Mt. Vernon Register-News

Death Notices

November 19, 2007

Wayne Dehoney

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) ā€” The Rev. Wayne Dehoney, who was president of the Southern Baptist Convention for two terms in the 1960s and later became pastor of Louisvilleā€™s oldest Baptist church, has died. He was 89.

Dehoney, ill since a serious stroke in 1996, died Thursday, daughter Kathy Dehoney Evitts said.

He began an 18-year ministry at Walnut Street Baptist Church in downtown Louisville in 1967, leading the church into its television ministry and the development of nearly an entire city block surrounding the church.

His moderate stance on theological and social issues helped Dehoney become president of the Southern Baptist Convention for two consecutive years. There were 10 million members during his first term and 10.5 million members by his second year as president, the largest Protestant denomination in the country. He was pastor of the 2,000-member First Baptist Church of Jackson, Tenn., at the time.

Dehoney went on missionary tours around the world and had been president of the Southern Baptist Pastors Conference and a leader in the Baptist World Alliance, which focused on missions, human rights and religious freedom.

Upon his retirement from Walnut Street in 1985, Dehoney was named a senior professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also had been a trustee of the seminary.

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