LEXINGTON, Ky. (DNS) -- Lexington Theological Seminary is mourning the loss of a colleague and good friend. Dean Anthony L. Dunnavant died Thursday evening (Feb. 8). He was 46.
Reflecting on Dunnavant's life and ministry, LTS President Richard L. Harrison, Jr., said, "Anthony Dunnavant was an outstanding teacher and historian of Christianity. He was a lover of the church and was profoundly committed to ministry. His leadership as a scholar and as an advocate of Christian unity has been appreciated world wide.
"This is a terrible loss to Lexington Theological Seminary as well as to the church at large and higher education. Rarely have I encountered a person so universally beloved."
The Rev. Anthony L. Dunnavant is survived by his wife, Jan, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Lexington; four daughters, Erin, Bridget, Caitlin, and Tara; two stepchildren, Sarah and Patrick; parents, Ezra and Edith Dunnavant of Blackstone, Va.; brother, Terry Dunnavant of Prairie Village, Kan.; and sisters, Nell Durham of Fairfax, Va., and Kay Slonaker of Bowie, Md.
Dunnavant joined the seminary faculty in 1987 and was named dean in March 1998.
A noted church historian, Professor Dunnavant's research and writing centered on theology and church life of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He was the author of Central Christian Church: 175 Years in Lexington, Kentucky (1991), Restructure (1993), and Backgrounds for Congregational Portraits (1994). He was the editor of Cane Ridge in Context (1992) and Poverty and Ecclesiology (1992) and co-editor with President Harrison of Explorations in the Stone-Campbell Tradition and (with James O. Duke, 1997) Christian Faith Seeking Historical Understanding.
Dunnavant was an active member of Central Christian Church, Lexington.
He was a member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, the Association for the Sociology of Religion and the Disciples of Christ Historical Society. He was a member of the board of trustees of Cane Ridge Preservation Project.
A native of Maryland, Dunnavant grew up in Washington, D.C., and Fairmont, W. Va. He held degrees from Fairmont (W.Va.) State College, West Virginia University, and three degrees from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. He was an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Anthony Leroy Dunnavant
June 23, 1954-February 8, 2001
Committed Christian And Servant Of God
Dean and professor of Church History
Lexington Theological Seminary
Remembered for his witness to the historic
faith of the church, his love of teaching
his genuine interest in the preparation
of students for ministry his quick wit
and delightful storytelling.
Brilliant Author, Historian, And Ordained Minister
in the Christian Church Disciples Of Christ
Prominent Scholar of the Great Revival
that Occurred in 1801 at Cane Ridge
Earned Degrees From Fairmont State College
West Virginia University
Born in Hagerstown. Maryland
Son of the Rev. D. Ezra Leroy and Edith Higgins Dunnavant
Brother of Nellie June Durham, Terry Allen Dunnavant
And Key Edith Slonaker
Beloved Husband of Janet Mercham Dunnavant June 29, 1955
And Devoted Father Of
Erin Edith Dunnvant October 8, 1979
Bridget Renee Dunnavant August 3, 1982
Caitlin Paige Dunnavant, April 26, 1985
Tara Johanna Dunnavant, July 12, 1987
Sara Joan Fromm, April 18, 1983
Patrick Nelson Fromm November 13, 1984
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know only in part, then shall I understand fully,
even as I am fully understood
So faith, hope, love, abide these three,
But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:12