The 2020 Paul Piper Distinguished Alumnus is Dr. R. Kirk Kilpatrick, Class of 1981.
A lifelong Memphian, Dr. Kilpatrick has been a teacher, researcher and minister for 25 years. He is currently the Dean of Men and a Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also serving as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lakeland, Tennessee.
Dr. Kilpatrick’s faith story began as a ninth grader at Briarcrest High School. During a week of evangelistic messages, Dr. Kilpatrick committed his life to Christ and went on to serve his junior and senior classes as Chaplain.
After graduating from Briarcrest, Dr. Kilpatrick attended the University of Memphis, majored in History and Spanish, and graduated in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree. That same year, Dr. Kilpatrick married his wife Jackie, and they now have three children: Ty, BCS class of 2011, Paul and Anneliese.
Dr. Kilpatrick continued his education at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned his Master of Divinity and his Ph.D. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Biblical Hebrew, Dr. Kilpatrick was introduced to teaching and his future career at the seminary.
As a student at Mid-America, Dr. Kilpatrick served as the Executive Director of the Greater Mid-South Chapter of Youth for Christ.
As a seminary professor, Dr. Kilpatrick has served as pastor and interim pastor of churches across west Tennessee, eastern Arkansas and north Mississippi. He 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 has examined the ten plagues outlined in the Old Testament and the history of idolatry. He has written articles on Egypt and Esther for the New Holman Bible Dictionary. He also serves as a writer for Lifeway Sunday School materials, the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary Messenger, and his own blog, “Evidence” at 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.