In Memoriam: Dr. Larry Pettegrew

Dear Shepherds Family,

Early morning, January 30, Dr. Larry Pettegrew reached the tape and crossed the finish line of a race well-run. His faithful ministry touched all our hearts and lives, and we owe so much to this patient, gracious, Christ-focused, servant-leader. He was a treasure deposited into all our lives during the many years of his ministry career.

I first met Larry as a young seminary student when he was in his early 40’s. He served one year at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary where I had the privilege of sitting under his teaching. To this day, I have that New Testament term paper he required for the course. He gave me an A on that assignment . . . which is probably why I kept such a rare treasure.

Larry’s teaching style, personal character and disposition marked my heart and life. Many years later, as we began praying for our first full-time dean and executive vice president, Larry was the only candidate I considered pursuing. He received our letter of interest on April 1—Fool’s Day—and Larry often joked that he thought it might have been a prank.

After arriving at the seminary in 2006, Larry set out to graciously and wisely construct the structure of our school. He added trusted faculty members and worked hard with our seminary board as we pursued accreditation. Alongside him were other faithful men such as Bill Ludwig and Dr. Sam Winchester. Together they fashioned a school marked by excellence and biblical faithfulness.

Each year, following graduation, Larry and I had a tradition of meeting in the hallway where Larry would say, “Well . . . God did it again!” Our kindred spirits were thrilled with another year of provision, growth and expansion. In the last few years, as attendance records have broken and financial goals exceeded, he often would look at me across the board room and smile – a smile that communicated his amazement and gratitude for what God was doing here at “the Lord’s school.”

I’m also grateful for Linda, his faithful wife who allowed him to pour into STS unbounding energy and years of dedication. When men would naturally seek the sidelines and rest, Linda encouraged Larry to continue investing, teaching, writing, and helping lead the seminary. Larry was always available to attend faculty and board meetings, providing wise counsel and guidance, and always pointing our hearts and minds to the kindness and faithfulness of Christ.

Dr. Larry Pettegrew is already deeply missed . . . our future transition to heaven made sweeter . . . our recommitment to running the race ahead made new and fresh today.

Our love and sympathy are extended to Linda, their three children and extended family. Thank you for the gift of your husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather.

Satisfied in Christ,

If you would like to contribute to the Pettegrew Scholarship 

If you would like to view Dr. Larry Pettegrew’s obituary