First Baptist Church to host monthly book review


Lynn Worthen Jr. of El Dorado will review “Prodigal God” by Timothy Keller at 10 a.m. Saturday in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church, 6501 Hazel St.

Keller’s best-selling book is built upon the famous parable of the prodigal son. Keller has taught from this parable passage many times over the years and says that he has seen more people encouraged, enlightened and helped by this passage when he explained the true meaning of it than any other text.

The book is an easy read, laid out in seven brief chapters, which aim to uncover the extravagant grace of God as revealed through two characters illustrating two kinds of people in the world who try to find happiness and fulfillment. Keller’s book is intelligent and winsome, combining thoughtful reflection on both text and culture with heart searching application. The book is illustrated with a liberal use of stories and quotations from literature, movies, and arts that is likely to make a very large impact that will last a long time.

Worthen was born in Herrin, Ill., and graduated from Forrest City High School in Forrest City. He earned a bachelor of arts degree with an emphasis in history from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla.; a master of divinity degree in history and religion from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; a master of education from Central State University in Edmond, Okla., and a doctor of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Seminary. He did post doctoral study in counseling at Henderson State University, University of Southern Arkansas and University of Arkansas at Little Rock to become a licensed associate counselor.

He was licensed and ordained as a Baptist minister, serving as pastor of churches in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas before retiring from El Dorado First Baptist in December 2011. Most recently he served as interim pastor of Pine Bluff First Baptist Church from May 2012-December 2012.

Worthen is married to Mary Crews, assistant professor emerita of music at Ouachita Baptist University at Arkadelphia and they are the proud parents of Lyndell Worthen III and his wife, Allison, and grandparents of Caroline and Will Worthen of Little Rock.

Worthen has received many outstanding honors and awards to his credit and has given many outstanding denominational, community and associational services. He continues to be involved academically, as chairman of many state boards and committees. His hobbies are golf, reading and dog-handling.

Following the book review, door prizes and refreshments will be furnished. The public is invited to attend.