A job-ending broken ankle in early 1982 began a pivotal year for Delbert Durfee
Even as he worked during his first few years out of high school, he was active at Elgin Christian Church in Elgin, OR, and knew he wanted to be in church leadership. Not long after his injury, the Image of Christ from Boise Bible College visited the church. He and Image member Andy Morris (BA’85) stayed up talking late into the night. That spring he attended Spring Conference, and Bobbi Putman encouraged him to enroll for a year. His minister in Elgin, Bill Miller, gave his full support.
Delbert has great memories of BBC: the all-school trips at the beginning of the year, where much community was built; singing with the Image in the 1982-83 school year; and getting to know Chuck Faber and Dale Cornett who were “great teachers and men of character, fun, wisdom, and caring.” Greek was the hardest class, but he still uses it to this day.
It wasn’t all seriousness and studies. Delbert was in the National Guard and had several sets of camo clothes. One evening, says Delbert, John Humphreys talked him, Curt Landreth (AS’85), and Kelvin Jones (BA’86) into donning the camos and pulling stockings over their heads. They raided the BBC board meeting in progress that evening on campus, lobbing apples as “grenades.” Trying to escape, Delbert was caught by President J.R. Ewing who turned him around to see his face and burst into laughter.
Other great friends to this day are Rich Schell (BS’86), Dale (BA’87), and Mary Phipps, Bob Friend (AS’87), Mark (BRE’84), and Ginger Peterson, and Greg (BA’88) and Lyla Folkins, who were the dorm parents.
Life After Boise Bible College
Five years after enrolling for one year, Delbert graduated with a BA degree in 1987. He served for six years as a youth minister at 6th and Gibbs Church in Cottage Grove, OR, then accepted a call to be the senior minister at Athena Christian Church, Athena, OR. Twenty-six years later, he still serves there. Delbert says BBC taught him to study, think, and develop his own worldview. He didn’t stop learning. He’s taken master level classes as well as three years of training in lay counseling from Good Samaritan Ministries in Walla Walla, WA. This training has come to mean a lot to him. He says,
Short-term mission trips to Honduras, Mexico, Haiti, and London have also taught him a lot. He has continued to grow in his love for people and come to appreciate his own country more. The biggest thing he’s learned, he says, is that “joy is not dependent on WHAT is outside of me, but on WHO is inside me.” In all these experiences he’s learned that he can push through his fears and obey Christ on a deeper level.
Delbert’s wife of 36 years, Kayla, serves part-time as a church secretary and at the city library. They have two kids, Justin who is 30, and Kendra who is 28 and a 2016 BBC grad with a BS in Christian Psychology. He loves to cook and read military history.
Delbert’s life and ministry reflect both solid Scriptural teaching and deep care for people, making a good example of BBC’s values of scholarship, humility, community, and innovation.