HERRING, BENJAMIN OSCAR
HERRING, BENJAMIN OSCAR (1889–1973). Benjamin Oscar Herring, teacher, college administrator, and pastor, was born on January 28, 1889, in Bardwell, Texas, to Stephen A. and Martha Jane (Loveless) Herring. After graduating as valedictorian of his Waxahachie High School class, he entered the University of Texas. He later transferred to Baylor University, where he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees. He received his Th.M. and Ph.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Herring began his teaching career as a Latin teacher in the Palmer public school system in 1909. On October 20, 1909, he married Bertha Shiplett of Waxahachie. He was principal at Ovilla from 1910 to 1912. While doing advanced work at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, he was assistant pastor of the East Baptist Church in Louisville (1918–19) and pastor of the First Baptist Church, Pembroke, Kentucky (1919–21). With completion of the necessary qualifications, he became an instructor in Bible at Baylor University and rose to professor (1935). In 1944 the Broadman Press published his book, The Prophets.
Herring founded the J. B. Tidwell Bible Library at Baylor on February 1, 1934, and served as library custodian until August 1945. In 1936 he originated the campaign for funds for the Tidwell Bible Building at Baylor, and for eight years he served as the campaign director. He was also faculty sponsor of foreign mission volunteers at Baylor. While he was teaching there he was pastor of the Shiloh and China Springs Baptist churches (1921–23), West Baptist Church in West, Texas (1923–24), Robinson Baptist Church (1924–32), Bosqueville Baptist Church (1925–28), and again the Shiloh Baptist Church (1928–39). He was interim pastor at at least thirteen other churches. He served as supply pastor at the University Baptist Church, Austin; Broadway Baptist Church, Fort Worth; First Baptist Church, Hearne; Calvary Baptist Church, Berkeley, California; First Southern Baptist Church, Tucson, Arizona; and First Southern Baptist Church, Concord, California.
Herring was president of the Latham Springs Encampment for three years. He was moderator of the Waco Baptist Association (1936–38) and served as chairman of the Commission of Mexican Mission Work in the Waco Association. He was also a member of the Executive Board of the Waco Association. He was the recording secretary-treasurer of the Executive Board of District Fourteen of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (1935–39), a charter member of the Baylor chapter of the National Scholarship Society, and a charter member of the Texas Beta Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu.
He left Baylor in 1946 to become president of Golden Gate Seminary in Berkeley, California. While there he led in the purchase of the school's Berkeley campus and in securing its charter to grant all theological degrees. He also prepared and presented to the Baptist General Convention of California the memorial to the Southern Baptist Convention that resulted in the acceptance of the school as a Southern Baptist Seminary. He retired from the seminary presidency in 1952 and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he served as president of Grand Canyon College from April 1, 1952, to September 1, 1954. He was instrumental in securing accreditation by the University of Arizona at Tucson and was also a leader in the purchase of an additional eighty acres adjoining the original campus. Shortly after the death of his first wife, with whom he had two sons, he retired to Waco. After marrying Dora Mae Carey Perry on July 2, 1955, he moved to Brownwood, where he served as professor of Bible and head of the Bible department at Howard Payne College (now Howard Payne University) from September 1955 until May 1960. At Howard Payne he was the faculty sponsor of the ministerial association.
Herring was a York Rite and thirty-second-degree Scottish Rite Mason. He served as chaplain of Brownwood Masonic Lodge 279 and was a member of the Malta team of the Brownwood Commandery of the Knights Templar and the thirty-second-degree team. He was also a Rotarian in Waco. He died in Waco on July 22, 1973.
William Wright Barnes, The Southern Baptist Convention, 1845–1953 (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1954).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Jack W. Herring, "HERRING, BENJAMIN OSCAR," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhe52), accessed December 07, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.