Old Testament Professor, Academic Dean, President, Emeritus Professor, Chancellor… Lloyd M. Pelfrey has filled each of these roles at CCCB, but “Professor” is his favorite.
Mr. Pelfrey’s early life was shaped by being in a Christian home, and by having good Sunday school teachers and preachers who cared. He also enjoyed Christian Service Camp. These early influences helped to prepare him to serve Christ through CCCB. Mr. Pelfrey decided to go into ministry, so he chose to attend the Cincinnati Bible Seminary (now Cincinnati Christian University). He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1953, a Master of Arts degree in 1955, and a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1956. During most of his collegiate career he served as the preaching minister for the church in Eaton, Ohio.
Following his time in Cincinnati, he became the preacher for the church in Englewood, Tennessee. While there he was recruited to teach in a new Bible college in Moberly, Missouri, that would open in the Fall of 1957. Mr. Pelfrey was asked to teach in the area of Old Testament and to be the dean of the college. The challenge was accepted, and the Pelfreys moved to Moberly. For the college’s first five years he also served the church at Prairie Hill, Missouri.
Although the classroom is his favorite role at the college, Mr. Pelfrey spent many years behind the President’s desk. He served as president for 26 years—leading in the construction of the primary building on campus that would later bear his name, and signing thousands of receipt letters. He retired from the presidency in 1998 and returned to full-time classroom teaching.
Mr. Pelfrey’s delight is in helping others to be aware of God’s plan through the people and nations in the Old Testament. This enthusiasm is evident in the classroom or in the pulpits of the churches where he preaches. His spiritual and practical applications may also be found in the numerous Sunday school lessons he has written through the years for Standard Publishing.
A concern for the cause of Christ in general prompted Mr. Pelfrey to be involved in area events, state activities, and national functions associated with the Restoration Movement. These included revival meetings, over 40 different Christian camp locations, the Missouri Christian Convention, the North American Christian Convention, the National Missionary Convention, meetings of presidents, unity meetings and others. He also helped in the founding of MOVE, a new church agency in Missouri.
Mr. Pelfrey’s partner in marriage and ministry is Irene (Rohrer). The Pelfreys are blessed with three daughters (Rhonda Dunham, Theda Wortman, and Brenda Bernhardt) and their families.
One of my biggest models of leadership at Central has been Lloyd Pelfrey. You just don’t get much better than him! He is the epitome of a humble follower of Christ. Mr. Pelfrey has not only been a professor at Central from its birth, but he has also held the president’s position multiple times through the years. He is a wise man in his study of the Bible, and he cares for the students more than any of us can measure. I am constantly shocked at how much he remembers about his past students and people his path has crossed through the years. Even more, I admire his dedication to keeping up with whomever he can. I love it when we are talking about someone and he can give me their whereabouts and what they’re currently doing with their lives at the moment. I only pray that I am leaving that sort of impact on his life. Mr. Pelfrey is a loving husband, a devoted father, a loyal friend, and a servant of Christ. Nothing seems to shake his faith, and he holds to the truth of the gospel of Christ with his very life. As he gets older, his love of God’s word gets stronger. If these were all the qualities he possessed, they would be enough to make him a fantastic representation of what a Christian should be like. Even more commendable, Mr. Pelfrey is met with these compliments on a regular basis. Despite knowing that people see him this way, he still remains humble. He understands that the cause of Christ is greater than himself, and he serves faithfully as nothing more than a servant. No one that I have encountered in the past four years has ever had anything bad to say about Mr. Pelfrey. My hope is that I will taste just a portion of what he has accomplished in his lifetime. True role models are becoming more rare these days, but people like Mr. Pelfrey keep us looking with hope towards a better future for our children and our children’s children. I would bend over backwards for Mr. Pelfrey, and I appreciate everything he has taught me in life and ministry. – CCCB Graduate
Original watercolor by Twila Farmer - email@example.com