Edward Everett Thornton

THORNTON, EDWARD EVERETT, 82, died Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at Meadowview Health and Rehabilitation. He was born in 1925 in Iloilo City, Philippine Islands to a couple of young American Baptist Missionaries who helped establish what has become the Central Philippine University. The grandson of a frontier circuit preacher, Edward called himself a "third generation missionary." His calling was to pastoral care and theological education. His professional life was focused on developing clinical pastoral education (CPE) as an integral part of theological education. In 1980 he became the first occupant of the Lawrence and Charlotte Hoover chair of Pastoral Care at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His influence can be felt today through the ongoing ministry of chaplains, pastoral counselors and pastors in the Louisville area and throughout the world. Of his work he said, "I plunged into the psychology of religious experience, exploring, with my students, boundaries with transpersonal psychology and contemplative spirituality." Retiring in 1994, Edward began to write poetry and became a rose gardener. His neighbors have enjoyed the roses throughout the years. After health issues began to demand attention, he wrote "facing high risk surgery in the Summer of 2000, I confided to close friends, "I have a ripening appetite to explore the 'other side.'" I am whole heartedly confident that God is within each of us our faithful friend." He is survived by his wife, Betty Raburn Thornton; his daughter, Katherine Thornton Williams; and son-in-law, Brent Williams. A service to celebrate Edward's life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 27, 2008 at Crescent Hill Baptist Church, 2800 Frankfort Avenue, where he was a member since 1975. Visitation will precede the service at 10 a.m. in Heritage Hall. The family requests that memories and stories be shared on the enhanced obituary available at The Courier-Journal. Memorial gifts may be given to Kentucky Refugee Ministries www.kyrm.org or EDGE Ministries - water purification projects www.edge outreach.com Arrangments entrusted with Arch L. Heady-Cralle Funeral Home.

Published in The Courier-Journal on Sept. 21, 2008