Margaret P. Lawson, retired associate professor of foundations of education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, died Sept. 29. She was 79.
“The Southwestern Seminary community expresses our Christian sympathy to the friends and colleagues of Margaret Lawson,” said David S. Dockery, president of Southwestern Seminary. “As a professor she taught the principles of teaching, curriculum design and the importance of discipleship and educational ministries in the local church. The impact of her teaching continues through ministers of education around the world.”
A native of Harare, Zimbabwe, Lawson began serving at Southwestern as an adjunct teacher for multiple classes, including principles of teaching, building church curriculum and adult education, for nine years before she was elected to the institution’s faculty as assistant professor of foundations of education in 1999. Lawson was promoted to associate professor of foundations of education in 2008, where she served until she retired in 2012.
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Lawson was born Oct. 25, 1943, in Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe. Prior to coming to the United States in 1983 to begin studies at Southwestern Seminary, Lawson taught high school English and biology. In a 2002 interview she explained she made a commitment to missions and ministry in 1967 when Bud Fray, a Southwestern Seminary alumnus and longtime missionary to Zimbabwe, preached a revival service.
God ‘directed me to ministry’
Lawson explained at the time that “God continued to put people in my life who directed me to ministry.” When Lawson left her home country in 1983 she had been serving as the coordinator of Christian education at the Baptist Union of South Africa.
In addition to a bachelor of theology (1981) from the University of South Africa, Lawson held a master of arts in religious education (1986) and a doctor of philosophy (1994), both from Southwestern Seminary.
In addition to the academic knowledge she brought to the classroom, Lawson also taught from her ministerial experience. She served as the minister of education or minister of discipleship at several churches in the Fort Worth area, including Springdale Baptist Church, Riverside Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Lakeside, and Woods Chapel Baptist Church, as well as Surrey Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Lawson also served as the director of the Curriculum Center at Southwestern from 1987 to 1993.
Lawson was a contributor to the second edition of The Teaching Ministry of the Church, an academic textbook written by the faculty of the Terry School and published in 2008.
In 2013 Lawson was awarded the Distinguished Leaders Award by the Disciple Leaders Network, which is a ministry of the Baptist Association of Christian Educators (BACE).