Frank Pollard, Former GGBTS President, Dies

Dr. Frank Pollard, former president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and pastor of First Baptist Church, Jackson, Mississippi, died at his home in San Anselmo, California on Sunday, November 30, 2008.
Dr. Pollard was the fifth president of Golden Gate Seminary, serving from 1983 – 1986. He led in the redevelopment of the Northern California campus master plan and enrollment at the Seminary grew significantly during his tenure. He left in 1986 to become pastor of First Baptist Church, Jackson, Mississippi, a position he held previously from 1974-1980. 

“Dr. Pollard was a great advocate for Golden Gate,” said the Seminary’s current president, Dr. Jeff Iorg. “I appreciated his personal support and encouragement when I became president. He had recently relocated to California and reconnected with the Seminary community. We will miss him.” 

Dr. John Shouse, professor of Christian Theology, said of Dr. Pollard, “In word and life he reflected the grace and truth of the gospel. He was the consummate minister’s minister. Quite simply, he gave the Lord his best.” 

A native of Texas, Dr. Pollard was featured in Time magazine in 1979 as one of the seven leading Protestant preachers in America. In addition to First Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, his pastorates included First Baptist Church, San Antonio, Texas, and Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas. Golden Gate Seminary honored Dr. Pollard with the Distinguished Service Award in 1993. 

During his career Dr. Pollard authored five books, “How to Know When You’re a Success,” “The Bible in Your Life,” “After You’ve Said I’m Sorry,” “Keeping Free” and “Someone Once Said.” 

In 1976 Dr. Pollard became the preacher for “The Baptist Hour,” produced by the Radio and Television Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Pollard also hosted the radio and television program, “At Home with the Bible,” from 1978-1984. 

“Frank was one of the most outstanding preachers I had the privilege of hearing,” noted Dr. William O. Crews, who followed Dr. Pollard as the Seminary’s president. “Because of his national leadership as preacher for the Baptist Hour for many years, he brought national attention to Golden Gate. Frank was a close personal friend, great encourager to me while I served as President, and a strong supporter of the Seminary.” 

Dr. Pollard was born in Olney, Texas on February 25, 1934. He was a graduate of Texas A&M University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and held a Doctor of Ministry degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. California Baptist University and Mississippi College awarded him honorary doctorates. He is survived by his wife, the former Jane Shepard, two children, Brent and Suzanne along with one grandchild.