Tag Archives: Obituary

R. Hilton Griswold, Longtime AG Minister and Gospel Musician, with the Lord at Age 93

Hilton Griswold playing the piano in the E. N. Bell Chapel at the dedication of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

Hilton Griswold playing the piano in the E. N. Bell Chapel at the dedication of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

By Glenn Gohr

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center is saddened to announce the passing of a dear friend and saint of God. Rev. R. Hilton Griswold was born on November 12, 1921, and he passed away on May 5, 2015 in Springfield, Missouri, at the age of 93.

Hilton Griswold passionately loved Gospel music. He is remembered for playing the piano and singing baritone for the Blackwood Brothers Quartet from 1940-1950. He was credentialed as an Assemblies of God minister on July 10, 1948, and pastored churches in Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois.

Hilton has been a friend of the Heritage Center for many years. In addition to singing and playing in the Assemblies of God National Leadership and Resource Center chapel on various occasions, he played gospel hymns and choruses for the opening of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center and museum on January 19, 1999.

In recent years he ministered in nursing homes and senior adult gatherings. He also hosted his own program called “Inspiration Time,” which was released on television, radio and internet releases nationwide. He not only personally knew many of the gospel singing groups and composers, but he often knew the stories behind the songs, which he often shared on his weekly television programs.

For a wonderful example of Griswold’s inspirational music, watch this segment of him playing the piano, bass, and harmonica, and also singing 4 different parts for the song “We Shall Rise” as well as some other selections: https://vimeo.com/3599197

Additional selections of Griswold’s music are found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/HiltonsFriends

Hilton Griswold was preceded in death by his wife, Marie, and his daughter, Barbara Chapman. He is survived by his son, Rev. Larry Griswold of Plainfield, Illinois and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He leaves a wonderful legacy of gospel music and singing which will continue to inspire future generations.


Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: Archives@ag.org


Filed under History, Music

Dr. David Allen Lewis (1932-2007), noted author and lecturer, passes away

Dr. David Allen Lewis of Springfield, Missouri, well-known author and lecturer on eschatology and Israel, passed away Saturday, June 2, 2007 at the age of 74. Dr. Lewis was ordained with the Assemblies of God in 1956 and served in the ministry for over 50 years. He graduated from Central Bible College in 1954 and subsequently earned a master of arts in theological studies and a doctorate of theological studies.

As a clergyman, lecturer, researcher, and publisher, he had been active in national and international circles in promoting the welfare of the Church, of Israel, and of the Jewish people. He felt God called him to be a Christian ambassador to the nation of Israel. And in 1975 he founded Christians United for Israel (CUFI). He also was one of the founders of the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel, and was the current chairman of the board.

He authored over 40 books, produced 39 television documentaries on location throughout Israel, and traveled to the Middle East 67 times, promoting the welfare of the Church, Israel and the Jewish people. He is remembered for his radio program, God’s Word For Today’s World, and his publications, Jerusalem Courier and Prophecy Digest, Prophecy Watch, Audio Prophecy Digest, and his Tape of the Month Service. He also operated the Prophecy Research Center and directed the Springfield Regional Eschatology Club.

Dr. Lewis is survived by Ramona, his wife of 52 years; daughters, Rev. Rebecca J. Brimmer and Rev. Cassandra Lewis Howell; two sons-in-laws, several grandchildren; and a multitude of family, friends and loved ones.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, June 8 in Cornerstone Church, Springfield, Missouri with Reverends Thomas Trask and Jess Gibson officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to David Allen Lewis Ministries for the establishment of the David Lewis Memorial Research Library in Israel.

Additional information can be found in the Springfield News-Leader, June 6, 2007.

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Posted by Darrin Rodgers


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Dorothy Ward (1909-2007), widow of C. M. Ward, passes away

Dorothy M. Ward, the widow of Revivaltime speaker, C. M. Ward, passed away on April 17, 2007 at the Bethel Retirement Center in Modesto, California, at the age of 98.

Born on April 3, 1909, in Kansas City, Missouri, she was the daughter of Charles and Hazel Hymes. She met C. M. Ward one summer when he was preaching at Ottawa, Kansas, where she lived. They were married in a double wedding ceremony on December 25, 1929, at Ottawa, Kansas, along with Dorothy’s sister who married Leonard Palmer.

Dorothy Ward assisted her husband as he pastored and evangelized in Canada, taught at North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and pastored again at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Bakersfield, California from 1945-1953. Then came the move to Springfield, Missouri, where Dr. C. M. Ward became the well-recognized voice of the Assemblies of God Revivaltime radio broadcast for 25 years.

She and Dr. Ward moved from Springfield, Missouri, to Scotts Valley, California in 1973, when he was appointed president of Bethany Bible College (Bethany University) until 1978. In 1990 they relocated to Modesto, California, where they resided at Bethel Retirement Center. Dr. Ward preceded her in death on July 12, 1996.

