By Becky Killian/Editor
A special memorial service will be held Saturday to honor the life and service of Dr. John Dunaway.
The service will start at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church, where Dunaway served as senior pastor for more than 25 years.
Dunaway, who was 79 when he died Oct. 18 after a long illness, was remembered as a tireless worker by Paul Sims, who is music minister for the church. Sims said Dunaway was very active in the local community and his church as well as with the state and the larger Baptist world.
Dunaway, who received his doctorate from the Lexington Theological Seminary in 1983, served as pastor at churches in Shepherdsville and Owensboro before he came to Corbin. He also served as president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, chaired the board of the Kentucky Baptist Children’s Home and was executive board chairman for the Southern Baptist Convention for many years.
Sims credited Dunaway for his vision in recognizing a need for housing for the elderly and the mobility-impaired that led to the development of the Baptist Housing facility in Corbin, which bears Dunaway’s name.
“It was very unusual in those days for a church to build or sponsor such a facility,” Sims said.
After Dunaway “retired” from First Baptist Church, Sims said he went on to help build a new church in Henderson. Dunaway served as that church’s pastor until 2003, when he “retired” again and served as interim director of several nonprofit agencies in that area.
Saturday’s service aims to be a celebration of Dunaway’s life and service. Sims said he will share good memories he has about Dunaway as will others, some of whom can’t be there but who have sent letters that will be read during the service.
Don Robinson and Dr. Greg Earwood, who is president of the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky — which Dunaway was instrumental in establishing — will eulogize Dunaway.