The Experience Spring 2020

A Letter From Don Lough, Jr.

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What incredible days of opportunity for the Gospel!

Over the past few weeks, Skype, Zoom, virtual meetings, and Dropbox have quickly surfaced as household terms. Today, we interact with people around the world in ways we never dreamed possible. During this time of social distancing and stay-at-home mandates, people crave community and a sense of belonging more than ever. It’s no accident that our theme this year at our Word of Life Bible Institutes is “Connected.” God designed us for relationship. Our goal is that every staff member and student be connected in relationship. The Gospel of Jesus Christ connects us. This relationship is fleshed out by the daily demonstration of agape love . . . a selfless and unconditional commitment to one another. The famous love chapter, I Corinthians 13, presents a series of action words to help us understand what this kind of love is: patient and kind, does not envy or seek its own, is not provoked, hopes and endures all things. For Christians, this is an incredible time to practice what we preach. Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) Agape love serves as a badge of identification to our world and a bridge to share the reason for the hope we possess in Jesus Christ. This is also a great time to deepen your relationship with the Lord. Learn the Word classes remain available for individuals or small groups; devotional videos post daily to our Facebook page, and four weeks of the downloadable Quiet Time are available for free. As an alumnus, we always love hearing from you. Just reach out on any of our social media platforms listed below. We look forward to connecting with you, hearing your story, providing resources, and praying with you.



missions conference review


Winter Camps Review


In Christ and Christ in You, the Hope of Glory


Building Community in Romania


History of Open Air Evangelism


where are they now?


You Are A Will-Be


ALumni Updates


Harry Bollback Update


Dr. John C. Whitcomb

major contributors

Writers – Roger Peace, Tom Davis, Kristin (Kenyon) Ziemer, Sam Frey, Arthur C. Woods, Betsi (Phillips) Calhoun, Elizabeth (Bollback) Nelson Designer – Teresa Stursberg Editor – Beth Black Director of Alumni Relations – Mike Bush The Experience is a publication of Word of Life. We want to build a community where you can find longtime friends, share testimonies of what God has been doing, encourage others with stories of change, and learn how you, too, can be involved with the mission of Word of Life. ©Copyright 2020 — Word of Life Fellowship. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission.

Trusting Him,

Don Lough, Jr. ‘84 Executive Director • Local Church Ministries Facebook • Word of Life Bible Institute Alumni Group • Learn the Word Classes • Word of Life Bible Institute Daily Devos • Word of Life Bible Institute Instagram • Word of Life Pinterest




25% New York Camps

15% Florida Youth Camp




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missions conference review Connected – Reaching Through Relationships


Don Lough, Jr. Executive Director of Word of Life

Kris Stout Vice President of Word of Life International & Local Church Ministries

Carlos Gomez Executive Director PAAM Mission Agency

Emiliano Vitti Future Director Word of Life Ecuador


Believers read Bibles... unbelievers read believers. – Carlos Gomez

Life is all about relationships. The only thing you take to Heaven is people. – Kris Stout

17 – interns sent to 9 fields 27 – interns graduated from 15 fields Cross Cultural Internship

Dedication Decisions

Special Gifts

Florida – 95 New York – 146

Offering – $9,331 Given to Emiliano and Vanesa Vitti

You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give it to you. – John 15:16


Winter Camps Review


Just weeks ago, we watched staff and students prepare tirelessly for the arrival of campers for Snowcamp in New York and Pursuit Camp in Florida. Not only are they the best winter camps, they are hands down the most fun you can have in 44 hours. Everyone on campus gave all they had to provide campers with an amazing experience, and it was a joy to watch students who had never shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ help lead an individual to understand the Gospel for the first time. Watching students serve in the dish pit, the kitchen, housekeeping, maintenance, indoor and outdoor programs and so many other areas with joy and excellence was humbling to me! Our counselors, who are also students at the Bible Institute, poured their lives into campers every moment they could, all with a heart to serve. Oh, that these students never lose the joy of serving others! The commitment of staff and students to encourage and serve each camper as they took their “next step with Jesus” was incredible. The spirit on campus those days was full of a holy, exuberant joy. Students talking about life-changing conversations and moments of tears and laughter as they recount their winter camp memories never gets old to me. As an alumnus, I can vividly remember my Snowcamp experience – it made an eternal impact on my life and heart. I know the same happened this year for all our students as they served, learned, laughed and cried with campers and other students. I am so proud of each and every one of them; they made much of Jesus in every situation and moment. Most colleges are preparing students to make a living, but here at Word of Life Bible Institute we are committed to preparing students how to live. We are convinced when a student is involved in ministry and goes hard after Jesus in their studies, relationships and ministry, they then have learned what it is to live. Winter camps are a practical way to train students and prepare them for future ministry, all with an eternal impact. We served 2,284 campers in New York and 809 in Florida. There were 169 recorded decisions for Jesus in New York and 95 in Florida. There were 1,300 students in New York and over 600 in Florida who came forward during our dedication services to say; “I am all in for Jesus, committing all I have and all I hope to be to Him.” It is indeed a privilege to be part of what God did. I hope you are encouraged! To get a little taste of Winter Camp, click here to watch a Winter Camp Weekend in Review.

