G. Earl Guinn

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George Earl Guinn
5th President of Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana
In office
1951 – July 1, 1975
Preceded by Edgar Godbold
Succeeded by Robert L. Lynn
Personal details
Born (1912-08-21)August 21, 1912
Polk County, Tennessee, USA
Died June 7, 2004(2004-06-07) (aged 91)
Alexandria, Rapides Parish
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Ball, Louisiana
Nationality American
Spouse(s) (1) Gail Holmes Guinn (died 1969)

(2) Neva Norsworthy Guinn (surviving spouse)

Alma mater Louisiana College

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Occupation College president and clergyman
Religion Southern Baptist

George Earl Guinn, known as G. Earl Guinn (August 21, 1912 - June 7, 2004),[1] was from 1951 to 1975 the fifth president of Southern Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana.

Background[edit]

Guinn was the youngest of six children of Mr. and Mrs. John Guinn; his father (1872-1920) was born and died in Polk County, Tennessee.[2] Guinn graduated from LC in 1937[3] and was the first LC president to have been an alumnus of the institution. He obtained his doctorate from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to his appointment as the LC president in the summer of 1951, Guinn had been a pastor in several Southern Baptist churches and had taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.[4]

LC president[edit]

Guinn launched the first construction program since the founding of Louisiana College in 1906. In 1953, Simon W. Tudor of Pineville donated twenty-seven acres of additional land to the college. Projects completed under Guinn were the Warner Cottage and the Morgan Walker Student Center (since the Hixson Center), named for Morgan W. Walker, Sr., the founder of what became Continental Trailways. A two-story presidents house was constructed in 1956; it is now the Robert L. and Bonnie Lynn Alumni and Development Center named for Guinn's successor as president, Robert L. Lynn and Lynn's wife, Dr. Bonnie Moore Lynn.[4]

Other buildings added during Guinn's period as president were the Richard W. Norton Memorial Library, Tudor Hall, Weathersby Fine Arts Building, H.O. West Physical Education Building, and twenty student apartments. To raise money for a science center, religious education building, and auditorium, Guinn launched a $2 million fundraising operation through the Louisiana Baptist Convention, the first statewide campaign in the history of Southern Baptists to raise funds for Christian higher education. LC football, first played in 1907, was discontinued in 1969.[4]

The Guinn Religious Education Center, completed in 1973, is named in his honor. It contains classroom space for the religion department, the 300-seat Frances S. Bolton Chapel, and the 1,800-seat Guinn Auditorium, where student assemblies are held. The facility houses the Gladys Tatum West Pipe Organ, a 185-rank, five-manual Moeller organ, among the largest such instruments in the South.[5][6] The Dr. G. Earl Guinn Endowed Forensic Scholarship is awarded to a student in the debate squad.[7]

Thus far, Guinn is the second longest-serving LC president, topped by Claybrook Cottingham, the president from 1910 to 1941, who thereafter headed Louisiana Tech University until his accidental death in 1949. Guinn's successor, Robert L. Lynn, served twenty-two years from 1975 to 1997.

In retirement, Guin spoke against the conservative resurgence, which began in 1979 in the Southern Baptist Convention. In a 2001 address to a group called "Mainstream Southern Baptists", he claimed that church donations had declined under conservative control and proclaimed:

...The human hunger for freedom cannot be suppressed forever. This insistence on liberty has been at the heart of the Baptist movement from its inception. ... It is to the Lord Jesus Christ and to Him alone that the soul is accountable.

Apparently those who hatched the scheme to take control of the [national and state] convention and force creedal conformity upon the constituency underestimated the importance of soul freedom in Baptist experience and history. They have captured the apparatus but find themselves losing much of the funding it formerly enjoyed. The victors have no power to tax, and Baptists are not inclined to support that in which representation is denied.

The disenfranchisement of all but the "faithful" has led to a Baptist tea party that is growing in attendance. Baptist universities and colleges in a number of states have broken away in the interest of freedom and excellence in education. State conventions are altering patterns of giving. Several alliances and fellowships have been organized. A number of new seminaries have been created. Some churches have severed their relationship with the SBC. ... An unknown number of Baptists, including pastors, embarrassed and denied opportunity to serve, have gone to other denominations. The invitation of some convention leaders to conform or get out is seen by many as an invitation to the Tea Party [8]and they are accepting. ...[9]

Personal life and death[edit]

Guinn was first married to the former Gail Holmes (1914-1969).[1] After her death, he wed the former Neva Norsworthy (born July 1927)[3] of Alexandria, a donor to both Louisiana College[3] and the moderate Baptist publication Baptists Today that opposes the SBC conservative resurgence.[10]

Guinn died in Alexandria at the age of ninety-one. He is interred beside his first wife at Forest Lawn Memorial Park north of Pineville in Ball.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "George Earl Guinn, with photo of gravestone". findagrave.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ "John Guinn (b. June 14, 1872, d. February 11, 1920)". familytreemaker.genealogy.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "President's Clubs". taxexemptworld.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Early Baptists in Louisiana: G. Earl Guinn, September 27, 2007". baptistmessage.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Guinn Auditorium". lacollege.edu. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  6. ^ Frances Sample Bolton and Gladys Tatum West were the wives of LC benefactors James C. Bolton, a banker from Alexandria, and H. O. West, a department store owner from Minden and the donor of the athletic building.
  7. ^ "Dr. G. Earl Guinn Endowed Forensic Scholarship (Louisiana College)". scholarshiplibrary.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ Guinn used the term "Tea Party" nearly a decade before it was coined to refer to opponents of the administration of U.S. President Barack H. Obama.
  9. ^ "G. Earl Guinn, "The Baptist Tea Party: An Address to the Executive Board and Advisroy Council of Mainstream Louisiana Baptists", July 23, 2001". adherents.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Donors in 2007 to Baptists Today, p. 15". baptiststoday.squarespace.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
Preceded by
Edgar Godbold
5th President of Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana

George Earl Guinn
1951–1975

Succeeded by
Robert L. Lynn