religion, christianity, articles
Firm Foundation Logo

Baptist Teacher at ACU

By L. Toreador

religion, articles, christianity

The Stephenville Empire-Tribune (Dec. 15, 1995), in a story about Charles Hundley, claims Hundley: (1.) Is a Southern Baptist layman; (2.) Has taught Bible at the First Baptist Church of Marble Falls from 1960 to 1988; and (3.) Teaches United States history at ACU two nights a week, and has done so since 1988.

William E. Young, Director of Church Relations & Lectureship at Abilene Christian University, informed us by letter that he had no knowledge of the Stephenville Empire-Tribune article, but did send a statement of the general hiring policies of ACU. He wrote that the university

hires only members of the churches of Christ as full-time faculty, ... but the school does from time to time use supply faculty who, in most cases, teach either overload sections or advanced courses requiring expertise they possessed. Such teachers are hired on a semester-by-semester basis and are not on a tenure track. On occasion when no academically qualified church members are available to teach an overload section, or when a particular person has the expertise we need, the University will contract with people other than those in churches of Christ. There is a small number of these people, and combined they teach less than 1% of all classes taught at ACU in a given semester.

We went back to the Stephenville newspaper article (the article also appeared in The Baytown Sun and no telling where else) to check out the ACU rationale for a Baptist on the part-time faculty. The article informs that Charles Hundley is the Abilene Independent School District superintendent. He is a devout, high-pitched (maybe overpitched), the article called him an "intense" Baptist layman with an honorary doctorate from Hardin Simmons. Above all else he wants to teach the Bible, says the news release. If the story ended here, that would be of no concern to us, but it goes on and on and on and on.

The unidentified author of the article says:

Now word of his Bible expertise has spread outside Baptist circles. He recently found himself teaching a four-week study on the missionary journeys of Paul in, of all places, the Church of Christ.
In introducing Hundley to the Wednesday night worshippers at Minter Lane Church of Christ, worship leader Dr. Jack Boyd quipped, 'Mr. Hundley comes highly recommended by two highly-placed colleagues at ACU. When two Campbellites recommend a Southern Baptist to teach the Bible to us I figure we'd better listen.'

The article goes on to praise Hundley as a dynamic teacher with ability to sweep his audience along with him, and proved the point by noting the spontaneous applause of the Minter Lane brethren. It is inconceivable that such a man with such passion for teaching the Bible could make a presentation anywhere and not work into the lesson "scripture, poems and quotes" that the newspaper reporter thought just sort of jumped out of Hundley's mouth.

Dr. Jack Boyd returned to the podium, after the first Hundley presentation at Minter Lane, shaking his head and saying, "Wow!" Boyd, by the way, is on Abilene Christian University's faculty. His two unnamed highly­placed colleagues that recommended Hundley must also be ACU faculty or administration, if the newspaper article is accurate.

Now, as Paul Harvey would say, for the rest of the story. Since coming to Abilene in 1988 he's been teaching United States history at ACU two nights a week.

Hundley says he considers Bible teaching "the greatest challenge of all because there is so much material to cover." After hours of preparation, Hundley says, "I just go and preach my guts out."

Free sample issue of Firm Foundation

Click here to order a free sample issue or subscribe to the Firm Foundation.

Feature Book: Among the Scholars

by David W. Hester

Paperback, 167 pages
$7.99 + shipping and tax if applicable

Click here to order

Published March 1996