The Church at Odessa brought three unchurched kids to Pursuit Camp. They all made decisions to accept Christ as their Savior. They now regularly attend youth group and have brought other friends from their school.

Oscar and Samantha are two campers from North Carolina. After attending Pursuit Camp, they have decided to attend the Word of Life Bible Institute in Florida this fall.

Roger L. Peace, Jr., Bible Institute and Camps Roger Peace


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In Christ and Christ in You , the Hope of Glory TOM DAVIS '72

battery. Returning home, I went to open the hood once again. Of course, the hood release was inside the car. To my annoyance, the car was locked and, of course, with the battery removed, the electric door locks wouldn’t work. “No problem,” I thought, as for the last eight years there has been a key on the key fob which I assumed would manually unlock the one door on the car that had a keyhole. (The ignition for this car doesn’t use a manual key.). To my amazement, that key didn’t work (I still haven’t figured out what it is for!). Keeping a stiff upper lip, I comforted myself with the knowledge that I always keep good records and never throw anything away. A search through my car files and bureau drawers (where one hundred other keys live) produced no

key for the current car. A glean of sweat must have been visible on my brow as I realized that the door locks and inside door handles are such that you can’t jimmy the lock. I envisioned a tedious and humiliating drive 160 miles round trip to the dealer to get a replacement manual key. My last hope was to check the Internet for fellow sufferers. Holding the key fob in my hand for good luck, I scanned the first site that mentioned my problem. It suggested thatmanufacturers “hide” emergency keys in the fob itself. Knowing how small the fob is, I wasn’t hopeful until I looked down into my hand and saw a little silver button in a dent in the fob. To my amazement and great relief, the silver button depressed allowed a little metal key to slide out of the fob! What a special feeling of utter relief!!

I feel that I have been rather conservative in my use of money over the years. Eight years ago, however, I did splurge and buy a small sporty car for my daily commute to work. At the time, I imagine I knew all the fine details of the car, but daily use dulls the memory of the special features. Recently as the temperature plunged below zero here in Schroon Lake, the car began to start hard and then died. I determined that the battery was dead and decided to save an expensive trip to the dealer eighty miles away and change the battery myself. Being a compact car, the battery was buried in the engine behind a cowling, but with the help of YouTube and unfastening about six screws and bolts, I was able to extract the old battery. Without thinking, I let the hood slam shut and then drove in another car to buy a replacement






Over the years I’ve collected quotations on these topics. Let me share a few:

On that wintry day when my car left me stranded, my ignorance of the car manufacturer’s provision almost made a bad day much, much worse! At Word of Life Bible Institute, “Bible” is the center of all we do, from the morning Quiet Time, to scripture memory, to classes, to ministries, to chapels, to evening devotions, to Sunday services, and also chapter titles! We trust while you were here this saturation in the Word of God “made all the difference,” and we are hoping if you have lost track of the incredible riches we have in the “key,” you will remind yourself of that source of power and make sure it is a central feature of your lifestyle today as well!

As I think of all the years this key fob has been with me every single day and my ignorance of the special power contained within it for my time of need, I’m reminded of all the riches that believers have in Christ Jesus, and how often, unfortunately, we are either ignorant of what Christ offers for our daily struggles or have forgotten due to infrequent access. I am impressed with how often Paul talks about the importance of us being “in Christ” and Christ being “in us.” Here’s a quick statistical study:

“InChrist”: Thisdenotesour position: Where He is, we are. It defines our privilege: What He is, we are. It describes our possessions: What He has, we share. And it determines our practice: What He does, we do.

