Grady C. Cothen

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Grady C. Cothen is a pastor, state convention executive secretary-director for the Southern Baptist Convention, author, university president, and seminary president.

Cothen was born in Poplarville, Mississippi on August 2, 1920 to Rev. & Mrs. J. H. Cothen. He married Martha E. (Bettye) Major and had two children; Grady, Jr., Carole Shields.

He attended from Hattiesburg High School, graduated Mississippi College, and received his master's degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He was ordained into Baptist Ministry at Richton, Ms. Baptist Church in 1939.[1]


  • 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[1]


Honorary Degrees[edit]


  • 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

OBU President[edit]

During Cothen's tenure as president the Howard Residence was completed, the Oklahoma Baptist University Authority was incorporated, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accredited all OBU programs, and The Geiger Center for University Life was completed.[2]

Preceded by
James R. Scales
Oklahoma Baptist University President
1966 - 1970
Succeeded by
William G. Tanner