Rex Allwin Turner Sr.
Co-Founder Of Montgomery
Gospel Advocate Sketch From 1966
Rex A. Turner, one of the Gospel Advocate’s staff writers, is the president of Alabama Christian College and the minister and also an elder of the Panama Street church of Christ. He has served with the college and the church for a period of twenty-four years each. He is one of the founders of the college.
Brother Turner married the former Opal Shipp in 1931, which was in the heart of the depression. He worked for fifty cents per day whenever and wherever he could get work. The Turners have three children: Mrs. Jesse C. Long, Atlanta, Georgia; Mrs. Philip Hargis, McMinnville, Tennessee; and Rex A. Turner, Jr., Montgomery, Alabama. The Turners have five grandchildren. The older daughter Jacquline of Atlanta, has three children; and Mary of McMinnville, has two. Rex, Jr. is married to the former Barbara Parker. To the full delight of his father, Rex, Jr. is preparing to preach the gospel and to teach in a Christian school. Brother Turner commented: "When the nurse announced that I was the father of a large baby boy, I thanked God. I prayed that night that he might be healthy, that he might be of good average intelligence—I think that is all he has—and that he might make a humble gospel preacher. Since that night there have been only a few nights when I have failed to pray that he might be a humble gospel preacher."
Brother Turner is very fond of his sons-in-law. He thinks they are high caliber young men, but he never lets an opportunity pass to make them the subjects of some joke. In comparison, he says that his daughter-in-law is sweet and much better looking than are the sons-in-law.
Commenting on his training for the ministry, Brother Turner said: "I did not have the opportunity to attend a Christian school. In fact I knew very little about Christian schools when I began trying to preach. During the year prior to my graduation from high school, I heard of David Lipscomb College. After a year at the University of Alabama and after I had married, I learned of Freed-Hardeman College. When I preached my first sermon, I had never seen, so far as I know, a copy of the Gospel Advocate. If I had seen a copy, I did not know what it was.
"Though I did not attend one of our Christian colleges, I had some of the greatest teachers of the brotherhood. There was first Pryde E. Hinton who preached at my home church some two Sundays each month, then Charlie Nichols, then there was the late J. H. Horton who came for meetings each summer. When I began to preach, I stayed in the home of Gus Nichols and studied under him. I paid no room and board. After all, the depression was on, and Brother Nichols had only eight children to clothe, feed, and educate; and he was being paid $25 per week by the Jasper church. In a short time I came to know and study under Brethren John T. Lewis, G. A. Dunn, B. C. Goodpasture, Foy E. Wallace, Jr., and later the late H. Leo Boles.
"I wore out three Ford automobiles travelling great distances to hear those men preach and debate. I carried my notebook, and I sat on a front pew. I took notes on their sermons; I managed to stay in their company after the services and to get invitations to the homes where they were invited for dinner; I went to their rooms and asked questions; I kept a list of books that they recommended for my library; and I read for them when they were reviewing their sermons prior to the services. When G. A. Dunn, especially, became too bored with having me around, he would have me to begin reading from a certain portion of the Scriptures. Often he would doze while I was reading, but if I stopped, he would awake and start me to reading again. I read and memorized N. B. Hardeman's "Tabernacle Sermons."
"All of these men made contributions to my life and to my work. I am grateful to them, and I want to honor them in every way I can. I believe our young preachers today can profit equally as much as I did by studying under our great preachers of this generation."
Brother Turner, however, has received considerable formal training. He attended the University of Alabama, Jacksonville State College, Samford University, Jones Law School, and Auburn University. He holds a B.A. degree from Samford University, an LL.B. degree from Jones Law School, and the M.S. and Ed.D. degrees from Auburn University Since completing his doctorate at Auburn, he has done almost a year's work in Harding College's Graduate School of Bible and Religion In fact Brother Turner has done ten years of college work since he married, and during that time Sister Turner has reared a family and has done more than five years of college work. She holds the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Auburn University.
-X, Gospel Advocate, May 12, 1966, page 292.
Obituary From Gospel Advocate
TURNER MONTGOMERY, ALA. - Rex Allwin Turner Sr. died Jan. 16. He was 87. Turner was a co-founder of the Montgomery Bible School in 1942. The name of the school was later changed to Montgomery Bible College, then to Alabama Christian College, and now Faulkner University.
After 31 years as president of Alabama Christian College, Turner established what is now Southern Christian University. He served as its president until his retirement in 1963, when he was named chancellor.
He was a longtime minister of the Panama Street Church of Christ in Montgomery.
During the 1999 lectures at Faulkner University, Turner was honored for his many years of service as a gospel preacher and Christian educator.
Turner was preceded in death by his wife, Opal, and daughter, Jacqueline Long. He is survived by a daughter, Mary Hargis; a son, Rex A. Jr.; a sister, Elee Brooks; two brothers, James and E.J; seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
—Gospel Advocate, February, 2001, page 45
Directions To The Grave Of Rex A. Turner Sr.
Rex A. Turner, Sr. is buried in the beautiful Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Alabama. Just east of central Montgomery, take I-85 to Exit 3, Ann St. Exit, and go north. Go five streets to Highland and turn right. Go to the stop sign and you will be facing the entrance to Greenwood Cemetery. Enter the cemetery and go to the top of the hill. As you go up the hill note the section to the right with three crosses in the middle. When topping the hill go into the circle where the grave of the late former Governor and politician of the mid-20th century, George C. Wallace is buried. Take the first right and begin going down the hill (Now the three crosses on on your right). Take the first street to the right. Go to the fourth tree and stop the car. The grave will be in to your right, one of the first markers you come to. Just next to the Turners are his son, Rex A. Turner Jr. Other preachers of note buried at Greenwood are J.M. Barnes, Clyde E. Fulmer, and V.P. Black