Dr. Daniel Harrell Holcomb, 87, passed away Dec. 27, 2020, in Temple, Texas.
Visitation will be Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, at Moore Funeral Home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, beginning at 1 p.m. A graveside service will follow at 3 p.m.
Dr. Holcomb was born on Feb. 2, 1933, in San Antonio, Texas, to Daniel Charles and Vida Ora Holcomb.
A 1952 graduate of Petal High School, Dr. Holcomb would go on to earn degrees at Mississippi College, the University of Southern Mississippi, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He married Olga (Hagler) Holcomb in 1956 and together they had two sons, John Daniel and James David. Dan and Olga were married for 59 years.
Holcomb received his doctorate in church history and taught religion at the college and seminary levels for more than 50 years. From 1969-79, he was a professor and chair of the religion department at Oklahoma Baptist University. In 1979, Holcomb began a 40 year career with New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he served as chair of the division of theological and historical studies and held the John T. Westbrook Chair of Church History. During his tenure, he took sabbaticals at Oxford University, Yale University, and Vanderbilt University. At NOBTS, Holcomb earned the nickname of "Smoke'em Holcomb" for his rich and detailed lectures as well as his challenging exams. It was his Christian Devotional Classics class, however, that became his signature course and one of the most popular at the Seminary.
An ordained Baptist minister, Holcomb began an active preaching ministry at the age of 15 and later continued as a supply and interim pastor. He was noted for uniquely combining erudition, eloquence, and evangelical zeal in his sermons.
Dr. Holcomb was a devoted husband and loving father. A sports enthusiast, Holcomb coached his sons' youth basketball teams, served as the PA announcer at O.B.U. basketball games, and was an avid fan of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans.
Dr. Holcomb was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Olga, and a granddaughter, Allison. He is survived by his sons, John of Bixby, Oklahoma, and David of Belton, Texas; daughters-in-law, Jeanna and Carol; and five grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Published on December 30, 2020