NASHVILLE (BP) -- Leonard E. Hill, who served the Southern Baptist Convention most notably as managing editor of the former Baptist Program leadership magazine, died Feb. 18 in a Nashville nursing home. He was 83.

Hill edited the Baptist Program monthly outreach to SBC pastors from 1957 until 1993 when the publication was succeeded by the current SBC LIFE. Hill continued to serve the SBC in the Executive Committee's then-program planning department and later at Seminary Extension.

Wilmer C. Fields, Executive Committee vice president for public relations from 1957 until his retirement in 1987, hailed Hill as a longtime SBC servant.

"Leonard Hill's entire career was in service to Southern Baptists," Fields said. "He was always an efficient, congenial worker, an ardent sports fan, and an avid tennis player."

An Oklahoma native, Hill served in the pastorate from 1949-55, first at Dover Baptist Chapel in Dover, Okla. and later at Meridian Baptist Church in Comanche, Okla. He was assistant editor of the All-Church Press in Fort Worth, Texas, from 1956-57 before beginning his career with the SBC Executive Committee.

Hill held a journalism degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee and bachelor and doctorate of divinity degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

Survivors include his sister Elizabeth Wright, his brother Leslie Hill, daughters Cheryl Gentry and Karen Ross, and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Katie Lou Hill.

Hill's funeral was held Feb. 23 at First Baptist Church in Nashville.

Compiled by Baptist Press staff writer Diana Chandler. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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