Dr. Wesley L. Gerig g51 taught at Fort Wayne Bible College beginning in 1957 and completed his full-time teaching career at Taylor University Fort Wayne (same campus and office but different name) in 2008, one of the longest records for teaching at the college. Because he taught required Bible and theology courses, every student came in contact with him. He grew up with the college being so close to home since his father was Dean. His frequent visits to campus in his boyhood years included attending numerous campus events. His long tenure as a teacher makes him perhaps the most well-known, recognizable person ever associated with the college. His passion for God and the teaching of His Word drove Dr. Wes to accept nothing but the best in his students.
Dr. Wes also guided the Bible Department and later the Bible Division in curricular matters serving various positions including acting Academic Dean, chair of the Bible Department and chair of the Biblical Studies Division in the 1980s.
Beyond the campus, he was involved with the New International Version translation as a translator, and a contributor to Zondervan's Pictorial Encyclopedia of Bible, and numerous articles for periodicals.
His wife, Mary Carolyn, of 61 years, passed away in February, 2012. His family-brother, children and grandchildren form a tight bond of faithfulness in serving the Lord. Dr. Wes' most recent ministry has been through books that he has authored, growing out of his classroom and pulpit ministry.
Dr. Wesley L. Gerig (known as Dr. Wes) was born and raised in Fort Wayne, IN. He is the son of the late Dr. and Mrs. Jared Gerig. He attended FWBC and graduated with a 4 year degree in Bible and Theology with a minor in Pastoral Ministries in just 3 years! During his college years as a student, he sang in the men’s choir, the a cappella Choir, played trumpet in the band, and was Senior class president, all while he worked in the mailroom of Lincoln Life. After graduation he married Mary Carolyn Steiner, g52. He received his M. Div. and M. Th. from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Ca. He has served in many churches as pastor, interim pastor, and has been guest speaker to countless events throughout his ministry. He and Mary Carolyn would return to Fort Wayne to raise their family while Dr. Wes would teach various Bible classes, theology, Greek, Hebrew, and other courses for 51 years at his Alma Mater beginning in 1957. Their children Jeanne (Tim) Johnson, John (Julie), Jeffrey (Jean) and Jared (Laura) all attended and graduated from FWBC except Jerry, who transferred to and graduated from TU.
While teaching a full load at the college, Dr. Wes also was pastor or interim pastor to numerous churches in the greater Fort Wayne area. Among the churches he served were Harvester Avenue Missionary Church, First Missionary Church, Fort Wayne, First Missionary Church, Berne, First Christian Church, Kendalville, Grace Community Church, Lima, OH, Grace Missionary Church, Celina, OH, and numerous shorter term pastoral positions in the area.
The 1962 yearbook is dedicated to Dr. Wes and sums up what so many of his former students feel about him. “… a man who has shown us by example that Christianity is not merely an ideology, but an everyday walk with God. His life has challenged us all to dedicate our lives to Christ, serving Him to the best of our ability. He never ceases to inspire each student who comes in personal contact with him.” Having taught every student that graduated and many that didn’t Dr. Wes has influenced countless lives. Dr. Wes had several yearbooks dedicated to him.
His desire was and has always been to honor the Lord and pass on Biblical truth to pastors, missionaries, and Christian workers. His favorite class to teach was Romans. That class was offered each semester and sometimes in the summer while FWBC/SCC, and then once a year as TUFW. It was certainly a class he was familiar with. When asked, “Why Romans?” He replied, “Romans is probably the most important doctrinal book and most fundamental to know and understand carefully.” Dr. Wes has been a faithful husband of 60 years to his beloved Mary Carolyn until her death in 2012. He has been a loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He is a cherished teacher, pastor and mentor. Dr. Wes has communicated Truth in the classroom and pulpit. He has exemplified Truth in his daily life as husband, father, teacher, and pastor. Lives have been challenged, changed, and cultivated for Christ because of the ministry of Dr. Wes Gerig. (3 c’s just for Dr. Wes!)
