Category Archives: In Memory

Alec Motyer (1924-2016)

Alec Motyer

Alec Motyer – Renowned Old Testament pastor-scholar, Christian Focus Publications author and dear friend – has passed away at the age of 91.

Born John Alexander Motyer in Dublin, he graduated with a BD (1949) and MA (1951) from Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Ireland, and did further studies at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

He was ordained in the Church of England in 1947 as a deacon, and then in 1948 as a priest, serving as a curate in Penn Fields, Wolverhampton (1947-1950), and at Holy Trinity Church in Bristol (1950-1954). In Bristol, he also served as Tutor, and then Vice Principal, of Clifton College (1950-1965).

From there, he became Vicar of St Luke’s, West Hampstead (1965-1970), but returned to Bristol as Deputy Principal of Tyndale Hall (1970-1971), and then became the Principal of the reconstituted Trinity College (1971-1981).

His final decade of active parish ministry was as the Minister at Westbourne (Bournemouth) (1981-1989).

Alec Motyer’s gift for writing was matched by his humility, passion for the Gospel and witty personality. Alec Motyer’s letters were a source of encouragement and uplifting to people all around the world, not least in the Christian Focus office. Below is an extract from a personal correspondence to William Mackenzie, Managing Director at CFP, which best illustrates Alec’s warm heart, humility and wit:

Dear William

Since I am writing to Small W, I thought i should include a brief note to you – why should Christian fellowship become a bonanza for the Post Office?

May I thank you and herself for for such kindly and understanding love reaching out to me in these strange and odd days. Life without Beryl, after loving each other for 67 years, is an unwelcome and unusual experience … No I don’t want her back – she is having a high old time – ‘galavanting round heaven’. And NO, I am not in a rush to join her. As long as the Lord so wills, I am totally content to amble on in His sweet fellowship and in the increasing joy He allows me to have in His Holy Word. But there is a sort of underlying numbness, life lived in a gap. I am surrounded by oceans of TLC from family and church – and the ‘wall to wall’ cottage pies, soups and cakes continue.

Your kindness is rebounding on your head in terms of these over-long letters from me. You should not be so nice to me. Of course, were you to visit me, I would not plague you with letters.

Under the Sheltering wings

Alec Motyer

Mark Dever, in the foreword of Alec’s most recent CFP title Psalms by the Day: A New Devotional Translation describes his lasting influence:

One of the first – and still perhaps the best – summaries of the Bible in just a few messages that I have heard was given by Alec Motyer about twenty-five years ago. I was a student, speaking to students at the same conference. But when I saw Motyer was speaking on this topic, I could not resist attending all his lectures. And the view of God’s Word he gave me has been a lasting gift ever since.

Alec Motyer 2

William Mackenzie talks about his recent visit to Alec’s home, where they shared fellowship:

On the 16th of April my wife and I visited Alec at his home in Poynton – a wonderful welcome, a lovely morning thinking about the glory of Christ and His work for us.  Alec was his usual cheerful, humorous self but was a lot frailer when compared to our previous visit.  Towards the end of our time together that morning, we prayed together.  On finishing our prayer, Alec then said, “I would like to pray again”.  He prayed most beautifully and personally for another mutual friend who we knew was approaching the end of life.  In that prayer Alec anticipated with joy going home to be with the Lord.  It was clear to me that his affection was set on things above and his desire was to depart and to be with Christ which is far better.

We then left and went to the front door of their house where we took a picture and said farewell.  That was one of the precious memories we have of Alec and we are thankful for his interest in us and our work.  Alec knew the individual names of the people and team at Christian Focus and was really interested in their welfare.  Isn’t it wonderful to remember that we have not lost someone when we know where they are?

Proverbs 10:7  – The memory of the just is blessed

Books by Alec Motyer

Psalms by the Day by Alec Motyer Isaiah By the Day:  A New Devotional Translation by Alec Motyer A Christian's Pocket Guide to Loving The Old Testament: One Book, One God, One Story by Alec Motyer Preaching?: Simple Teaching on Simply Preaching by Alec Motyer Roots:  Let the Old Testament Speak by Alec Motyer Life2 The Sequel: What happens when you die? by Alec Motyer

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Robert Duncan Culver – July 19, 1916 – February 7, 2015

Robert Duncan Culver
HOUSTON, MINN. – Rev. Dr. Robert Duncan Culver, 98, of rural Houston, Minn. died on Saturday, February, 7, 2015, at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wis.

