Message Tab

Longtime evangelism prof Roy Fish dies at 82


FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — Roy J. Fish, Southwestern Seminary distinguished professor emeritus of evangelism, died Sept. 10 at age 82.

Many Southern Baptists considered Fish’s name synonymous with “evangelism,” a fitting remembrance for the man who served Southwestern for nearly 50 years and once occupied the L. R. Scarborough Chair of Evangelism, considered “The Chair of Fire.”

Roy Fish

As a Southwestern professor, Fish impacted the lives of thousands of students, many who credit him with instilling a fire for evangelism in their souls. Fish organized for many years the annual Spring Break Revival Practicum, now called Revive This Nation, as the seminary sent out hundreds of student preachers across the United States to preach revivals in local churches.

Fish held several prominent denominational positions, including second vice-president of the Southern Baptist Convention and interim president of the North American Mission Board. NAMB president Kevin Ezell, who studied under Fish at Southwestern, described him as a personal soul-winner with a contagious passion for the Gospel.

Fish served as pastor or interim pastor at more than 20 churches, and spoke and preached at conventions, conferences and churches on every continent except Antarctica. He authored several books and numerous articles and essays on evangelism.

Fish received various awards, including the W.A. Criswell Lifetime Award in Evangelism from the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, the Charles G. Finney Award for Evangelism in Theological Education, and an honorary doctorate from Southwest Baptist University. The SBTC established in 2006 the Roy Fish Evangelism Award.

Southwestern reorganized in 2005 its division of evangelism and missions in the School of Theology and named it the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions. The seminary later designated Oct. 10, 2007, as “Roy Fish Day,” honoring Fish during a special chapel service and reception.

Fish held a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and both the Bachelor of Divinity (equivalent to the current M.Div.) and the Doctor of Theology from SWBTS.

Fish is survived by his wife, Jean Holley Fish; their grown children Steve Fish (Marci), Holli Lancaster (Dan); Jeff Fish (Holly), and Jennifer Pastoor (Charles), and 15 grandchildren.