Samford University Library Samford University Library Special Collection, Samford University Library

The Papers of Grady C. Cothen

Special Collection; Samford University


Contact Information

Special Collection
Samford University Library
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, Alabama 35229

Processed by: Hutchens

Date Completed: April 1996

Accession No.: SC 4515; SCAV 1075, 1077; ARL 475 - 564

Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note





Scope and Content


Descriptive Summary

Title: The Papers of Dr. Grady Coulter Cothen

Creator: Dr. Grady C. Cothen

Extent: 12 Linear ft.

Repository: Samford University; Special Collection

Abstract: The Papers of Dr. Grady C. Cothen contain the collection of Dr. Cothen's materials from a career spanning over forty years of service to the Southern Baptist Convention. Over the years he has served in many capacities including pastor, state convention executive secretary-director, university president, and seminary president. His collection contains information from the years 1937 - 1995.


The Grady C. Cothen Collection of materials was presented to the Special Collection Department of the Samford University Library on February 24, 1996 by Dr. Grady C. Cothen.

Preferred Citation

The Papers of Dr. Grady C. Cothen; Special Collection; Samford University; Birmingham, Alabama.

Biographical Note


Born: Poplarville, Ms., August 2,1920

Son of: Rev. & Mrs. J. H. Cothen

Married: Martha E. (Bettye) Major

Children: Grady, Jr., Carole Shields


Education: Graduate of Hattiesburg High School, Mississippi College,
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Ordained to Baptist Ministry, Richton, Ms. Baptist Church, 1939


Served as:
Chaplain, U. S. Navy, 1944-46
Pastor: White Oak Baptist Church, Chattanooga, Tn. 1946-48
Olivet Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Ok. 1948-59
First Baptist Church, Birmingham, Al. 1959-61
Executive Secretary, Southern Baptist General Convention of Ca.
1961 – 1966.
President of Oklahoma Baptist University 1966-70
President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary 1970-74
President of Southern Baptist Sunday School Board 1975-84

Other Service

Executive Board, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma
Executive Board, Alabama Baptist Convention
Board of Trustees of Oklahoma Baptist University
Board of Trustees of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Executive Committee and General Council, Baptist World Alliance.
Executive Committee, American Association of Theological Schools
Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention
Metropolitan Board, YMCA, Nashville, TN.
Baptist Joint Committee
Oklahoma Commission on Education-Gubernatorial
appointment. Elected by Commission to be chairman of
the committee on Education. (Commission formed by legislature to recommend future of education for state from 1968-2000.)
First Vice President of Southern Baptist Convention
Chairman, Committee on Academic and Theological Education, Baptist World Alliance
Chairman, Committee on Education and Evangelism, Baptist World Alliance
Distinguished Visiting Professor, Louisiana College
National President of Alumni Association, New Orleans
Baptist Theological Seminary

Distinguished Alumnus Award, New Orleans Baptist Seminary
Order of The Golden Arrow, Mississippi College
E. Y. Mullins Denominational Service Award, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Listed in Who's Who in America since 1970 until retirement.

Honorary Degrees
Doctor of Divinity, Mississippi College
Doctor of Divinity, California Baptist College
Doctor of Laws, William Jewell College
Doctor of Humanities, University of Richmond
Doctor of Humane Letters, Campbell University
Doctor of Humane Letters, Oklahoma Baptist University

Lecture Series
Gheens Lectures in Religious Education, Southern Baptist Seminary
Lectures in Christian Theology, Stetson University
Spell Lectures, Mississippi College
Layne Foundation Lectures, New Orleans Baptist Seminary
Hobbs Lectures on Baptist Heritage, Oklahoma Baptist University
Hester Lectures, Association of Southern Baptist Colleges
Marney Lecture, Carson-Newman College


Author of:
The God of The Beginnings
Faith and Higher Education
Unto All The World: Bold Mission
What Happened to The Southern Baptist Convention?
The New SBC: Fundamentalism's Impact on The
Southern Baptist Convention

Numerous Articles for Religious and professional journals.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of letters, manuscripts (sermons, addresses, books, chapters for books, some dictated materials for various purposes, etc.) photos, audio tapes and miscelaneous items of a personal nature. A number of reports both written and taped made to various boards and groups are included.

Several scrapbooks containing news clippings of various activities were prepared across the years by either clerical persons or family members. Books of letters from friends and professional acquaintances are included.