Esther Rothenbusch Crookshank
Position: Ollie Hale Chiles Professor of Church Music
Spouse: Robert (nearly four years)
Pets: Diamond, a shepherd/collie mix
An interesting fact about your family: We have a family string quartet and lots of other musicians, including a trumpet player in the U.S. Navy in Japan.
Hometown: Born in Oklahoma City, Okla., but grew up in Cleveland, Ohio
Current church: North Oldham Baptist Church
Current local church ministry: Playing violin in worship ensemble and leading children's singing and worship in weekly Kid's Club
Hobbies: Walking (or being walked by) Diamond, listening to Christian talk radio while preparing meals, gardening and astronomy with Robert. I love receiving and, when I can, writing letters. Life is too short to spend in front of a screen.
Most embarrassing moment: When our dog Diamond sunk her teeth into President Mohler's new shoes as her way of welcoming him to our home.
Most influential persons in your life: My parents, Jakob and Irene Rothenbusch. I thank them for their example of unflinching devotion to Christ, their perseverance in prayer and their "running the race" well to the end of their days. They had hearts full of love for their children and for anyone in need, and could make anything grow and bloom.
Something surprising students might not know about you: I was baptized in Lake Erie.
Favorite Southern Seminary memory: Playing in Chapel orchestra with the congregation singing with their whole hearts, the choir singing above and Sandra Turner playing the organ gloriously. So many powerful sermons over 11 years. Also many concerts of the Oratorio Chorus — the St. Matthew Passion was unforgettable, as are the annual Hymn Sings, such as this year's with Cliff Barrows and Don Hustad.
What do you like most about teaching: Seeing my students do well, grow and enjoy the journey. Helping them "get it" — i.e., synthesize all they are learning and experiencing in classes, church and personal life into who they are seeking to become as ministers, musicians, teachers and scholars. Helping them develop the skills, wisdom, knowledge base and personal maturity to fulfill their callings, and seeing them doing so. Hearing good news about them, their ministries and their families long after they graduate.
Favorite authors: The Patristic writers, Andrew Murray, Lewis, Tournier. Also, J.R. Watson's literary and theological study of English hymns is unsurpassed.
Favorite movie: "Pride & Prejudice"
Favorite restaurants: My home or the home of a friend, although I also enjoy Caf... Mimosa and many others
A word of wisdom for Towers readers: Walk in the Spirit, but do not overspiritualize —- your life, your decisions, your dating or anything else. Use good manners. Generational culture changes constantly; the manners of a God-graced life do not. Preach and teach with His grace; don't sully God's Word with crude humor or language just to get a laugh from your audience. Know the preciousness of God's work in small and big ways. Simplify. Eat less. Buy less. Give up carbonated drinks. Learn what God gave us the Sabbath for, and live it.