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A Message Regarding the Recent Death of Columbia Theological Seminary President Emeritus Stephen Hayner

Feb 02, 2015

Dear Louisville Seminary Community:

On Saturday, January 31, 2015, the Rev. Dr. Stephen (Steve) A. Hayner, president emeritus of Columbia Theological Seminary, died at the age of 66.

Steve, who with his wife Sharol beside him every step of the way, has been courageously battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year. Steve breathed the life of the Spirit. His smile and his joy were contagious. He could light up even the dreariest meeting with his sense of humor. Those of us who had the privilege of serving with him in the collegium of Presbyterian seminary presidents will never forget his faith and his friendship.

I encourage everyone to read Steve’s obituary, which is posted on Columbia Theological Seminary’s website, and learn more about the life, career and vocation of this extraordinary human being.

As Steve approached death, the Rev. Dr. Ted Wardlaw, one of our colleagues, remembered Cardinal Newman’s prayer, which for a generation of Presbyterian ministers was what we prayed at the graveside of countless saints. It is the perfect prayer for us today.

O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in Thy mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

As Steve’s family, his seminary and church communities, and his many colleagues around the globe grieve our loss, it is also right for us to lift up our hearts to give thanks to God for our brother Steve, for his life and his witness, in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the dead in Christ Jesus. I know you will join me in praying for his family in this season of loss.

Michael Jinkins
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
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