By Stori Long
Clinton Dobson, pastor of NorthPointe Church and George W. Truett Theological Seminary graduate, was murdered on March 3 in his church office. Rather than let tragedy have the final say, Dobson’s family has partnered with his friends at George W. Truett Theological Seminary to create the Clint Dobson Memorial Fund, a scholarship that will serve future seminary students and celebrate Dobson’s life.
Dobson’s brother and sister, Chris Kirchmer and Sarah Dobson Mitchell, developed the idea to start a memorial fund and quickly approached the seminary with the idea.
“This was something, because of his [Dobson’s] love for Truett and Baylor, the family wanted to do,” said David Hardage, director of development at Truett. “They wanted to continue his ministry and establish a legacy of his life that would be difference making for years and decades to come.”
Dobson’s siblings said they strongly feel they are not just doing this to remember him, but also to continue the ministry he started.
“It’s more personal than just being in his memory,” Kirchmer said. “For us, we see this as our final gift for Clint but beyond that, it’s important because we believe in what he was doing. There is going to be an opportunity for someone, even if it’s not Clint, to continue with that ministry.”
The fund will become an officially endowed George W. Truett Theological Seminary scholarship in the amount of $50,000. The family plans for the scholarship to specifically aid students who want to enter a pastoral profession.
“Clint is gone but this is also a way for him to keep going,” Mitchell said. “Baylor was where he got his calling, and his experience at Truett was an amazing one. This is our chance to give back to Truett and help someone else who wants to go into the ministry or pastor a church.”
Dobson’s family said Dobson was not only passionate about preaching, he was also gifted. During the spring 2008 semester at Truett [MOV video], Dobson was given the outstanding student preacher award by the seminary faculty.
Dobson didn’t just live a Christian life at the pulpit, Mitchell said.
“He was so humble and lived his life so selflessly and lived to meet the needs of everyone around him over his own,” Mitchell said.
The fund has also served to comfort and encourage the families and friends of Dobson who are still mourning his passing.
“We can’t make sense out of it,” said Dr. David Garland, dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary.
“But we can make something good come out of tragedy. A pastor who spoke at Clint’s funeral said it this way: We are Easter people living in a Good Friday world.
It has been a source of encouragement for the family to see the love and support from the seminary and the people who have already donated to the fund.
“We’ve been moved that people who don’t even know Clint have heard his story and are giving to the fund,” Mitchell said. “Even after his passing, Clint is still touching people.”
Despite the tragedy of their loss, the family members are continually seeking to see the good.
“We believe this must have happened for God’s greater glory, and we want to do all we can to make that glory as great as possible” Kirchmer said.
Those involved hope said they this scholarship will continue to serve people the way Dobson served people in his lifetime.
“Now,” Haradage said, “there will be a Clint Dobson Scholar on campus until the Lord returns.”
Those who wish to donate to the Clint Dobson Memorial Fund can do so online at www.baylor.edu/give/index.php?id=49837&a=3&custom=1&f=Clint+Dobson+Memorial+Fund.