Southwestern Baptist adjunct professor, wife, struck and killed by drag racer

A Baptist theologian and 'just a good guy' and his wife were killed Friday, leaving behind four children.

(RNS) — A Baptist professor and his wife were killed in a fiery collision with an alleged drag racer on Friday morning (Nov. 6).

According to news reports, Ben Arbour and his wife, Meg, were driving home from a date early Friday morning when a car that was racing on Risinger Road in Fort Worth struck their vehicle.

Their car burst into flames, and both the Arbours and the other driver were killed.

The Arbours, who were both 39, left behind four children, ages 10 to 16.

Arbour, who earned a doctorate from the University of Bristol, was a two-time graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and taught there as an adjunct professor in the spring of 2020. He also taught philosophy at Weatherford College.

A finance manager at Sewell Lexus in Forth Worth, Arbour also wrote about a wide range of topics, including open theism and the nature of evil.

“Ben was a brilliant and gracious person,” Brandon Smith, assistant professor of theology and New Testament at Cedarville University, told RNS via email. “Everyone who came into contact with him knew that Ben took philosophy and theology seriously; people who knew him better knew it was because he took his faith seriously. I don’t think I ever had a conversation with him where he didn’t have some sort of book or research idea he was dwelling on, which usually centered on him wanting to see Christian philosophy done well, with a seriousness about the Bible and orthodoxy.”

Derek Rishmawy, a writer and campus minister, said Arbour worked on what is called “analytic theology,” which combined systematic theology with the tools of analytic philosophy. 

“He also just had a good sense of humour — even in an argument. You could jab with a sharp point and he’d jab back, but in good humour,” Rishmawy recalled in an email to RNS.

Longtime friend John Gilhooly, a professor of philosophy and theology at Cedarville University, recalled the first time he met Arbour, when they took a long road trip together for a conference: “he argued with me for the entirety of the 16 hour car ride.

“He argued fiercely because he cared deeply. He took his work seriously but he could laugh at himself,” Gilhooly told RNS in an email.

“Ben was a wonderful, relentless, indefatigable advocate for clarity in our speech about God, purity in our devotion to Christ, and charity in our conduct by the Spirit. He was a loyal friend: equal measures bold and honest. He knew no strangers because he showed no partiality,” he said.

The Arbours were members of Wedgewood Baptist Church. Wedgewood pastor, the Rev. Dale Braswell, told a Fort Worth television station that the Arbours’ death was a shock.

“It’s one of those calls you dread getting,” he said.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the other car that was allegedly racing at the time sped away after the accident.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the Arbour children.