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Rev. Dr. Loyd D. Melton retiring after 41 years

[DUE WEST, SC, February 6, 2024] Erskine Theological Seminary announces the retirement of the long-time and dedicated faculty member, the Reverend Doctor Loyd D. Melton. The Seminary honors Dr. Melton in the Lord for his partnership in the gospel, his extraordinary teaching ability, his excellence in leading the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program, and his pastoral commitment to the Church and to our students.

Dr. Melton, the John Montgomery Bell Professor of New Testament, retires after 41 years (1983–2024) as a professor at Erskine Theological Seminary. From 1998 until his retirement, he also served as the Director of the DMin program. Dr. Melton is known for his careful scholarship (especially his work on the biblical theme of the Kingdom of God), love for the Greek New Testament, his servant leadership, and his ability to work with diverse students in ministry. For years, his classes drew the largest number of student enrollment.

At the Seminary’s Chapel service on Friday, February 2nd, Dr. Melton was honored for his decades of faithful service to students, faculty, and staff. Colleagues offered prayers of thanksgiving, noting his positive influence on and wise counsel to everyone who sat under his teaching or entered his office door. Dr. Mark Ross gave the Homily, “Scribes of the Kingdom of Heaven,” expounding on Matthew 13:44-53. At the end of his exposition, he focused on verse 52: “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” From this description Dr. Ross drew attention to how Dr. Melton, as a teacher of the law, has clearly been a disciple in the kingdom of heaven and one who has stored up such treasures in order to share them with those around him.

Following the service, a luncheon was held at The Veranda Room in The Belmont Inn in Abbeville, SC. Family, friends, colleagues, and former students gathered to present gifts and recount stories of Dr. Melton both from inside and outside the classroom. There he was also honored with the designation of Distinguished Professor of New Testament Emeritus, highlighting the significant respect he has gained throughout his career.

Current Dean of the Seminary, Dr. Seth J. Nelson, commented: “The Lord gave Dr. Melton an incredible ability to bring together the academic study of the New Testament with robust practical application based on his more than fifty years of pastoral ministry experience. For years, his course on Romans was one of our students’ favorite courses. Students frequently remarked that Dr. Melton introduced them to Romans as both a theological masterpiece and a pastoral letter. He taught about the centrality of the theme of the Kingdom of God in the New Testament, while sharing numerous personal stories of pastoral ministry ‘in the trenches’ to illustrate life in the Kingdom. Among the faculty, Dr. Melton is loved and known for his gentle, collegial, and gracious spirit and his ability to work with diverse perspectives while firmly anchored in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Dr. R.J. Gore, Professor of Systematic Theology, Dean of the Seminary Emeritus and Dr. Melton’s long-time colleague, added: “When I became Vice President and Dean in 1998, I appealed to Dr. Melton to take on the responsibility of directing the Doctor of Ministry program. He agreed to serve as director and over the last 25 years has led that program with excellence and graciousness. He turned our small DMin program into one with a national reputation and taught us all how to work with students representing the breadth of the Body of Christ. Dr. Melton has been the exemplar of faithful service to the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am honored to have been his friend and colleague.”

Upon retirement, Dr. Melton will continue in his ministry at Erskine Theological Seminary in a part-time capacity as Distinguished Professor of New Testament Emeritus, teaching about three courses a year. He will continue to serve the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church as the Supply Pastor of Cedar Springs ARP Church (Bradley, SC), where he has pastored for the last 35 years. In retirement, Dr. Melton looks forward to reading the Greek New Testament and restoring his vintage Volkswagen Beetles.

Please join the Seminary in honoring Rev. Dr. Loyd D. Melton in the Lord upon his retirement. Dr. Richard Winston, Associate Professor of New Testament, succeeds Dr. Melton in teaching in New Testament.

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