-Ruth Paxson

As the root is in the soil, the branch in the vine, the fish in the sea, the bird in the air, so the place of the Christian’s life is "in Christ."

-Francis Foulkes

1. “In Christ” (including “in Him,” etc.) occurs seventy-seven times in the KJV New Testament (twenty-two times in Ephesians and twelve times in Colossians alone!).

Christ did not die simply that we might be saved from a bad conscience, or even to remove the stain of past failure, but to clear the way for divine action. When God redeemed us through the precious blood of His dear Son, He gave us nothing less than the resurrection life of God, the Son, made over to us in the Person of God, the Holy Spirit. With what magnificent confidence we may step out into the future when once we have consented to die to our own self effort, and to make ourselves available as a redeemed sinner to all that God has made available to us in His risen Son! To be in Christ— that is redemption; but for Christ to be in us—that is sanctification! To be in Christ—that makes us fit for Heaven; but for Christ to be in us—that makes us fit for earth! To be in Christ—that changes our destination; but for Christ to be in us—that changes our destiny! The one makes Heaven our home—the other makes this world His workshop.

2. “With Christ” occurs nine times in the KJV New Testament.

In Ephesians, Paul emphasizes the “riches” we have in Christ Jesus and states that as we are “in Christ” and “He in us,” we are seated in the heavenlies and can “draw down” power to live a successful Christian life from our account in the “Great Bank of Heaven” (“Heavenly”: Ephesians 1:3, 1:20, 2:6, 3:10. “Riches”: Romans 2:4, 9:23, 10:12, 11:12, 11:33; Ephesians 1:7, 1:8, 2:7, 3:8, 3:16; Philippians 4:19; Colossians 1:27). a. Dying with Christ: Romans 6:8 b. Crucified with Christ: Romans 6:6 c. Buried with Christ: Romans 6:4 d. Raised with Christ: Romans 6:4 e. Seated with Christ: Ephesians 2:6 f. Living now with Christ: Romans 8:17 g. Future deliverance with Christ: Romans 6:5 h. After death with Christ: 1 Thessalonians 4:17 i. Reigning with Christ: Revelation 20:4

Tom Davis

Tom Davis is a graduate of Word of Life Bible Institute (1972), Lancaster Bible College (1975), Grace Theological Seminary (1978), and Nova Southeastern University (Ed.D., 1998). He spent 14 months studying in Israel at Jerusalem University College (1984-85). Tom is a Distinguished Professor and currently in his 42nd year of teaching at the Bible Institute. He and his wife have been married since 1974, and they have 6 children and 16 grandchildren.

-Major W. Ian Thomas


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My father resigned from his high paying sales job and enrolled in seminary in Tacoma, Washington. His love and commitment to Christ was the thrill of his life. He wanted to become a pastor. He became a youth pastor, then a senior pastor and endured many hardships of the ministry in smaller locations. I admired his faithfulness, and he played a strong role alongside my mother in raising us five girls. I am one of a string of ‘K’s’: Kim, Kristin, Kerri, Koni and Kandace. When it came time for college, I was actually at a good place as a result of intentional parenting. My spiritual life was alive, but I knew it needed a boost. In the late 1980’s, Word of Life had a minimal presence on the West Coast. I actually was attracted by a half page Moody Monthly magazine advertisement for Word of Life Bible Institute. It was trivial, but God used it. A one-year Bible Institute in upstate New York? It sparked my interest because I was undecided about a future career, and I felt it would give me a meaningful year and time to pray about the future. My husband’s (Gerald) first experience with Word of Life was attending as a young camper with his parents, Robert and Barbara Ziemer, who were Local Church club leaders. They always spoke highly of Word of Life during his formative years. And at the end of high school, he decided to attend Word of Life Bible Institute to strengthen his beliefs. His parents have worked on staff at the Florida campus for the last 25 years. It was an amazing year both spiritually and socially. The missions conference had a huge impact on me. I really wanted to serve God as a foreign missionary. I met Gerald that year, and we dated. Throughout the final college years our dating relationship plummeted and then ignited again. WE BOTH HAD THINGS TO WORK THROUGH AND

Building Community in Romania


A vacuum formed by the trend of liberal and humanistic thinking pulled at the mind and hearts of my parents on the West Coast in the early 1970’s. Thankfully, they divinely connectedwith believers from an evangelical church, and my father was saved. My salvation succeeded my father’s sweet story of repentance. His was vital to mine. At a young age I remember there being joy in our home. My father and mother were certain of their eternal destiny, and it made me curious. My questioning led me to an understanding that I was separated from God because of my sin, but Christ paid my debt on the Cross of Calvary. I placed my trust in Jesus and became a child of The King! I was saved and baptized and learned Bible stories alongside my father who never learned them as a child.


