Tribute To Prof Ross Langmead

The Christian Research Association wishes to pay tribute to the life and work of Prof Ross Langmead who died on Saturday 29th June 2013. Ross was professor of mission studies at Whitley College, the Baptist College of Victoria and a good friend of the CRA.

In some ways, Ross preempted the sort of work that CRA would later do. In 1978, Ross was commissioned by the Baptist Union of Victoria to do an empirical study of the Baptist churches in the western suburbs of Melbourne. The study highlighted the disparity in the resources of the churches in the eastern and western suburbs of Melbourne. Ross took on board the conclusions of his research and moved to Spotswood where he and his wife, Alison, played a major role in the local Baptist church and community over many decades.

As professor of mission studies at Whitley College, Ross had an influence well beyond the Baptist churches. He brought to the whole church of Australia a focus on mission as an ecumenical activity and as having social justice dimensions. He was the founding secretary of the Australian Association for Mission Studies. He became the editor of its journal. He organised small study groups and major national conferences. Within these contexts, Ross welcomed the contribution of the Christian Research Association and supported its work. Ross saw the importance of the contribution of a sound empirical understanding of the context of mission.

As an organiser and as a teacher, Ross will be greatly missed. His legacy is a scholarly approach to mission studies, combined with a practical, hands-on commitment to it. We express our condolences to his wife, Alison, to his children and grandchildren.

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