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Profiles in Goodwill: Linda McKinnish Bridges

Linda McKinnish Bridges was a founding faculty member of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (1991-2001) and the seminary’s president (2017-19).

  • Where did you grow up?

I was born in a small, mountain village called Tuxedo in western North Carolina, between Hendersonville, North Carolina, and Greenville, South Carolina, spending the first years of my life in the Baptist parsonage, which was (and still is) in the middle of the village.

  • What is your favorite verse, book or story in the Bible? Why?

John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

It brings me to tears whenever I hear these words because of the sense of greatness, the eternal spirit, the grand meaning, the simple reality that it all begins and ends with that which is unexplainable but real. In other words, it all comes back to God.

  • What is your favorite movie? Why?

I read more than watch (it’s a generational thing, perhaps). One of my favorite books that I read recently is Graham Allison’s “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?”

I have a tremendous fascination with and some experience living in China.

  • Who are three people you admire?

Eleanor Roosevelt; Lois Griffin McKinnish, my mother; and Empress Dowager Cixi, leader of China in the late 19th century during a time of great change in international relations and cultural shifts.

  • What is one little-known fact about yourself?

I love to play a bluegrass accordion and play regularly with an old-time music band.