Winter 2016

Class Notes

The Rev. Virgil ('50) and Edna (Voth, '48) Kleinsasser celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on Sept. 14. They are retired Mennonite Brethren missionaries, having served with the SIM in Nigeria and Ghana over a period of 25 years and as SIM Southwestern regional director for 11 years. They are presently residents at The Palms retirement community in La Mirada, Calif.

Joy Pennock Gage ('50) recently published For the Duration: The Changing Fortunes of War, a novel about World War II on the homefront. For the Duration is the story of people in a small town in Douglas, Ariz., who took the president’s challenge and rearranged their lives for the duration.

Dean Fredrikson ('51) recently published Creation and Creation’s God: One God, One Story, One People. The book argues that Genesis presents a vision of ultimate reality that provides a unified account of the origin of the universe, what it means to be human, and how Jesus Christ has demonstrated both the wisdom of God in creation and true humanity in a world of change and dominant evil.

Karl Franklin ('55) retired after 58 years with Wycliffe and SIL (including 32 years in Papua New Guinea as a linguist and Bible translator). He and his wife now live in Waco, Texas, near their daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren. He continues to post materials on his website (, where references to some of his humorous stories and other information can be found.

Dennis C. Olson ('70) recently published The Church Needs a New Model (The Present One is Too Weak), a call to action on the noticeable shift toward superficiality and confusion in Christianity. Olson is a retired senior pastor with a bachelor's degree in biblical studies and a master’s and doctorate from California Graduate School of Theology.

William Watson (M.Div. '79) recently published Dispensationalism Before Darby, where he demonstrates that John Nelson Darby’s thought was neither aberrant nor original. To the contrary, he was following a long line of British clergy who anticipated the restoration of Jews to a national homeland and the imminent return of Jesus Christ. Watson is a professor of European history at Colorado Christian University, was a Fulbright senior scholar to Moldova in 2004 and a visiting fellow to Oxford in 2007.

Dan Nygaard (M.A. '80) recently published Star Readers from Out of the East, an innovative retelling of the journey of the wise men to Bethlehem. Respectful of the ancient text and historically accurate, Star Readers offers a logical rationale for one of the world’s most mesmerizing stories. See for information.

Jim George (M.Div. '81, Th.M. '86) recently published several books through Harvest House, including The 50 Most Important Teachings of the Bible; A Boy's Guide to Discovering His Bible; A Young Man After God's Own Heart; and A Young Man’s Guide to Discovering His Bible.

Paul Green ('82) has been promoted to professor of philosophy at Mount Saint Mary's University in Los Angeles, Calif. He has been teaching there in the philosophy department since 1995.

Caren Ware ('84) earned the 2015 National Masters Track & Field Champion title in the 300-meter hurdles and pentathlon at Jacksonville, Fla., competing in sweltering 101-degree temperatures.

Bill (M.Div. '86) and Pam (Rogers, '83) Farrel recently published a pair of books aimed at helping men and women become even more effective and experience greater success in their relationships, their work and their walk with God. Bill wrote 7 Simple Skills for Every Man and Pam wrote 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman, both published through Harvest House.

Jennifer (Moriarity, '88) Kane completed her doctorate in educational leadership from Azusa Pacific University.

Mike Fabarez (M.A. '91) recently published Lifelines for Tough Times, a book on how complete trust in God alone can restore your confidence and hope during difficult times and the power of focusing on God’s eternal goals for you in life’s temporary setbacks. Fabarez is the founding pastor of Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo, Calif., and is heard on hundreds of stations across the country on the Focal Point radio program.

Steve Sewell ('91) recently published At a Loss: Learning How to Comfort Others Through the Journey of Grief Using Scripture and Prayer, a helpful book on how to comfort the people in your life during their journey through grief. Sewell has served in community pastoral care roles as a hospice and in-workplace chaplain for the past 11 years and previously served as a youth pastor, seminar and camp speaker, associate pastor, senior pastor and church planter.

Gary Comer (M.Div. '92, D.Min. '13) recently published Soul Whisperer: Why the Church Must Change the Way it Views Evangelism. The book shifts the emphasis on “telling” to a “drawing” paradigm. It develops biblically the pattern of Jesus, who did not give static presentations but rather customized his words to each hearer. Soul Whisperer charts ways for Christians to go deeper in evangelistic relationships.

