Historian William Estep dies at 80
___FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--William Estep, considered one of the foremost authorities worldwide on the Anabaptist movement, died July 14 of pancreatic cancer.
___The 80-year-old Estep was distinguished professor of church history emeritus at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
___He served at Southwestern from 1954 until his retirement in 1990 and continued to teach until 1994. During that time, he wrote numerous works on subjects including Baptist and Anabaptist history, religious liberty and world missions.
___"He was a remarkable professor and a wonderful teacher," said Clyde Glazener, pastor of Gambrell Street Baptist Church, where Estep was a member. "He was a model of what it means to be a responsible part of the family of faith."
___In total, Estep wrote or edited 21 books. He also held positions in several organizations centered on church history, including the American Society of Church History; the Conference on Faith and History, which he served as president; Southern Baptist Historical Society; the Texas Baptist Historical Society; and the Historical Committee of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
___But it was in his study of the 16th-century Anabaptists and their influence on the development of Baptist history that Estep made his most significant contribution, explained James Leo Garrett, distinguished professor of theology at Southwestern.
___"Estep was one of the four leading American scholars on Anabaptism in the 20th century," Garrett said.
___Estep is survived by his wife, Edna Alice; his son, William Merl Estep; daughters Rhoda Elaine Macdonald, Mary McDowell Morgan and Lena Jan Gipson; and nine grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Alice Ann Estep, and a son, Martin Andrew Estep.
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