Dr. R. Kirk Kilpatrick (BCS Class of ’81)
A lifelong Memphian, Dr. R. Kirk Kilpatrick has enjoyed a 25-year career of teaching, research and ministry. Currently serving as the Dean of Men and Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Mid- America Baptist Theological Seminary, and pastor of First Baptist Church in Lakeland, Tennessee, the Briarcrest Alumni Association is pleased to recognize Dr. R. Kirk Kilpatrick as the 2020 recipient of the Paul Piper Distinguished Alumni Award.
Kirk’s faith story began as a ninth grader at Briarcrest High School with his conversion in 1977. During a week of evangelistic messages, Kirk committed his life to Christ and went on to serve his junior and senior classes as Chaplain. Following Briarcrest, Kirk attended the University of Memphis and graduated with a bachelor’s degree and majors in History and Spanish in 1985. In that same year, Kirk married his wife Jackie, and they now have three children Ty (BCS ’11), Paul and Anneliese.
Kirk continued his education in 1987, earning his M.Div and Ph.D. from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Biblical Hebrew under Dr. T. V. Farris in 1992, Kirk was introduced to teaching and his future career at the seminary. He was awarded Faculty status in 1995 and served administratively as Director of Development and Communications.
During his years of study at Mid-America, Dr. Kilpatrick served as the Executive Director of the Greater Mid-South chapter of Youth for Christ. While teaching, he has served as pastor and interim pastor of several Mid-South churches: Salem Baptist Church in Henning, Tennessee; Nettleton Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas; Calvary Baptist Church in Osceola, Arkansas; First Baptist Church of New Albany, Mississippi; and Beaver Baptist Church in Brighton, Tennessee. Dr. Kilpatrick has also led revivals, retreats, winter Bible studies, and short-term mission trips to the Arizona Navajo reservation and several areas of Brazil.
Dr. Kilpatrick’s research and writing includes: "Ancient Mythology versus Eternal Reality: Judgments upon Egypt," presented orally at both the Southeastern Regional meeting and the National meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society; his doctoral dissertation, Against the Gods of Egypt: An Examination of the Narrative of the Ten Plagues in the Light of Exodus 12:12; and "Ephraim and Egypt: A History of Idolatry," Mid-America Baptist Theological Journal. Dr. Kilpatrick has also been a contributor to the New Holman Bible Dictionary with articles on “Egypt” and “Esther.” He also serves as a writer for Lifeway Sunday School materials, the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary Messenger, and the blog, “Evidence” (confirmedword.blogspot.com).
In addition to his love of teaching, research, writing and pastoring, Dr. Kilpatrick also enjoys gardening and shooting sports as a member of a local sports shooting association.
The Briarcrest Christian School Paul Piper Hall of Fame Award was established in 2004. This award is given annually to thirty-year graduates of Briarcrest Christian School who have shown outstanding achievement in their professional careers and who have been recognized for their influential leadership and support of educational, civic, religious and charitable causes. The award is named in honor and in memory of Mr. Paul Piper, a highly successful Christian entrepreneur whose foundations have provided financial support to so many causes.
If you would like to nominate an alumni, please complete and submit the online nomination form here