SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Evangel University Alumni Association will honor the late Dr. Terry Bleek, former professor of New Testament, Greek and Biblical Theology, on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016.
The Trees of Honor ceremony will be held at 11 a.m., during the Homecoming Celebration Luncheon in the University Plaza Convention Center. He will be recognized along with three other members of the Evangel family.
Dr. Bleek taught at Central Bible College for 17 years and joined the Evangel faculty at the time of consolidation in 2013. He passed away unexpectedly on July 26, 2016, while in Washington state spending time with family.
Trees of Honor
The Trees of Honor project began as an idea formed by a small group of graduates from the early 1960s and took root following Springfield’s great ice storm of 2007. The idea was to help replace lost trees and restore the natural beauty of the campus.
Trees have been planted on Evangel’s campus in acknowledgement of the legacy of service each of the recipients has provided to the university. An engraved bronze plaque is placed at the base of each tree as a permanent tribute to the person being honored.
A legacy of service
Dr. Terry Bleek’s bio on the Evangel University website was indicative of his desire to reach students. After covering the obligatory facts, it said, “I would also like to get acquainted with you. If you come to the Evangel campus, please feel free to drop by my office or visit one of my classes.”
His impact on Evangel may have been physically cut short by his death earlier this year, but his legacy lives — not only in this Trees of Honor designation, but also in the hearts and minds of the many students who took advantage of the time to “get acquainted” in a deeper way.
“I love interaction with students in and out of class. I always enjoy getting to know a student’s family history, personal history interests and vocational calling. I count being a part of Evangel campus such a joy and privilege,” wrote Bleek.
Dr. Calvin Pincombe says of his friend, “His teaching ministry has had a profound effect on his students and the kingdom of God. Students constantly commented on the passionate way in which he expounded the Scriptures in the classroom. He communicated the depth of his conviction in a way that ignited a fire in their hearts and made them hunger for more of the Word of God.”
Terry and his wife, Linda, have four children, two of whom graduated from Evangel — Ryan in 2002 and Rachel Gill in 2007 — while daughter Christin Rude graduated from CBC in 2002. Their other daughter, Heather Baumgart, has given them four grandchildren.
Additional Trees of Honor award recipients for 2016 include:
- Dorothea Lotter, the longest serving employee in the history of AGTS.
- Dr. Joe Nicholson, visionary educator and former chair of the Department of Music.
- Sandra Sorbo, the driving force of women’s athletics at Evangel for more than three decades.
For more information, contact the Evangel University Alumni Relations Department at (417) 865-2811, ext. 7333.