Raymond E. Isbell received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and mathematics, a master’s degree in organic chemistry, and a doctor of philosophy degree in physical and analytical chemistry. He served as a research chemist for seven years with studies mostly in solid rocket propellants and slow-release nitrogen fertilizers. He taught chemistry at the undergraduate level for over thirty years and served as professor and department head for seventeen of those years. During his career, he was active in several scientific and scholastic organizations including the American Chemical Society and the Alabama Academy of Science and taught several chemistry courses, including his specialties in physical chemistry and analytical chemical instrumentation. His hobbies are gardening, plant propagation, and woodworking.
At the age of twelve, Dr. Isbell was baptized into Christ at the Spring Valley Church of Christ in Colbert County, Alabama. That small country congregation made a lasting impact on him as he observed the open atmosphere in the adult Bible classes in which diverse views were discussed and tolerated without rancor. It was also well ahead of the social and civil curve of the time as black visitors were welcomed to the services, and black and white Christians shared meals and prayed together.
During his career, Dr. Isbell has served several congregations in the capacity of member, deacon, elder, and guest lecturer. It is his sincere belief that in the not-too-distant future, all Christians must put aside the luxury of quibbling over incidentals and concentrate on saving Christianity from a world bent on destroying it.
Dr. Isbell has been married to Shirley Anne James Isbell for over fifty years, and they have a son and a daughter.