History of the Restoration Movement

Dr. John Christopher Stevens


Eighth President of Abilene Christian University - 1969-1981

A Sketch In 1971 Issue Of The Minister's Monthly

John C. Stevens, Ph.D., is professor of history and President of Abilene Christian College. Dr. Stevens completed the B.A. degree at Abilene Christian College in 1938, the M.A. at the University of Arkansas in 1948 and the Ph.D. at the same institution in 1954. During World War II he attended the Chaplain's School of the U. S. Army at Harvard University, and he served as chaplain with the U. S. Army participating in the European campaigns of Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, the Ardennes, and Central Europe with an infantry regiment. In 1948 Dr. Stevens joined the faculty of Abilene Christian College as assistant professor of history. He became Dean of Men in 1950 and Dean of Students in 1952. In 1956 he was appointed assistant president of the College, and became President of the College in 1969. Dr. Stevens has played a leading role in the development activities which have resulted in a large-scale construction program on the campus. He is a member of the American Historical Association. He has served on the governing boards of many local civic organizations and as a member of the Abilene City Council.

On December 16, 1948, John Stevens married Ruth Rambo. Ruth is the daughter of the late D. B. (""Happy") Rambo who served for years as a member of the Board of Trustees of Abilene Christian College and as an Elder of the Lord's church at Huntsville and later at Lake Jackson. Her mother is Inez Norton Rambo, a graduate of ACC in the Class of 1920. Inez Norton at one time served as secretary to Mrs. J. P. Sewell and in various capacities in the early history of Abilene Christian College. Ruth Stevens taught for many years in the Business Administration Department of the College.

To them were born John Clark, January 21, 1950, and Marian Joyce, March 20, 1952. Clark is now a junior in the College, majoring in Business Administration. He is a pilot with over 1,000 hours flying time and holds the single and multi-engine ratings, commercial license, and is a licensed flight instructor. Joyce has by completed her freshman year in Abilene Christian College, and is majoring in Social Work. She is spending the summer as a counselor at Camp Shiloh.

-J. Cliett Goodpasture, Minister’s Monthly, Vol. 17, No. 1, September, 1971, pages 1,2

Former ACU President Stevens Dies

John C. Stevens, chancellor emeritus of Abilene Christian University in Texas, died May 1. He was 88. Stevens served as president, professor and historian for ACU. Current president Royce Money called Stevens “one of the most influential and best-loved figures in the 100-year history of ACU.”

“Of course, those who knew him best will also remember his constant smile and his quick wit and good humor,” Money said. “He was indeed among the greatest of the ‘greatest generation.’” Stevens graduated from ACU in 1938 with a degree in Bible. Five years, later he joined the U.S. Army as a chaplain. He served in Europe and was chaplain during the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, Stevens earned a doctorate and returned to ACU in 1948 as assistant professor of history. He later became dean of men, dean of students and assistant to the president. He was inagurated as president in 1969 and became the university’s chancellor in 1981 and chancellor emeritus in 1991.

After retiring from the presidency, Stevens returned to the classroom as a history professor and taught until 1999. He was as an elder of the Central church in Abilene and most recently was a member of the University church. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth, two sisters and a brother. Survivors include a son, a daughter, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

-The Christian Chronicle, June, 2007, page 3

Obituary Report In Gospel Advocate

STEVENS, ABILENE, TEXAS - John C. Stevens, 88, died May 1. Stevens served as president of Abilene Christian University from 1969 to 1981. He began at ACU as a student in 1934 and later was a history professor, administrator and chancellor after his term as president.

During WWII, Stevens was the first U.S. Army chaplain to enter Germany. After his return from Europe, he completed a master's degree in history and political science in 1948 and a doctorate in 1954, both from the University of Arkansas.

Stevens preached for or worshiped with more than six congregations. He was active in civic and church activities throughout his lifetime. Stevens receive the George Washington Medal for public address from the Freedoms Foundation in Valley Forge, Pa., in 1961. He was honored in 1981 as Abilene's outstanding citizen of the year. He received honorary doctorates from ACU, Amber. Pepperdine and Oklahoma Christian universities. He also received ACU's Distinguished Servant Award.

Stevens is preceded in death by his wife of 57 years. Ruth; his parents, John Christopher and Ella Hardin Stevens; his sisters, Vern Stevens Luns ford and Evalyn Stevens; and his brother, Clark Stevens.

He is survived by his son, Clark, of Grapevine, Texas; and by his daughter, Joyce Cole; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren.

-Gospel Advocate, July, 2007, page 44

Elliott-Hamil Garden of Memory
5701 US Highway 277 S
Abilene, TX 79606-1701
Phone 325-698-2200
Garden Of Prayer
Lot 216 Sp.1
32°24'50.4"N 99°47'41.8"W
or D.d. 32.414000,-99.794933

>Just above and to the left is the Steven Plot. To the right, in the ^foreground^ is the grave of another
ACU associate, Professor Charles Travathan - 1936-2004

John C. July 12, 1918 - May 1, 2007
Ruth R. August 25, 1925 - Feb. 18, 2006

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