Alumni News & Notes

Welcome to Alumni News & Notes

Below you will find updates from the Alumni community, including career updates, family news, and notices of alums who have passed away. Do you have news of your own to share with the Alumni community? Please fill out our form to let us know!

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Career Updates

Rev. James (Jim) Benson (MDiv ’14)

  • Congratulations to alumnus, Jim Benson on being appointed Senior Pastor at Cranberry Community United Presbyterian Church (PA) after almost eight years of faithful service at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church (Rock Island, IL).

Jeffrey Bell (MDiv ’82) 

  • Congratulations to alumnus, Jeffrey Bell, on the announcement of his retirement after 40 faithful years in ministry. He served churches in Newton, MA, Cumberland, MD, Horseheads, NY and Virginia Beach, VA and also served as a Chaplain (LTC) in the U.S. Army National Guard.

Rachel Hastings (MAOT & MANT ’20) 

  • Congratulations to alumna, Rachel Hastings, for being appointed associate editor for IVP Academic. In this new role, she will be leading acquisitions and the development of academic books in biblical studies and related fields.

Pastor Jason Dampier (MDiv ’17)

  • Congratulations to our alumnus, Jason Dampier, for accepting a call to become Pastor at Word of God Lutheran Church in Sharpsburg, GA. His primary area of focus is youth and family, but he serves all areas of ministry.

Dr. Angel L. Velez Oyola (Th.M. ’10)

  • Congratulations to our alumnus, Angel Velez, for earning a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Theological School of Drew University. Dr. Velez’s studies for this program addressed the future development of the Ministry of Prisons in Puerto Rico and its socio-educational impact.

Michelle Hurlbert (MACC ’87)

  • Congratulations to our alumna, Michelle Hurlbert, for launching Mosaic Integrative Counseling PLLC this past March. For more information, visit her website.

Andrew Shriver (MACH ’98)

  • Congratulations to our alumnus, Andrew Shriver, for marking 15 years of service as an Army Chaplain. Through this position, Andrew is now contributing to the development of regional religious dynamic studies all around the world for Dept. of Defense Senior Chaplain Leaders.

Dr. David Delozier (MATS ’88)

  • Congratulations to our alumnus, David Delozier, for earning his Ph.D. in Leadership from Alvernia University. Congratulations are extended to David and his wife, Lisa, in celebration of their 40th wedding anniversary.

Dr. William Bronson (MTS ’75)

  • Congratulations to our alumnus, William Bronson, on establishing Enlighten Education Co-op (EEC), a non-profit organization in Florida whose goal is to improve educational outcomes of K-12 public school students. For more information, visit their website.

Dr. Carmen Imes (MABS  ’11) & Dr. Sandra Richter (MATH, ’90)

  • Congratulations to two of our alums, Dr. Carmen Imes and Dr. Sandra Richter on each receiving a Jesus Creed 2020 Book Award in Old Testament for their books Bearing God’s Name  (Carmen Imes), and Stewards of Eden (Sandra Richter).

Family Updates

Elizabeth (Ostling) Klein (MASF ’17)

  • Elizabeth Ostling married Duane Klein on November 28, 2020 at the Sussex Christian Reformed Church in Sussex, NJ. She has changed her name to Elizabeth Klein, and she and Duane are living in Jamaica Plain, MA.

In Remembrance

Dr. Russell Spittler (BDiv ’58)

  • Dr. Russel P. Spittler, one of the leading scholars in Pentecostal scholarship, passed into the arms of Jesus on Friday, January 20. Russell Paul Spittler was born on August 6, 1931, in Pittsburgh, PA. He received his bachelor’s degree from Florida Southern College in 1954, his MA from Wheaton College in 1957, his BD degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1958, and his PhD from Harvard University in 1971. In addition to his prolific scholarship and significant contribution to Pentecostal studies, he also served as the Academic Dean of Southern California College (later Vanguard University) in 1967; Associate Dean at Fuller Theological Seminary in 1976; and later remained at Fuller as Professor of New Testament in 1985 before serving as Provost and Senior Vice President from 1995 to 2002, among many other accomplishments. He is survived by his wife, Roberta “Bobbie” Watson, and his family. A fuller obituary can be viewed here.

