Former Wayland President Dr. Roy McClung dies


PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University community is remembering Dr. Roy C. McClung, who served as the school’s eighth president from 1963-1980. Dr. McClung died Tuesday. He was living in Louisville, KY.

Funeral services and visitation for Dr. McClung will be held at First Baptist Church on Monday, April 1. Visitation will take place in the church parlor at 1 p.m. with the funeral service following at 2:30 p.m.

Dr. McClung was familiar with Wayland when he took over as president in 1963. He had served on the Wayland Board of Trustees while pastor at First Baptist Church in Plainview the previous five years.

Dr. Roy McClungRoy McClung grew up in rural Oklahoma, born in Frederick in 1917 to Joseph and Ethel McClung. The family moved to Manitou in 1922 where he graduated from high school in 1934. For the next three years, he owned and operated a filling station in Manitou before heading out to study biology at Oklahoma Baptist University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1941.

While in school, McClung was ordained to the ministry. His first pastorate was a small church near his home town of Manitou. He served at South Deep Red Baptist Church from 1938-1940, then moved to Dale Baptist Church where he served as pastor until 1941.

In December of 1941, McClung and his new bride, Genelle Bucklew, moved to Louisville, where he attended graduate school at Southern Seminary. While working on a master’s degree in theology, McClung held several small pastorates in nearby Indiana. He completed his ThM in 1944 and immediately began work on a doctorate, which he completed in 1948. He continued to pastor churches in Kentucky before moving back to Oklahoma to take the pulpit at First Baptist Ada in 1954, where he stayed until moving to FBC Plainview in 1958. McClung’s move to the Wayland presidency in 1963 ushered in the second-longest presidential term in school history, running for 17 years.

During his tenure, Dr. McClung led Wayland to pursue distance education. In 1971, Wayland developed a program for police officers under the national Law Enforcement Education Program. Wayland soon began offering classes in the basement of the Dr. Roy McClungcourthouse in Lubbock in 1972. This program soon branched out to include military involvement and in 1974, Wayland opened its first external campus at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls. Dr. McClung was instrumental in opening campuses in Lubbock, Amarillo and Hawaii as well.  Wayland’s involvement in education has continued to grow as the university now operates 13 campuses in Texas, Arizona, Alaska, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Hawaii, as well as offering degree programs in Kenya, Africa, and online.
Several building were also added under Dr. McClung’s leadership, including Harral Memorial Auditorium, the art and music wings on the auditorium, Moody Science Building, Hutcherson Center, the Llano Estacado Museum, and Brown Chapel. The Nunn Gymnasium was also remodeled to house the school’s business program.
McClung resigned in 1980 and moved to Lubbock where he continued to raise funds for the Roy C. and Genelle McClung University Center. Dr. McClung spent the next 15 years serving as interim pastor and pastor of the International Baptist Church in Brussels, Belgium, at three different times (1983, 1989, 1996). He moved around, including stops in Dallas, then back to Lubbock where he continued to raise funds for the new library and taught classes for Wayland’s Lubbock campus.

On April 12, 1995, Dr. McClung’s wife, Genelle, passed away at the age of 75. They have three children, Dr. Michael McClung, Nancy Chaddick and Dr. Mark McClung, as well as three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

McClung returned to Louisville and in 1998 married Martha Elizabeth Moseley Hartman, whom he had known since high school. Martha is still living in Louisville.

In 1999, McClugn was awarded the Texas Baptist Elder Statesman Award. He stayed involved with Wayland throughout the years and was present for the university’s centennial celebration in 2008-09. Each year, Wayland presents the Roy C. McClung Award and Scholarship to a deserving future educator. Wayland also presents an endowed scholarship in the name of Roy and Genelle McClung each year.