March 2021 News Perspective Online

Faculty Updates

Ted Campbell Op-Ed

Ted Campbell

An op-ed by Dr. Ted A. Campbell, Professor of Church History, recently appeared in The Dallas Morning News, entitled, “Who will deliver America from the cycle of verbal violence?”

Campbell argued that religious traditions recognize verbal violence and form believers in practices of discipline to help avoid it. “Religions teach us in the first place to fill our souls and our mouths with good things,” he wrote. “Words have power. They have power to harm, and they also have power to heal.” Campbell also shared Methodist founder John Wesley’s teachings about speaking evil of an absent person. “You can say what you need to say about a person: to their face,” he wrote. “But not in any case when they can’t answer for themselves.” Read the op-ed here.

Lecture on Women Evangelists

Priscilla Pope-Levison

Dr. Priscilla Pope-Levison, Professor of Ministerial Studies at Perkins, recently delivered a Zoom lecture on “Turn the Pulpit Loose: Two Centuries of American Women Evangelists.” The lecture covered the ministries of 18 women evangelists active over a period of 200 years of North American life. “These are stunningly fascinating women, who have captivated me for over 25 years,” she said. “Most of them have been largely forgotten, and the recovery of their stories required years of archival research and travel, from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia across the continent to Seattle and down to Los Angeles.”  The Jakes Divinity School All-School Lecture took place on February 22 and covered a range of Christian traditions, from Roman Catholicism to African American Pentecostalism.

New Book of Poetry

Harold Recinos

Wipf and Stock has published a new book of poetry, Wading in the River, by Harold J. Recinos, Professor of Church and Society.  “Since grade school, I have tried to write between the lines and with a Spanglish vision for life,” Recinos said. “I hope the words in this work will stir others’ world.”


March 2021 News Perspective Online

Alumni/ae Updates

Bishop of West Malaysia

The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in South East Asia has named the Rev. Canon Steven Abbarow as Bishop of the Diocese of West Malaysia in succession to the Rt. Rev. Datuk No Moon Hing. Abbarow is the principal of the Seminari Theologi Malaysia and is the team vicar of St Mark’s Serambam. Ordained a priest in 1990 in the Diocese of West Malaysia, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Malaysia, and an M. Div, S.T.M. and D. Min. (2016) from Perkins. He served in the parish ministry from 1990 to 2012, when he was appointed vice-principal of Seminari Theologi Malaysia, and was named principal-elect this year. He is also a member of the Provincial Missions Committee and serves on the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission for Unity Faith and Order. Read the announcement here.

Zan Holmes Interview

The Rev. Zan Wesley Holmes, Jr. (M. Th. 1959, M.S.T. 1968) reflected on the Dallas housing development he helped create, and the legacy of a project that brought together an interdenominational group of churches, a rarity at the time, in a recent radio interview on KERA. Holmes served as pastor at St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church in Dallas for 28 years, and also was an adjunct professor at the Perkins School of Theology at SMU for 24 years. He was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1968 to 1972 and has been a longtime activist in the community. Listen to the interview here.

Clarence Glover Op-Ed

The work of Black history expert Clarence E. Glover (M.T.S. 1982) was recently highlighted in a commentary in The Dallas Morning News reminding readers of the importance of Black History Month in 2021. “Where there are no roots, there are no fruits,” Glover said. “We as African-Americans must recognize our historical and cultural roots in order to produce quality and cultural fruit.”  Glover is a former diversity educator for Southern Methodist University and Dallas ISD, a minister, urban gardener and drummer who often presents an African interpretation of Biblical scriptures and sometimes lectures as his ancestral alter-ego character “Professor Freedom.” Glover noted that the nation’s founding motto of unity — E pluribus unum, or Latin for “out of many, one” — may seem lost in light of recent racial and political turmoil. Calls for unity must acknowledge ignored enslaved Africans and their descendants who provided all-day, back-breaking labor, Glover said. “We must accept the fact that the dream of the American nation, 1776, was built on the backs of enslaved African families,” he said.   Read the commentary here.

