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Biography of Don DeWelt

Don DeWelt (1969)(Story from Ozark Christian College, A Vision of Teaching the Word of Christ in the Spirit of Christ, by Lynn Gardner, pg 136-138.)

After fourteen years on the faculty of San Jose Bible College, in the fall of 1957, Don DeWelt moved to Joplin to teach at Ozark.  He had graduated from San Jose Bible College.  Don had visited the earlier Ozark Christian College in Bentonville in 1941 and helped Seth Wilson scrape and paint on the college building.

He taught Acts, Old Testament History, Old Testament Introduction, Personal Evangelism, I and II Timothy, Titus, Homiletics and the Art of Writing.  Don wrote many books; the earlier ones included If You Want to Preach, Act Made Actual, Romans Realized, Sacred History and Geography and The Church in the Bible.  The 1961 Messenger stated, "Since his coming to Ozark in 1957, Brother DeWelt has stirred us with his zeal for Christ in all he does."

In 1959, while he was teaching at the college, Mr. and Mrs. (Elsie) DeWelt founded a publishing company called College Press, originally working out of their home and the basement of the college building.  The Bible Study Textbook Series of Bible commentaries was announced in The Compass in January, 1960. 

When College Press was started it was loosely connected with Ozark Bible College.  In 1961 it was incorporated separately from the college as a not-for-profit corporation.  It has become a substantial business, publishing books, Sunday School literature and other study materials, now under the leadership of Chris DeWelt, son of Don and Elsie DeWelt.

Brother DeWelt was in constant demand to speak and hold evangelistic meetings and seminars around the country.  Through his speaking and writing he made many friends for the college.  He taught full-time at the college until 1985.  In the last decade of his life he gave leadership to encouraging more fellowship and unity among brothers and sisters in the Christian churches and churches of Christ and the Churches of Christ (non-instrumental).  He died on June 12, 1991."

The Alumni Association established a preaching scholarship in honor of Don DeWelt in January 1992.  Their project that year resulted in a $10,000 gift to the scholarship.   Monies received are placed in a permanent fund with the scholarships awarded from the interest money received. 

In 1999, the Don DeWelt Preaching Lab was established in the Seth Wilson Library on the campus of Ozark.  The room is designed to somewhat resemble a church setting for preaching classes.  The lab is equipped with the latest electronic equipment.  A memorial to Don DeWelt is displayed on a wall inside the lab.

Don DeWelt Preaching Lab photo