Feb. 1, 1934 – Sept. 22, 2013
H.K. Neely, Jr. peacefully completed his earthly journey on Sept. 22, 2013 in Waco with his devoted family by his side.
A Tribute Remembrance Service was Thursday, Oct. 26, at Hardin-Simmons University's Logsdon Chapel in Abilene.
Born Feb. 1, 1934, in Whitesboro, he was the first child of H.K. and Edna Neely, later idolized by his three sisters: Patsy, Carolyn and Sue Ann.
He met his future bride, Barbara, at Cisco High School where he graduated as class Salutatorian.
He attended Baylor University, earning a B.A. in Religion and History in 1954. Subsequently, he attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, first receiving his Bachelor of Divinity degree and then a Doctorate of Theology in church history in 1963.
In the summer of 1966, he pursued post-doctoral work at Harvard University.
Dr. Neely surrendered his life to the ministry at the age of 14 and began his ministerial career at Spring Creek Baptist Church near Meridian, then moved on to pastor at Necessity Baptist Church and First Baptist Church, Rising Star, fostering his life-long special fondness for the rural church.
He continued to preach throughout his life for revivals, interim pastorates, and by special invitation.
In the fall of 1963, he moved with his family to Bolivar, Mo. where he became the chair of the religion department of Southwest Baptist College (University), later founding the Courts Redford School of Theology, where he was the inaugural recipient of the Orien B.
Hendrex Distinguished Teacher Award.
His family moved back to Texas in 1980 where he founded the Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. Then, in 1998, he returned to Southwest Baptist University to serve as Vice President for Denominational Relations and Dean of the Redford School of Theology.
Dr. Neely was instrumental in establishing parameters still in place for university ministerial in-service guidance practices.
With a passionate and enthusiastic approach to ministerial education, he dedicated his entire professional career to training and mentoring those dedicated to a life of ministry.
Along with numerous other awards and tributes, in 2006 he received the prestigious Lewis W. Newman Award bestowed by the Association of Ministry Guidance Professionals given in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the field of supervised ministry.
In 2002, he accepted the position of Executive Director of the newly formed Baptist General Convention of Missouri, serving in this position as a full-time volunteer for two years.
An outdoor enthusiast, H.K. delighted in bicycling the Texas bike trails and the Katy trail in Missouri, hiking in the Colorado mountains, sailing on area lakes, and visiting the Texas Hill Country; yet, he also enjoyed quiet time reading and writing, preaching and working, in fact, preaching until the very end.
However, most importantly, he always treasured every opportunity to spend time with his family whom he loved above all else.
Believing in embracing life and living it to its fullest and savoring every precious moment, he was an inspiration to all he touched, admonishing “The road to Someday leads to Never.”
He is predeceased by his parents, H.K. and Edna Neely, and his sister, Sue Ann Weise.
Dr. Neely is survived by his loving wife, Barbara, with whom he had just celebrated 60 years of marriage on July 18; and his four children and their spouses: Robert Neely and wife, Melody, Amy Jackson and husband, Tom Fowlston, Susan Kelly Johnston and husband, Bill, and Kara Goble and husband, Rod. Additionally, he is survived by his sisters: Patsy Emsley and husband, Don, and Carolyn Cook and husband, Bob; brother-in-law, Delburt Schaefer and wife, Joyce, and brother-in-law, Frank Weise and wife, Danise; along with grandchildren: Ryan Stewart Kelly, Amy Johnston Cheatham and husband, Travis, Grayson Johnston, James Jackson, Stacy Jackson Reddicks, Scott Goble, Grant Goble and Lee Goble; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, and Emy the cat.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to one of the following: Logsdon School of Theology Graduate Program, Attn: Bob Ellis, P.O. Box 16325, Abilene, TX 79698; Baylor Singing Seniors, Attn: Dick Waldren, 9006 Regal Dr., Waco, TX 76712; Neely Family – A V Pro, Inc. Scholarship in Theatre Arts, Baylor University Theatre, One Bear Place #97262, Waco, TX 76798-7262.
The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our “Memorial Guestbook” at www.WilkirsonHatchBailey.com.