Editorial: I Remember Dr. John Walvoord -- By: Mal Couch
CTJ 7:22 (December 03) p. 253
I Remember Dr. John Walvoord
President, Tyndale Seminary
About five years ago I suggested to Dr. Walvoord that someone should write his biography. With his usual humor he answered that no one would be that interested in his life. I laughed but quickly replied that this was not so. The way he responded some would think his reply was nothing but false modesty. But not so with Dr. Walvoord! His greatness really escaped him, and he truly traveled the road of his life without fanfare or self-aggrandizement. The life he lived for Christ was an honest display of modesty in which he refused to place himself on any mountaintop of pride from which he could fall. Dr. Walvoord walked with steady spiritual steps. At each moment it seems he understood how to maintain a steadiness of temperament, and a focus on the task of what he was to do that day, that month, or that year.
One year passed and I suggested again to Dr. Walvoord that a biography really needed to be written about his life and ministry. This time he agreed and said it might be possible. His reluctance had been genuine and was not coming from an inflated view of himself. With a twinkle in his eye, he reminded me that his wife Geraldine was the keeper of the family gate, and she had to approve such an undertaking. In talking with her about the project, she was so gracious and warm, but too, she remained very protective of her beloved “John.”
With fear and trembling, I made the suggestion that I would like to do the biography.
To my surprise he said yes. With hands shaking, I drove home saying, “What have I gotten myself in for?” Since I had never written a biography, I did not have the faintest idea where to start. All I was certain of was how to turn the tape recorder on. From my
CTJ 7:22 (December 03) p. 254
old television journalism days, the questions would probably come out naturally.
I can still remember the day I went to his office with extension cords, tapes, and recorder in hand. I bumbled around trying to find plugs in his office. Being thoroughly nervous, I tripped several times over chairs and around cords flopping about. Knowing I was a little up tight, Dr. Walvoord put me at ease. He seemed ready to begin that long journey that would put his life on paper. There have been short essays and different articles about his life written before, but this attempt was meant to put it all into some kind of “theological” perspective, and also, by means of his long history as the servant of the Lord, to discover the heart of Dr. Walvoord.
Before beginning to tape, transcribe, and then write his story, I was able to be Dr. Walvoord’s hos...
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