Rev. Bruce Sandy (MDiv ’77)

  • Bruce Sandy, 71, passed peacefully on Jan. 6, 2023, at Hartford Hospital after a long illness. He was born on Nov. 8, 1951, in Worcester Massachusetts, and grew up in New England before attending Gordon Conwell and Andover Newton for his MDiv. He was employed by four churches in the Boston area and five churches in Connecticut; he also provided guidance for 47 years in the ministry. Bruce was a member of TABCON and ABCON; he was on the board of Camp and Conference, Ministry Counsel for the State of CT, and Pierce Baptist Home. He is survived by his sister Cathyann Bearthiaume; three nephews, David and John Bearthiaume, Aaron Hamscon; and two nieces Marina Peck and Carrie Bosch.  A fuller obituary can be viewed here.

Margaret Knowlton (MTS ’75)

  • Margaret (Hansen) Knowlton, 84, passed peacefully on January 17, 2023, at home whilst surrounded by her family. Born in Breslau, Germany, Margaret is best known as Imme by her family and friends. She pursued a degree in chemistry and biology at Gordon College before her time at Gordon-Conwell. Upon graduation, she held numerous positions at the Apolo & Lemm space programs, Tufts Medical School, some of Boston’s most prestigious hospitals, and the IRS. Margaret also served as the church organist for the First Baptist church and St. Johns Church in Peabody MA. She is survived by her husband, Thomas Ward Knowlton, with whom she shared 58 years of marriage; her daughter, Kelli, and her husband, Scott; and her son, Daniel, and his fiancé Amanda, among others in her family. A fuller obituary can be viewed here.

Rev. Norman Christopherson (MDiv ’68)

  • Norman Christopherson, age 83, passed away at Granite VNA Hospice House on Friday, January 13th, 2023. Norman graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with his MDiv in 1968. He worked as a pastor at South Merrimack Congregational Church and more recently at Immanuel Community Church of Concord. Norman loved coffee and to reminisce about growing up on the farm in North Dakota. Norman is survived by his wife, Bridget, his children, Kimberly and her husband Michael, Karin and her husband Darron, Erik and his wife Jessica; his brother, Ken, and his seven grandchildren. A fuller obituary can be viewed here.

Rev. James A. Selby (MDiv ’81)

  • James Allen Selby, 69, died January 3rd, 2023, at his home in Overland Park, KS surrounded by loving family after a short battle with cancer. Upon his graduation from seminary, Jim pastored Winter Hill Baptist Church in Somerville, MA for four years before working at Christian academies in Kansas City and Lake Oswego, Oregon. He has published papers about classical Christian pedagogy and was a member of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric. Jim is survived by his wife, Elaine, his children, Andrew (Malea), Philip, Emily, and Kristin, his grandchildren, Dana, James, Kentania, Luke, John, Monica, and Paul, his mother, Beverly, his brother, Scott (Janie), his sister, Kathryn (Mark), his brother-in-law, Brad Dittman, his nieces, Marie (Tim) and Natasha, and nephew, Eric (Emma). A fuller obituary can be viewed here.

Rev. James B. Eubanks (MDiv ’62)

  • Rev. James Blair Eubanks left his earthly body on Wednesday, December 7, and finally went to be with his Lord Jesus at the age of 85. Jim pastored Brookville Baptist Church in Holbrook, MA for 31 years. As a minister, Jim loved reaching out to community members, playing horse and chess with young people, and taking groups to see the Celtics. After retiring and moving to Wareham, Jim was a very active and devoted congregant at Church in the Pines. Jim is survived by Emily Brooks Eubanks, his wife of 60 years, his daughter Karen and her husband Joel Gray, and his son Mark Eubanks, his sister Stella Eubanks, her daughter Christine and granddaughter Kristin. A fuller obituary can be viewed here.

