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Record for Taking the longest to Graduate – Doug Reed

Author: David Davolt
Published on: February 25, 2021

Doug Reed finished High School in 1967, and immediately he married his sweetheart Carol (of the highly respected Buck family) in Eugene, Oregon. He admits they were quite young, but he didn’t want to lose the gem he saw in Carol. Now, over fifty years later, he still confirms it was the best choice he could make. The newly wedded couple moved to Boise the next summer in time to start fall classes at Boise Bible College, still very young and in love with each other.

“Going into ministry” was the furthest thing from Doug’s thoughts. Having grown up in the Methodist church, he only knew about Boise Bible College from Kenny Beckman and Bob Ballard’s influence at church camps and church services.  (It seems a certain girl named Carol might have got him to hear them a few times). Kenny and Bob showed through their preaching and teaching their strong faith and high character. They were both persistent in their efforts to recommend BBC to young people. Doug decided to attend BBC for one year to get a good foundation in the Bible.  That year turned into two and a half.

Bob Ballard started a “missions club” that first year. He got a letter from ministers in Jamaica asking college students to help with summer evangelistic campaigns and children’s Bible schools.  Doug and Carol went for two months as a team with two students from Ozark Bible College in 1969. They were the first mission interns from BBC but, gladly, not the last. The next summer, they were back in Jamaica, but this time with Steve (BA 72) and Millie (BSL 72) Shold, Boise Bible College upper-class students. Their firstborn, Kimberley, arrived in 1972. Those were life-shifting experiences. They loved squeezing into a different culture. And it was warm.

Two more children arrived, Kelly and Kevin, while they lived in Eugene before the Sholds, who served in Mexico after graduating, invited Doug and Carol to fill in for a radio mission in Central Mexico while the missionary family was on furlough. Between the two summers in Jamaica and their Mexico experience, they were hooked on “missions.“

They planned to return to Mexico at the invitation of other missionaries. To do that, Carol earned an elementary education degree at the University of Oregon so they could live in Mexico with a long-term visa. That didn’t happen. Instead, while they were in Oregon attending the Oakland Church of Christ, Gordon Thompson, a veteran missionary in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, visited. He and his wife Vivian were looking for someone to carry on the work they were leading in the Dominican Republic. The recruitment began. It all seemed like a good fit: the Reeds’ experience as volunteers in Christian education and church leadership combined with a hybrid mix of the Caribbean culture in Jamaica and the Spanish culture in Mexico and a desire to leave the moist Northwest for the simmering warmth in the Caribbean. The elders thought it a good idea too, and they sent them there in 1990. By then, their fourth child, Kristofer, was born. Kimberley stayed in Oregon to graduate from Linfield College, then joined the family in the Dominican Republic.

They served in the Dominican Republic for over 18 years, helping develop several congregations and seeing God work in many ways to change lives.  Once they had elderships in place in three self-supporting congregations, they were able to say the mission effort (Model, Assist, Watch, Leave) was finished in 2008. While in the Dominican Republic, 11 grandchildren were added to the family. And today, they have four great-grandchildren.

Doug had not finished his degree at Boise Bible College, but many encouraged him to find a way to complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree through the years. In the 1990s, Carl Anderson (then the Academic Dean at BBC) worked up the details for “what-it-would-take” for him to finish. Carl brought that information to Doug in the Dominican Republic while he was there to teach a four-day seminar on Restoration History. Years later, a professor from Johnson Bible College, whom Doug had met in Mexico, arranged for him to teach as a missionary on campus in the fall semester of 2002. While there, he took a full load of the courses that Mr. Anderson had prescribed earlier.

Dr. Charles Crane made the final push, encouraging Doug to do a similar thing at BBC in 2005-2006. Chuck Faber worked up a schedule that matched available classes that year to the remaining credits he needed – and he walked with the class of 2006! He allowed the rest of the 2006 graduates to think he had earned a bachelor’s degree in just one year! Little did they realize this was a 37-year effort!

Boise Bible people are largely responsible for many good things I’ve been able to do in ministry . . . I told Derek Voorhees a while back that Boise Bible College made me do things I had thought impossible.

Doug Reed

LATM (Literature And Teaching Ministries) invited Doug to join them in Joplin, Missouri. They had used many of their books in Spanish in the Dominican Republic, which made it easy to decide to help them provide the same kinds of Bible-based books in other languages, too. They started in January of 2009 and are still serving there.

When asked about memories of Boise Bible College, Doug replied, “Boise Bible people are largely responsible for many good things I’ve been able to do in ministry. Mr. Beckman and Mr. Ballard from the early years planted a high regard for, and growing confidence in, Scripture. Bill Krause and John Whittaker, from the second go-round, had big personal impact, besides their academic input. They, along with Chuck Faber, Dale Cornett, Steve Crane, and Rich Schell, modeled life and ministry and pushed me in important ways. I told Derek Voorhees a while back that BBC made me do things I had thought impossible.”

Students, too, have had a lifelong influence, especially their classmates from the 1970s.  Doug said, “I like to remind them that I got the best grades. They like to remind me that they have doctorates.”  Students in 2005-06 became great friends, too. Doug has prayed that he was able to nourish their faith as they did his.

As life goes on, long-range plans get shorter. Doug plans to continue at LATM through this year. Carol teaches ESL in a nearby community and plans to finish the 2021-22 school year. Then, where will they go? Maybe nowhere. Maybe East Timor. Perhaps somewhere warm? Their family is scattered from Salem, OR to Meridian, ID to Indianapolis all the way to the “Beltway” near Washington, DC. Sounds like a motor home would be a good investment?

Doug’s response to the Boise Bible College values was:

  • Scholarship: smart faculty with high expectations; what else can I say?
  • Humility: decent, kindhearted, fair-minded staff and faculty
  • Community: caring people, lifetime friends
  • Innovation: “Before anything else, be sure your technology is working” (Bill Krause, 2005).

And his question for prospective students of the Bible: “Do you want to live with a sure footing, serve without fear, and sink deep roots wherever you are? Simple answer: BBC can help you with that.”

Doug Reed:  Boise Bible College from 1968 to 2006! And an Alumnus forever!