Pentecostal Leader Dr. William Menzies Passes Away

Date: August 17, 2011 - 8:33am
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Dr. William (Bill) W. Menzies - Assemblies of God pastor, educator, missionary and author -- went to be with the Lord shortly past noon on August 15, 2011.

For more than 50 years, Bill served as a professor and administrator at the college and graduate school level. He taught at Central Bible College (1958-1970), Evangel University (1970-1980), and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (1980-1983). After serving as Interim President at the Far East Advanced School of Theology in Manila (1984-1985) and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at California Theological Seminary in Fresno, Calif. (1985-1987), he served as President of Asia Pacific Theological Seminary in Baguio City, Philippines (1989-1996). From 1996 until his death he served as President Emeritus and Chancellor of APTS. Although he excelled in the classroom, Bill’s students remember him as much for his encouragement and wise guidance as for his teaching.

Bill earned a BA in Bible from Central Bible College (1952) and a second BA and an MA in Theology from Wheaton College (1953, 1957). While studying at Wheaton, Bill met Doris Dresselhaus whom he married in 1955. At Doris’ passing on May 28, 2011, they had been married for nearly 56 years.

In 1968 Bill earned a Ph.D. in American Church History from the University of Iowa. His Ph.D. dissertation formed the basis of his influential history of the Assemblies of God, Anointed to Serve.

An ordained minister of the Assemblies of God for 55 years, Bill was the author of nine books and dozens of articles. In addition, a Festschrift, Pentecostalism in Context, was written in his honor. He spoke at many international conferences and consultations. Yet Bill will be remembered, above of all, as one who had a missionary’s heart. After spending many summers teaching in Bible schools across Asia, he and Doris moved to the Philippines where they served as missionaries from 1989-1996. Bill’s kind and compassionate spirit endeared him to students and colleagues around the world.

Menzies is widely known in Pentecostal and evangelical circles as a statesman, building bridges across denominational and racial divides. He was one of the organizers of the Society for Pentecostal Studies and was the first editor of the society's journal, Pneuma. He was also one of the editors for the Full Life Study Bible and a consulting editor for Christianity Today.

Although Bill travelled the world, Springfield was his home and Central Assembly of God was his home church. He and Doris were members there for more than half a century.

Menzies is survived by two sons and two daughter-in-laws, Dr. Glen and Donna Menzies of Minnetonka, Minnesota; and Dr. Robert and Joanne Menzies, of Kunming, China; and four grandchildren. Menzies' two sons, Glen and Robert, went on to earn their doctoral degrees and have become respected educators in the Assemblies of God.

In place of flowers, friends may wish to send memorials to either North Central University, 910 Elliot Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55404, or to the China Training Network, 2087 S. Celebration, Springfield, MO 65809. Visitation will be 5-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at Greenlawn, North in Springfield. The funeral will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at Central Assembly of God, 1301 N. Boonville, Springfield.