Thursday, June 27, 2013

Saying Goodbye to a Classroom Hero

Dr. Kenneth F. McKinley - 1918-2013
We buried a LeTourneau University legend this past Saturday.

Dr. Kenneth F. "Doc" McKinley came to LeTourneau to teach Bible in 1959 and served here for 30 years. He taught the Old Testament to thousands of students along the way. He served Longview area churches and led groups to study in the Holy Land. He was 95 when he passed away in College Station. A speaker at his memorial service summed up McKinley's teaching this way: "The Bible is precious. People are valuable. God has a plan."

Wherever I have met LETU alumni across the world, I have often heard stories of "Doc" McKinley. He had a personal charisma and a passion for teaching that former students cherished decades after his classes.

You'll be reminded that our work here at LETU has eternal impact if you take a few minutes to read the guestbook at his obituary site. Former students from across the nation have posted comments. They remember his little Metropolitan automobiles that he drove and the bicycles he rode on campus. He was a musician and a pilot, a true "renaissance man" as one.

McKinley's 7 a.m. classes were a rite of passage for students at what was then known as LeTourneau College.

As an educator, what strikes me are the many references to McKinley's book, Scanning the Plan. Whether you agree with his theological position or not, everyone who has taught must admire the fact that this book continues to be referenced by students decades later.

We are all blessed by servant leaders like Doc McKinley who have gone before us, building this Christ-centered university we enjoy today.