Rev. James Kenneth Moelk (MDiv ’85)

  • The Rev. James Kenneth Moelk, of Erie, formerly of Pittsburgh, went to be with his Lord on Monday, December 5, 2022 at the age of 69. After graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, he started his pastoral ministry at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Erie, PA. He was the founding co-pastor of Church of the Cross in Erie, where he served for over 20 years; after retirement, he was a part of Redeemer Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Jim enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, doing carpentry, walking with his dogs, and most importantly continuing to grow in his faith and love for Christ. He is survived by his wife, Jaye Klein Moelk, his four children, Janel, James, Jocelyn, and Yolande, and his thirteen grandchildren. A fuller obituary can be viewed here.

Rev. Barry Ballard (MDiv ’90, DMin ’11)

  • Barry Ballard went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at the age of 58. He loved Jesus and people and lived his life anchored in those two loves. Barry took his call to pastor the Wyalusing Presbyterian Church and served there faithfully for over 26 years; he loved the Wyalusing Presbyterian Church and her people. Barry is survived by his wife, Karen (MDiv ’89, DMin ’11), his daughter, Kirstyn, his son, Wesley, his mother, Sylvia Ballard, and a community that will best honor him by following his example of loving Jesus and loving people. A fuller obituary can be viewed here.

William Franklin Harris (MATS ’86)

  • William Franklin Harris passed into the presence of his Lord on Saturday, January 8, 2022 at the age of 82. Bill worked for the Overseas Missionary Fellowship for 20 years, serving as pastor to churches in Malaysia and Singapore and was fluent in the Malay and Tamil languages. He earned his Master’s degree at Gordon-Conwell and served as a pastor in Kingston Baptist Church, Kingston, Massachusetts.  In 1995, he relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma to begin a career as a substance abuse counselor. In 2003, he met his wife LaTricia Crawford and they were married on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bill was an avid reader and chess player and he enjoyed studying U.S. History.  A fuller obituary can be viewed here.

Matthew Michael Kantrowitz (MDiv ’86)

  • Matthew Michael Kantrowitz went to be with the Lord that he loved on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. In his time on earth, Matt dedicated his life to ministering to the prisoners of ME, MA, and NH. By grace the Lord blessed Matt with a love for those men so he was able to proclaim the gospel to them. He worked as Chaplain at Maine State Prison for 18 years. After retiring from there, the Lord stirred up the hearts of churches and individuals all over New England to support Matt and his prison ministry. He was grateful for them and the Board Members who helped him establish Isaiah 61 Ministries as a 501(c)(3). Matt leaves behind his dearly beloved wife of 48 years, Christine, but only for a short while. He also leaves behind a daughter, Jessica, and a son, David. The memorial service will be postponed because of a rise in Covid cases. In the meantime, a website has been created for all to gather to remember Matt with comments or stories.

Rev. Robert E. Bell (BDiv ’54)

  • Reverend Robert E. Bell, Sr., 94, entered into the presence of his Lord Jesus, Monday, November 8, 2021, at the Sussman House after a period of declining health. In 1950, he graduated at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, and in 1954 completed a master’s in divinity from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Reverend Bell was ordained at First Baptist Church, Rockland, June 26, 1953. He was the founding pastor of High Street Baptist Church in Limestone, where he served from 1954 to 1958. He continued in pastoral ministry at a number of churches until his retirement from full-time ministry in 1993. His humility and warmth gave him the ability to make friends wherever he went.

Rev. A. Theodore Ekholm (MDiv ’52)

  • Rev. Theodore “Ted” Ekholm went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, September 4, 2021. After graduating from seminary, he and his wife, Barbara, served the Lord in four Baptist Churches in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine. “Pastor Ted” was a man who loved God, loved his wife and family, and loved people. His life was filled with many challenges and blessings, but he always gave glory to God.

