Grady C. Cothen

Grady C. Cothen, Sr. (2 August 1920 19 May 2017), was a pastor, state convention executive secretary-director for the Southern Baptist Convention, author, university president, and seminary president.

Grady C. Cothen
Born(1920-08-02)August 2, 1920
DiedMay 19, 2017(2017-05-19) (aged 96)
Ridgeland, Mississippi
Resting placeRoseberry Cemetery in Mascot, Tennessee
Alma materMississippi College, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Southern Baptist Convention
Spouse(s)Martha E. "Betty" Major Cothen
ChildrenGrady Cothen, Jr.
Carol C. Shields
Parent(s)The Reverend and Mrs. J. H. Cothen

Cothen was born in Poplarville, Mississippi, to the Reverend and Mrs. J. H. Cothen. He married Martha E. (Bettye) Major and had two children; Grady, Jr., Carole Shields.

He attended from Hattiesburg High School, graduated from Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College in Clinton and received his master's degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He was ordained into Baptist ministry in 1939 in Richton, Mississippi.[1] Cothen died on 19 May 2017 in Ridgeland, Mississippi, at the age of ninety-six.[2][3]


  • Chaplain, U. S. Navy, 1944–46
  • Pastor: White Oak Baptist Church, Chattanooga, Tn. 1946-48
  • Olivet Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Ok. 1948-59
  • First Baptist Church, Birmingham, Al. 1959-61
  • Executive Secretary, Southern Baptist General Convention of Ca. 1961 – 1966.
  • President of Oklahoma Baptist University 1966-70
  • President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary 1970-74
  • President of Southern Baptist Sunday School Board 1975-84[1]


Honorary degrees


  • The God of The Beginnings
  • Faith and Higher Education
  • Unto All The World: Bold Mission
  • What Happened to The Southern Baptist Convention?
  • The New SBC: Fundamentalism's Impact on The Southern Baptist Convention

President of OBU

During Cothen's tenure as president the Howard Residence was completed, the Oklahoma Baptist University Authority was incorporated, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accredited all OBU programs, and The Geiger Center for University Life was completed.[4]

Preceded by
James R. Scales
Oklahoma Baptist University President
1966 - 1970
Succeeded by
William G. Tanner


  1. "The Papers of Grady C. Cothen". Samford University Library. Archived from the original on 2005-07-22. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  2. Allen, Bob (22 May 2017). "Grady Cothen, one of last pre-1979 SBC agency heads, dies". Baptist News Global. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  3. "Grady C. Cothen's Obituary". Clarion Ledger. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  4. "OBU Archives". Mabee Learning Center. Archived from the original on 23 June 2002. Retrieved 23 May 2017.

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