The son of a well-known evangelist, Dave Wyrtzen says his life passion is to be used by the Holy Spirit to move others toward intimacy with the biblical Christ. To accomplish this, he proclaims the gospel and teaches the Word of God as an author, radio broadcaster, and an international speaker.
Even with all this worldwide outreach, however, he considers his main ministry to be his church in a small town outside of Dallas.
“My most practical training has been the opportunity to minister and to live in Midlothian from the founding of the church to the present.”
The Lord combined two Bible studies in 1973 in Midlothian taught by DTS students to found Midlothian Bible Church (MBC). Ed Murray (Th.M. ‘73) taught one of these studies and in July of 1973 the church sent him out to minister in Eastern Europe with Campus Crusade. Dave was the other teacher and the church called him and his wife Mary to pastor in the summer before his junior year at DTS. Dave continues in this call, now in his thirtieth year. Dave smiles when he thinks of the Lord’s sense of humor.
“The Lord sent a ‘Seinfeld’ kid from New Jersey to minister in a small Texas town where the bumper stickers read, ‘If you love the Big Apple, go home and eat it!’ Talk about cross-cultural ministry!”
Dave was raised in the New York City area. His father, Jack Wyrtzen, was one of the pioneers in Christian radio and TV. Like D.L. Moody Jack seized every opportunity to tell others the good news about Jesus—in jails, on street corners, and over the radio. As a child Dave saw his dad conduct evangelistic meetings in Madison Square Garden and reach out around the country on the radio. Word of Life is now reaching out around the world through Christian camps, Bible schools, and media outreach.
Dave accepted Christ at the age of five, went to a Christian High School in Florida, and then received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from Houghton College in 1971, expecting to go into medicine. God had different plans.
Through his father’s ministry, he came into contact with men of God like Dr. Howard Hendricks, who continually encouraged him to go to seminary. Prof persisted and Dave and Mary moved to Texas to attend Dallas Seminary in 1971. He received his master’s degree in New Testament in 1975 and a doctorate in Old Testament in 1980.
“The local church is the biblical heartbeat of Christ’s plan to build His kingdom!”
When you hear Dave talk like this, you understand why the thrust of his ministry is Midlothian Bible Church. The Lord has used MBC to help start Waxahachie Bible Church, Mansfield Bible Church, Teague Bible Church, and several others. The MBC family is excited about reaching all the new families who are now turning Midlothian from a sleepy, little Texas town into one of the major growth points of the Metroplex. The Lord has also chosen not to lay aside Dave’s heritage in radio.
His radio program, “Truth Encounter,” challenges its audience to intimacy with the biblical Jesus by presenting the reality of God’s Word through in-depth, easy-to-understand studies of God's Word.
“We want to help doctors, cement workers, warehouse managers, nurses, housewives, and students to know how to live daily with Christ in their daily lives and to know how to share their intimacy with Christ with others. It has got to happen Monday morning in the office, not just Sunday morning in church!”
It began in December of 1992 as a radio program ministering on stations from New York to Florida, most of the southeastern United States, and in Texas and Utah. Its purpose is to challenge listeners to intimacy with the biblical Christ by helping them take the truths of Scripture into their daily lives. If your local Christian radio station does not air "Truth Encounter," you can hear Dave’s teaching by logging onto the web at Oneplace.com.
Dave has written three books: Raising Worldly Wise But Innocent Kids presents wisdom from the Book of Proverbs for modern families, Unexpected Grace shows how God brings meaning out of our failures, and Love Without Shame presents sexuality from a biblical perspective.
He also teaches courses to Dallas Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) students, recently traveling to Guatemala to teach in the new Spanish D.Min. program.
The Wyrtzens have four children, the oldest of which, Jonathon, and his wife, Leslie, are university professors in Morocco. His second son, Joel, and his wife, Courtney, live in Austin and work with young professionals there. His third son, Josh, is a junior at the University of Texas and is married to Laura. Their youngest, a daughter named Jenae, is a sophomore in high school. Dave and Mary have one grandchild and another on the way.
The mission of Dallas Theological Seminary is to
glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders
for the proclamation of His Word and the
building up of the body of Christ worldwide.