The Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest (ETSS) has recently announced the establishment of the John Hines Chair of Preaching.
The late Rt. Rev. John Elbridge Hines, Presiding Bishop from 1965-1974, founded ETSS. His preaching legacy and prophetic vision have led to his memory being honored with the funding of a faculty teaching chair at the Austin seminary.
"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.
Hines was known as a gifted and eloquent preacher and prophet for social justice and human rights. In the book "John E. Hines: Granite on Fire," author the Rev. Kenneth Kesselus said that Hines " preached courageously against the sin of racism and began a lifelong defense of all who lacked political, economic, and educational resources."
More than 300 people and foundations raised $1.25 million to create the chair.
Former Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning was the honorary chair of the Committee, and Christopher Hines and Nancy Hines Smith, two of the five adult Hines children, were committee members.
"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 Austin resident Duncan E. Osborne, chair of the Hines Campaign Committee. "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."
When Hines returned to the Seminary of the Southwest in 1986 to preach at the Eucharist commemorating the 20th 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."
Hines presented his last public sermon at the seminary's 1994 commencement. He died three years later.