Roy Fish, distinguished professor of evangelism emeritus at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, left a distinguished and cherished legacy when he died the morning of Sept. 10. SWBTS Photo.
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Many Southern Baptists considered Fish's name synonymous with "evangelism," a fitting remembrance for the man who served Southwestern for nearly 50 years and once occupied the L. R. Scarborough Chair of Evangelism, considered "The Chair of Fire."
As Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson put it, "Dr. Roy Fish was at once a fabulous lecturer and the most consistent soul winner I know. He lit a fire under thousands of students.
"While we support his family in heart-felt prayer, and while he is irreplaceable for us, we rejoice with Dr. Fish and his entry to his Heavenly home," Patterson said. "God help us all to love lost people like he did."
As a Southwestern professor, Fish impacted the lives of thousands of students, many who credit him with instilling a fire for evangelism in their souls. Fish organized for many years the annual Spring Break Revival Practicum, now called Revive This Nation, as the seminary sent out hundreds of student preachers across the United States to preach revivals in local churches.
Fish held several prominent denominational positions, including second vice-president of the Southern Baptist Convention and interim president of the North American Mission Board. NAMB president Kevin Ezell, who studied under Fish at Southwestern, described him as a personal soul-winner with a contagious passion for the Gospel.
"Dr. Fish left his imprint on thousands of students over the years and our convention is much better for it. I rejoice that he is now with the Savior he so loved, but I grieve for the loss his family and our entire convention is experiencing today," Ezell said. "NAMB is indebted to Dr. Fish for the year he served as interim president from 2006 to 2007. He lent his leadership and credibility at a time of uncertainty here at NAMB."
Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, called Fish a hero.
"Having known him for over 30 years, I can truly say he is one of the greatest men I ever knew. Never did I see him or speak to him that he was not a positive encouragement to me," Page said. "I love him and cannot wait to see him in heaven."
Fish served as pastor or interim pastor at more than 20 churches, and spoke and preached at conventions, conferences and churches on every continent except Antarctica. He authored several books and numerous articles and essays on evangelism.
Source: Baptist Press