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A Man Who Shaped Austin Grad’s 100-year History: Gene Patterson

Jean Patterson.jpg 

What is the legacy of a first class Bible Teacher?

In 1959, forty-two years into the life of the University of Texas (UT) Bible Chair at University Avenue Church of Christ, Gene Patterson arrived with his young family in Austin, Texas and took on the role of Bible Chair Director and Campus Minister until 1971.  

The photo shows Gene and wife Lucretia as they appeared in 1960.

When I met Gene in 1961, he was well prepared as a student and a teacher of the Bible. 

He obtained his B.A. in Bible, with honors from Abilene Christian University and his M.A. in New Testament from Harding University in Arkansas. He preached for a number of years and taught Bible and New Testament Greek from 1956 to 1959 at York College in Nebraska.

After his tenure in Austin, Gene served as Director, Bible Chair at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas before returning to Austin where he preached and served as an elder in a number of churches in Austin, Texas before he was called home by the Father in 2014 at the age of 83.

As a Civil Engineering student at The University of Texas (UT), I was fortunate to be able to take Bible courses as electives. I took Gene’s excellent class, New Testament Survey, in the spring semester of 1961.

I was probably one of thousands of students who had the pleasure of knowing Gene Patterson and studying the Bible with him over his 12-year tenure at the Bible Chair. What a legacy! How valuable to my life!

Although I pursed my career in engineering, I became a Bible Class teacher soon after leaving UT and remain so today. I hope I have lived up to the legacy of Gene Patterson.

One of Gene’s characteristics was gentleness, and he walked humbly with God and fellow man. I believe he took to heart Jesus’ teaching to the Disciples concerning the necessity for childlikeness, tolerance, and forgiveness.

This teaching event took place sometime in the Summer of 29 A.D. near Capernaum as recorded in Matthew 18:1-35, Mark 9:33-50 and Luke 9:46-50. As Gene related, Jesus took a child to teach how mankind can reach the greatest levels in the spiritual kingdom of heaven.  In his life, I believe, Gene reached this level and pointed the way for me and others. God bless his memory!

Today the legacy of first class Bible teaching continues at Austin Graduate School of Theology. A Century of service in proclaiming and teaching God’s Word lies behind; fruitful years of Bible teaching lie ahead.

Want to know more about the rich history of Austin Grad’s 100 years? Check out this three part series in post one, post two, and post three. 


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Austin Graduate School of Theology is an Austin seminary offering B.A. and M.A. ministry degrees, and Austin Grad is accredited by the same agency that accredits Abilene Christian University, Baylor University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, Texas State University, The University of Texas, and others.  Austin Grad — one of the top Christian colleges in Texas and among the top seminaries in Texas — is affiliated with the Church of Christ and is in conversation with all who confess Jesus as Lord. Austin Grad promotes faith seeking understanding and is committed to providing a high quality education for those who desire to be equipped to expand the Kingdom of God.

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