Thursday, January 10, 2013

James M. Grier: Pastor, Professor, Leader, Mentor, Friend

Printed below is the obituary for my spiritual father in the faith, Dr. James M. Grier.  And at this link on his website, I've been privilege to post this tribute to his life and ministry.

Pilgrim James arrived at The Celestial City on January 9, 2013. He was born in Staten Island, NY to James Murray and Mary Helen (Hannah) Grier. While Jim was growing up, his father pastored at South Baptist Church of Tottenville/Staten Island, NY. He earned his B.Th. from Baptist Bible College, M.Div. from Grace Theological Seminary, Th.M. from Westminster Theological Seminary, and Th.D. from Grace Theological Seminary. Dr. Grier taught and preached extensively across the United States, in Canada, Hungary, the United Kingdom, and Zambia, pastored two congregations, served for 16 years as Executive Vice President and Academic Dean at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary of Cornerstone University, was Chairman of the Evangelical Seminary Dean’s Council (ESDC) 1993–1998, consulted pastors for more than 50 years while advising numerous hospital boards on medical ethics, was a highly sought after conference speaker on philosophical theology and Christian worldview across the globe, and was the distinguished Professor of Philosophical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (GRTS) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

His publications include: The Relation of the Law to Christ, Demonstrating Truth in Our Lives, Doing Theology in the Context of Church Ministry, and Calvinistic Philosophy. Before coming to Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in 1982, he taught at Cedarville College (now Cedarville University) as a Professor of Philosophy (1969–1982) and served administratively in various roles. Beyond GRTS and Cedarville College, Dr. Grier had been a visiting or adjunct professor at Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and London Reformed Baptist Seminary. Since 1978, he had been an Adjunct Professor at Grace Theological Seminary while holding a similar position since 1984 at Evangelical Baptist Seminary of Quebec. He also served two years as the Acting Academic Dean of Grand Rapids Baptist College (Cornerstone University) from 1985–1986.

His very first and final sermons were in the church that his father served for 47 years in Tottenville/Staten Island, NY. His various professional memberships were The Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. His philanthropic endeavors included work at Home of Hope and Blodgett Hospital. Jim is survived by his wife of 58 years, Shirley (Stewart) Grier whom he married on July 30, 1954, his son and his son’s wife, Dr. Kevin Blaine Grier and Dr. Robin Grier; and his sister, Joyce Elizabeth Grier, as well as several cousins, nieces and nephews. Memorial service will be at Grace Community Church, 3500 New Holland, Hudsonville, MI on Monday at 7:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the “James Murray Grier Scholarship Fund” at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

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