Baptist History Homepage

The First Four Professsors of The Southern Baptist Seminary
Memoir of James P. Boyce
By John A Broadus, 1893
The preparation of James P. Boyce for this position appears from all that we have seen of his history and character. Recall his thorough general education at the College of Charleston and at Brown University, his useful experience as editor in Charleston and full theological course at Princeton, his four years as pastor in Columbia, and now four years as theological professor in Furman University, two of them spent in laborious teaching there, and two in agency work for the proposed institution. He presented a remarkable combination of business talent, with thorough education and wide reading, and with experience as a preacher and professor, and was singularly adapted to be at once the Chairman of the Faculty and Treasurer of the Seminary, and its Professor of Systematic and of Polemic Theology.

We have seen that Basil Manly, Jr., now thirty-three years old, had been graduated at the State University of Alabama, and had taken a full theological course at Newton and Princeton. After a rich pastoral experience, including four years in the famous First Baptist Church of Richmond, Va., he had now been for five years the principal of the Richmond Female Institute, taking a large part in the
[p. 169]
higher instruction. He was already well known to be a man of great versatility and varied attainments, as strong in will as he was gentle in spirit, and sure to be warmly loved by his associates and pupils.

William Williams was now thirty-eight years old, a native of Georgia, and a graduate of the University of Georgia. He practised several years as a lawyer, having been graduated in the Law School of Harvard University. From 1851 he was a pastor in Alabama and Georgia, and since 1856 had been Professor of Theology in Mercer University, then located at Penfield, Ga. His legal studies and practice had disciplined his great mental acuteness. He had extraordinary power in the clear and terse statement of truth, and when kindled in preaching or lecturing he spoke with such intensity as is rarely equalled. He was also a man of great purity of character, certain to command the profoundest respect.

John A. Broadus was thirty-two years old, being a few days younger than Boyce. A native of Virginia, and from early youth a school-teacher by inheritance, he had been graduated in 1850 as M. A. of the University of Virginia. After another year of teaching he was pastor of the Baptist Church at Charlottesville, the seat of the University, from 1851 to 1859. During the first two years of this period he was also assistant-instructor in Latin and Greek, under the revered guidance of the famous Dr. Gessner Harrison. For the two years for 1855 to 1857 he again resided in the University as chaplain, his place in the Charlottesville church being filled by Rev. A. E. Dickinson. Then two remaining years in Charlottesville, and he went to the Seminary.

[From John A. Broadus, Memoir of James P. Boyce, 1893; reprint, n.d.,ky.l pp. 168-169. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

More on Baptists: Various Subjects
Baptist History Homepage