Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (1915–2014)
A memorial service for Dr. P was held on the Dallas campus Wednesday, May 7th. Watch the recording.
Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, who taught for 58 years at Dallas Theological Seminary, has died. His death followed the autumn 2013 diagnosis of numerous malignant tumors soon after he finished physical therapy for a broken hip.
“Dr. P,” as he was affectionately known on the DTS campus, began his time at the seminary in 1937 as the one hundredth student at the then twelve-year-old school. Following graduation, he served in two pastorates, the second of which was located near Philadelphia. At that time he also served in a part-time position at what was known as Philadelphia Bible Institute. That assignment, particularly during the raging debate over the end times, convinced him to return to DTS for additional study. As he completed his doctorate in theology, the seminary’s president at the time, Dr. John F. Walvoord, invited Dr. P to join the DTS faculty, where he served until his death.
From 1958 through1973, Dr. P served concurrently as a DTS professor and senior pastor of Grace Bible Church in North Dallas. He also volunteered weekly at Luke’s Closet, a ministry that provides donated clothes free to DTS students.
The author of twenty-one books, the scholar was best known for the one he completed in 1957, Things to Come, which focused on end times.
Dr. P loved knowing that every week he taught in all fifty states and most countries in the world—through the DTS graduates he had discipled. In his words, his was “not a ministry of doing it, but a ministry of multiplication through those I’m privileged to share the Word with.”
Dr. "P," as we affectionately called him, was an inspiration to so many and an institution in his own time. Few people have known the Word of God like he did, and few loved the God of the Word like he loved Him. His favorite phrases he used with me these past few weeks were "God is in control" and "God knows what he is doing." We who have had the privilege to sit under him or teach beside him have all come to know and appreciate the whole of the Bible that our beloved friend believed so thoroughly and taught so faithfully for so many years — all centered in the words and works of Jesus Christ. All of us look forward to God’s "things to come" when we will be reunited with him in glory. Praise God for a faithful man and a long life (99 years this past week) well lived.
Mark L. Bailey, PhD
President, Dallas Theological Seminary
Dr. Pentecost was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, and their daughter, Gwen. He is survived by his daughter, DTS alumna Jane Fenby, along with two grandchildren (both married).