MEMPHIS, Tenn. (BNc) — B. J. Clarke will assume the director’s position of Memphis School of Preaching effective Jan. 1, 2013, Bobby Liddell, present director, announced today on the school website.
Clarke is an Instructor and Dean of Students of the school. He became a member of the faculty in 2006.
Liddell will continue at MSOP as an instructor and cited his desire to teach more and to work with a congregation as reasons for stepping down as director.
Clarke earned an M. A. in New Testament Text from Freed-Hardeman University in 1997. For 16 years, he served as a preacher for the Southaven, Miss., church. He was a member of the adjunct faculty of the East Tennessee School of Preaching and Missions from 1989-1990.
Initial reactions from former students was positive, as one graduate called both Liddell and Clarke “great preachers, great teachers, and even better Christians.”
The elders of the Forest Hill congregation, who oversee the school, also released a statement:
It has been our great privilege to work with brother Bobby Liddell in his capacity as Director of the Memphis School of Preaching for over five years. In this capacity he has demonstrated outstanding skills as an administrator and the School has continued to flourish and grow in its influence for good. We wish to express our heartfelt thanks for all his efforts on behalf of the School and the Forest Hill congregation. While we were not seeking a change we understand brother Liddell’s desire to teach more in the classroom and to preach in a local setting and are pleased that he will remain on the faculty. We are excited about brother B.J. Clarke’s willingness to step in as the new Director. His ability as a preacher and his Christ-like character are well known in the brotherhood. With God’s blessings and your prayers and support we believe that under brother Clarke’s leadership the Memphis School of Preaching has a stable and bright future in the Lord’s service.
Liddell also demonstrated satisfaction at the eldership’s choice of Clarke. “I happily and unreservedly recommended brother B. J. Clarke to become the next Director, and I am delighted that the elders selected him,” he wrote.
MSOP is a two-year school located in Germantown, Tenn., a suburb of Memphis, with focus on teaching the Bible and preparing for full-time ministry. It was begun in 1966, the first of its kind in the brotherhood east of the Mississippi. A third-year program is offered, whose classes may be taken toward credit at Amridge University. Clarke also works with this program.
The MSOP website also highlights a Missions Training Program slated to begin Jan., 2012.