Austin Bible Church
8405 Cross Park Drive, Austin, Texas 78754
p.o. Box 142648, Austin, Texas 78714-2648

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Lewis Sperry Chafer

Lewis Sperry Chafer (February 27, 1871 – August 22, 1952) was an American theologian. He founded and served as the first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, and was an influential founding member of modern Christian Dispensationalism.

Ministry

Ordained in 1900 by a Council of Congregational Ministers in the First Congregational Church in Buffalo and in 1903 he ministered as an evangelist in the Presbytery of Troy in Massachusetts and became associated with the ministry of Cyrus Scofield, who became his mentor.

During this early period, Chafer began writing and developing his theology. He taught bible classes and music at the Mount Hermon School for Boys from 1906 to 1910. He joined the Orange Presbytery in 1912 due to the increasing influence of his ministry in the south. He aided Scofield in establishing the Philadelphia School of the Bible in 1913. From 1923 to 1925, he served as general secretary of the Central American Mission.

When Scofield died in 1921, Chafer moved to Dallas, Texas to pastor the First Congregational Church of Dallas where Scofield had ministered. Then, in 1924, Chafer and his friend William Henry Griffith Thomas realized their vision of a simple, Bible‐teaching theological seminary and founded Dallas Theological Seminary (originally Evangelical Theological College). Chafer served as president of the seminary and professor of Systematic Theology from 1924 until his death. He died with friends while away at a conference in Seattle, Washington in August 1952.

In 1953, the newly‐built chapel was designated the Lewis Sperry Chafer Chapel after the recently passed leader.[1]

During his life, Chafer received his Litt.D. from Dallas in 1924, D.D. from Wheaton in 1926, and Th.D. from the Aix‐en‐Province, France, Protestant Seminary in 1946.

Chafer had a tremendous influence on the evangelical movement. Among his students were Jim Rayburn, founder of Young Life (as well as many of Young Life’s first staff members), Kenneth N. Taylor, author of The Living Bible translation, and numerous future Christian educators and pastors, including Howard Hendricks, J. Dwight Pentecost, Charles Caldwell Ryrie, R. B. Thieme, Jr. and John Walvoord, who succeeded him as president of DTS.

Text from Wikipedia biography of Lewis Sperry Chafer