WE WERE 2,525 MILES APART. THIS, HOWEVER, IS WHEN CONNECTIONS WITH OTHERS REALLY IMPACTED OUR LIVES. I was in Salem, Oregon, at Corban College and Gerald in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at Tennessee Temple University. I had an influential Missions Professor, Dr. Robert Wright, who had planted churches under communism in Romania. Meanwhile, Gerald was a fellow student of twenty Romanians who were on scholarship at the university. Separately, God put Romania on our hearts! The communist regime ended in a bloody revolution in December, 1989, and Romania was open shortly after that for the influx of the Gospel. We were married in 1992 and pursued our connection with Word of Life to serve in Romania. From 1993-1997 we served with Word of Life Romania. We were encouraged by the children and felt a strong connection with the young people in this former communist country. Unable to continue with Word of Life at that time, we were able to make a connection with TITUS International and continue to minister in Romania. God is great. He used Word of Life in our lives to challenge us to serve God full time. It wasn’t easy to change mission boards. My husband had been very connected with Word of Life growing up, and he had great experiences with Word of Life such as marathons, clubs, Teens Involved, the Bible Institute, and camps (New York, Florida and Romania) which equipped him in many ways to work with young people. The grace was granted to connect with a new team of people. We continued in youth ministry, and Gerald was given the opportunity to pastor a Romanian church and later be ordained by the pastors from the Romanian Baptist Union. We raised our four children in a community that

didn’t previously have a Christian family example.

gives them a solid foundation in God’s Word to launch forward toward further pursuits. Michael attended in 2014 and Corina in 2016. Zachary is a current student in the class 2020, and Brianna is anticipating the year 2022! Praise the Lord for our daughter, Corina’s, further connection with Word of Life South Africa! She is doing the Cross Cultural Internship program which involves a two-year commitment.

By God’s grace we grew a church from 3 to 136 members, discipled dozens of teens, and sent 21 young people to Word of Life Bible Institute (primarily in Hungary). As well as our mother church, there are four church plants in the southeast portion of Romania. With our past connection to camp ministry, we pursued that option, and God provided the funds and manpower to build a 130- bed camp facility in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Our children are a vital part of our lives and ministry, and they are very involved in what we do. To connect them well with the Lord and His Word, we sent each one to the Bible Institute for their first year after high school. We really believe this


We are thankful for God’s sovereignty and His effort to connect long ago with us through His Son, Jesus, at Calvary. This is our favorite connection!

Gerald Ziemer ’89; B.S. Christian Ministries 1992/TTU Kristin (Kenyon) Ziemer’89; B.S. Intercultural Studies 1992/Corban College TITUS International Romania, 25 years Gerald, Zachary, Brianna, Kristin, Michael, and Corina Ziemer


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SAM FREY ‘80 History of Open Air Evangelism

Pictured From Left to Right: Jeff Welch '14 &'15, Aaron Krause, Sam Frey '80, MaryAnn & Del '93 Benner, Jim Harvey '88,

Bringing the Lord to the Lost

During the 1940’s, Jack Wyrtzen held street meetings in New York City. Today, the Open Air Evangelism team continues to preach the Gospel in towns and cities in the United States and around the world. We seek to become more efficient and helpful in reaching the lost and encouraging other believers to do the same. The rope trick and sketchboard are the premier tools used, although we have included puppets, drama, music, Gospel illusions, prayer stations and balloon twisting. Progress is being made toward more of a presence on the internet, including online follow-up Timeline 1940’s – Word of Life ministry was founded with Jack Wyrtzen holding street meetings in New York City. Early 1970’s – Jack Wyrtzen and Art Williams, Open Air Campaigners National Director, devised a plan by which Word of Life Bible Institute students could gain practical, personal and open air evangelism training and experience by joining Open Air Campaigners’ staff in New York City. Open Air Campaigners supplied the ministry literature, tools, equipment and lodging. Word of Life supplied the students and food for the group. This began as a designated team of students for weekend trips.

