Oklahoma Baptist University

The Timberlake Legacy

Dr. James Samuel Timberlake, long time Oklahoma Baptist University Professor of Greek and Religion, died March 13, 2005 at 8:40 am at his home. He was born in Texarkana, Texas on March 11, 1918, the fourth of four children, to Sewell Edwin and Pearl (Jones) Timberlake. He is survived by his wife, Kathryne O'Bryan Timberlake, and his daughter, Mary Kathryne MacKenzie and son-in-law, Craig P. MacKenzie from Atlanta, Georgia, his grand-daughter, Kathryne MacKenzie Susong and her husband, Kirk from Atlanta, Georgia and his grandson, Craig Peter MacKenzie, Jr., Greenville, South Carolina. He is also survived by four nephews and two nieces. Preceding him in death were his parents, his sister, Mildred Timberlake Thompson Guthrie, and two brothers, Dr. William Burman Timberlake and Sewell Edwin Timberlake, Jr.

The Professor Emeritus was a 1936 graduate of Classen High School, Oklahoma City. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1940 from Oklahoma Baptist University, a Master of Theology in 1943 and a Doctor of Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theology Seminar in 1950. During World War II he served as a chaplain in the Army of the United Sates from September 1943 to September 1946. He attended Chaplain's School at Harvard University and was assigned to Camp Blanding, Florida. He was transferred to the European Theatre, First Army, 3rd Armored Division, 32nd Armored Regiment. During this period he received three battle stars: Battle of the Bulge, Siegfried Line and Central Valley Campaign. After the war ended in May, 1945 he was assigned Chaplain's duties at the 98th General Hospital in Munich, Germany. He attended several sessions of the Nuremberg Trials.

After his military service and graduate studies Dr. Timberlake was invited to become a faculty member at Oklahoma Baptist University by President John Wesley Raley. He served as Chairman of the Division of Philosophy and Religion. Among the courses he taught in his 38 years at the university were Greek, Old and New Testament, Christian Doctrine, History of Religions and Church History. His professional memberships included the American Academy of Religion, Southwestern Baptist Association of Teachers of Religion, President, and American Association of University Professors. James and Kathryne Timberlake were married for 60 years. For 55 of those years they were members of the First Baptist Church where Dr. Timberlake taught the Baxter Sunday School class. He served as interim pastor in numerous Oklahoma churches.

Burial service was at 9:00am at Resthaven Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorial service was Friday, March 18 at 10:00am at First Baptist Church, with Associate Pastor, J.C. Farrand, officiating and Dr. Warren McWilliams giving the Eulogy. Visitation with the family occured at the Walker Funeral Home on Thursday evening, 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Those wishing to honor his memory may give donations to the James S. Timberlake Scholarship in Biblical and Theological Studies.

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