Rev. Dr. Arnold Gordon Wetmore passed away to be with his Lord Jesus Christ on June 9, 2016. He was born on June 24, 1931 in Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada. He grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada where he graduated from Grade 12 in the drafting track and planned to be an engineer. While pursuing a career as a draftsman, Gordon felt God calling him to a career as a minister.
Gordon was married to Alice Jean (Shoff) on August 28, 1953 in Warren, Ohio.
Gordon received his A.B in English Literature from Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) in Massachusetts in 1955. He earned the B.D. in Systematic Theology from Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS) in 1959. Gordon also earned a doctor of ministry degree, “The Profile and Product of a Nurturing Church”, from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1984. He completed further graduate study at Boston University School of Education Boston University School of Theology, Harvard Divinity School, Lutheran Theological Seminary (Columbus, Ohio) and Methodist Theological School of Ohio (Delaware, Ohio). He received the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from ENC.
Rev. Dr. Wetmore served as pastor in the following churches: Monroe Church of the Nazarene, Monroe, WI; Wollaston Church of the Nazarene, Quincy, MA; First Church of the Nazarene, Columbus, OH and First Church of the Nazarene, Kansas City, MO. He also served as Dean of Students at his alma mater, ENC. In 1983, Dr. Wetmore was elected president of the Northwest Nazarene College (NNC) and served there until 1992, when he was elected as the seventh president of the Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS). He served on the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene from 1970-1983 and was president of that board from 1979-1983. Dr. Wetmore retired in 2000 and lived with his beloved wife, A.J., in Olathe, Kansas. After retiring from NTS in 2000, Dr. Wetmore continued to serve NTS for several years as he mentored the then new NTS president, Dr. Ron Benefiel, and as he continued to raise funds for NTS.
Gordon served as a Trustee at Mount Vernon Nazarene (College) University(1975-78), General Secretary of Nazarene Young People’s Society(1968-72), Member of the Nazarene Board of Pensions(1976-83), member of the Commission on Internationalization of the Church of the Nazarene(1976-85) and Secretary of the Church of the Nazarene General Court of Appeals(1980-85).
Rev. Dr. Wetmore conducted Lectureships at Olivet Nazarene (College) University (1973), Nazarene Theological Seminary (1976, 1982), Eastern Nazarene College (1982) and (Bethany Nazarene College) Southern Nazarene University (1984).
Gordon contracted polio in 1957, while pursuing his Seminary degree, disabling him for life. He lived a strong life due to his complete reliance on the grace and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ and sacrificial care-giving by AJ. He told many people of his visible and audible encounter with Jesus Christ while in Youngstown, Ohio during his months of recovery and rehabilitation. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (KJV) Gordon lived the definition of a meek, strong and Christlike life. We miss him and celebrate his life on earth and now in Heaven with his Lord! One amazing life lived to help show us and many others the way to Christ. And a great example of a husband and father. Thanks Dad.
Gordon is survived by a large, loving family, including his wife, Alice Jean (AJ) Wetmore, his children, Gordon Jr.(Amy), Tim(Tanya), Paul(Beth) and Judy(John),6 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson. He was preceded in death by his parents, and 5 older brothers and 1 older sister.
We are forever grateful to the many staff members at Aberdeen Village that carefully and tenderly loved and cared for him and for the precious prayers they shared with him on a daily basis.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Dr. Gordon and A.J. Wetmore Scholarship Fund by going online at nts.edu.It is an endowed scholarship given to students at NTS. Click on “donate now” to give with a credit or debit card. Note the funds are for “In Memory of Dr. Gordon Wetmore.” Checks may be made out to Nazarene Theological Seminary and sent to 1700 E. Meyer Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64131. Earmark the check “Wetmore.”