Alumnus Bill Tuck Publishes 27th Book
The author of 27 books and more than 200 articles. Senior pastoral positions with six different churches. And, faculty posts with two higher education institutions. All this from a borderline schoolboy, a student who entered college on academic probation, Bluefield College’s William P. “Bill” Tuck.
August 1, 2014
Alumnus Bill Tuck with the books he has written and published, all available now in Bluefield College’s Easley Library, thanks to a donation of each copy made by Tuck to BC.
Alumnus, author, pastor and professor Bill Tuck, not only an avid writer, but also an avid reader, stands in his personal library.
A kid growing up in Lynchburg, Virginia, with admittedly very little direction in life, Tuck did find joy and activity in the Boy Scouts of America. In fact, at the age of 16 he made his first profession of faith as a result of his experiences while working on the God and Country award as an Eagle Scout.
Soon after, he began attending West Lynchburg Baptist Church where he said, “the Lord began a work in me.” While serving the role of “pastor” during a youth Sunday service, he said he began to sense a calling to ministry. He shared that calling with the pastor of the church, Dr. P.T. Harman, father of Dr. Charles Harman, who was president of Bluefield College at that time. Like with all young men sensing a call to ministry, P.T. Harman encouraged Tuck to consider attending Bluefield College. While the idea was encouraging, Tuck said he didn’t think it was realistic.
“I was an average student, at best,” said Tuck, “but I was accepted at Bluefield College on probation and received a work scholarship that allowed me to attend.”
And, despite his “average” academic performance in the past, Tuck excelled at Bluefield College under the influence, he recalled, of the academic dean, Dr. James Zambus, and professors J. Stancil and Velma Jackson. In fact, by the time he graduated from BC in 1955, Tuck had earned a spot in Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society.
“Dr. Zambus told me I was the first Phi Theta Kappa student to come in on probation,” said Tuck, who also served as president of the Baptist Student Union. “I credit Bluefield College for setting me on the right theological and academic course.”
After BC, Tuck attended the University of Richmond, before earning a bachelor of divinity degree and a master of theology degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Later, he earned a doctor of theology degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and completed additional graduate work at Emory University, St. Andrews University in Scotland, and Oxford in England.
Armed with his formal training, Tuck began a 40-year commitment to his calling, serving as pastor of six different churches, including Good Hope Baptist Church in Aroda, Virginia; Calvary Baptist Church in Slidell, Louisiana; Harrisonburg Baptist Church in Virginia; First Baptist Church in Bristol, Virginia; St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky; and First Baptist Church of Lumberton, North Carolina.
While serving as pastor of Harrisonburg Baptist, he was asked to write a series of articles for the Church Training Department of the Sunday School Board. Not long after, the Religious Herald asked him to write sermon lessons for its publications. From there, his passion to write grew, and now his list of publications includes 27 books and more than 200 articles.
Among his books: Facing Grief and Death; The Struggle For Meaning; Knowing God: Religious Knowledge in the Theology of John Baillie; Our Baptist Tradition; Ministry: An Ecumenical Challenge; Getting Past the Pain; A Glorious Vision; The Bible As Our Guide For Spiritual Growth; Authentic Evangelism; The Lord’s Prayer Today; The Way for All Seasons; Through the Eyes of a Child; Christmas Is for the Young…Whatever Their Age; Love as a Way of Living; The Compelling Faces of Jesus; The Left Behind Fantasy; The Ten Commandments: Their Meaning Today; Facing Life’s Ups and Downs; The Church In Today’s World; The Church Under the Cross; Modern Shapers of Baptist Thought in America; The Journey to the Undiscovered Country: What’s Beyond Death?; A Pastor Preaching: Toward a Theology of the Proclaimed Word; The Pulpit Ministry of the Pastors of River Road Church, Baptist; The Last Words from the Cross; Lord, I Keep Getting a Busy Signal: Reaching for a Better Spiritual Connection; and Overcoming Sermon Block: The Preacher’s Workshop.
“My most recent book is designed to help get today’s pastor passed sermon block,” said Tuck. “A pastor should spend at least 20 hours a week studying for his sermons. I’m afraid in today’s church that the time devoted to studying is beginning to be lost.”
He has also contributed to numerous collections – including The Twentieth Century Pulpit; Best Sermons; Biblical Preaching: An Expositor’s Treasury; The Minster’s Manual; and The Library of Distinctive Sermons – and written articles for Theology Today, Review and Expositor, The New Pulpit Digest, Proclaim, The Christian Ministry, Biblical Preaching, and Sharing The Practice.
In addition to his writing and pastoral stints, Tuck has served as a professor of Christian preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and an adjunct professor of preaching at Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond. He has also served as a trustee for the Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, Chowan College, and Virginia Intermont College.
His professional associations include the Academy of Parish Clergy, the Academy of Preachers, the Baptist World Alliance Worship Study Commission, the Poteat Scholarship Committee for Wake Forest University, the Boys and Girls Club, the Baptist Historical Society, and the Center for Baptist Heritage. His civic and service duties involve the Lumberton Rotary Club, the Lumberton Chamber of Commerce, and the Robeson Family Counseling Center.
Tuck’s awards and distinctions: Who’s Who in Religion, International Who’s Who in Community Service, International Directory of Distinguished Leadership, and Who’s Who of Executives and Professionals, the Man and Boy Award from the Bristol Boys Club, the Walter Pope Binns Fellow Award from William Jewell College, the 1997 Parish Pastor of the Year Award from the Academy of Parish Clergy, and a Medallion award from the National Boys and Girls Club.
Now retired and living in Midlothian, Virginia, with his wife, Emily, Tuck serves as an interim pastor when the need arises, including his most recent short-term callings to Cool Spring Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, Virginia, and First Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. Still writing, he has one book – A Revolutionary Gospel: The Concept of Salvation In the Theology of Walter Rauschenbusch – under contract to be published soon and two additional books he has not yet finished: a publication on Jesus’ “I am” verses in the New Testament and a work on the difficult sayings of Jesus.
“Bill’s story is the story of Bluefield College,” said Alumni Director Mark Hipes. “A young man equipped with potential, a calling, and the desire to succeed was given the opportunity to learn, lead, and serve. He thrived under the tutelage of his professors as he began a journey that has now impacted this world for the Kingdom. Like so many others before and after him, Bluefield College was a part of the genesis for Bill Tuck.”