lessons for new believers, evangelism information and aids, staff news, and church referral listings. In 2019, the Lord allowed us to conduct 637 sketchboard meetings. The Gospel was presented personally in one-to-one dialogue to 5,503 people, 325 of whom made a profession of faith in Christ as Savior! Also, the entire First-Year New York Bible Institute class and many staff went to New York City in April. During this event, 237 sketchboard messages were given; 2,990 heard the Gospel in personal dialogue with team members, Early 1980’s – Approximately 160 students took ten-day trips. They were given weekend training in New Jersey and then divided between Boston, Chicago, NewYork City and Philadelphia. This program was repeated with the same students during the fall and spring quarters. Early 1990’s – The Open Air Evangelism department of Word of Life began with Sam Frey joining the Word of Life staff. Trips slowly transitioned to converging exclusively on New York City, and the ten-day trips shortened to six days. Training moved from New Jersey to the Bible Institute campus.

and 119 souls made professions of faith in Christ! Throughout the year, the needs of 1,210 people have brought their requests to our prayer station. The ministry has also interacted with over 70 local churches. These are a lot of numbers, but each represents one life forever changed. We praise the Lord for the God-glorifying, Spirit-endowed efforts of our ministry partners and countless others who have affected many souls. As a team we're humbled and grateful to have a small part in it. Late 1990’s to 2017 – With the introduction of Missions Reality, New York City trips were reserved for First- Year students. Trips became varied in length due to factors such as the addition of other ministry ventures and the availability of transportation. 2018-2019 – Second-Year fall volunteer weekend teams formed. In April all the First-Year students went to New York City for two days of open air ministry.


Do you remember these? Locations: New York City, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia Housing: Manhattan Bible Church, Fellowship Deaconry, Eric Briscoe's home, Pacific Garden Mission Staff: Art Williams, Chris Schroeder, George Naggy, David Braun, Bob Ewerth, Joe Toy, Karen (Boorse) Williams, Eric Briscoe, Gordon Loop, Ed Lowe, Lou Sari, Lisa Lundstrom, Billy Richter

What Happens During Open Air Evangelism

Open Air Evangelism includes elements of tract distribution in the subway, sketchboard presentations, rope tricks, and kids' ministry.

where are they now?


I was a “Brooklyn boy” - born in the great state of New York - until we moved to Pennsylvania when I was only four years old. My father accepted a position at Camp Orchard Hill as the Executive Director. Living at a camp? That’s a big change from the New York life I was accustomed to. Growing up on a 125-acre camp is pretty much as cool as you think it is. I could not have asked for a better backyard. I loved the excitement of camp. . . retreats every weekend during the winter and youth camp all week throughout the summer. I frequently heard the Gospel from numerous speakers and teachers. And like many people who have given their life to Christ, I became a Christian at age five during one of the camp programs. We eventually moved again, and my father became a pastor. I became an obnoxious pastor’s kid (you know the type). I liked to push boundaries and to push buttons. . . but I always kept the faith decision I made at age five close to my heart. As I entered high school, conversations about college plans became more prevalent. Where would I go? What would I major in? Who was going to pay for it? I looked

at many schools and did several campus visits, but I was not convinced where I wanted to go. My dad mentioned a school in Schroon Lake, New York (where in the world was that?) called Word of Life Bible Institute. He said that while he had never been at the school himself, he had become a Christian many years before I was born at a youth rally led by the founder, Jack Wyrtzen. Ok, let's check it out! We did! I loved it! Spend a year studying only the Bible? No science? No math? No social studies? Yes, please! My year at the Bible Institute flew by, but it was filled with memories of learning from incredible Bible teachers, of late-night study sessions, and of stuff I won’t write here publicly (after all, I was still an obnoxious pastor’s kid). The Biblical foundation I received was priceless. The opportunity to spend a year studying God’s Word was a blessing that would continue to be fruitful in the coming years. Because of my time at Word of Life Bible Institute, I am now serving Christ as an advocate for orphaned and vulnerable children and teenagers. I regularly speak, teach, and write on issues related to orphan care, adoption and foster care. Over the past year I have had the opportunity to partner with churches, camps, Christian schools, adoption agencies, and conferences to spread a message of God’s heart for the orphan. Recently I released my first discipleship curriculum - an eight- session video series called Trusting The God of The Gospel (Helping You Disciple Your Adopted and Foster Teenagers) . I am exceedingly grateful for my time at the Bible Institute. It was formative; it was growing, and it was foundational to who I am today. May God continue to bless the work begun by the late Jack Wyrtzen who was responsible for bringing my very own father to Christ.

