Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Banquet to Honor Dr. Morton Smith

Dr. Morton H. Smith, professor of systematic theology (emeritus), will be honored for his service to Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the church of Christ at a banquet and celebration to be held on March 10, 2014.

The seminary community is cordially invited to attend this celebration to be held on the eve of our annual Spring Theology Conference (March 11-13). The event will be held in the elegant Poinsett Ballroom at the historic Westin Poinsett Hotel, 120 S. Main St., in downtown Greenville, S.C. Speaker and entertainment will be announced in the near future. See the menu and other details here.

The banquet will also serve as the kick-off for a campaign to raise funds to endow a new Morton H. Smith Chair in Systematic Theology at Greenville Seminary. A special web site has been created to detail the Smith Chair and to publish tributes to this servant of God. A book of tributes will be published for the occasion. Friends, acquaintances, colleagues, students and especially alumni of Dr. Smith's classes are encouraged to submit tributes and remembrances to Development Director Garry Moes at gmoes@gpts.edu by Nov. 15.

To make a reservation to attend the March 10 banquet, complete the form here. The cost is $40 per person. To pay for your reservations, use the options listed on this page of the special web site. You may also choose to be a table sponsor for a contribution of $600. Indicate on the reservation form if you with to sponsor a table for 10 of your guests or for guests chosen by the seminary. Table sponsors will be acknowledged; this is a good opportunity for advertising your business or organization.

Plans are underway for a silent auction to be held in conjunction with the banquet. If you wish to donate a high quality item to be sold during the auction, please contact Garry Moes at gmoes@gpts.edu or 864-322-2717 ext. 319. Quality artwork and crafts, jewelry, rare collectibles, travel and vacation opportunities, quality books, special gift baskets, and similar items are sought. (No discards or rummage sale items please.) Visit local merchants to request donations. Anyone interested in serving as auction coordinator should contact Mr. Moes.

Dr. Smith, who turns 90 in December, is a co-founder of Greenville Seminary and a recognized authority on Southern Presbyterian history and doctrine. Dr. Smith has taught Biblical and Systematic theology at the college and seminary level for nearly 60 years. He was instrumental in the founding of the Presbyterian Church in America and served that denomination as stated clerk for 15 years. He was moderator of the PCA General Assembly in 2000. In 1966, he was instrumental in the founding of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Miss., and in 1987 he joined others in creating Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where he served as dean of faculty until 1998. He served as pastor in Maryland in the mid-1950's and later taught at Belhaven College, Reformed Theological Institute, Reformed Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary and Covenant Theological Seminary. He was a long-time pilot and served as a flight instructor during World War II.

The GPTS Board of Trustees recently announced the retirement of Dr. Smith from active teaching, although he continues to teach one course, Introduction to Reformed Theology, during the current fall semester.

Creation of the Morton H. Smith Chair in Systematic Theology will be part of Greenville Seminary’s faculty support and development program. To ensure that Greenville Seminary continues to offer strong academic programs, we seek to honor our distinguished teacher/scholars' commitment to dedicate their lives to the service of Christ in this institution.

Endowed academic chairs are important tools for recognizing and rewarding outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service to the seminary. Our Systematic Theology Program is a vital and fundamental component of our Divinity and Master of Arts studies. For this reason, the seminary is committed to ensuring that the finest theologians and scholars available serve in this discipline and are compensated commensurately.