Dale, Rev. Dr., Robert "Bob" Dennis, 80, of Mechanicsville, passed away on Friday, April 30, 2021 from multiple recent strokes. He is survived by his loving wife, Carrie Lou Kondy Dale; son, Cassidy Steele Dale (Amanda Dupree), daughter, Amy Dawn Dale; grandchildren, Colette and Sterling; brother, Bill (Dorothy); sister-in-law, Agnes (James Dale); sister-in-law Joanne (Paul Kondy); sister-in-law Martha Kondy McGuire (Dennis); nieces, Rachel, Cheri, Tiffany, Heather and Stephanie; nephews, Tim, Duane, Darren, and Duke. He was preceded in death by his father, Ivan, mother, Jewel, and brother, James (Agnes).
Bob Dale was born in Neosho, Missouri, and raised on his family's nearby farm. He graduated as valedictorian of his class at Stella High School, Stella, Missouri, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Oklahoma Baptist University (1962), a Bachelor of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, (1966), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in Christian Ethics from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1974) in Fort Worth, Texas. He served as pastor of Clear Creek Baptist Church in Pierce City, Missouri at 19 years of age (1959-1960), then later as youth minister at Birchman Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas (1963-1965), pastor of Joy Chapel in Wynnewood, Oklahoma (1965-1968), associate pastor of Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas (1968-1970), pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Lawrence, Kansas (1970-1972), staff counselor at Dalewood Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee (1974-1977), and interim pastor of Rowan Baptist Church in Clinton, North Carolina (1977-1978).
He served as a pastoral leadership and pastoral care expert for the Baptist Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (now Lifeway Christian Ministries) (1973-1977). He then served as professor of pastoral leadership and church ministries at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, the seminary's Director of Doctoral Studies from 1977-1989, and as the seminary's dean in 1988. His courses, on the practical aspects of serving as a pastor and leading churches, were among the seminary's most in demand
by students. He later served as an adjunct professor at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (BTSR) in Richmond, Virginia, and at many other seminaries over the years. He helped found and served on the governing boards of several seminaries. He founded the Creative Church Leadership Center and the Young Leaders Program (which provided advanced leadership training for pastors already in service) while serving on the staff of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, a resource agency that served more than a thousand churches (1989-
2009). He retired in 2009 as the Virginia Baptist Mission Board's Assistant Executive DirectorChief Operating Officer. Along the way he also earned certification as a Christian Leadership Coach from Coach Approach Ministries and International Coach Federation and as a Master Gardener from the Virginia Extension Service of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
In retirement he continued to teach, coach, and mentor. He wrote the second volume of his retirement community's history (Covenant Woods, Mechanicsville, Virginia). He served as CoIntentional Interim Leader of Dover Baptist Association in Virginia (2017-2019) and at 78 years of age earned his certification as a professional futurist from the Foresight Academy of the Haslam School of Business at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (2018).
He trained pastors to serve others faithfully, capably, and well. He authored more than 20 books on pastoral leadership, hundreds of articles on the same, mentored hundreds of pastors and church leaders, taught thousands of seminary students, and touched the lives of many more. He loved playing with his grandchildren, Colette and Sterling. He was known for his good stories, humor, kindness, gentleness, and generosity of spirit. He donated his bone marrow to his brother Jim in 1992. He deeply loved -- and was beloved by -- his family, friends, and generations of Baptist ministers. Carrie, his wife of 58 years, reminded him literally until his dying day that she was grateful she married him rather than Willy Zeiser.
The family will receive friends from 6pm to 8pm on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at Sandston Baptist Church, 100 West Williamsburg Rd, Sandston, VA 23150. Interment will be private with a memorial to follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rev. Dr. Robert D. Dale Education Fund, in care of the Virginia Baptist Foundation, 2828 Emerywood Pkwy., Henrico, VA 23294, or online at www.vbfinc.org
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