One of the interesting things we learned about Bill Clinton during the campaign and transition was that he has a cadre of long-time supporters — many stretching back to his Oxford days — each of whom affectionally calls himself or herself an “FOB” (Friend of Bill).
These days, it is with warm wishes but more than a little regret that I could be referred to as a “Friend of Al,” because my dear friend and colleague R. Albert Mohler, Jr., has been elected to become the ninth president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky (our mutual Alma Mater). He will be moving to Louisville this summer to share some transitional time with his predecessor, then assume full responsibilities this fall.
Many of you have come to know Al through the pages of Preaching as our Associate Editor and writer of “The Preacher’s Bookshelf” column since the journal’s inception in 1985. In that first issue, he reviewed John Killinger’s Fundamentals of Preaching; since then, he has kept readers up to date on the best new works in homiletics, and contributed more than many realize to the resurgence of outstanding books on preaching during the last decade.
Few know how much more Al Mohler has contributed to this ministry beyond book reviews. He has been a vital part of Preaching since the very beginning; indeed, in 1985 when we handed out 9,000 copies of the very first issue at the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, Al was with us on those sidewalks distributing Preaching to anyone who would take a copy. In those first days when Preaching was struggling for life and identity, Al and I enjoyed long conversations about the future direction of the publication. His influence has been felt in its pages in many ways.
Over the years since, he has been a marvelous sounding board and advisor as this work has blossomed. Those of you who have attended the National Conference on Preaching have seen Al share the responsibilities of presiding at conference sessions. He has been a friend, encourager, and minister to this editor.
So while I am proud and pleased that Al’s gifts have been recognized by the trustees of Southern Seminary — and I am convinced he will be one of the great presidents in the rich history of that remarkable institution — it is with more than a little sadness that I see him make that move, because it brings to an end his regular involvement as Associate Editor and reviewer for Preaching. After nine years of faithful participation, this is the first issue which does not carry his photo and byline.
Of course, I’m not letting him off that easy. Al Mohler will continue to be a part of this ministry as an occasional writer, and soon as a member of our Board of Contributing Editors. I’m even hoping to coax the occasional book review out of him!
In the meantime, we wish him God’s richest blessings as he and Mary step into their exciting new place of service, and we pledge our prayers for his wise stewardship of the flagship of Baptist theological education.
We’re going to miss him in these pages.

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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