Geoffrey Grogan 1925 - 2011

Geoff GroganOn Wednesday afternoon former Principal of the Bible Training Institute (BTI), Rev Dr Geoffrey Grogan, died surrounded by his family. Geoff was the principal of the BTI, one of the colleges which merged to become International Christian College, for 21 years, and in total taught full-time at the college for 35 years.

Teaching
Geoff  teaching at BTI

Born in 1925 in Bristol, Geoff became an evangelical Christian in 1945 after reading a book by C.S. Lewis. He studied at BTI from 1947-49 and then at London Bible College from 1949-51. In 1951 he returned to BTI as Warden and then Lecturer, and married Eva Hayes in 1952. During this time he developed a love of teaching theology which former students remember with great appreciation.

Geoff served as lecturer in Biblical, Historical, and Dogmatic theology at London Bible College from 1965-9. In 1969 he received an invitation to return to BTI to serve as Principal, a position he held until retirement in 1990. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Open University in 1998.

"A gentle, gracious giant of a man who wanted us to imbibe his love of the Bible for ourselves, all the while unafraid to confront behaviour that contradicted these values. Former students, colleagues and friends are united in their appreciation of a gentle, wise and deeply scholarly man who never failed to make a positive impact on those he met."
- Richard Tiplady, Principal

In retirement Geoff continued to untiringly support the work of the college whether at an academic or a pastoral level. Until a few years ago he regularly taught sessions for our interest level ‘Monday classes’ and was a member of the Academic Board of the college where his measured and gracious input was always appreciated. However, his academic mind was coupled with a pastor's heart and each year Geoff produced the Former Students Association newsletter bringing together news from a wider range of gradates, many of whom he knew and corresponded with personally. He also acted as a mentor to many staff and graduates.

Geoffrey Grogan has published dozens of articles and books. His publications include a commentary on Isaiah, two books on Psalms and one on Mark. Since retirement, he has continued to write and lecture widely, including in the US and Eastern Europe. His latest book, published by IVP last November, is The Faith Once Entrusted to the Saints? Engaging with Issues and Trends in Evangelical Theology in which he looks at several of the controversial issues within contemporary evangelical theology. As well as his teaching and writing, Geoff also served as chairman of the Scottish Evangelical Theology Society for 27 years.

Principals Image
Former GBC Principal Peter White, ICC Principal Richard Tiplady, and Geoff at Richard's Commissioning in 2010

Fondly known as the ‘gentle giant’, Geoff spent his lifetime working for Jesus Christ in the field of evangelical theological education and for this all of us at International Christian College are profoundly grateful to God. ICC Principal Richard Tiplady who, with his wife Irene, studied under Geoff Grogan at the BTI, sums up Geoff’s contribution: “It is only with later reflection one realises that Geoff did what any great leader does, that is, live out the values he wanted to inculcate in us. A gentle, gracious giant of a man who wanted us to imbibe his love of the Bible for ourselves, all the while unafraid to confront behaviour that contradicted these values. Former students, colleagues and friends are united in their appreciation of a gentle, wise and deeply scholarly man who never failed to make a positive impact on those he met.”

Selfishness brings a desire that Geoff still be with us, for such a man will always be deeply missed, but we take comfort from the Gospel promise that these words may be said to him: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord!”

An online Book of Condolence can be found here.

Geoff had a profound effect on my life and that of many others. He will be greatly missed