Robert Duncan Culver was born at Tampico, Washington (rural Yakima County) on July 19, 1916, to Sinyeard Carpenter (S.C.) and Emma (Mondor) Culver. He married Arlene Leola Hoyt on January 29, 1937, at Ashland, Ohio. Arlene died on October 26, 1974, in Libertyville, Illinois. To this union were born: Douglas Joel Culver, Keith Eugene Culver and Lorraine Adele Culver.

Robert, along with his parents, became a part of a new small village congregation of believers that has sent many of its sons and daughters into various missionary and pastoral careers. His early education was in the public schools. Robert is a graduate of Heidelberg College (A.B.), Grace Theological Seminary (B.D., Th.M., Th.D.). He was ordained into the ministry by the Brethren Church at Harrah, Washington in 1942. He did post-doctoral theological studies at Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary and ancient Near-east languages at the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Culver has been an author, preacher, pastor and teacher all of his adult life, until the present. His career as professor has taken him to Grace Theological Seminary (Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew), Wheaton College and Graduate School (Associate Professor of Bible and Theology) and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Professor and Chairman of Theology). He was annual director of the Near-east School of Archaeology at Jerusalem in 1962. He has been a special or visiting lecturer at schools in Canada, several states in the USA, Jordan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Argentina. Among his several publications, perhaps best known are: The Life of Christ, A Biblical View of Civil Government, Daniel and the Latter Days, and the section on “Daniel” in the Wycliffe Commentary.

He was married to Celeste Fay Knipmeyer on November 22, 1975, in Wheaton, Illinois. Since 1977, they have lived in rural Houston County, Minn. where they have been busy writing and publishing several books related to Christian life and doctrine, most recently, Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical. This is a volume of about 1300 pages.

Dr. Culver is survived by his wife, Celeste; a son, Keith (Sharon) Culver of Stewartville, Minn., a daughter, Lorraine Culver of Houston, Minn.; daughter-in-law, Lyrle Culver of Fort Pierce, Florida; seven grandchildren: Brian (Lauren) Culver of New York City, Schuyler (Andrea) Culver of Indianapolis, Indiana, Nathanael (Sandra) Culver of Hokah, Minn., Jordan Culver of Beaufort, South Carolina, Naomi (Darrin) McCollough of Stewartville, Minn., JoEllyn (Rene’) Espinal of Argentina, David (Renee) Culver of Lake Oswego, Oregon; a granddaughter-in-law, Linda Culver of Blue Island, Illinois; sixteen great-grandchildren: three sisters: Julia Smithwick and Caroline McGraw, both of Yakima, Washington and Joanne McReynolds of Waco, Texas; two brothers: Richard (Diane) Culver of Yakima, Washington and Roger (Donna) Culver of Chiloquin, Oregon.

Besides being preceded in death by his first wife, Arlene, he was also preceded in death by his parents; a son, Douglas Culver (died in 2007); sister, Eleanor Culver; brother, Gail Culver; and a grandson, Stuart Culver.

There will be a funeral service at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February, 12, 2015, at Bethany Evangelical Free Church in Houston, Minn. with the Rev. David Wiersbe officiating. Visitation is from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday at Hoff Funeral and Cremation Service in Houston, and one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the church. Burial will be at the Money Creek Cemetery in Money Creek, Minn.

The family prefers memorials to be directed to the Bethany Evangelical Church in Houston, Christ Covenant Church in La Crosse, Wis. or to the donor’s choice.
Leave a memory of Dr. Culver, sign his online guestbook and view his tribute video at

Books by Robert Duncan Culver:
Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical by Robert Duncan CulvernThe Earthly Career of Jesus, the Christ by Robert Duncan Culver

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Remembering John Pollock

John Pollock was a Cambridge-educated clergyman and award-winning author. His flair for telling a dramatic story came to life in his more than thirty books. Author of many biographies, he was the official biographer of Billy Graham. John was a board member of the John Newton Project along with the late John Stott, Timothy George, Alec Motyer, and others. In addition to his writing, John enjoyed filing his time with managing woodlands, gardening, family history, music, and travelling. John was taken ill on a walking holiday in Scotland and passed away after a short illness on January 6, 2012. John and his wife, Anne, were long time residents of Devon, England.

Christian Focus Titles by John Pollock:

Hudson Taylor And Maria: A match made in heaven by John PollockGordon of Khartoum: An Extraordinary Soldier by John PollockD.L. Moody: Moody Without Sankey by John PollockGeorge Whitefield: The Evangelist by John PollockThe Way to Glory: Major General Sir Henry Havelock by John PollockThe Cambridge Seven: The true story of ordinary men used in no ordinary way by John Pollock

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