Facebook: Trusting the God of the Gospel Arthur Woods



I kept thinking. . . I’m just a “Has-Been” in the ministry. I am rapidly approaching my 70th birthday, and I was driving to speak to a group of young women on the topic of discipleship. Sure, after my dramatic conversion at age 16, I was blessed to lead hundreds to the Savior and to disciple many of them. For almost five decades, I have been privileged to teach hundreds of women. Serving alongside my wonderful husband, my passion has always been to consistently disciple young women. But I still felt that icy whisper in my soul that taunted me: You’re a “Has-Been!” It’s time for you to retire. After all, what do you have to share with young women in their prime? You’ve had your “day in the sun” of ministry, and now you can just rest and minister remotely through prayer. (Not saying that prayer is inferior!) Suddenly, I felt the Spirit’s tug on my heart – His inaudible reminder: Betsi, you are a “Will-Be,” not a “Has-Been”! Moses, as an elder servant of God, wrote his thoughts about “old age” very descriptively in Psalms 90-92. I couldn’t help but smile at his comeback words: “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom” and “Satisfy us each morning with Your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.” He ends his thoughts in Psalm 90 with this encouragement to those of us who have ministered all our lives and feel like “Has-Beens”: “Let us, your servants, see You work again; let our children see Your glory. And may the Lord our God show us HIS approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!”

Youth pastors, leaders, teachers, pastors, counselors, small group leaders – and so many more of you who have faithfully and passionately served our Savior for years... am I relating to any of you? I think so, because we all face the challenges of aging in ministry! WE HAVE TO CHOOSE WHAT AGING IN MINISTRY MEANS. If aging means maturing spiritually – growing daily in wisdom and grace – diving deeper into God’s Word – becoming more like Christ – that type of aging means you are a “Will-Be.” It means you are still in the process of becoming more effective in the wonderful experience of ministering and impacting lives! If aging means believing I am useless, quitting on the growth process and giving in to the devil’s lies, my effectiveness will cease as I embrace the label “Has-Been.” I’m not a “Has- Been.” I’m a “Will-Be”! God is NOT finished with Betsi Phillips Calhoun yet! I have made my choice. How about you?

Betsi & Mike Calhoun

Betsi is a wife, mom, grandmother, discipler and servant. She and her husband, Mike, live in Raleigh, North Carolina where he is part of The Summit Church pastoral staff.

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March 26-28, 2021 speakers: Ben Gutierrez & Ray Pritchard Word of Life Bible Institute 50 TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Save the date



Alumni Updates

1970’s Ann (Mound ‘72) Wood is retired and widowed. She devotes much of her time to making wordless books, wordless bracelets, and cross-stitch cross bookmarks for short-term mission trips. She loves to volunteer and to attend events at Word of Life during the summer. Deborah (Catlow ‘76) Potter and her husband, John ’76 , live in West Virginia. She is a retired registered medical assistant within the Greenville Hospital systems. Terri (Davis ‘77) Wolf and her husband, Matthew, live in Ohio. She is a 4th & 5th grade math teacher at Wildwood Environmental Academy after completing 21 years of teaching at Emmanuel Christian School in Toledo. 1980’s Scott McCurdy ‘80 and his wife, Susan, live in the Chattanooga, Tennessee, area where he is the Pastor at Church of the Highlands. They have eight children: Daniel, Josiah, Andrew, Anna, Stephen, Lydia (who is a current student at the Bible Institute), Joseph and Elisabeth. Glenda (Carter ‘86) Carter-Cusano and her husband, John, live in New Hampshire where Glenda is a nurse at New State Hospital.

1990’s Jennifer (Wharram ‘92) Hale and her husband, Jim, live in Pennsylvania. They have four children: Katherine, Sarah, Emily and Abigail. Jennifer is a receptionist and sports secretary at Valley Forge Baptist Academy. Mitchell Bless ‘95 and his wife, Carla, live in Pennsylvania and have two children: Caleb and David. Mitchell has been involved in teen evangelistic outreach with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ministries for 20 years. Chad ‘97 and Tracy (Morgan ‘97) Nightingale live in Illinois where Chad is the Pastor at Pekin Bible Church, and Tracy is a small business owner. They have three children: Charlie, Henry and Elisabeth. Debra (Paulus ‘98) Vaught and her husband, Bryan, live in North Carolina. They have four children: Diane, Paul, Joshua and Daniel. She is a math and science teacher. Monica (Mandana Ghaferieh ‘99) Valle- Boghossian and her husband, Daniel, are seminary students at Dallas Theological Seminary. They are preparing to go as missionaries with Chosen People Ministries to Australia. They have three children: Allan, Jonah and Sydney.




