Roy L. Honeycutt: 1982-1993

Roy L. Honeycutt

Roy L. Honeycutt

Roy Lee Honeycutt, Jr., Southern’s eighth president, was born in Grenada, Mississippi on October 30, 1926. A graduate of Grenada High School, Honeycutt entered the United States Army in 1944 and served in the Philippines and Japan until 1946. After his tour of duty, he married June Williams on August 31, 1948, and together they had three children.

Honeycutt earned his B.A. from Mississippi College in 1950. He entered Southern and earned an M.Div. in 1952 and a Ph.D. in 1958. During his student days, Honeycutt pastored a number of churches, including the New Salem Baptist Church in Bardstown, Kentucky, and the First Baptist Church of Princeton, Kentucky. Honeycutt joined the faculty at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as an associate professor of Old Testament; he obtained the rank of full professor in the department in 1960 and became its chairman in 1963.

In 1971, Midwestern made him academic dean, a post he held until 1975, when Southern hired him as Dean of the School of Theology and Professor of Old Testament. In 1976, Honeycutt was named the provost of Southern. After Duke K. McCall announced his intentions to retire from Southern’s presidency, the trustees elected Honeycutt to serve as the institution’s ninth president, effective February 2, 1982. Honeycutt’s tenure as president came in an age of great change in the SBC. Although he opposed the denomination’s conservative resurgence, he called for compromise and sought to move the school toward a conservative-liberal partnership. Unsuccessful in that mission, Honeycutt retired from the presidency in 1993 and became chancellor.

Honeycutt published extensively over the course of his academic career. He wrote Amos and His Message, his first book, in 1963, and then produced commentaries on Exodus, II Kings, and Hosea in the next decade. Jeremiah: Witness Under Pressure, written in 1981, represented Honeycutt’s final book. Honeycutt earned several honorary degrees from Mississippi College, William Carey College, Bellarmine College, and Campbellsville University. Long a member of Crescent Hill Baptist Church, Southern’s eighth president passed away on December 21, 2004 while residing in Louisville.

Sources: Roy Honeycutt, alphabetical file in SBTS Archives. Bryan Cribb and David Roach, Colleagues at Southern Seminary Pay Tribute to Roy Honeycutt’s Life and Work. Available from

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