Chafer, Lewis Sperry, 1871-1952

Alternative names
Birth 1871-02-27
Death 1952-08-22

Biographical notes:

Lewis Sperry Chafer was born on February 27, 1871 in Rock Creek, Ohio. He was the youngest of Thomas and Lomira Chafer's three children. Thomas was a parson and died when Lewis was 11. To support the family, Lewis' mother taught school, then later kept boarders in their home, and the children earned what they could at odd jobs. Lewis met Ella Loraine Case at Oberlin College, and they married on April 22, 1896. Lewis' early training was in music, but he became convinced that God was calling him to preach. He was ordained by the Congregational Church. Through his involvement with conference ministry, Chafer heard many national and international preachers and Bible teachers. Cyrus I. Scofield as pastor of the First Congregational Church of Dallas, which was renamed Scofield Memorial Church. From 1923 to 1925, Chafer also served as general secretary of the Central American Mission., which had been founded by Scofield. Chafer's dream of starting a seminary with curriculum centered on the Bible was realized in the fall of 1924, when the Evangelical Theological College opened with thirteen students. The seminary was renamed Dallas Theological Seminary in 1936. Chafer served as president and professor of systematic theology of the seminary until his death in August 1952. Despite his responsibilities at the seminary, he continued to speak at conferences throughout the U.S. Mrs. Chafer died in 1944 after a long illness. L.S. Chafer wrote many articles and books, but the title with the most impact was his eight volume Systematic Theology, originally published in 1948. This work incorporated much of the teachings of Scofield and other Bible conference speakers, and was considered the first dispensational systematic theology.

From the description of Lewis Sperry Chafer selected Correspondence, 1922-1951, and n.d. (Dallas Theological Seminary). WorldCat record id: 61241747


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  • Eschatology
  • Theology, Doctrinal
  • Christian life


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