Jeannie (Rice ‘99) Gehman and her husband, Jonathan, live in Pennsylvania. She has been an

Billy Kryger ‘88 and his wife live in Kansas where he serves as Pastor of Berean Baptist Church.

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elementary school teacher for the past 15 years. Together they teach grades 6-8 Sunday School at their church and she is on the Worship Team. Vince ‘02 and Joanna (Cameron ‘98 & ‘99) Sensenig live in Pennsylvania where Vince works as a painter and Joanna is a stay-at-home mother. They have eight children: Nicole (who is a current student at the Bible Institute), Bekah, Tori, Vince, Nathan, Danielle, Ali and Caleb. They are both youth leaders at their church. Scott ‘14 & ‘15 and Erica (Eaton ‘99) Matthews live in Bolton Landing, New York, where Scott is the Pastor of Bolton Community Church and Erica is a homeschooling mom. They have four children: Abby, Brady, Brody and Jackson.

area. She is an occupational therapy assistant. They have three children: Mackenzie, Natalia and Chloe. 2010’s Samantha (Ekes ‘09 &‘10) Leister and her husband, William, live in Delaware. They have a son, Bruce, and are expecting their second child in August. Samantha works for the Delaware Department of Transportation in the sign shop as a graphics tech. Naomi Wightman '09 & '10 just joined the Navy. She is looking forward to visiting with other alumni wherever she goes. Josiah ‘10 & Rachel (Peer ‘10) Brondyke live in Florida where Josiah serves as the Student Pastor at First Baptist Church of New Port Richey. Josiah attended Word of Life Bible Institute in Florida and the bilingual program in Argentina. He is a regular speaker at Word of Life Ranch where he is known as “Bronco Brondyke”. Sarah Hight ‘11 lives in Upstate New York where she works as a resident assistant at Valley Health Services. Jonathan Duckett ‘11 is attending seminary in Florida for his Master of Divinity, and he also works as an enrollment coordinator. He is a pastoral intern at his church. Philip Miranda ‘11 & ‘12 lives in the Albany, New York, area where he works with people with special needs. Jonathan Helm '12 lives in Virginia where he works in the Student Accounts office at Liberty University. Becky Fanus ‘13 is an assistant fitness director, personal trainer, snowboard/ski instructor, and gymnastics coach in Pennsylvania. April Bartholmew ‘13 lives in Missouri where she works in the warehouse at Ferguson Waterworks. She is involved at church in the children's ministry, the security team, and a Bible study.


Gregory Motte ‘99 & ‘00 lives in Florida and is a social worker with the homeless.

2000’s Ruth (TenHoeve ‘01) Sprout and her husband, John, live in Pennsylvania where she is the executive assistant for JHA Companies. Barney Caporal ‘05 lives in Texas where he works as a registered nurse and is involved in music ministry playing the violin.


Nathan Bryant ‘05 and his wife, Jonila, live in Florida where Nathan works for Sealift Inc.

Nicole (Houde ‘06 & ‘07) and John ’06 &’07 Turner live in the Syracuse, New York, area. She is a marketing assistant at Prudential. They have two boys: Ethan and Logan. Julie (Canfield ‘08 & ‘10) and Andrew ‘07 & ‘08 Eichelberger live in Pennsylvania where Julie runs an in-home childcare business. Justin Cradduck ‘08 and his wife, Dusty Jo, live in Pennsylvania where he works as a software engineer. They have three children: Howard, Wesley and Dylan. Rachel (Boddie ‘08 & ‘09) Barney and her husband, Oliver, live in Pennsylvania where Rachel works as the director of marketing and business development for JHA Companies. They are expecting their first child in July. Elizabeth (Peer ‘08 & ‘09) and Craig ’08 & ’09 Gornall have two children: Leah and Jude. They live in New Jersey where Elizabeth is a stay-at- home mom and works part time for PCB Home. She is also active on the music teams at their church.



