Dr Ira "Jack"

May 31, 1946 - February 7, 2014

Lawrenceburg, Kentucky

Ira Vinson "Jack" Birdwhistell, known as "Doc" to most, was a prominent Baptist minister and professor of Religion and Church History. Descended from a long line of Kentucky ministers (including Rev. John Rice and Rev. W.D. Moore), Jack received a calling in 1964 while a Freshmen at Georgetown College. He initially served as the Youth Minister at Sand Spring Baptist Church before going on to pursue a M.Div and Ph.D. in Church History from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Jack was ordained at his home church in Lawrenceburg, Ky in May, 1970, after which he served as the Pastor at Canmer Baptist Church in Canmer, Kentucky and then at First Baptist Church in Drakesboro, Ky. Jack then became "Doc" in 1980 when he was hired as the Campus Minister at Georgetown College, his alma mater. He would go on to serve in this role for 17 years before moving to teaching full-time in the Religion Department.

Known to his students, family, and friends as a great encourager and teacher, Doc built a lasting legacy that is best summed up by his own favorite saying: "Shine On!" Doc passed away suddenly in February of 2014 - this page is our attempt to further extend his life and message.

Tags: historian and professor