Dr. John F. Walvoord died on Friday, December 22, 2002
Dallas seminary leader, scholar


We're sad for us, but happy for Dr. Walvoord, that he has gone on to be with the Lord, whose Gospel he ably defended for 92 years. Dr. John F. Walvoord was president of Dallas Theological Seminary from 1952 - 1986, and has been associated with the school ever since. In 2001 he was named Chancellor Emeritus. He was 92 years old.

John F. Walvoord was the second president of the seminary. He was chosen to take the post by the school's founder, Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer.

Not enough can be said about Dr. Walvoord. If some real investigation were to be done in the United States and abroad, it would be hard to quantify the effects of his life and work at the seminary. The US has a tradition from small bible churches to larger Baptist and Pentecostal churches that owe a lot to the work of Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Walvoord was a key figure in the development of Dispensational Theology. He specialized in the area of endtimes, so you will see him referred to here often.

He will be missed.

(See the excellent Obituary from the Dallas Morning News below)

Mark Esposito

[ Internet Search for John Walvoord]        [ Books at Amazon by Dr. Walvoord]


Dallas Morning News Obituary


Dr. John F. Walvoord: Dallas seminary leader, scholar 

By HOLLY WARREN / The Dallas Morning News 

Dr. John F. Walvoord, who led Dallas Theological Seminary as it became the nation's second-largest interdenominational seminary, died Friday after a brief illness at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. 

"The school really went from a fledgling theological college to a theological seminary," seminary president Mark Bailey said. "He brought it to academic excellence and really solidified the school." 

Memorial services are scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday at Criswell College, 4010 Gaston Ave. The funeral will be private. 

The 92-year-old evangelical scholar spent more than 60 years at the seminary. He succeeded the founding president in 1952 and served until April 1986, when he became chancellor. In May 2001, he was named chancellor emeritus, continuing to teach, write and speak at conferences until his recent illness. 

"He's really one of the heroes of our faith. He has been absolutely faithful to his calling, his wife and his family," Dr. Bailey said. "He's been a man of integrity, free of scandal, with impeccable morals and ethics. It's a rare commodity these days." 

Dr. Walvoord was born May 1, 1910, in Sheboygan, Wis. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Wheaton College in Illinois in June 1931. 

That same year, he entered Dallas Theological Seminary as a student. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in theology in 1934. He completed a doctorate in theology in 1936. He also earned a master of arts degree from Texas Christian University in 1945. 

He was later honored with a doctorate of letters from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and a doctorate of divinity from Wheaton College. 

"The thing that distinguished him the most was how much everyone was attached to him," said his son, John Edward Walvoord of Dallas. "I think it's really ... the heart of the man is more important than the brain of the man. So it's those kind of things that endure the affection people had for him." 

Dr. Walvoord had a part-time pastorate at the Rosen Heights Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth from 1934 to 1950. 

He began his career at the seminary in 1935, holding the positions of acting registrar, registrar, assistant to the president, and associate and full professor of systematic theology. In 1952, outgoing founding president Dr. Lewis Chafer recommended Dr. Walvoord as his successor. 

The two men met when Dr. Walvoord was 16, when the family of his girlfriend at the time invited him to a dinner that Dr. Chafer attended. 

"He ... was awed by the man. He had no idea that he would later be chosen to lead the seminary. It's one of those funny quirks of fate," Dr. Walvoord's son said. 

A prolific author and editor, Dr. Walvoord wrote more than 30 books, including Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis, which his son co-wrote. Dr. Walvoord also contributed to other books on theology and Christian faith. 

"There are few men of his stature that I have ever known. He's a very unique man," Dr. Bailey said. 

Dr. Walvoord was a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and served as president in 1954. He was also a member of the Scofield Reference Bible committee. The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association gave him its platinum award in 1991 for his achievements as an author. 

Dr. Walvoord is also survived by his wife, Geraldine Walvoord of Dallas; sons Paul David Walvoord of Denton and James Randall Walvoord of Manchaca, Texas; and two granddaughters. 

Memorials may be made to the John F. Walvoord Student Aid Fund at Dallas Theological Seminary. 

E-mail hwarren@dallasnews.com