“After soldiers returned from ‘the war to end all wars,’ prohibition brought turmoil, but the economy boomed. A seemingly indestructible country complacently stood at the threshold of the Great Depression.
And it came about in those days that Dallas Theological Seminary—first known as the Evangelical Theological College—had its birth. And at the end of the first academic cycle, the first student to graduate—a young man named Roy L. Aldrich—crossed the stage to receive his degree.”
Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in the last year of the nineteenth century, Aldrich saw a tour of duty with the Navy during the First World War. But that experience affected him far less than the change an introduction to Jesus Christ brought about in his life. His new path led to Texas for seminary, which gave him opportunities to serve as a pastor. Yet his passion for Christian education guided most of his career decisions.
The path of following his Lord soon led to Detroit, Michigan. Co-laboring with believers from the Christian Businessmen’s Committee of Detroit, he helped create Detroit Bible College. The school opened its doors to students the year before World War II ended, and Dr. Aldrich steered the institution as president from its infancy for twenty-two years, after which he served as President Emeritus.
His belief in the importance of Christian education compelled him to stand many hours in Detroit pulpits calling people to support God’s work in scholarship. He also lived what he taught, giving whenever possible to various Christian schools, including DTS.
His motivation flowed from a great love of Scripture. Dr. Aldrich preached, wrote, and spoke, lecturing at DTS and at Moody’s Founders’ Week conferences. His book, Holding Fast to Grace, is still in print.
Described as easy to talk to, and a gracious and knowledgeable preacher and teacher, Dr. Aldrich had a dry sense of humor and loved to fish. He was known for wearing a clip-on bow tie, even after doing so fell out of fashion. His passion for teaching the scriptures extended to every age group, so he often brought the children to the front of the church during services for a short object lesson.
His work in the ministry continued even after his retirement and relocation to Florida. There he found a way for local people to receive training in biblical studies in conjunction with Moody’s External studies program. Dr. Aldrich ended his days there, going to be with the Lord at age 99. And his grave inscription expresses his faith: “In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).
The Aldrich family’s past, present, and future relationship with DTS goes on. Our first graduate’s brother, Willard (ThM, 1934; ThB, 1934; ThD, 1936) helped found Multnomah Bible College, serving as its president for thirty-five years (1943–1978). Upon his retirement, his son Joseph (ThM, 1968; ThD, 1971) filled his immense shoes. Other family members who passed through the halls of DTS have included Roy’s nephews, Jon (ThM, 1968) and Tim Aldrich (ThM, 1971; ThD, 1975), and son-in-law Ken Schafer (ThM, 1971).
Before Roy Aldrich entered the Lord’s presence sixteen years ago, he and his second wife, Constance Crawley Aldrich, agreed to create a plan for their support of DTS to outlive them. When she passed away in 2011, their estate gift was distributed to the DTS general fund. The Aldrich family’s legacy of faith continues through their investment in the training of future Christian leaders.
Scholarship Fund in Honor of Susan Danis, Wife
Lee was married for forty-five years to a very special lady, Susan. Although she was on the quiet side, she was influential in starting five ministries in her home church in Nacogdoches, TX. One of them was a chapter of the Ladies Bible Study Fellowship which she started in her community.
Susan had a heart for Hispanic people, and this led her to volunteer one night a week teaching English to Spanish-speaking adults. She did this for twelve years. During this time, she became certified as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. When their two daughters left for college, she returned to school to become a fully certified teacher in Spanish.
She then spent the next seven years teaching English to second grade students in a primarily Spanish-speaking school in a nearby town. Susan was so passionate about the Latin American culture that she traveled several times to Mexico and Spain to learn more about the culture.
Susan and Lee have been supporters of Dallas Theological Seminary for over forty-five years and have appreciated the excellent way it trained and prepared students for ministry. Susan spent her last seven years battling dementia and passed away in 2016. As a memorial to his dear wife, Lee created a scholarship fund for students in the DTS en Español program to be funded with annual gifts and a gift in his will. Each recipient will receive a note from him explaining his reasons for setting up this fund. After his death, his two daughters will coordinate with Dallas Seminary on this scholarship fund. The recipients will receive the following note.
As I have given thought and prayer about the best way to honor Susan’s memory, I decided to provide financial assistance to students like you who are from a Hispanic culture. I trust the financial assistance will enable you to complete your education at Dallas Theological Seminary and prepare you for your future ministry. I know this would please Susan very much, and she is likely smiling down from heaven, agreeing with this assistance and your work for the Lord.
October 10, 2018
Drs. Paul and Kathryn Wilson
“Over the years we have developed a close relationship with the Dallas Seminary Foundation. They will help with gifts to both DTS and non-DTS charities. They have been invaluable in helping us craft our estate planning.”
We are Paul and Kathryn Wilson, retired physicians. Kathryn grew up in a church pastored by Dallas graduates. Dr. David Cotton was the senior pastor. Chaplin Bill Bryan started his first ministry after graduating from DTS as the Youth pastor for her church. Dr. Michael Lawson was the associate pastor. She and Dr. Mark Hitchcock grew up together in the same Sunday School class from the nursery through high school. She didn’t realize until well into adulthood that not everyone was pre-trib and pre-millennial!
He has grown to love the wonderful people of DTS as well as appreciate the excellent teaching and high standards they maintain.
We have had the privilege of financially supporting the seminary since 1989 when we first visited the campus. Over the years we have developed a close relationship with the Dallas Seminary Foundation. They will help with gifts to both DTS and non-DTS charities. They have been invaluable in helping us craft our estate planning. They work to maximize your giving to take advantage of current tax codes and to maximize what you give to both charity and family. Since they are a ministry they do not charge for their services. They keep us updated on their program and the activities of DTS at an annual program at the T bar M ranch near San Antonio, TX. During the weekend they have excellent teaching from the President and other staff and graduates that have gone on to ministries in many areas. It is always a refreshing and fun time. What better to do than get together with other members of the body to learn and praise Him! The Foundation is there also to help us and answer questions we might have. They are available by phone or email as needed.
We have traveled often with the DTS travel program and have done all the tours including the Holy Land, Travels of Paul and both the German/Swiss Reformation and the English Reformation. We have enjoyed the fellowship and great learning opportunities to travel with Dr. Bailey and a number of excellent professors.
We feel DTS is fully dedicated to Biblical inerrancy and Biblical teaching of students who preach God’s Word throughout the world as both pastors and teachers. In particular we are excited about the ongoing plan to translate their teaching into multiple languages. They have a Spanish and Chinese curriculum and are working on Arabic. We feel blessed to be a part of this ministry with a rich history and bright future. We trust the Lord to use our annual gifts and estate gift to DTS in a way that will be a blessing long after we are gone.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“Working with the Foundation team enabled me to reach two of my ‘bottom line’ financial goals—my family will be taken care of adequately, and God is being glorified as many of the resources He has provided are being funneled right back to Him through quality Christian ministries. The spiritual emphasis included in their work was both unique and very helpful.”
—Norman E. Miller, Chairman and CEO, Interstate Battery Systems of America, Inc., Dallas, TX
“The Dallas Seminary Foundation was a big help to my wife and me in a number of ways. Even though we already had wills and multiple trusts, the Foundation helped us organize our thinking, define where we were versus where we wanted to be, and set up a program that involves significant giving to the Lord’s work while more than adequately providing for our children. In addition, they assisted us in setting up a plan to phase me out of my practice and into full-time ministry as a medical missionary in Central America.”
—J. Y. Jones, M.D., Surgeon, Dublin Eye Associates, Dublin, GA