STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 11/22/2010

Behind the Scenes of a Yearlong Celebration

by Natalie Ferjulian '10

Over half a century has passed since Dick ’58 and Carol (Edwards) ’57 Visser graduated from Gordon. But their connection to the College continues. For many years they’ve been passionately studying the life and legacy of Adoniram Judson Gordon.

“He was a tremendous role model then and still is today,” says Dick, a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and long-time pastor of First Baptist Church in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. Since his retirement from First Baptist, Dick and Carol have held co-interim pastoral positions at three churches in New England.

“I’m forever thankful that A. J. Gordon saw women in ministry as a blessing in the church,” says Carol, who has a master’s degree in theology and is an ordained American Baptist pastor.

Further connecting the Vissers to A. J. Gordon are 10 relatives between them who have attended either the College or Gordon-Conwell Seminary. And Carol’s father was the last pastor of Clarendon Street Baptist Church, where A. J. Gordon was pastor from 1869 to 1895.

With the Vissers at the helm, the College has set aside this academic year to commemorate A. J. Gordon’s 175th birthday and celebrate his ongoing legacy. A committee of nearly 30 people has been involved, including Tom and Jean Askew, Russ Bishop, Peter Stine, John Beauregard ’53, Scott Gibson, Jon Harrell, David Horn, and Ken ’65 and Joyce (Edwards) ’67 Wallace.

“We wanted to do something in thanks for what he’s given us,” says Dick.

Contact the Vissers:

Upcoming A. J. Gordon events include:

December 11
Fezziwig's Ball
An evening of dance and Christmas merriment from the era of A. J. Gordon.
Old Town Hall, Salem

April 15, 2011
Uncommon Courage, Everyday Faith
A Leadership Symposium with leading scholars on the seven themes of A. J. Gordon.
Gordon College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

April 19, 2011
A. J. Gordon's 175th Birthday
A campus-wide celebration.
Gordon College

July 29–30, 2011
A. J. Gordon Family Reunion
A celebration of A. J. Gordon's legacy for his descendants and the Gordon community.
Gordon College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Home to a Legacy

The Gordon website has many downloadable resources by and about A. J. Gordon, including books, hymns, sermons and articles.

Many of A. J. Gordon's original works are available in the archives of the Jenks LIbrary at Gordon. Contact Martha Crain, College archivist for more information.


A. J. Gordon on Twitter:

NEXT: In Our End: Is Our Beginning and Other Paradoxes