Bill Cutrer, professor & doctor, dies suddenly

Baptist Press
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Posted: Jul 15, 2013 5:22 PM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- William R. Cutrer, a current professor and former staff physician at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, died Saturday (July 13) from cardiac-related complications.

According to his wife, Cutrer, 62, left his home for a bicycle ride around 7 a.m. and not long after, fellow cyclists found him tipped over on his bicycle. The cyclists and emergency responders tried to revive Cutrer without success.

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. informed the seminary community of Cutrer's death early Saturday afternoon,.

"Bill Cutrer was known to many as 'William Cutrer, M.D.' For many years he was a prominent obstetrician in Dallas, Texas. He delivered thousands of babies, including some of our own students," Mohler wrote.

"Later, Dr. Cutrer trained for the ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary. He came to us as a member of the faculty more than a decade ago, teaching in the areas of ministry, medical ethics, marriage and family and personal discipleship," Mohler wrote. "He was also known to the Southern Seminary family as a trusted doctor in the clinic."

Cutrer became the first medical doctor to join Southern's faculty following his successful career as an obstetrician and gynecologist in Texas. In 1999, he assumed an endowed professorship as C. Edwin Gheens Professor of Christian Ministry.

He also was director of the Gheens Center for Family Ministry. For several years during his tenure at the seminary, he served as staff physician of the school's Hagan Clinic, an on-campus limited health maintenance service staffed by a charge nurse and physician.

Mohler wrote about "first-hand" knowledge of Cutrer's medical expertise in his letter, referencing his own major surgery and ensuing complications.

"Dr. Cutrer cared for me and supervised my recovery and months of subsequent testing," Mohler wrote. "I know what a trusted physician he was, and I know what a friend he was to so many on the Southern Seminary campus.

"Bill Cutrer spent years helping thousands of babies to be born before helping scores of young Christians to be born as ministers. He was a remarkable man, and he lived a remarkable life," Mohler wrote. "He touched and influenced thousands of lives and he leaves a great legacy. He died all too soon, from our perspective. We will miss him greatly."

In addition to his duties at the seminary, Cutrer was an active pro-life advocate and practitioner in the Louisville, Ky., community. For many years, he was the medical director for A Woman's Choice Resource Center, a nonprofit special health clinic that provides pregnancy testing, ultrasounds and other services for crisis pregnancies and post-abortion support.

In a 2006 article, a reporter for The New York Times quoted Cutrer about his work with the center. Noting the variety of needs and interests that attracted women to the center, Cutrer told the reporter that the center provided ultrasounds primarily for "persuasive, not diagnostic" reasons.

"The primary purpose is to show that not a clump of tissues but a human being," Cutrer told The Times.

Cutrer spoke at conferences on topics such as marriage enrichment, bioethics and wellness lifestyles and was the author or co-author of several books, including "Sexual Intimacy in Marriage," "The Infertility Companion," "The Contraception Guidebook" and "The Church Leader's Handbook: a Guide to Counseling Families and Individuals in Crisis."

He also performed missionary work in several countries and contexts.

Cutrer held a medical degree from the University of Kentucky and a master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Following announcements of Cutrer's death, his former colleagues, students and friends filled social media with appreciation and thanksgiving for Cutrer's ministries, along with sympathy and support for his family.

Athanasios Bardis, an alumnus from Australia, expressed his appreciation for Cutrer, writing, "In introducing himself told us he was a living time bomb and could die at any moment with a condition he had in his heart."

"This did not stop him, make him fret, or cause anxiety," Bardis recounted. "He lived all out there for Jesus, pursued and continued to serve students till his last breath. His godly counsel, his living example of his life and marriage has impacted and influenced our marriage like no other."

Cutrer is survived by his wife Jane Curry Cutrer and three children, William Jr., Robert and Jennifer Snow, and six grandchildren. Cutrer was a member of Crestwood Baptist Church in the Louisville area.

Mohler also wrote, "I know you join with me in praying for Jane Cutrer and the entire family.... Let us praise God for the gift of Dr. Bill Cutrer and pray for God's grace and mercy to be very real to the Cutrer family at this time."

Visitation was scheduled for July 15 at Highlands Funeral Home in Louisville and a funeral service will be July 16 at Crestwood Baptist Church, with burial at Louisville Memorial East Cemetery.

The Cutrer family requested that expressions of sympathy be made to the Gheens Center for Family Ministry at Southern Seminary or to A Woman's Choice Resource Center.

Compiled by the communications staff of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 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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