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Beloved religion professor dies

September 9, 2013 : Liberty University News Service

Dr. Paul Fink, longtime Liberty University School of Religion professor, with President Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Provost Ron Godwin at the univeristy's annual Years of Service banquet in July.
Dr. Paul Fink (center), who taught 34 years at Liberty University School of Religion, with Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Ron Godwin (left) and President Jerry Falwell, Jr. as he is honored at Liberty's annual Years of Service Banquet in July.

Dr. Paul Fink, 83, a longtime professor at Liberty University School of Religion, died Saturday, Sept. 7 at Lynchburg General Hospital. Fink, of Madison Heights, Va., served at Liberty for 34 years, teaching students to both study and teach Scripture. He was very popular among his students and colleagues.

“Dr. Paul Fink was a truly esteemed colleague, mentor, and friend to faculty and students alike,” said Dr. Gabriel Etzel, interim dean of the School of Religion. “His passion for teaching Scripture both inside and outside of the classroom is a model we encourage the entire School of Religion faculty to follow. He poured himself into his students, and it is nearly impossible to convey the influence Dr. Fink had over our faculty and students. His legacy is engrained in the very fabric of our school because of how many students and faculty he has mentored. He was a great friend, and he will be missed.”

Fink is fondly remembered for his quick wit and humor, making the most difficult material in his courses engaging and interesting.

“The sheer number of students impacted directly or indirectly by Dr. Fink is staggering,” alumnus Joseph Short (’04), of Gretna, Va., wrote on Fink’s guest book at www.Legacy.com. “The man's impact on the church will never be fully realized this side of eternity, but will be felt for years, dare I say generations, to come.”

Fink retired from teaching in May. He was honored during Liberty’s annual Years of Service Banquet in July.

“His knowledge in inductive Bible study and homiletics helped create the curriculum for the School of Religion,” President Jerry Falwell, Jr. said of Fink at the banquet. “A former student in Dr. Fink’s Greek 201 class said, ‘[Dr. Fink] kept the class interesting and meaningful. [He offered] lots of wisdom laced with humor and I still use his teachings 28 years later.’”

Fink was a U.S. Navy veteran and served in the Korean War. He is survived by his wife, Mary Louana Allen Fink, of 62 years. They have six children, 20 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held Wednesday at Thomas Road Baptist Church at 11 a.m. Interment with military honors by American Legion Post 16 will follow at Fort Hill Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Hancock Welcome Center on Liberty’s campus.

Those wishing to make memorial contributions are asked to consider Liberty University School of Religion. Share a memory or sign his guest book at www.Legacy.com.