Training for ministry. Rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

Faculty Tributes to Dr. Bedore (Ritchey)

A Tribute to Dr. W. E. Bedore

by Pastor Matthew Ritchey

Estimated Time to Read: 3 Minutes

I was first introduced to Dr. W. Edward Bedore when he visited Grace Family Bible Church in Duncansville, Pennsylvania, to promote the Berean Bible Institute. Though his responsibilities didn’t often give him to many chances to make long trips, he made that 700-mile trip not knowing that I was already wrestling with God convicting me to go into full-time ministry. He closed his message that Sunday urging young people to go into ministry. It wasn’t too long after his visit that I visited Wisconsin to scout out the new institute I would be attending. Dr. Bedore graciously took me on a tour of the building in Slinger, Wisconsin, that Berean Bible Institute had recently purchased to hold classes. He took the time to point out his vision for classrooms, and I even was able to climb the rickety ladder to the attic where some bats had made their home. His education and ministry experience could have kept him at arm’s length of his students, but he invested his life in edifying the students God had entrusted to him for preparation.

When I began to attend classes, I soon realized the Dr. Bedore was a theologian first-class. He poured his knowledge of the Scriptures into his lectures, digging deep into doctrines and tying together the Scriptures in ways I will be forever thankful. We received a well-rounded foundation of the entire Bible through the lens of rightly dividing. Yet, Dr. Bedore also showed his students that the Bible was not either for doctrine or for application. He confirmed to us again and again that we need to KNOW the Scriptures with end result of DOING the Scriptures. He emphasized that every word of God pointed to the Person of Jesus Christ. That well-rounded emphasis laid the foundation for my ministry and set me on the correct path for my personal walk.

Through my years as a student at BBI, I was able to spend time with Dr. and Mrs. Bedore in class, before class, in chapel, on Lake Michigan, at picnics, and so many other wonderful opportunities that were just as important to my ministry training as those formal classroom times.

After I graduated, I was asked to serve on the board of the Berean Bible Institute where I was able to witness Dr. Bedore’s passion for the ministry of Berean Bible Institute behind-the-scenes. Years after that, I was asked to consider becoming the associate editor at the BBI, working directly with Dr. Bedore. I must admit, it was a little intimidating. But, from day one, Dr. Bedore treated me as an equal, even though I could never match his wisdom of the Bible and experience of ministry. He could have crushed me in my inexperience, but he edified me with his patience.

He is now with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I will never be able to replace what he was able to offer in service for the Lord, and no one will ever be able to take away the blessing of having Dr. Bedore pour his life into decades of students that have benefited from his willingness to honor the Lord. Those of us who were personally touched by his investment in God’s servants continue to be effected to preach Christ so that others may know Him.

Dr. Bedore’s Wife, Linda, a longtime friend and employee of BBI, has asked for donations in memoriam to be given to support Berean Bible Institute!

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