Ernest Pickering

Ernest Dinwoodie Pickering (December 14, 1928October 16, 2000) was a fundamentalist pastor, author, college administrator, and mission board representative.

Ernest Pickering was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, the oldest son of Ernest Joseph and Evelyn Ida Pickering, officers in the Salvation Army. The family lived and ministered in Florida, Maryland, West Virginia, Alabama, and Texas. Ernest was converted to Christ as a teenager in Dallas and immediately began to participate in street meetings, including some at which he dodged rocks and tomatoes. ["North Star Baptist" (October-December, 1989), 20.] He graduated with a B. A. in Bible from Bob Jones University in 1948, when he was nineteen; and he earned his Th.M. and Th.D. degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1952 and 1957 respectively.

In 1952, Pickering married Ariel Yvonne Thomas, whom he had met as an intern pastor in Colorado City, Texas, and the couple shortly moved to New Kensington, Pennsylvania, where Pickering pastored Maranatha Bible Church.

After completing his doctorate, Pickering served for two years as the National Executive Secretary for the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA) and edited its publication, "The Voice". In 1959 he became pastor of Woodcrest Baptist Church in Fridley, Minnesota, and served as Dean of [http://www.cbts.edu/ Central Baptist Theological Seminary] of Minneapolis until 1965. Simultaneously he served on the Board of Trustees for Pillsbury Baptist Bible College and was a founder of [http://www.baptistworldmission.org/ Baptist World Mission] . From 1965 until 1969, Pickering pastored the Bible Baptist Church of Kokomo, Indiana, became a leader in the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, and wrote adult Sunday School lessons for Regular Baptist Press. In 1969, he accepted the call of Baptist Bible College, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania to join its faculty and serve as Dean. The following year, he succeeded G. Arthur Woolsey as president and served in that position for eight years.

In 1978, Pickering assumed the pastorate of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Toledo, Ohio, which had a regular attendance of 2000, but which had recently experienced the sudden departure of its previous pastor after a moral failure. Pickering provided the necessary maturity and leadership to stabilize the congregation. [ [http://www.baptistseminary.edu/fpweb/Tribute_to_DrPickering.htm "Tribute," CBTS, Virginia Beach, Memorial] ]

In 1986, Pickering became president of [http://www.nbs.edu/home.htm Northwest Baptist Seminary] , Tacoma, Washington, but following a disagreement over what its board of trustees considered an overly strict position on ecclesiastical separation, Pickering resigned in 1987. For a year he returned to Baptist Bible Seminary as professor of theology, and in 1988, he was called to the pastorate of [http://www.fourthbaptist.org/history.php Fourth Baptist Church] , Minneapolis, Minnesota, an especially influential fundamentalist church because it was the home of Central Baptist Theological Seminary—of which Pickering also assumed the presidency.

In 1993, Pickering was named “Alumnus of the Year” by Bob Jones University. The same year he accepted the call of Baptist World Mission, serving as Deputation Director, 1993-1996, and field representative from 1996 until his death in 2000.

In 1983, Pickering was stricken with cancer in the frontal sinuses near his brain. In 1996 he experienced a recurrence, and the radiation used to treat the cancer caused him to become totally blind on November 8, 1996. [Shawna McElwain, "Once I Could See But Now I Am Blind," "The Baptist Bulletin" (November 1998), 11-12.] Assisted by his wife, Pickering continued to preach without notes until the progress of the disease made continuation of his ministry impossible. [His wife once led him to the platform of one church a few minutes before he was scheduled to speak at another. McElwain, 12.] Pickering wrote his final booklet, "Our Tear-Washed Eyes: Why Does God Allow His People to Suffer?" after he had lost his sight. ["Our Tear Washed Eyes," "The Biblical Evangelist", 30 (January-February 1999).]

Pickering criticized the ecumenical neo-evangelism of Billy Graham in print as early as 1957, [ [http://www.sharperiron.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=176 "Should Fundamentalists Support the Billy Graham Crusades?"] ] and his chief contribution to twentieth-century evangelical Christianity was as a Baptist theoretician of separatist fundamentalism.

Books and booklets by Pickering

*"Theology of Evangelism" (Clarks Summit, PA: Baptist Bible College Press, 1974)
*"Glories of the Lamb as Seen in the Book of Revelation" (Clarks Summit, PA: Baptist Bible College Press, 1978)
*"Biblical Separation: The Struggle for a Pure Church" (Schaumburg, Illinois: Regular Baptist Press, 1979)
*"Charismatic Confusion" (Schaumburg, Illinois: Regular Baptist Press, 1980)
*"Rejoicing in Christ" (Schaumburg, Illinois: Regular Baptist Press, 1980)
*"Thou Art the Christ: Studies in Philippians" (Schaumburg, Illinois: Regular Baptist Press, 1983)
*"For the Hurting Pastor—And Those Who Hurt Him" (Schaumburg, Illinois: Regular Baptist Press, 1987)
*"The Tragedy of Compromise: The Origin and Impact of the New Evangelicalism" (Greenville, SC: BJU Press, 1994)

References

* [http://www.baptistseminary.edu/fpweb/Tribute_to_DrPickering.htm Memorial, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Virginia Beach, Va.]
* [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3817/is_200103/ai_n8941171 Memorial, "Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society"] , March 1991.


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