Dr. Wes Gerig g51 Receives Eternal RewardBy Katherine Fenstermacher g13 Published: Jun 09, 2019
Dr. Wes Gerig g51 has received his final reward. Your Fort Wayne Alumni Center has learned of his passing during the early evening hours of Sunday, June 9. His family had shared on Thursday that his health had declined to a point where he was no longer able to teach Bible studies or preach sermons.
They had asked for prayers that Dr. Wes may have peace. According to former Alumni Director and brother, the Rev. Bill Gerig g61, Dr. Wes went peacefully. Dr. Wes taught at the Fort Wayne campus from 1957 to 2008, achieving one of the longest ever teaching careers at the college. Because he taught required Bible and theology courses, almost every student (or every alumus(a) came in contact with him. His 51-year tenure makes him perhaps the most well-known, recognizable person ever associated with the campus. His love for God and devotion to the faithful teaching of His Word drove Dr. Wes to accept nothing but the best in his students. His desire has always been to honor the Lord and pass on Biblical truth to pastors, missionaries, and Christian workers. Dr. Wes taught Bible, theology, and biblical language courses, but his favorite class to teach was Romans, a required course that was offered each semester and sometimes in the summer. When asked, “Why Romans?” he replied, “Romans is probably the most important doctrinal book and most fundamental to know and understand carefully.”
Dr. Wes also guided the Bible Department and later the Bible Division in curricular matters, serving various positions including acting Academic Dean, chair of the Bible Department, and chair of the Biblical Studies Division.
Beyond the campus, he was a translator for portions of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible and was a contributor to Zondervan's Pictorial Encyclopedia of Bible and numerous articles for periodicals. In retirement he continued preaching and teaching, most recently at the nursing home facility where he lived, as well as writing. The influence of Dr. Wes has truly reached every student who came on campus between 1957 and 2008.
Since learning this sad news, we have already received dozens of tributes on Facebook from alumni spanning five decades, sharing what Dr. Wes meant to them and how his impact can be seen in their lives today. We encourage you to take a moment to share in these tributes on the Distinguished Servant page of our website for Dr. Wes, here.
While this is also posted on the Distinguished Campus Servant page, here is a link to Dr. Wes' "Last Lecture" given during Heritage Weekend.
The Celebration of Life Service for Dr. Wesley Gerig was held at First Missionary Church (701 W. Rudisill Blvd., Fort Wayne, 46807) on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. Click here to view the live stream of the service
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 12th at D. O. McComb and Son (Foster Park) at 6301 Fairfield Ave., Fort Wayne, 46807 from 3:00 - 8:00 p.m., as well as one hour before the funeral on Thursday at First Missionary Church. The obituary is posted at https://mccombandsons.
Meanwhile, please continue to pray for his family.
Alumni Give Tributes
Following are just a handful of the beautiful testimonials that have been shared about this beloved teacher, mentor, and friend, assembled by Michael Mortensen. If you would like to add a tribute, please go to Distinguished Campus Servant-Tributes.
Marvin Claassen g68:
“Dr Wes, we want to thank you for the example you set. I remember your uplifting words as we learned to weather one of the great storms in ministry. May the power of the hand of God continue to bring you peace.”
Flossie (Johnson) Epley g77:
“Over the past almost 89 years, God has given you many platforms to share the truths of God’s Word. You have faithfully spoken truth in season and out of season and done so with love for God and people. God has continually enlarged your sphere of influence through your own direct
words and the lives of us whom you have touched. We love you, Dr. Wes. You are frequently in our
Al Yerke g78
“Dr. Wes, what honor it has been to sit under your teaching. You taught me the depths of systematic theology and provided me with a greater understanding of the Scriptures. I also had the privilege to witness an exemplary display of faithfulness and commitment to Christ. You’ve been an
inspiration and an encouragement to me all these years and I still incorporate the notes I took in your classes into my sermons, Sunday school classes, and the courses I teach for Spring Arbor University. Thank you for living out the truth of being ‘transformed by the renewing of your mind’ (Romans 12:1-2). May the Lord continue to bless and keep you!”
Dr. Steven Ware g81
“Dr. Wes, words can hardly describe the depth to which you have been an
intellectual and theological mentor for me. Shades of your disciplined and holistic approach to theology
are all over my teaching in both the church and academic classroom. You were one of several who
planted in me the insatiable quest for knowledge and truth.”
Eric Hostetler g89
“Dr. Wes, I know mom and dad in Heaven would echo these sentiments, but I wanted to say thank you for your many years of dedicated Christian service to FWBC, the Missionary Church and short-term missions work as well as NIV translation team. Thank you also for your friendship
with the Hostetler family and for teaching two generations of us. Personally, you taught me so much about how important knowing the Bible was and how important value system was and most of all how important having a personal relationship with Christ was...Thank you Dr. Wes!!!”
Rich Andrews g90: “I miss your classes, Dr. Wes. I treasure the lessons and carry with me a lifetime of
some of my core values from those days of learning.”
Cathy (Diller) Schrock g90
“Dr. Wes, I thank you for living what you taught...for being an example to all of us, as young people in college, of what it means to ‘walk the walk, not just talk the talk.’ God bless you now with everything you need, through his abundant grace and glorious riches in Christ Jesus!”
Nathan Joseph Sitton Marchand g06: “Dr. Wes, I have rarely met such a spiritual giant. Your theological knowledge is so great your students joked you were Gamiel alive again. We may have teased you about your age, but we always respected your wisdom and steadfastness. I’ve rarely seen someone so dedicated to teaching and preaching as you. Only death could stop you. May you meet the final enemy
with faith before meeting your Savior in eternity!”
Stephanie (Gates) Hanson g07
“Thank you, Dr. Wes, for your faithful, Biblical teaching and for challenging me to pursue God and His Word with intentionality and careful study. Your example and teaching expanded my faith and equipped me to better understand how I can effectively interact with
the Word of God. Thank you. Sending prayers, many blessings, and deep gratitude your way.”
Bethany Wheeler g09
“Dr. Wes, we are so grateful for your legacy of teaching generations (quite literally!) not only diligent study of the Word, but to fall in love with the Word as well! With love and prayers, Bethany Wheeler and Merrell Wheeler (your grandfather/granddaughter students!)”