The preaching legacy and prophetic vision of John Hines -- founder of the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest -- has been honored with the funding of a faculty teaching chair at the Austin seminary.
The John Hines Chair of Preaching has been created after $1.25 million was raised from more than 300 people and foundations. Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church from 1965 through mid-1974, Hines preached sermons deeply grounded in Scripture that challenged listeners to a living faith.
"It is very appropriate that we honor John Hines in this way. It ensures that future generations of seminarians will learn the art of designing and delivering courageous and visionary sermons," said Philip Turner, interim dean and president of the Seminary of the Southwest.
"Bishop Hines had a strong impact on my life, beginning with my years at St. Stephen's Episcopal School in the late 50s and early 60s," said Duncan E. Osborne, chair of the Hines Campaign Committee and Austin resident. "His influence on my life took many different forms, but certainly his powerful sermons were one of the most important. Bishop Hines was truly one of my heroes."
Former Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning was the honorary chair of the committee. Christopher Hines and Nancy Hines Smith, two of the five adult Hines children, were committee members.
Founder of the Seminary of the Southwest when he was Bishop Coadjutor of Texas in the early 1950s, John Hines was a gifted and eloquent preacher and prophet for social justice and human rights. He presented his last public sermon at the seminary's 1994 commencement and died three years later.
When Bishop Hines returned to the Seminary of the Southwest in 1986 to preach at the Eucharist commemorating the twentieth anniversary of Christ Chapel, he said, "Of course, preaching the word is a sacrament and it's a boundless mystery. In its prophetic intensity, it simply can be awesome. It does not have to possess beauty. It does not have to possess comeliness of form. Yet the record is clear. That because Jesus himself came preaching and because of His sacramental power, some people have never again been the same."