Dr. Joel Slayton, a professor at Central Baptist College, was presented with the Kellar Award during the 65th annual meeting of the Baptist Missionary Association of America, held in Little Rock in late April.
The BMA Seminary presents the Kellar Award, named in honor of the late Dr. Gerald Kellar, founding president of the seminary. The award recognizes a seminary alumnus for outstanding contributions in ministry typifying the legacy of Dr. Kellar.
Slayton said, “I was quite surprised. In the past they have given it to pastors who have been at churches a long time. I think this is the first time it was given to an educator. It was quite a blessing.”
Slayton has been teaching at CBC since January 1976 and has served as instructor, professor, chair of the Bible department, vice president of graduate affairs, graduate dean, vice president for academic affairs and interim president.
He has pastored and served as interim pastor at churches in Arkansas, Texas and Alabama and has preached in 10 states and four foreign countries.
He has traveled in Asian, Europe, Africa, and North and South America.
He said, “For the past five or six years, I have been helping churches that are without pastors, doing interim work. This past month I’ve been with Oak Park Baptist Church in Little Rock, helping them get a pastor. Before that, I worked with another church in Little Rock for about two and a half years while they searched for a pastor.
“That’s the ministry God has given me now, to aid churches without pastors. It’s been an interesting experience the last five or six years, helping churches in unusual situations try to find pastors.”
CBC President Terry Kimbrow said, “Whether he is in the pulpit, classroom, or board room, when Joel Slayton speaks, people listen. I would describe him as an orator, preacher, master teacher and gifted communicator — but humble. As my college professor, he taught me to have a passion for Scripture and to study enough that when I stood to speak, I would always “speak from the overflow.” That describes very well what I think about Dr. Slayton every time I hear him speak.
Slayton said he will continue teaching at CBC in the fall, but this summer he is planning a trip to Europe with his wife, Dianne.
“One of my many hobbies is genealogy. My ancestors came to America in 1695. My wife was a Kelly, and her ancestors came from Ireland. We’re going to England and Ireland to explore some of our past.”
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