Richard (Dick) L. Parker (B.Div. ’59)

  • Richard L. Parker, 89, of Penney Farms and formerly of St. Augustine, died Sunday, August 29, following an arduous two-week battle with Covid. With his surviving wife of 45 years, Jean (Rehmeyer Parker), Dick pastored churches in Maine, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania from the late 1950’s to the early 1970’s before launching a successful 35-year career as a fundraising consultant. He was a pastor at heart, and his genuine love for others ideally suited him to both professions. Dick and Jean shared a passion for small group ministry, and positively impacted countless people with their compassion, kindness, and wisdom. Their love for Jesus and other people bound their hearts in ministry and marriage. He is survived by his wife, Jean, 5 step-children, 15 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

Rev. Robert Cloutier (MATS ’89, M.Div. ’92)

  • Rev. Robert Cloutier (Pastor Bob) of Hopkinton, went to meet his Lord on August 25, 2021 after a courageous eight-month battle with a rare form of Lymphoma. A pastor at Faith Community Church Hopkinton (formerly First Congregational Church of Hopkinton) for over 37 years, Bob’s life mission was to serve God by serving others, and he did so with compassion, love, kindness, and commitment. He truly was a beacon of the fruits of the Spirit, loved sharing the Gospel, and ministered to thousands in his lifetime.

Rev. Horace H. Stoddard (M.Div. ’65) 

  • Rev. Horace H. Stoddard, 80, of Pine City, NY, passed away on June 1, 2021. Roland served at First Baptist Church (Lancaster, NY) and then Pine City Baptist Church for 33 years until his retirement. He was respected and loved by his congregations, his family, and American Baptist family. His willingness to look at situations with an open mind and ability to bring people together in consensus will be missed. He is survived by his wife, Ruth, their three children, and three grandchildren.

Rev. Brenda Holly Vautier (M.Div. ’86)

  • Rev. B. Holly Vautier passed from this life into God’s presence on Thursday, June 18, 2020. Together with her husband, Holly pastored churches in New York, Massachusetts, and Arizona. She was active in the church choir, praise team, teaching Bible studies, serving on several committees, and annually oversaw the Operation Christmas Child project for Kingman Presbyterian Church, AZ. Her bright demeanor, quick wit, and cheerful personality radiated her love for Christ and for people. She was admired for her spiritual maturity and solid faith.

Rev. Roland Francis Batchelder, Sr. (M.Div. ’70)

  • Rev. Roland Francis Batchelder, Sr. most recently of Whiting, New Jersey, went home to be with his Savior on May 13, 2021 surrounded by family singing the hymns he loved so dearly. Roland served in the Korean War and later worked with the Red Cross before hearing the call to serve in ministry. He graduated from Gordon-Conwell with a Master’s of Divinity and moved with his family to Wilton, Maine where, with the constant support of his wife, he established Calvary Hill Baptist Church and Christian School.

Timothy Ridolfi (MAR ’93)

  • Tim passed on at age 67 on January 25, 2021 in Richmond, VA. He is survived by his brother Paul of Greensboro, North Carolina. Tim was a graduate of Trinity College of Florida and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.

Rev. John Rankin (M.Div. ’84)

  • John died of heart failure December 25, 2020. He was the President of the Theological Education Institute (TEI) which he founded in 1986. A brilliant man with multiple degrees, including a Masters in Divinity from GCTS and a Masters in Ethics and Public Policy from Harvard Divinity School, he was also an author of multiple books. He married his wife Nancy Jean Gordon on August 6, 1977, and had four children and four grandchildren.

Rev. Dr. Russel Hartley (B.Div. ’64)

  • Russel Henry “Russ” Hartley, 83, of Old Town, ME, went home to be with the Lord he loved, on Nov. 28, 2020. Russ and his wife Lorrie shepherded churches in Maine before Russ accepted the role of Chaplain at the New England Baptist Hospital, in Boston MA. After 15 years as a Chaplain, Russ returned to pastoral ministry, and served churches in New York and Maine.

Dr. Donald Gill (Honorary D.Div. ’80)

  • Donald H. Gill, 92, died November 12, 2020, in Gloucester, MA. Gill and his wife Beverly were married for almost 70 years. For the last 50 years, Don served churches in New England in collaboration with different denominations, both Protestant and Catholic. He was often found on the Gordon-Conwell campus, both as facilitator and participant, in gatherings of pastors.