1948-1951 Student at FWBC
1951 Graduated with 4 year degree in 3 years
1954 M. Div. Fuller Theological Seminary
1954-2010 Various Interim pastorates and Pulpit Supply ministry
1956 M. Th. Fuller Theological Seminary
1957-2008 Professor at FWBC-SCC-TUFW
1965 Ph.D. in Religion (major) and Classical Greek (minor)
1973-present various professional writing contributions and books
NIV translator of Hebrews and Mark
Contributor of Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of Bible 6 books: Minute Meditations; The Rapture and the Revelation Separate or Simultaneous?; Lessons From life for Life from the Old Testament; Romans; The Core of Christian Love: Love as an Action; and What you believe and why
1981 Honorary membership in DELTA EPSILON CHI
2008 Retired from TUFW
Gave a Last Lecture at Heritage Weekend, May 2009 (click for link)
Dr. Wes' Celebration of Life service
Dr. Jim Saddington | Posted Dec 05, 2019 01:35 PM
Class of 2009
Dr. Wes had the TUFW Maintenance Crew put up a 4' x 4' bulletin board in "Bible Row" hallway outside his office. He intended to post articles about theology on it...BUT before he saw that it was put up, I put up 8 1/2" by 11" pages with "Psychology News", "U.S. History News", and "World History News" across the top of the bulletin board using very large letters. On a 3" x 5" card in the very far corner and on the bottom of the bulletin board, I wrote in very small letters "Theology News." When Dr. Wes finally saw the bulletin board, he was very upset. First, he saw the three big pages. He went to the secretary's office around the corner from "Bible Row" hallway and complained bitterly. "I did not work to get this board up for everybody else to use!" Mike Cook, Roger Ringenberg, Laura Gerig and I [Jim Saddington] heard him get very emotional about this from our "Bible Row" offices. "Who did this?" Dr. Wes asked in an agitated state. I began to worry that my practical joke was backfiring. Then he discovered the 3" x 5" card, and immediately said, "Oh, now I understand. Jim Saddington did this. He is always joking around." We came out of our offices laughing and told him that this was a test of his sense of humor and that he almost failed the test. For a short time, he allowed himself to enjoy the moment. But then tore down the three big titled pages and announced with the dignity of a theologian, "This board is for theology only. If you want one for your subjects, get your own boards." How could you not love a theologian like Dr. Wes?
Dr. Dave Biberstein | Posted Dec 05, 2019 01:34 PM
Class of 1966
Dr. Wes was the first one to encourage me to go into ministry. He saw potential in me that I did not see in myself. In my sophomore year I changed my major to pastoral ministries. To God be the glory!
Rev. Gerald Steele | Posted Dec 05, 2019 01:33 PM
Dr. Wes’s office was just two doors down from mine. I would occasionally knock on his door to run theology questions by him. We both enjoyed conversations about sanctification and deeper life theology. Once in a while we would chat about denominational and student concerns. On one occasion he banged on my door and asked to talk for a minute about two students in my department that some on campus thought were going off the rails theologically and getting into extremism. I assured him this was not the case and that they were both good students. A few weeks later he came by again and said, “Gerald, you were right about those boys. They’re good young men and definitely balanced in their theology.”
Arlan Birkey | Posted Dec 05, 2019 01:31 PM
Class of 1964
In response to the second question, since I studied Greek with Dr. Wes before taking over teaching the Greek courses when he moved to teaching systematic theology, I was obviously influenced by the thoroughness of his teaching. I tried to teach the way I was taught. I was also impressed by his self-discipline in so many areas of his life, although I'm sure few of us have reached his level of achievement in that regard.
Yvonne (Grady) Nigh | Posted Jun 14, 2019 09:16 PM
Class of 1979
I really enjoyed Dr. Wes’s classes. One never knew what he would say. He always seemed to surprise us along with imparting his great knowledge of the Bible, Theology, Greek and Hebrew. He let me take notes for him. He was also genuinely interested in Urban youth Ventures, an inner city outreach. I’ll never forget the years Randy and I ministered to the Youth and Bible Quiz Team @ Harvester Ave. Missionary Church under his and Rev. Max Wanner’s leadership and guidance. They were such a source of support as well as the good folks from the church. Who could ever forget our Wed. pm Prayer Meetings ? He was such an inspiration to us 20 somethings. He dedicated our firstborn, Jennifer Marie Nigh. Today, Jenn and husband, Rev. Matt Gaylor along with Rev. Brad Ruggles ( a Missionary Church guy) Co-Pastor Nspire Church in Westfield, In. I know that would make Dr. Wes smile !
Daryle Crawley | Posted Jun 14, 2019 11:30 AM
Class of 1994
Dr Wes was not only an incredible professor but an excellent man of God, although I only had him in class once, he was an incredible mentor. Going to miss Dr Wes until our paths meet again in Heaven. Thank you Dr Wes for all that you have done. Prayers for the entire Gerig family. ~ Daryle Crawley
Steven Ware | Posted Jun 14, 2019 11:30 AM
Class of 1981
Words are inadequate to express my thanks to God for the life, ministry, and career of Dr. Wes. It was my distinct privilege—although shared with many other students—to sit at the feet of Dr. Wes and receive many Scriptural insights. Perhaps more than anything, God used him to challenge and form my theological mind. Although I did not agree with Dr. Wes on every theological point, and he would likewise not agree with me on every point, he nevertheless did more than anyone to push me toward graduate studies and a career in both the church and classroom.
