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Divinity School dean to receive award from Baptist History and Heritage Society


May 1, 2007

At its annual meeting June 8, the Baptist History and Heritage Society will present its most prestigious award, the 2007 W. O. Carver Distinguished Service Award, to Bill J. Leonard, dean and professor of church history at the Wake Forest University Divinity School.

As a longtime member of the Baptist History and Heritage Society, Leonard has participated as a speaker at the society’s annual meetings, written articles for "Baptist History and Heritage” and authored society publications.

"Throughout his career, he has served as a role model by writing, teaching and communicating Baptist history with integrity, insight and excellence,” said Charles Deweese, executive director of the Baptist History and Heritage Society.

Leonard earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a doctoral degree from Boston University.  He has served on the faculties of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.

In 1996, Leonard joined Wake Forest as founding dean of the Divinity School. Leonard is the author or editor of 15 books, including “The Nature of the Church,” "Word of God Across the Ages: Using Church History in Preaching,” “God’s Last and Only Hope: The Fragmentation of the Southern Baptist Convention” and "Baptist Ways:  A History.”  His most recent book, “Baptists in America,” was published in 2005 by Columbia University Press.  He has also authored more than 400 articles, published in a variety of journals, periodicals and books.

Press Contacts:

Cheryl Walker
(336) 758-5237


Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237


WFU Divinity School Dean Dr. Bill J. Leonard.
WFU Divinity School Dean Dr. Bill J. Leonard.
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