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Reverend Dr. H. Dale Jackson (December 7, 1930 – February 15, 2003) was a Baptist minister, denominational leader and ethicist. He is most remembered for his efforts in promoting the historic distinctives of the Baptist faith; among those being the ideals of absolute separation of church and state, the authority of the Holy Scriptures, the autonomy of the local church, the priesthood of the individual, perseverance of the saints and the ordinances of believer's baptism by immersion and Holy Communion. For twenty years, he served as Senior Pastor of the Overland Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri.
Herman Dale Jackson was the third son of Herman William and Annie Rachel Dunton Jackson, born December 7, 1930 near Chesapeake, in rural southwestern Missouri. Jackson's ancestry included English, Scotch-Irish, French Acadian (Louisiana 'Cajun') and Missouri Sioux. His forebears came to what is now Missouri in 1796, when the land was still under the rule of Spain. The religious preferences of his immediate ancestry were Baptist, Methodist and Disciples of Christ. His great-great-grandfather, the Rev. Jason E. Dunton, was a Methodist minister who had been excommunicated for practicing spiritualism and lecturing on socialism in the late 19th century.Jackson's parents were tenant farmers during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. His father, who led congregational singing in the church, had been raised in the rural Southern Missionary Baptist tradition; his mother, a Sunday School teacher, had converted to that faith in childhood. Jackson was baptised into the First Baptist Church of Stotts City, Missouri, at the age of nine.Jackson's lifelong appreciation for the outdoors stemmed from his experiences growing up in the rural Ozarks. He attended Stotts City School and Mt. Vernon High School and married Frances Reinsmith. They had four children.Jackson had planned to become a cattle rancher, but made a decision to enter the ministry at the age of twenty. He was ordained at the First Baptist Church of Joplin, Missouri in November 1951. He received degrees from Southwest Baptist University and Ouachita Baptist University, and did graduate studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was a member of Alpha Kappa, an academic sociological fraternity. He received a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree from Southwest Baptist University, a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Missouri Baptist University and was honored by William Jewell College with a Walter Pope Binns fellowship and election to the Charles Haddon Spurgeon Society.During his childhood, he was called "Dale" in order to distinguish him from his father, Herman. While in college, he was designated "H. Dale" to differentiate him from another student named Dale Jackson. The name stayed with him for the rest of his life. In his later years, he spent time in Great Britain on a study fellowship with Missouri Baptist University, visiting the sites of early Baptist martyrdom and gathering data on the history of the English Baptists.
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