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SWBTS professor and Union alumnus Curtis Vaughan dies at 80

Curtis Vaughan
Curtis Vaughan

FORT WORTH, TexasMarch 28, 2005 – Curtis Vaughan, retired distinguished professor of New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and alumnus of Union University, died March 23, in Fort Worth, Texas, following a brief illness.

Vaughan, 80, served as a seminary faculty member from 1950-1995, though he continued to teach classes for five years after his official retirement from the school. He was the author of Bible study commentaries on the books of Ephesians, Galatians, Colossians and Philemon, Acts, James, and 1, 2, and 3 John. He co-authored Bible study commentaries on Romans, 1 Corinthians, Jude, and 1 and 2 Peter.

“The Union family mourns the loss of one of Union’s great graduates, Dr. Curtis Vaughan,” said Union University president David Dockery. “Dr Vaughan was a model of scholarship and churchmanship for Southern Baptists everywhere. He was unapologetic about his biblical and theological commitments and was admired by peers, colleagues, pastors and students.”

Vaughan contributed numerous articles to the “Southern Baptist Encyclopedia,” “Broadman Teacher’s Commentary,” “The Expositor’s Bible Commentary” and “The Southwestern Journal of Theology.” He was a member of the executive editorial committee for the New King James Version of the Bible, and served on the editorial advisory board of Zondervan Publishing House.

Born in Humboldt, Tenn., Vaughan graduated from Union University in 1946 with a bachelor of arts degree. He earned a bachelor of divinity degree and doctor of theology degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1949 and 1958, respectively. He also studied at the University of Manchester in England, and at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Vaughan served as pastor to Westover Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn., Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Johnson County, Texas, and Center Point Baptist Church in Weatherford, Texas. He was interim pastor to churches in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

“Dr. Vaughan was a magnificent teacher of the Word of God, whether in the classroom or in a church or conference setting,” Dockery said. “Those who had the privilege of knowing him well know that he was devoted Christ follower in all aspects of his life. His study guide commentaries have been a source of help and guidance for many who wanted to grasp the meaning and significance of holy Scripture. His contributions were many and he will be greatly missed. His legacy will be found in his students who seek to emulate the care and skill with which he faithfully communicated God’s word. We give thanks to God for the life, ministry and legacy of Curtis Vaughan.”

Vaughan was preceded in death by his first wife, Marian Withers Vaughan, and second wife, Francis Brown Vaughan. He is survived by his son, William Curtis Vaughan Jr. and his wife Linda; son Stephen Withers Vaughan and his wife Nancie; daughter Rebecca Vaughan Strode and her husband Dan; stepdaughter Nancy Brown Pollard and her husband Gary; stepson Michael Charles Brown; stepson David von Braun; stepdaughter Marilynda Brown Lynch and her husband Gregory; and seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Funeral services were held March 26 at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Printed with permission of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Gregory Tomlin


Media contact: Mark Kahler, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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