be Sunday, May 22, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home; and Monday, May 23, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at Brentwood Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the David Q. and Floriene W. Byrd Memorial Scholarship at Union University or to the Byrd Memorial Scholarship at Mississippi College.

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