Written by Dr. Charles Zimmerman
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 00:00
Where have they gone & where are they now?
I have been contacting founding faculty members to see what they are up these days and to then blog that information so that you can be updated.
Thus far, we have heard from “Doc” Newman, Gary Cohen and Bob Vannoy. If you missed those blog entries, scroll back and take a look. I asked each to provide contact information, so feel free to drop them a note of encouragement and while you’re at it, attach a comment to the appropriate blog entry.
Today we will hear from George Clark. I think that at one time or another George held every job possible at Biblical – interim president, registrar, faculty member, admissions, supervisor of faculties, etc. My fondest memories of George are from Homiletics class where he helped me stumble through the first sermon I ever preached. In the follow up debrief, he corrected my grammar, provided lots of helpful hints, but more than anything else, encouraged me to keep preaching.
What years did you teach at Biblical?
I served at Biblical from September, 1971 through May, 2000, following 11 years as a foreign and home missionary.
During my first year with BTS I helped set up the Academic Offices, performed additional administrative duties, and I endeavored to repair whatever mechanical or electrical devices broke down … For the remaining 28 years I served with the Administration and was a member of the Faculty.
1. Tell a favorite memory from your Biblical days.
Having served for 29 years at Biblical Seminary, I have many “special memories” of which I will share just three at this time.
Student Joe Basile
Joe grew up as a Roman Catholic in Bayone, NJ, and then joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses, searching for eternal salvation. He later heard the gospel and accepted Christ as his Savior, soon after which he came to study at Biblical.
In those days the Seminary had a faculty counselor for each student, and I was Joe’s counselor. Joe’s greatest desire was to win people to Christ as Savior. He was a good student, even though he spent most of his time witnessing for the Lord and working on his homiletics studies.
We’ve had the joy of maintaining contact with Joe over the years, as he worked with Dr. Jack Murray’s Bible Evangelism for a while and then went on to plant a church in his own home town of Bayonne. There he married a young widow with two young sons, who today serve part-time and full-time with him at the church, which has now grown to be one the largest and most effective evangelical churches in the area. Joe and his wife Pat remain two of our dearest friends.
Student Gary Anderson
Gary came from a fine Christian home, and had a brother who was doing a good job as a minister and pastor. Since Gary and I both loved to bow-hunt, we would make the time to hunt together during the Fall of each school year. Gary was also a good student, whose passion was to learn how to preach. He chose every opportunity he could to preach while at Biblical, and then upon graduation took the pastorate of a small church in northern PA.
Since we remained good friends, he would often invite me to come to preach at his church, AND to hunt with him during the week in the area nearby. By God’s grace, Gary’s church grew to be quite large and effective … And he was invited to lake the leadership of one of the largest evangelical missions organizations, Baptist Mid-Missions.
Student Carl Martin
Carl grew up in central PA on a farm, where he learned to do just about anything that needed to be done – electrical, mechanical, construction-wise, gardening, and landscaping. Upon his arrival for study at Biblical, he was quickly placed in charge of the School’s entire maintenance department.
The Seminary purchased a nearby property with a small residence, and Carl lived in the cottage and did all the mowing, as he continued the oversight of all the repair and upkeep at the BTS property. I often wondered how Carl would develop as a student, since he worked for so many hours each day … However he proved to be one of those individuals who needed only four or five hours of sleep each night!
He began to preach in various local churches, while at seminary, and upon graduation was called to pastor a local Bible Protestant Church. He traveled on short-term mission trips to teach biblical courses, and eventually married a young lady who had grown up as an MK.
Sherie and I have had the privilege of following the ministry of Carl and Beth through the years, and have been invited to help them in the area of Family Life Conferences at the two churches where he served as pastor. He and Beth have raised a son (currently serving as an officer in the Navy) and four daughters (three of whom are presently ministering on Asian mission fields, while their fourth is finishing her college study).
Following his seminary years, Carl went on to earn his D.Min. degree, and has currently nearly completed the work for his Ph.D. He has been a full-time member of the faculty of Clearwater Christian College for a number of years now, and continues to preach in local churches and to minister in short-term mission field ministries. It has been a great joy for us to watch Carl and Beth raise their family in Covenant relationship with the Lord, and to minister so effectively in Christ’s Kingdom. It has been a great joy for Sherie and me to share in their ministry.
What have you been doing since then? Be sure to include a brief update on your family.
After retiring from Biblical in 2000, we moved to Tampa Florida to be near our son and his family, since we were the only living grandparents. Although we were not excited about moving to the heat and humidity of Florida summers, it has been a great joy to be a part of our growing family’s life and endeavors and has made it all worth the effort.
Our older son Phil, Vice President of Technology with Lightning Source, and wife Diane have home-schooled our two grand children (Nicolette, 13, and Christopher, 15) who are excellent students, very active in sports, enjoy playing piano, and are exceptionally sociable.
Our younger son Lauren and wife Lecersia met as senior engineers at Lockheed-Martin in Fort Worth, TX, and minister as elder and elder’s wife in the local PCA church – where Lauren has taught the high school boys’ Sunday School class and many of the adult classes for years.
With our move to Florida, we became active in a local PCA church as I often preached, we both taught, and participated in music ministry. I also had opportunities to perform baptisms, conduct wedding ceremonies, do some counseling, and to minister in other nearby churches as well.
But then in 2004, our world “tilted” as I endured a “small” stroke, due to an atrial-fibrillation heart problem. We were visiting with our son and wife in Texas, at the time, and received good care at their local hospital. After returning to Tampa, I went through several months of therapy which helped me regain some of my memory loss. However, there remain residual problems with what is called “retrieval of proper nouns” and the “processing in series”, whether of events, directives, lists, etc.; and therefore I can no longer enjoy the preaching and teaching I once did.
However, I do continue to do some mentoring with families at our church and in our neighborhood, and I head our community’s Home-Owner Association Board’s Budget Committee. We enjoy opening our home in hospitality and outreach to our friends and neighbors, and Sherie continues to minister in music, teaching, and the mentoring of women.
Our home address: The Rev. & Mrs. George S. Clark; 4701 Corsage Drive; Lutz, FL 33558
Our email address:
Charles Zimmerman is the Thomas V. Taylor Professor of Practical Theology. He also serves as Teaching Pastor at Calvary Church in Souderton. He is married to Kim and they have two daughters, Ashley and Megan. See alsohttp://biblical.edu/index.php/charles-zimmerman