Sunday, March 29, 2020
Dear Candler Community,
It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that our beloved friend, Jack Bandy, passed away this afternoon from complications of COVID-19. He was 93 years old and was being treated at Emory University Hospital. His family reports that he, and they from afar, received the best care possible.
A beloved member of Candler’s Committee of 100 since the 1980s, Jack became supporter of Candler out of an enduring commitment to The United Methodist Church and a desire to see the church and its people thrive. A titan of business in his home of Dalton Georgia, Jack blessed many organizations with his philanthropy and his partnership. Over the decades, Candler has borne witness to the impact of his generosity.
In 1986, along with his late wife, Aggie, Jack established the Bandy Chair in Preaching at Candler, igniting the development of a premiere preaching program at Candler. Holders of the Bandy Chair have made an indelible mark on generations of Candler students and congregations across the United States, through the unique contributions of such voices as Dr. Robert Kysar, Dr. Fred Craddock, Dr. Tom Long, and current chair-holder, Dr. Teresa Fry Brown.
The Bandy’s gift also launched the Whiteside Lectures in Preaching. This program provides continuing education in the art of preaching to those already in the ministry and seeks to bring to Candler persons whose fields of expertise, while lying outside preaching, can inform, broaden and challenge the discipline. Such notables as Brevard Childs, Robert Shaw, Thomas Troegger, Samuel D. Proctor, Dwight Andrews, Kathleen Norris, John Witte, Brian Wren, Kenny Leon, and Barbara Brown Taylor have lectured or preached for the Whiteside Program. A further extension of the Bandy’s commitment to ensuring strong ministerial leadership for the future of the church is found through the Bandy Fellowships in Preaching, designed to encourage qualified persons to enter the ministry of teaching preaching. Recipients, former doctoral students in Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion, served as teaching assistants in Candler preaching classes and worked closely with Candler’s preaching faculty.
In 2014, Bandy’s determination to see pastors and their congregations continue learn and grow inspired his partnership with Candler to establish the Aggie and Jack Bandy Doctor of Ministry Endowment. The fund provides critical scholarship support to ministers seeking strengthen the connections between theology and their ministry.
A man with a fierce spirit in the best possible sense, Jack’s faith grounded and guided him. I personally will miss his quick wit, his sharp intellect, his care and concerns for others, his inimitable Southern charm, and his enduring confidence in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. While he will surely be missed by all those who knew and loved him, his legacy lives on through the remarkable students and faculty he has supported, and the impactful legacy they will in turn create over the course of their own lives.
Please join me extending our thoughts and prayers to Jack’s family, including his lovely wife Marg and his children and grandchildren, to members of Dalton First United Methodist who share in our grief and, to the town of Dalton, which has lost a remarkable force for good in the community. More information will be shared about a memorial service when such a gathering becomes possible.
Grace and Peace,
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Mary Lee Hardin Willard Dean, Candler School of Theology