Op-Ed by Blair Thompson White

“America is in the grips of a ‘me’ society, but we can make it into a ‘we’ society,” writes the Rev. Dr. Blair Thompson-White (M. Div. ’12, D. Min. ’18) in a recent op-ed in The Dallas Morning News.  Expecting a baby in an uncertain time, she pondered, “What will the world be like for her generation?” Acts of defiant hope encourage her. “We human beings are hardwired to connect with one another at a deep level and not just with those who look like us and pray like we do,” she wrote. “We can know the pain and the needs of another as our own.” She believes that the sacred books of the world’s religions can help inspire that change. “They all teach that loving your neighbor and caring for the least of these go hand-in-hand, and this is non-negotiable for those who want to align their lives with the holy,” she wrote. Thompson-White is an ordained United Methodist minister and director of leadership ministry for the Texas Methodist Foundation.  Read the column here.

St. Andrew Video

Two members of Perkins community featured prominently in the kickoff video for the next Connections Group Winter Series 2021 for St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Plano:  the Rev. Robert Hasley (M.S.T. 1977, D. Min. 1978), St. Andrew’s senior pastor, and Jennifer Kilpatrick, pastoral intern and a third-year M. Div. Student at Perkins. The new study series, “Already One: The Great Debate,” explores issues relating to racial injustice. “While all of us have different backgrounds, we are one in Christ,” Hasley said in the video; watch it here.



Obit: The Rev. Lee Soxman

The Rev. Lee F. Soxman, Jr. (M. Th. 1948) died on February 4 at his home in Lee’s Summit, Mo., at age 95.  Soxman served United Methodist congregations in Missouri for more than 50 years, including: Atherton, Garland Ave., Joplin First, Cassville, Marshfield, Mt. Washington (Independence), Liberty, Grandview, K.C. North District Superintendent, Lee’s Summit United Methodist Church, and King’s Way, Springfield, Mo. After retiring in 1992, he served as an ambassador for Epworth Children’s Home of St. Louis and visitation pastor for Lee’s Summit United Methodist Church. He joyfully sang with the Methodist Men of Note and led Bible studies at John Knox Village and Sunday Sojourners group. Memorial contributions may be made to American Parkinson’s Disease Association, P.O. Box 97216, Washington, DC 20090-7216; Della Lamb Community Services, 500 Woodland Ave., Kansas City, Mo. 64106; and Grace United Methodist Church, 2400 SE US Highway 50, Lee’s Summit, Mo. 64063-1051. Read his obit here.

Obit: The Rev. Bill Smith

The Rev. Bill Smith (M. Th. 1971) died on January 28 in Conway, Ark. A graduate of Hendrix College, he served on the Alumni Association Board of Governors for more than 20 years; President of the Alumni Association for two years; National Chairman of the Alumni Fund; and as a member of the Board of Trustees for two six-year terms. He established three endowed student scholarships and was the co-creator of the Baltz-Smith Endowed Odyssey Professorship. Upon graduation from Perkins, Smith transferred to the North Texas Conference and was appointed to Highland Park United Methodist Church; over the next 40+ years he served in the areas of youth ministry, college and university, single adults and pastoral care.  A service of worship celebrating his life was held at Highland Park UMC on February 8.   Memorial gifts may be made to the Rev. Bill Smith Endowed Scholarship Fund, checks payable to Hendrix College, Office of Development, 1600 Washington Avenue, Conway, Ark. 72032. Read his obit here.

Obit: The Rev. Daniel Joseph Louis, Jr.

The Rev. Daniel Joseph Louis, Jr. (M. Th. 1973) died on February 8.  He was a journalist with The Houston Post and Business Week Magazine until 1970, when he entered Perkins School of Theology. After graduation, he joined the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and served congregations in Golden, Edgewood, Overton and Pittsburg, and he worked 14 years at the United Methodist Reporter. He also served St. Mark’s in Houston Heights, and First UMC, Jacksonville. He attended A&M United Methodist Church in College Station after retiring to Bryan in January 2004. Dan was a member of the Golden Rule Sunday School Class of his church and the Texas Research Ramblers Genealogical Society. A memorial service was held on February 13 at A&M United Methodist Church. Read his obituary here.

Obit: The Rev. James F. Dean, Jr.

The Rev. James F. Dean, Jr. (M. Th. 1958) retired elder in the North Texas Conference, passed away January 14 at the age of 88. He served several churches throughout the North Texas Conference until his retirement in 1981. An online memorial service took place February 6. The Conference posted his funeral service and a slideshow of the last time he spoke. Sympathy cards and letters may be sent to his children at: Dean Residence, 104 Martingale Trail, Little Elm, TX  75068.