E. Y. Mullins: Teacher of Preachers

by Bernard R. DeRemer

E. Y. MullinsE. Y. (Edgar Young) Mullins (1860-1928) grew up in a godly home and early came to know the Lord. His preacher father dedicated him to God with the prayer that he might become a minister. Future years revealed the abundant answer.

While attending elementary and high school, Mullins worked as a telegraph operator to help pay for his sister's college education. He became so proficient that he earned a man's pay at age 15. Then he continued in that field to provide for his anticipated preparation to practice law.

But instead, he felt called to the ministry, so he entered Southern Baptist Seminary, after earlier studies at Texas A&M and Johns Hopkins University. Upon graduation, he became pastor of the Harrodsburg, Ky., Baptist Church and married Isla May Hawley. Their two sons both died at an early age.

Next, Mullins pastored the Lee Street Baptist Church in Baltimore, then became associate secretary of the Foreign Mission Board in Richmond, Virginia. Even though he was deeply devoted to foreign missions, he somehow felt unsuited for this demanding task, so he returned to the pastorate, accepting a call to the Newton Center, Mass., Baptist Church, near Harvard and other leading institutions.

Wide pastoral experience as well as other contacts prepared him to become president and professor of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1899. "His brilliance as teacher and writer, his administrative ability, and his firm but conciliatory attitude soon won the confidence of all and gave him a place of leadership in the denomination."

Mullins served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1921 to 1924 and headed the Baptist World Alliance in 1926.

Under his guidance, the seminary greatly increased its faculty and enrollment. He organized and promoted a building campaign which enabled the school to move from its overcrowded downtown site to a spacious 58-acre campus, valued at $2 million.

Mullins wrote numerous articles in addition to the following books: Why Is Christianity True? The Axioms of Religion, Baptist Beliefs, Freedom and Authority in Religion, Commentary on Ephesians and Colossians, The Life in Christ, The Christian Religion in its Doctrinal Expression, Talks on Soul Winning, Spiritualism: A Delusion, and Christianity at the Crossroads.

As a teacher of preachers, Dr. Mullins made significant and lasting contributions to the ministry, the highest calling.

Reference: Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists, Vol. II. Used with permission of the Baptist History and Heritage Society, Box 728, Brentwood, Tenn.

Bernard R. DeRemer, in more than a decade of writing for Pulpit Helps, has chronicled
the lives of dozens of God's choice leaders across recent centuries.

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