Victor Hamilton was professor of Old Testament studies at Asbury College (now Asbury University) for 36 years, from 1971 until 2007. Upon retiring, Asbury appointed him as a scholar-in-residence at the University. He completed the fifth and final year of that appointment in 2012. He has a BA from Houghton College in New York State (1963); a BD and ThM from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky (1966;1967); and an MA and PhD in Mediterranean Studies from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts (1969; 1971) under the mentorship of the late, great Orientalist, Cyrus Gordon. It was because of Gordon’s influence that he wrote his doctoral dissertation on “Syriac Incantation Bowls from Pre-Islamic Iraq.” His special areas of interest in the classroom were Pentateuch, Jeremiah, Preaching from the Old Testament and Old Testament Theology.
Vic’s first book was Handbook on the Pentateuch which Baker Academic published in 1982. A second and revised edition of that book appeared in 2005. It has been translated into Russian, Korean, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese. His other books include The Book of Genesis, New International Commentary on the Old Testament, two volumes (Eerdmans, 1990; 1995) in process of being translated into Chinese; Handbook on the Historical Books (Baker Academic, 2002) translated into Korean and in process of being translated into Chinese; Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary (Baker Academic, 2011). He served on the translation team for two modern Bible versions, the New King James version (NKJV) which Thomas Nelson produced in 1982, and the New Living Translation (NLT) which Tyndale House published in 1996 and 2004 (second edition). In conjunction with the NKJV project he wrote the notes for Exodus and Leviticus in The Wesley Bible. A Personal Study Bible for Holy Living (Thomas Nelson, 1990). In conjunction with the NLT project, he wrote the notes for 1 and 2 Samuel in the NLT Study Bible (Tyndale House, 2008). Additionally, he has contributed chapters and entries to numerous other publications such as The Quest Study Bible, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, An Evangelical Commentary on the Bible and the Asbury Bible Commentary. He has written, and continues to write, a number of adult Sunday School lessons for Illustrated Bible Life of the Church of the Nazarene.
Vic has had the privilege to lecture and preach at a number of other college campuses, as well as speak in churches, retreats, pastors’ seminars, family conferences, camp meetings, and overseas in Korea, Japan Jamaica and, most recently, China (Beijing). Among his highest joys has been the opportunity to preach over a hundred times in the chapel service in Hughes Auditorium at Asbury University, and at least once a year for 40 consecutive years stretching from 1972 to 2012. For the last 30 years he has preached (through an interpreter) one Sunday a month at the Lexington Chinese Christian Church, long before they were at their current church building on Nicholasville Rd.
Vic and his wife Shirley have been married for 51 years, and have four married children and thirteen grandchildren (four grandsons, nine granddaughters). Both Vic and Shirley were born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, and have dual citizenship, Canadian and American (as of several years ago). Vic is ordained in the Wesleyan Church (Central Canada District). He and his wife, Shirley, have their membership in the Milliken Wesleyan Church in Markham, Ont. just outside of greater Toronto. They have been attending the Wilmore Free Methodist Church for approximately 12 years.
Bill Ury was raised in Taiwan as the son of missionaries. His B.A. from Asbury College in History was completed in 1978. Beginning his M. Div. in Israel, he studied for a year at the Institute of Holy Land Studies on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. After completing seminary at Asbury Theological Seminary, he received his doctorate in 1991 from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. While there, he and his wife, Diane, served as associate pastors in a Chinese-American United Methodist Church in Chinatown, New York City.
Bill and Diane are pastors at the Elizabeth City Evangelical Methodist Church. Bill has taught Sunday School weekly, preached, and led seminars for nearly forty years. Bill also has had the privilege of being the seminary preacher on a nationwide program under the auspices of American Family Radio, entitled “The Hour of Holiness” for over nineteen years. Beyond various scholarly articles on biblical and theological themes, he has authored three books, Trinitarian Personhood and The Bearer: Forgiving as Christ and In His Image with co-author, Dr. Allan Coppedge. He has written extensively on discipleship as well.
As a complement to the ministry of teaching and preaching Bill disciples men and is a part of a weekly accountability group. The Urys have an intense interest in missions and have served overseas often. Both Bill and Diane are fully committed to ministry the Gospel as it is expressed in consensual Christianity and the Wesleyan/Holiness tradition specifically. Bill’s calling and personal desire is to incorporate sound, rigorous Christian theological thinking with true pastoral care and personal compassion.
Brief Overview and Biographical Sketch
2012 – present Pastor of Elizabeth City EMC Elizabeth City, NC
1989 – 2012 Professor of Systematic and Historical Wesley Biblical Seminary
Theology Jackson, MS
1984-1991 M. Phil and Ph.D Drew University
Theological and Religious Studies Madison, NJ
Major Emphases: Systematic/Historical
1988-1989 Fellow at the Ecumenical Institute St. John’s University
1979 – 1983 M. Div. (May 1983) Asbury Theological Seminary
Major: Theological and Biblical Studies Wilmore, KY
1978 –1979 M. Div. courses taken in Israel I nst. Holy Land Studies
Major Emphasis: Historical and Jerusalem, Israel
Geographical Background to Scripture
1974 – 1978 B.A. Asbury College, Wlmore, K
We welcome Jerry Coleman to the pulpit at Eaton Rapids Campmeeting for the first time. Jerry will be filling in from Saturday, July 22nd through Tuesday, July 25th. Jerry has been the Director of Speakers and International Ministries since 2013. He is married to Jan and they have three adult children and one grandchild. Before coming to FAS (Francis Asbury Society), Jerry served for 17 years as a missionary in Europe with the Free Methodist Church. In the last 11 years of missions service Jerry was the Area Director for continental Europe. Jerry believes “a deep personal call for the nations in 1988 and a love for the people of all cultures helps to prepare me for the challenges and opportunities with FAS.” To learn more of the Coleman’s story, read Jerry’s book, One Way Ticket: Leaving Home for Good (Long Run Publications, 2011).
Rev. Dr. Matt Ayars is the President of Emmaus Biblical Seminary in Haiti (www.ebshaiti.org) and has been serving as a full-time missionary with the One Mission Society (formerly OMS International) at EBS with his family since 2007. Matt is married (Stacey) and has three daughters (Lily, b. 2009, Sofia, b. 2011, and Nora, b. 2015).
Matt is originally from New Jersey and is a graduate of Asbury College (now university), Wesley Biblical Seminary, and has recently earned his PhD in Old Testament at St. John’s College of Nottingham. Matt is also an ordained minister with the One Mission Society.
Matt is also the author of Salvation in Fresh Perspective: Covenant, Cross, and Kingdom and co-authored with the Rev. Dr. Charles Lake Holy Is a Four-Letter Word). Matt also has a devotional blog at www.teainsolitude.com and his wife Stacey blogs about their life and ministry in Haiti at www.mshaiti.blogspot.com. Matt also has a love of movies and music (jazz).