Shalynn Murray ‘15 is a firefighter/EMT in Florida.

Sam Fanus ‘16 & ‘17 is working as a teacher’s aide in Pennsylvania.

Timothy Kessler ‘17 is attending Northwest State Community College in Ohio where he is studying mechanical engineering and welding. He is on the Praise Team at church and enjoys participating in Spartan runs.


Melanie (Widener ‘09) Bamberger and her husband, Angel, live in the Long Island, New York,


harry Bollback Update ELIZABETH (BOLLBACK) NELSON ‘74

In January, we celebrated my Dad’s (Harry Bollback) 95th birthday! He has been a wonderful father, husband, brother, uncle and friend to so many. Life these days can be hard because of his age. And there are days when he has said, “I don’t know why God has allowed me to live this long when there is so little I can do for Him... but He must still have something for me to do.” Recently, one of the veterans (USMC, Vietnam War, sniper) he met through the VFW called and asked if he could come see him. As the visit was coming to an end, Dad asked him, “Bill, when are you going to ask Jesus to be your Savior?” Bill said, “Right now.” So, Bill bowed his head and asked Jesus to be his Savior! When Dad was telling us, he said, “I’ve been talking with Bill for almost 10 years... I guess God does still have work for me to do! What better birthday present could I get!”

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And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13


June 22, 1924 – February 5, 2020

Dr. John C. Whitcomb – at Home with the Lord TOM DAVIS '72

Dr. Whitcomb was born on June 22, 1924, at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC. His great-grandfather lost a leg in the Civil War. His grandfather was an army surgeon stationed in Cuba where the family became fluent in Spanish and eventually was in charge of all medical supplies during WWI. His father was a West Point graduate, fought in WWI and then again in WWII where he was a Colonel in General George Patton’s Third Army. From age three through six, Dr. Whitcomb lived with his family in China, where his lifelong fascination with languages was developed. At this point in his life, it was Mandarin, Spanish, and English – later in life he was president of the board of the Spanish World Gospel Mission for over 40 years. Moving as his father’s military career dictated, he lived in New York, Georgia, Kansas, Washington, and Tennessee where he graduated from high school. Due to poor eyesight, he could not attend West Point like his father, so he enrolled in Princeton University to begin preparations for international diplomatic service. While fascinated by a geology course and the story of evolution, a former missionary (Dr. Donald Fullerton) from India and Afghanistan ministering on the Princeton campus led him to the Lord. This missionary discipled Dr. Whitcomb in theology, apologetics, and evangelism, eventually leading him to share a Gospel tract with a Princeton professor, Albert Einstein! After one year at Princeton he was drafted and spent the next two years with the United States Army in Europe calculating artillery trajectories. Following his war service, he returned to Princeton and earned a degree in history. Dr. Whitcomb entered Grace Theological Seminary as a student in 1948 where he earned a MDiv in 1951, ThM in 1953 and ThD in 1957. He joined the faculty at Grace Theological

Seminary where he served as Professor of Theology and Old Testament, Director of Postgraduate Studies, and other positions from 1951 to 1990. (For more biographical details see “A Biblical Tribute to John C. Whitcomb, Jr.” by Paul Scharf in Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth edited by Terry Mortenson and Thane Hutcherson Ury.). Dr. Whitcomb is internationally known as an author and teacher. He is best known for his role as co-author with Henry Morris, PhD, of The Genesis Flood , published in 1961. The Genesis Flood is considered one of the most influential books of the 20th Century and marks the beginning of the modern creation movement. In addition to The Genesis Flood , Dr. Whitcomb has published a number of books on science and the Bible, commentaries, and other works highlighted on his website: WHITCOMBMINISTRIES.ORG Dr. Whitcomb had been a frequent speaker at various Word of Life locations over the years, speaking at conferences or teaching at Bible Institutes in New York, Florida, Ontario, Germany, Argentina, the Philippines, and Brazil. The New York Bible Institute Classes of 1981-2012 enjoyed his Genesis 1-11 course. A number of Word of Life staff members have attended Grace Theological Seminary and attest to the incredible impact Dr. John Whitcomb has had in their life and ministry, such as Alex Konya, Marshall Wicks, and Tom Davis. Those students who have had Old Testament Survey, Theology, Romans, Isaiah, or Dispensationalism with either Dr. Wicks or Dr. Davis have “gotten to know” Dr. Whitcomb whether you realized it or not!

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