MONTGOMERY, Ala. (BNc)- Rex Turner, Jr., president of Amridge University, died Monday afternoon at age 62.
Brother Turner died around 4:00 p.m. from a blood clot following surgery for a brain tumor last week, according to Mark Jamieson, pulpit minister at the Eastside church of Christ in Columbia, Tenn.
Funeral services will be Thursday, 11 a.m. at Leak Memory Chapel in Montgomery. Visitation will precede the services from 9-11 a.m.
Turner spent most of his life in Christian education in Montgomery. He was educated at Alabama Christian Academy, Alabama Christian College and Alabama Christian School of Religion. He earned his master’s degree at Troy University and his doctorate at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in the area of higher education, according to a news release from the university.
From the time he was 18 years old, Turner preached in area congregations. He taught history and Bible at Alabama Christian College until he joined the Alabama Christian School of Religion (ACSR) faculty in 1975. A year later, he served as dean of students and then was appointed vice president of administrative affairs, an office he held until 1987 when he was named ACSR president, according to a unversity press release.
He followed in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Rex A. Turner Sr., who was the founder of what have become Alabama Christian Academy, Faulkner University and Amridge University. Brother Turner became president of ACSR at the time the school moved to its present location at Interstate 85 and Taylor Road next to Auburn-Montgomery.
In order to clarify its aims, ACSR changed its name to Southern Christian University Oct., 1991. In 1993, SCU began the Doctor of Ministry program and broadened the scope of its MS to include an emphasis in counseling, enabling students to meet course requirements for state licensing. Under Dr. Turner’s leadership, the University offered Ph.D. degrees in biblical studies, professional counseling, and in marriage and family therapy. The University is the only graduate school in Alabama to offer the Ph.D. in biblical studies and in marriage and family therapy.
Dr. Turner employed technology to deliver instruction to students wherever they were. The first phase was a videotaped-based distance learning program. By 1998, the curriculum was delivered online and the U.S. Department of Education named SCU one of fifteen national demonstration sites for its excellence in offering distance education.
Students from all 50 states and 20 foreign countries have been enrolled.
Dr. Turner was preceded in death by his parents Rex A. Turner Sr. and Opal Shipp Turner, and his sister Jackie Turner Long. He is survived by his wife Barbara Parker Turner; a son Dr. Michael Turner and his wife Julie; a daughter Laina Costanza and her husband Michael; a granddaughter and four grandsons, all of Montgomery; and one sister Mary Hargis, Nashville, Tenn.