In 1937 one of Dorothy’s sisters-in-law died, leaving a child behind. The Wards became parents to the young girl, now Martha Jane Sherburne of Florence, Oregon. Dorothy is survived by her daughter Martha Jane; four grandchildren, five great-great-grandchildren; and a sister, Ruth Williamson. She is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Barbara and Ruth Hymes; several nieces and nephews; and her devoted friend and caregiver, Ethylene Shannon.

A memorial service was held on April 24th at Bethel Church in Modesto. A final memorial will be held in Springfield, Missouri, on May 11, at 1 p.m. in the chapel at Greenlawn Funeral Home North, with burial to follow in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, where she will be laid to rest alongside her husband, C. M. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the C. M. Ward Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 7937, Stockton, CA 95267.

Additional information can be found at Assemblies of God News Service, the Santa Cruz (CA) Sentinel, April 22, 2007, and the Springfield News-Leader, May 8, 2007.

Posted by Glenn Gohr


Filed under News

COGIC Bishop G. E. Patterson (1939-2007)

Church of God in Christ Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson passed away Tuesday afternoon, March 20, 2007, in Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of 67.

The following is a statement from the Carter Malone Group, public relations contact for the Patterson family and the COGIC:

This afternoon at 4:03 p.m. at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God In Christ, Bishop G. E. Patterson, passed away as a result of heart failure. Patterson was surrounded by his wife, Mrs. Louise Patterson, and his family.

Patterson served as the leader of the fourth-largest Protestant religious denomination in the world with an estimated membership of 6.5 million members. He led the denomination since November 2000.

The memorial and funeral services will be held at Temple of Deliverance Church Of God In Christ. Local church memorial service, March 29, 7:00 p.m. — Jurisdictional memorial service, March 30, 7:00 p.m. — National church funeral service, March 31, 10:00 a.m.

Bishop Charles E. Blake, pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ has been named the interim presiding bishop of the denomination.

News reports are available online at the WMC-TV Memphis website which includes video clips, photos, and other tributes to Bishop Patterson.

Additional information can be found in the Memphis Commercial Appeal and on the Church of God in Christ, Inc. website.

Posted by Glenn Gohr


Filed under News

Don Baldwin (1931-2007) former manager of the Couriers, passes on

[splashcast MPIC5405YB]

SplashCast with Flickr photos
Produced by iFPHC

Don Baldwin, former Couriers Quartet founder and manager, died February 24, 2007 at his home in Florida. He was 75.

Donald Edward Baldwin was born Nov. 30, 1931 in Hamilton, Ohio, and was raised in Chicago, Illinois. While he was stationed in Las Vegas during the Korean War he developed an appreciation for gospel music. When he enrolled at Central Bible Institute in 1954, then, he parlayed this musical avocation into his vocation. That year, Baldwin rallied several fellow students to form a gospel group — The Couriers Quartet. The Couriers went on to be one of the most successful gospel music groups in the late twentieth century. Significantly, The Couriers helped to shift gospel music from an emphasis on entertainment back toward ministry and evangelism. Don Baldwin — and the other men of The Couriers — were Assemblies of God boys who proceeded to impact an entire generation for Christ.

After leaving the Couriers in 1965, Don established “Baldwin Sound Productions,” a recording studio facility and the home of Hymntone Records. Many of the major gospel groups recorded there over the years. During the 1970s, he also served as an emcee of the National Quartet Convention. In 2002, Don became one of the very first inductees into the Pennsylvania Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In 2006 he was awarded the “Living Legend” award by the Grand Old Gospel Reunion.

A memorial service for Don Baldwin is scheduled at 1:00 p.m. Friday, March 9, at Victory Church (Assembly of God), 1401 Griffin Road, Lakeland, Florida.

The Baldwin family authorized a memorial website, which includes articles and photographs.

The Couriers were featured in the cover story for the 2007 edition of Assemblies of God Heritage magazine. Read the article, written by leading gospel music historian Jim Goff, on the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center website.

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Posted by Glenln Gohr


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Roberta Semple Salter (1910-2007), Sister Aimee’s daughter, with the Lord

Roberta Star Semple Salter was born in Hong Kong on September 17, 1910, the daughter of Rev. Robert James Semple and Aimee Semple McPherson. Her father passed away with malaria shortly before her birth, and her mother, who later became the founder of Angelus Temple and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, returned to the United States, marrying Harold S. McPherson in 1912 and then David L. Hutton in 1931. At the tender age of 12, Roberta and her younger brother, Rolf McPherson, were preaching in the Children’s Church at Angelus Temple in Los Angeles. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she continued to preach during her teenage years. Roberta married Harry Salter, who became an orchestra conductor for radio and television programs, and they made their home in Manhattan, New York. She passed away January 25, 2007 at the age of 96 and is survived by her brother, Dr. Rolf McPherson of Los Angeles, her daughter, Victoria Salter, two granddaughters, and three great-grandchildren. A private service was held. Donations may be sent to the Goddard Riverside Community Center in New York City.

An obituary appeared in the New York Times, January 28, 2007, Late Edition, p. 23, and in the Los Angeles Times, February 4, 2007, Home Edition, p. B-12.

See also “Roberta Semple Salter–In the presence of the Lord” from Foursquare News Service.

Posted by Glenn Gohr


Filed under News