Summer 2017

Class Notes

William J. Samarin (’48) is submitting his last book for publication. It’s on Sango, the language he and Ruth (Custer ’48) used as missionaries in the Central African Republic in the 1950s. They eventually settled in Toronto, where Bill was professor of linguistics at the University of Toronto, and where Bill currently resides, aged 91.

Larry Helyer (’65) and Joyce Smith Helyer (’66) both published books in 2016. Larry’s latest book, Mountaintop Theology: Panoramic Perspectives of Redemptive History, is based on his years of studying historical geography in Israel and teaching biblical theology. Joyce’s book, Scattering Ashes: A Sister’s Journey With Her Gay Brother, is an account of her experiences walking with her gay brother through his HIV diagnosis and eventual AIDS-related death. Larry is professor emeritus of biblical studies at Taylor University and Joyce is retired interim vice president for advancement at Taylor.

Ginny Jaques (’66) recently published her book Zinovy’s Journey, a fictional novel following Zinovy Kozlov, a jaded ex-FSB assassin, who is working with colleagues to decommission the Global Regime’s International Space Station when the earth below is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. The team must return to Cape Canaveral, where they expect to die in the cloud of radiation that surrounds the earth. Instead, Zinovy and his colleagues find themselves beginning a journey across a re-created landscape toward a mythical city where a new King reigns.

Lois Brittell (’78) recently published two books, It’s All about Him: Intimacy with God and A Path to Restoration: A Study Guide. Brittell began work on the first book soon following her retirement from clinical psychology after 30 years in the field, and after the death of her husband. She currently resides in Fresno, Calif., where she has the time to pursue her love of writing as an outlet both for her grief and for her personal restoration.

Kim Eiler (’90) was approved for tenure at Franklin College in Franklin, Ind. Eiler is an associate professor of physical education at Franklin, and became a faculty member there in 2004.

Scott Sevier (’97) recently published Aquinas on Beauty, which explores the nature and role of beauty in the thought of Thomas Aquinas. Beginning with a standard definition of beauty provided by Aquinas, it explores each of the components of that definition. The result is a comprehensive account of Aquinas’ formal view on the subject, supplemented by an exploration into Aquinas’ commentary on Dionysius’ Divine Names, including a comparison of his views with those of both Dionysius and those of Aquinas’ mentor, Albert the Great.

Alden Olmsted (’03) received a Real Hero award from the American Red Cross in the environmental category for carrying on his father John Olmsted’s legacy of conservation and stewardship. Olmsted is continuing with plans to finish his father’s lifelong dream of an across-California trail, stretching from Mendocino to Lake Tahoe. Olmsted lives in Santa Rosa but travels frequently, and has turned his love of illustrating into a line of hand-drawn art cards featuring different cities and states. His products can be found at places like the Getty Museum Store, Griffith Observatory, Muir Woods National Monument and many others.

Nadine Brandes (’09) recently published A Time to Rise, the final installment of her Out of Time trilogy. The dystopian science-fiction series follows Parvin Blackwater, a 17-year-old who has one year left according to the clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people's death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. Brandes first two novels in the series were nominated for Christy Awards in 2016 and 2015.

Jason Roszhart (’11) is happy to announce his marriage to Nandi on Jan. 7, 2017. After five and a half years at Dallas Theological Seminary, where both are students, Jason graduated in May 2017 with his master’s in theology. He continues to serve as youth pastor at Reunion Church in downtown Dallas.

Andrew Barclay (’12) was awarded his Master of Divinity from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in May 2017.

Darryl (’12, M.A. ’15) and Lisa (Bush, ’11) Scroggins welcomed their first child, Aaron James Scroggins, on Oct. 30, 2016.

Megan Moghtaderi (’13) was recently admitted to the California State Bar and is a new associate attorney at Law & Stein, LLP in Irvine. Her practice areas focus on developing estate plans and advising and representing families faced with trust litigation.


Shirley (Chambers, ’47) Houk passed away on Nov. 3, 2016. For six decades, she served alongside her husband, teaching Sunday school, children’s church and vacation Bible school classes, and participating in a myriad of other church ministries. In addition to rearing five children, she wrote numerous articles that were published in Christian periodicals. She is survived by her husband, Arthur, her five children, 12 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Mary (Baker, ’53) Nystrom passed away on Feb. 21, 2017. While at Biola she majored in organ and piano performance. Mary utilized her musical talents to serve the Lord her entire life. She is part of a long family legacy of Biola graduates, including her parents (both 1928), son (1986), and granddaughter (2010). She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Norman, and her three sons and their families.

Mesghina G-Medhin (M.A. ’84, M.A. ’93, D.Miss. ’97), better known to those who loved him as “Doc,” passed away in March 2016. He had been conducting leadership training and pastoral care among the refugee camps along the Somali/Sudan/Eritrean borders, and was particularly concerned with addressing the emotional and traumatic impact the war was having on the Christians, pastors and Muslims coming to Christ. He is survived by his wife and children.


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