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Draper, beloved Boyce teacher, dies at 70


Charles Draper

LOUISVILLE—Charles Draper, a professor of Boyce College and chair of the school’s department of biblical studies, died from a heart attack June 25. He was 70.

“Professor Charlie Draper was a cherished member of the Boyce College and Southern Seminary faculty, and he will be greatly missed,” said Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College.

“He has taught an entire generation of students, and he was known in the classroom for his passion for the Bible and his love for students,” Mohler said. “Time after time, I would hear from Boyce students about the influence of Dr. Draper on their lives. His personal investment in them and in their ministries is a timeless gift.”

For more than 50 years, Draper taught the Bible in numerous contexts—pastoring churches from Florida to Hawaii for more than 20 years, speaking in five different countries, and teaching at the college level. He was also the general editor of the bestselling Bible reference book, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

Draper was a founding professor of Boyce College in 1998, when the school relaunched as the fully accredited James P. Boyce College of the Bible, replacing the non-degree-granting Boyce Bible School. From that time, Draper served as associate professor of biblical studies before becoming chair of the department of biblical studies in 2013.

“Only those who knew Dr. Draper as a professor or colleague can fully grasp the magnitude of his nearly two decades of service at Boyce College,” said Matthew Hall, the current dean of Boyce College. “His teaching ministry shaped an entire generation of alumni who are now spread out across the globe. And he was a kind and generous friend and mentor to virtually every member of our faculty, shaping so much of what makes Boyce College exceptional. We grieve the loss of a teacher, a colleague, and a friend.”

Before joining the faculty at Boyce College, Draper was assistant professor of religion at North Greenville College in Tigerville, S.C., and adjunct professor at several institutions, including New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

After completing a bachelor’s degree at Baylor University in 1968, Draper earn a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a doctor of ministry degree from Luther Rice Seminary, and a doctor of philosophy from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Draper leaves behind his wife of 48 years, Retta, who is also a long-time employee of Southern Seminary; his children, Shelly Hardin and David Draper; and his six grandchildren. He was a member of the East campus of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville. (BP)

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