Dr. Ernest Pickering was a humble servant of the Lord who stood head and shoulders above many of his contemporaries as a pastor, theologian, author, and missions leader. Like Adoniram Judson, he came to embrace Baptist distinctives by conviction. Fidelity to biblical truth and its application to Christian experience became a trademark of his ministry. His keen theological insights provided an apologetic for a generation of young fundamentalists. He unapologetically defended the faith and addressed the issues of his day while maintaining a proper Christian civility. While some of the issues may be dated, the principles he brings to bear on these subjects are as poignant as ever.
Dr. Pickering (12/14/1928 – 10/16/2000) graduated from Bob Jones University in 1948 and went on to earn Th.M and Th.D degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary. He served as the executive secretary of the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA) until 1957, when his newly-acquired Baptist convictions prompted him to accept the pastorate of a Baptist church in Fridley, Minnesota. Pickering pastored several churches and served as president of Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, and later the Central Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also taught Systematic Theology. Dr. Fred Moritz observed, “Dr. Pickering challenged his students academically, instilled in them a fervor and enthusiasm for biblical preaching, and ignited a love for the souls of lost men. He was a preacher and a professor. His students did not learn theology from a dry academician, but from a man who loved God, built a growing, vibrant church, and lived his teaching and preaching.” Dr. Pickering served as Deputation Director with Baptist World Mission until he lost his eye sight in 1996, after which he continued as a field representative until his promotion to Glory in 2000. Perhaps the best known of Pickering’s writings is his book Biblical Separation, which presents the doctrinal argument for separation and illustrates it throughout Christian history.
Baptist World Mission is pleased to offer PDFs of Pickering’s booklets in the spirit of the biblical admonition to “earnestly contend for the faith” and “hold fast the form of sound words” (Jude 3, 2 Tim. 1:13).