Baptist race-relations pioneer dies - Word&Way

Baptist race-relations pioneer dies

CLINTON, Miss. (ABP) – Richard “Dick” Brogan, a pioneer in building bridges between white and black Baptists in the South, died of a heart attack April 25 at Baptist Hospital in Jackson, Miss. He was 73.

Dick Brogan

Brogan, a native of Laurel, Miss., once compared the state’s two largest Baptist groups to railroad tracks running side-by-side while never touching. After serving as a pastor in Arkansas and Mississippi, he worked as a teacher and missionary with African-Americans in the Mississippi Delta under appointment of the Southern Baptist Convention Home Mission Board.

Brogan was president of Mississippi Baptist Seminary, a school established in 1944 to provide theological education for black ministers and laity at its central campus in Jackson and extension centers around the state, until the Mississippi Baptist Convention turned control of the institution over to National Baptist trustees in 1988.

After that Brogan worked for the Mississippi Baptist Convention as a consultant in the cooperative missions department, dealing with black church work, metropolitan missions and seminary extension.

He was director of the Mississippi Baptist Biracial Commission. Since 2002 he served as a hospice chaplain and after retirement was interim coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi for nearly a year. He celebrated 50 years in ministry in 2007.

A graduate of Mississippi College and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Brogan is survived by his widow, Catherine, a retired elementary school teacher, three children and a granddaughter.

Memorial services were scheduled at Northside Baptist Church in Clinton, Miss., on Thursday, April 28. Memorials may be made to Northside Baptist Church, Hospice Ministries of Ridgeland, Miss., or CBF of Mississippi.

Bob Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press. Jim Newton, a retired Baptist journalist, contributed to this story.