Robert James Vetter (MTS ’75)

  • Rev. Robert J.“Bob” Vetter entered the Lord’s presence Friday, November 6, after a long battle with metastatic melanoma. Bob, a widower, was married to his wife June by Gordon-Conwell President Ockenga. Together they started the Christian Singles Foundation on the North Shore, and also wrote a book on singleness. Later, Bob served in a variety of pastoral positions, was the CEO of the USA World Team Mission Office, and the Vice President of St. Joseph’s Foundation in Southern Pines.

Rev. Dr. Edward John Osei-Bonsu (MRE ’89; M.Div. ’92; D.Min. ’93)

  • Rev. Dr. Edward John Osei-Bonsu passed away in August, 2020, and was buried on November 21, 2020. He was the Senior Pastor of Lifeway Community Baptist Church in Accra, Ghana.

James M. Moran (M.Div. ’79)

  • Jim Moran passed away on Oct. 13, 2020 at the age of 69. He had recently retired as senior pastor of the Cranberry Community United Presbyterian Church in Cranberry Twp, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh.  He received his M.Div. at Gordon-Conwell in 1979 and his D.Min. from the Reformed Seminary in Jackson, MI.

John L. Good (MRE, ’70)

  • John L. Good III, 77, died peacefully on Oct. 18, 2020. He held a Master of Religious Education degree from Gordon-Conwell and an Honorary Doctorate from Endicott College. Jack married  Susan on April 9, 1967. Jack had leadership roles on numerous boards and committees. He served as an adjunct faculty member at both Gordon College and North Shore Community College.

Rev. Dr. Richard P. Camp, Jr. (M.Div. ’61; D.Div. ’88)

  • The Rev. Dr. Richard P. Camp, Jr., longest serving Chaplain at the US Military Academy from 1973 – 1996, died September 15. After completing his graduate degree at Gordon Divinity School, he pastored several churches. He was the Dean of Students at Gordon-Conwell, moving to West Point where he embarked on a 23-year career as Chaplain at the US Military Academy.

Robert Gridley (M.Div. ’64)

  • Robert Gridley, 87, passed away on June 7, 2020.  Bob is survived by his wife Elaine, five children, 16 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren.  Bob pastored churches in Maine, Massachusetts and Illinois.  He served with Faith at Work Ministries. He worked for the Appalachian Peace and Justice Network until his retirement. 

Joyce Lin (M.Div. ’17)

  • Joyce Lin died in a plane crash May 12, 2020, while serving as a pilot and IT specialist with Mission Aviation Fellowship. Joyce, who was also a graduate of MIT, was delivering COVID-19 supplies to a remote village in Papua.

Rev. Dr. William (Bill) Henry Chadwick (M.Div. ’82)

  • Rev. Dr. William (Bill) Henry Chadwick, 64, went home to be with the Lord on May 2, 2020, as a result of a motorcycle accident. Bill earned an M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell in 1982, and later a D.Min. at Fuller Theological Seminary. He married Carol Anderson on May 27, 1984. Bill pastored Stroudwater Christian Church in Portland, Maine, for 30 years. 

Stanley M. Brown (MABS, ’92)

  • Stanley M. Brown passed away on February 15, 2020. He was born in Sukkur, Pakistan to missionary parents. He married Tamara Coon in 1979. After earning an MA in Biblical Studies from Gordon-Conwell in 1992, they served in Turkey and Kazakhstan. In 1998 Stan and Tamara helped start a project of IDEAS focusing on training impoverished farmers east of the city of Almaty.  

Rev. Dr. James C. Larkin Sr. (M.Div. ’77, D.Min. ’09)

  • Rev. Dr. James “Jim” Clarence Larkin Sr. passed away July 24th, 2020. He  received a M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell in 1977 and a D.Min. in 2009. Jim married Sharon Lynne on January 30th, 1988. Dr. Larkin pastored Christ Church for over thirty years and started Beckon, a nonprofit organization aimed at mentoring young urban men.

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