Jim Mankin, long-time Gospel minister, ACU professor, dies
For immediate release
December 16, 1998 ABILENE, Texas -- Dr. Jim Mankin, associate professor and past chairman of the Department of Undergraduate Bible and Ministry at Abilene Christian University, died Dec. 16, 1998, in an Abilene hospital after an eight-month battle with cancer. He was 62. Mankin also served as preaching minister of the Westgate Church of Christ in Abilene.
Services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at University Church of Christ in Abilene with Dr. Royce Money, ACU President presiding. Singing will be led by Nick Boone of Franklin, Tenn.
At Dr. Mankin's request, the carillon in the ACU Tower of Light will be played during the service. Interment will be at Elmwood Memorial Park in Abilene. Arrangements are being handled by Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home-Hwy. 277, Abilene. (915-677-4355)
Dr. Royce Money, ACU president, said, "Dr. Jim Mankin was one of our most popular Bible professors. His gentle and positive spirit and his ability to connect with the students were a powerful Christian witness. The spirit of Christ that he exemplified to everyone he met will live on in our hearts. We are all better people because Jim touched our lives."
Since joining the ACU faculty in 1987, Mankin had become an enormously popular Bible teacher, teaching large sections of freshmen Bible classes each semester. He also spoke frequently in ACU's daily chapel services, and was known for his innovative presentations. On one occasion, he dressed in the garb of the biblical era to address students as an elderly Apostle John.
Mankin also taught upper division courses in ministry, Christian worship and Christian leadership, the latter two growing out of his scholarly interests.
Dr. David Wray, chairman of the Department of Undergraduate Bible at ACU, said, "Not only did Jim know students' names, he often knew their hopes, their pain, their dreams and their hearts. Whether he was in the classroom, office or at a student event, he cherished sharing life with his students. His creative teaching, phenomenal story telling and love of scripture has left an indelible mark on the lives of thousands of Abilene Christian University students."
Born May 18, 1936, in Atlanta, Ga., Mankin was a 1958 graduate of David Lipscomb University in Nashville where he met his wife, the former Deloris Burch of Salem, Ohio. He earned a master's in Christian education degree >from Emory University in Atlanta in 1960 and a doctor of ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., in 1987. He also had studied at the Divinity School at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
His publications in the area of hymnody and church leadership included frequent articles in "The Hymn, Discipliana and Restoration Quarterly." He wrote regularly for Gospel Advocate, Power for Today devotional guide and was a past editor of the "Tennessee Valley" edition of the "Christian Chronicle." A book, Prescription for Troubled Hearts, was published in 1984 by Gospel Advocate, Co. The 20th Century Christian Foundation honored him as Christian Educator of the Year in 1989.
Before joining the ACU faculty, Mankin preached for the Madison Church of Christ, the largest Church of Christ congregation in the U.S., from 1979-86. During his last four years at Madison he was the featured speaker on "Amazing Grace Bible Class," a nationally distributed television program, begun by the legendary Dr. Ira North, long-time minister at the Madison congregation. Nick Boone, minister of music there at that time, worked with the pair in that ministry.
Other full-time ministry included preaching for 13 years for the Central Church of Christ in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he also taught fifth and 10th grade Bible at Coyd Buchanan Christian School. From 1960-66 he preached for the Central Church of Christ in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was an elder at Highland Church of Christ in Abilene from 1988-97.
A popular preacher and workshop leader, Mankin had preached in 35 states and had spoken on Lectureships at ACU, Lipscomb, Harding University, Pepperdine University, Lubbock Christian University and Oklahoma Christian University.
Since 1983, he had served as director of the Blue Ridge Encampment in Asheville, N.C. Mankin had attended the encampment for 36 of its 49-year existence, first teaching children's classes, then classes for young adults, then adults. During his early association with Blue Ridge, approximately 250 individuals participated in the week-long encampment. More than 800 now attend each year.
Mankin was a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, Disciples of Christ Historical Society, Hymn Society of North America and the Evangelical Theological Society. In Madison and Chattanooga, he was active in Civitan Clubs, serving as chapter president in both cities. During his presidency in Chattanooga, more than $1 million was raised by the club for the neonatal ICU unit at Baroness Erlanger Hospital. He was honored as Civitan of the Year there in 1986 and was International Chaplain in 1974-75.
Mankin is survived by his wife of 35 years, Deloris (Burch), and by his daughter and son-in-law, Alice and Scott LaMascus of Americus, Ga.; two sons Jeffrey Mankin of Oxford, Miss., Ben Mankin of Nashville, and Ben's fiancˇ Amanda Day of Houston; by his father, Cecil Mankin of Atlanta, Ga.; a brother, Sam Mankin, and sister, Linda Thompkins Mankin, both of Atlanta; by two grandsons, Parker and Hadley LaMascus of Americus, Ga.; a niece and nephew, Ashley and Andy Mankin of Atlanta; and by many aunts, uncles and cousins throughout the Middle Tennessee area. He was preceded in death by his mother, Mildred Mankin.
The family has asked that memorial gifts be made to the Mankin Bible Scholarship Fund at Abilene Christian University, ACU Box 29132, Abilene, TX 79699-9132, or to Hendrick Hospice Care, P.O. Box 1922, Abilene 79604.
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