Dr. Van McClain was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Dallas Baptist University in 1974 with a BA. He saw his need for Christ and followed God’s call to ministry while he was a student at DBU.
Dr. McClain graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and graduated with an MDIV in 1977 and a PhD in 1985. The title of his dissertation was “Prejudice in the Old Testament and Ancient Near East.” In 2001 he received a Master of Library Science degree from SUNY Albany.
He is married to the former Nancy Parsons and they have three children; Amber, Vanessa, and Tommy. His three children are married, and he has three grandchildren. Nancy has taught music and directed choirs in a public school (Quinlan ISD, Quinlan, TX), for a home-school group named LEAH (Loving Education At Home), McKeel Christian Academy, Augustine Classical Academy, in churches, and currently teaches piano lessons. She is also currently aiding in worship and music at Whitton Baptist Church in Tyronza, Arkansas where Dr. McClain is the pastor.
He taught for 30 years in Schenectady, NY, where he was the Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew and the Director of Library Services for the Northeast Campus of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Along with his teaching responsibilities at the seminary, he is also serving as the pastor of Whitton Baptist Church in Tyronza, Arkansas.
Dr. McClain contributed a chapter to the book Looking to the Future: Evangelical Studies in Eschatology. He also wrote an article for the Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions. He has often written articles for The Biblical Illustrator, and some of those articles were placed in the Holy Land Illustrated Bible. He has written some journal articles. and he has written sessions for Bible Studies for Life, a Bible study curriculum.
Dr. McClain recently received the Scholars Award from Northeastern Baptist College. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and has served as the Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Northeast Region of ETS. He has also served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Northeast Region.
Dr. McClain previously served for many years as Recording Secretary and Parliamentarian for the Baptist Convention of New York (BCNY). He has previously served as Chairman of the Executive Board for the BCNY and Assistant Recording Secretary for the BCNY. He also previously served as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also has served on the Committee on Nominations and Committee on Committees for the Southern Baptist Convention; and he previously served on various committees of the Hudson Baptist Association of New York, the Hunt Baptist Association of Texas, and was President of the Tawakoni Ministerial Association while serving as a pastor in Texas. Dr. McClain was listed as the pastor of a Pace Setter Church of the Baptist General Convention of Texas for three years, while at the First Baptist Church of Quinlan in Quinlan, Texas (for baptizing 18 percent or more than the number of the average Sunday School attendance for each year). He was also listed as pastor of one of the top 10 churches in Texas for numerical increases in Sunday School enrollment, while at the FBC of Quinlan.