Veola Vazquez (M.A. '93, Ph.D. '98) published The Nickel Nuisance, a faith-based, illustrated fictional book for children ages 8-12. Vazquez is a former faculty member of Rosemead School of Psychology. She is currently associate professor of psychology and associate dean of undergraduates in the School of Behavioral Sciences at California Baptist University. Find the book at www.

Chad Owens ('95) published his first book, Don't Call Me Missionary, which is a story about how he became a missionary in Papua New Guinea that also aims to prepare younger people who want to become missionaries. The book is available on Amazon.

June (Tedesco, '97) Bliss published her first book, Starfish Street, a coming-of-age story about a cynical art graduate who has become bogged down with her life circumstances. Her great aunt Lorraine offers Maggie a summer job watching over her cottages in Cannon Beach, Ore., where the magnificence of creation and the kind people at the beach lead her to a new life guided by faith.

Dave ('99) and Amy (Smitman, '01) Knepper joined Gamechurch, a missions organization that strives to bridge the gap between the gospel and gamer culture. Dave serves as the director of logistics. Amy is a freelance writer and recently published Blueprint Homeschooling, a book to help home- educating parents strategically plan their school years.

Kylene (Herr, '05) and Matt Lu were thrilled to welcome their first child, Jae Ella Pepper Lu, into the world on Sept. 23, 2014. Matt is a graphic designer and he and Kylene run a T-shirt ministry, SHORT+SAVAGE, out of Phoenix, Ariz.

Gordon ('07) and Sarah (Steele, '08) Hendrickson had another baby daughter, Lucy Jane, on Nov. 11, 2014. She joins her two older sisters, Corinne and Betsey.

Cameron Coulter ('07) and Kaitlin McDonald ('10) were married on Aug. 8, 2015. Cameron recently finished a master’s degree in pastoral studies with an emphasis in youth and family ministry at Azusa Pacific Seminary. The couple lives in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County.

Adam Rollefson (M.A. '08) was recently hired as the student pastor at Harvest Church, near Dallas, Texas.

Nadine Brandes (’09) published A Time to Die, the first novel in the Out of Time series. A Time to Die is set in a dystopian future where everyone has a clock showing exactly how long they have to live, and Parvin Blackwater only has one more year. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government's crooked justice system. Can God really give her life meaning before she zeroes out?

Christie (Lam, '09) and Greg Dizzia were married on March 14, 2015 (Pi Day!). They met in Chicago in 2011 while she was pursuing a master’s degree in marketing and he was in design school. He proposed during a treasure hunt where they “discovered” a sword, helmet and a vintage emerald ring. They reside in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

Faustin Ntamushobora (Ph.D '12) published Education for Holistic Transformation in Africa, a book that came as a result of a doctoral study conducted in Kenya, which featured both Christian higher educational institutions and public universities in a unique comparative analysis that will be helpful to educational leaders on both sides.

Richard E. Carroll (M.A. '15) published Mormonism and the Bible, in which he addresses many Mormon doctrines and provides a scriptural critique. This is an indispensable resource for anyone who has questions about Mormonism or who wishes to witness to Mormons.

Shayla Steele ('15) married Ben Fitzgerald this summer on July 9, 2015, after growing up and attending church together in Alaska most of their lives. They have since moved from Alaska to Colorado for Ben to attend medical school while Shayla works for the University of Colorado’s department of admissions for bioengineering.


In Memoriam

Albert Classen ('46) passed away on March 30, 2015. He was 92 years old.

Betty (McCullough, '50) Carden passed away on May 7, 2015, in Fullerton, Calif., after several years of declining health. After teaching third, fourth and fifth grade in the Los Angeles area for four years, Betty enrolled at Biola in downtown Los Angeles where she studied Bible and Christian education. Upon her graduation, she accepted a position as director of Christian education at the First Baptist Church of Monterey, Calif. Two years later, she accepted a teaching position in Biola’s education department and completed graduate work in education at the University of Southern California, where she earned a master’s degree and later a doctorate in 1972. Betty had a heart for Christian missionary efforts around the world, and was a generous supporter of missionaries through the churches she was affiliated with over the years. Her kind and generous heart, her loving interest in the needs and concerns of others, her deep commitment to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and her roles as a wonderful stepmother, grandmother and great-grandmother are cherished by her family. Betty was preceded in death by her husband Bill, and is survived by stepsons Allen and Joel and their wives, four granddaughters and 11 great-grandchildren.

