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Ouachita Stories


Tom Greer remembered in “Faith and the Arts” celebration

November 10, 2008 - Dillon McClain

Dr. Tom Greer, a longtime Ouachita Baptist University English professor, who died in 2006, is remembered by many former students and colleagues for his storytelling and his vigorous teaching style.

That passion, which carried over into many aspects of Greer’s life, influenced many people all over the world.  Seeking to honor Greer’s legacy, the members of Pulaski Heights Baptist Church (PHBC) in Little Rock, Ark., formed a committee to prepare a fitting memorial to Dr. Greer.

Greer served as interim pastor for PHBC from 1984-1986 and again from 1993-1995.  “He was highly respected and loved by the members and was just what our church needed at the times he served,” reflected Darrel Coleman, a member of PHBC.  “It was evident through his sermons that he was blessed with a keen intellect, many and varied interests and most of all a love of people of many persuasions.”

Greer’s passion for others, his faith and the arts became the inspiration for PHBC’s recent “Faith and The Arts” celebration honoring him.  The weekend event was held earlier this fall at PHBC.  Dr. Stan Lott, president emeritus of Chowan University in Murfreesboro, N.C., and one of Greer’s longtime friends from seminary, served as the pulpit guest for the event.

Saturday workshops were held in which participants could be involved in drama, cooking, smocking, art for children, glass and crystal repair, dulcimer playing, hat knitting, duck call carving, fly fish hook making and junk-to-treasure transformation.

Greer’s family loaned more than 50 pieces from his personal art collection to be displayed in the church’s fellowship hall, including pieces by Greer’s favorite artist, Ms. Opal May of Delight, Ark.  Dr. Raouf Halaby, professor of Art and Design and English at Ouachita, also presented a lecture, “The Unlikely Path to Primitive Art: By Way of Jerusalem and Athens.”

On Sunday afternoon, members of the Ouachita music faculty presented a recital of musical theatre selections.  Dr. Glenda Secrest, Dr. Jon Secrest, Dr. Scott Holsclaw, Cindy Fuller and the Secrests’ daughter, Caitlin, performed during the luncheon on Sunday.

The event “demonstrates the breadth and length of Dr. Greer’s relationships and influence,” said Coleman, noting that Greer’s legacy and influence continues to touch others because of his enthusiasm for the arts.

Greer’s “influence on Ouachita and the Pulaski Heights congregation left an indelible mark on all he came in contact with, whether it was in the classroom or in the pew,” Dr. Jon Secrest added.  “The legacy of Tom Greer lives on in this celebration.”

by Dillon McClain