Rather strangely and curiously, I was inadvertently honored by Dr. Wes in Summer 2002 in a chance meeting at the TUFW campus. After re-acquainting ourselves with one another after more than 20 years since my graduation, he told me that he was age 72 and retiring soon, and that I should apply for the position he would vacate since there were not many of us FWBC graduates who would qualify for it. I thanked him for the rather unexpected invitation, and it was not long before contacted Dr. Ronald Sloan, VP of the Fort Wayne campus, to explore the possibility. Perhaps it was divine providence which prevented that possibility from becoming a reality, and that kept Dr. Wes at TUFW until the end. Regardless, the kingdom of God in heaven and on earth is richer for the life of this sinner saved by grace.
Allen Tomlinson | Posted Jun 14, 2019 11:29 AM
Class of 1972
Not only did I learn an incredible amount of Biblical doctrine and background from Dr. Wes, but his life and ministry style were an example that continue with me to this day (over 40 years!). I give thanks to the Lord of the Church for his faithful labors.
Shellie (Kale) Kale-Burden | Posted Jun 14, 2019 11:22 AM
Class of 1991
Dr. Wes has always had time for his students. He challenged me to know what I believe and why. I love his faithful dedication to his faith, Mary Carolyn, and his family- biological or the College family. Thanks, Dr. Wes. I am so very thankful for your influence in my life.
Gil Diaz | Posted Jun 14, 2019 11:19 AM
Class of 1983
Dr. Wes, I am a mix of being speechless, sobered, tearful, joyful. The paramount nature of respect for the authority of the Word of God was confirmed and stamped in me through you. We love you; we miss you. I know that Jesus gave you a most glorious reception today and I celebrate the ongoing joy that you are experiencing. ~ Gil Diaz
Dr. John & Sandy Strubhar | Posted Jun 14, 2019 11:18 AM
Class of 1969
To the family of Dr. Wes...My heart and Sandy’s heart goes out to each of you in the loss of one of the most godly men, mentor and teacher we have ever known. From the time I first sat under his teaching in elementary Greek to his excellent expositional teaching of the book of Romans to his keen theological insights, Dr. Wes modeled the life of a true servant of Jesus Christ. When I last had the privilege of speaking with him in the Nursing Home in Ft. Wayne before coming to California for another pastoral interim, I found him to be at his typewriter /computer writing teaching lessons and contributing to another book rich in theological insight and practical teaching. There will never be another Dr. Wes. Sandy and I grieve over his loss, but his footprints are all over the many churches where he served as an interim pastor and on the students all over the world whose foundational theological training enjoyed the rich insights of a man devoted fully to Christ. I feel as though the kingdom has lost a spiritual giant who can never be replaced. Our prayers are with the family, knowing that they too are at peace because of the incredible legacy of a husband, dad, brother and friend who fulfilled the calling of God right up to the very end. He will be helping the angels get the Greek text just right! May God’s presence and peace be with all of you. ~ Dr. John and Sandy Strubhar
Jon Kraner | Posted Jun 14, 2019 11:18 AM
Class of 1991
I heard of Dr. Wes passing today and my heart was grieved at losing such a goldly man and yet my heart rejoiced knowing he has finished his race. Like many others, Dr. Wes made the single greatest impact on the development of my personal theology that has guided me all these almost 30 years of ministry. In spite of living in a world that seems to be losing it's moral foundation, I have always stood on the solid foundation imparted through Dr. Wes's teachings from God's Word. I know with certainty he heard those words we all long to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" Until we meet again, Dr. Wes!
Pastor Don Kidd | Posted Jun 14, 2019 11:17 AM
Class of 1988
Dr. Wes.... I still quote you and use some of your illustrations. Your life example and your teaching continue to be an invaluable part of my life and ministry. Congratulations on finishing the race well. You once said that in one way or another we all teach our own little heresies. I wonder if you have discovered any from the Master. LOL!! Much love and appreciation to you my teacher, my brother. Blessings on your family. ~ Don Kidd
Sharon (Brumbaugh) Hoffman | Posted Jun 14, 2019 11:16 AM
Class of 1977
Jeff and I are so thankful our lives intersected Dr.Wes Gerig on this earth. Consequently we have gotten to appreciate fellowship with his family as well. From playing the trumpet beside him, to sitting under his teaching, to working along side him in some ministry situations we were challenged and blessed in so many ways.
Rev. Benny Powell | Posted Jun 11, 2019 09:43 PM
Of the many teachers that I had at TUFW, Dr. Gerig made the learning experience great and appreciated. My prayers go out to the family for the mighty man of God. Blessings, Rev. Benny L. Powell ~ Pastor ~ Greater Second Baptist Church ~ Marion, IN
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