By Taylor Murray
On 26 August 2020, Gordon L. Heath and I announced the publication of a Festschrift in honour of Dr. Robert S. Wilson (“Dr. Bob”), Professor at Atlantic Baptist College (now Crandall University) from 1971–1991 and at Acadia Divinity College from 1991–2017.1 Each of us studied with him at Acadia—Gordon was one of his first graduate students and I was one of his last.
Dr. Bob was someone I was familiar with from a young age—even before I met him. He worked alongside my Grandfather, he taught my mother, he taught my father-in-law, he taught several of my aunts and uncles, and he taught me. As his student, he provided superb guidance that was at once thoughtful and encouraging, and he always steered me in the right direction when I wandered off the path.
There is no question in my mind that Dr. Bob is the model of a Christian scholar. He demonstrates a kindness and generosity that is sometimes foreign to the academic world, and he uses his impressive knowledge for the betterment of the church. He has received numerous accolades through his career, but I wish to add one more to the list.
As one of his last graduate students I inherited a number of his books. I wanted to take the opportunity to give one back to him. This Festschrift is an acknowledgement of his important contributions to the Atlantic Baptist community, both town and gown, pulpit and pew.
Its title, Atlantic Baptists and Their World, is a nod to Dr. Bob’s own work in the Baptist Heritage in Atlantic Canada series, which he subtitled: Maritime Baptists and Their World. Its contents provide a snapshot of Atlantic Baptists and their history, while its list of contributors reflects a very small sample of the numerous people he influenced throughout his important career.
I feel fortunate to present this honour to him, and even more fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him. As I’ve said on numerous other occasions: Thank you, Dr. Bob.
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Taylor Murray is Creative Producer of Distributed Learning at Tyndale University and a doctoral student at McMaster Divinity College. He holds an MA in Christian History from Acadia Divinity College, Acadia University. He is a Member at Large with the Canadian Baptist Historical Society.
- This blog is adapted from my presentation of the festschrift on 26 August 2020.
**The views of this Blog represent those of the author, and not necessarily the CBHS.**