Eula (Jones, '52) Jenkins passed away on March 30, 2015. She and her husband, Ervin Jenkins ('52, '54), served the Lord at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Rosa, Calif., from 1955 to 1987 and then pastored the Guerneville Bible Church from 1991 to 2014. Eula is survived by her husband of over 63 years, her children Ruth (Jenkins, '75) Schweitzer, Lois Bigone, Brian Jenkins ('78) and Linda (Jenkins, '85) Easter, as well as her sons-in-law Dale Schweitzer ('77) and Marvin Easter ('85). She was a wonderful landscape artist and the last few years became especially known for making magnetic bookmarks of her paintings with handwritten Bible verses, which she gave to everyone she met.

Charlene Conety ('55) passed away on Jan. 20, 2014, in Glendora, Calif. She is survived by her sister, Louise Conety Schoenhals ('51), Alvin Schoenhals, two nieces, a nephew and four great nieces and nephews. She sang soprano to the Lord for 43 years at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena and loved to tour with the choir.

Jean (Rearick, '56) Fairweather passed away on Dec. 26, 2014, in Sebring, Fla.

William DeWitt Lyon ('58, M.Div. '71) passed away on Feb. 10, 2015, at home in Fullerton, Calif. Lyon worked at North American Aviation from 1944 to 1959 and served as a Christian missionary in Japan from 1960 to 1989. After returning to Fullerton in 1989, DeWitt served in Wilshire Avenue Community Church, Fullerton Sister City Assn., and International Friendship Council of North Orange County.

Marion Fry ('62) passed away on Oct. 1, 2015. Fry started working in the Philippines in 1965, primarily as a counselor to missionary kids. She continued to be involved in Faith Academy through tutoring, having regular Bible studies and meeting regularly with her church group. She cared deeply for others and will be greatly missed.

Roger Gilstrap (68) passed away on Nov. 4, 2014. He was 69. Roger served with Wycliffe Bible Translators for 38 years in various translator, personnel and administrative roles, and he lived his life loving his God and his family. He will be greatly missed.

Cyril John Barber (D.Min, '79), 80, passed away on April 12, 2015, in Hacienda Heights, Calif. Barber served as the library director for the Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology library from 1972 until the library was merged with the Biola University library. As Rosemead’s library director, he established the library, collected and organized the books and journals, and set up the library catalog. He was the author of more than 40 books including Bible commentaries, Bible character studies and books on Bible study and theological research.

Joel Dexter Enas ('83) passed away on May 6, 2015. As Joel loved God, he also loved his family, and excelled in his work as a medicinal chemist, blessing others with his musical talents, and wholeheartedly served mankind. After Biola, Joel earned his doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of California, Riverside. He then married the love of his life, Ruth Kimberly Brown, and was blessed with three sons, Matthew, Joshua and Zachary.

Dennis Gaines (M.Div. '83) passed away at home on Nov. 29, 2014, at age 65, after a valiant four-year battle with lymphoma of the central nervous system. Dennis served as the administrative associate to the deans o Talbot School of Theology his last 25 years working at Biola. He is survived by his wife, Susan; son, Daniel, and daughter-in-law, Susan; grandson, Jonah; and his sole remaining brother, sister-in-law and nieces and nephews.

Richard Devylder ('90) passed away from natural causes at 46 at his house in Long Beach, Calif., on Aug. 6, 2015. Richard was a disability rights activist in California, working with the Department of Transportation and other state agencies to push for transportation and emergency preparedness reforms. He also worked at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and was director of the Dayle McIntosh Center for the Disabled in Anaheim.

Mark Jacoby ('93) passed away on June 7, 2015. He taught and practiced emergency medicine at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, Calif., and as an attending physician and faculty member of the University of California, San Francisco.


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