NOTE: Tributes are open to all who wish to send them to us. They are compiled in the order that they were received, so the oldest are on top. Please email them to: email@example.com
If you have questions or difficulty in computer communication, call me at 503-375-7591 or mail by post to: Steve Hunt Corban College, 5000 Deer Park Drive SE, Salem, OR 97317. Website will be up until May 15.
Submitted by Anne Jeffers, Assistant Professor of Ministries
“There was a man sent from God whose name was John…”John 1:6 was the text that Pastor William Bellshaw used at the installation of Dr. Balyo at Corban/WBC. While we know this verse refers to John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, the application that day was certainly valid to me.
John with his wife Betty left home and came west at the invitation of the Board of Trustees to see if he would consider coming as president of the College. I remember the meeting of the Balyos with student leaders. Student Life staff, resident directors, and student body leaders sat in the circle of the largest Pavilion classroom. Things here at the College were at an all-time low. Enrollment was low, morale was low, finances were low. The room where we were meeting left much to be desired as a conference room. But the Balyos never seemed to even notice. Their focus was on the students who were drawn to this gracious couple. I later heard that the Balyos had said that it was the students who confirmed to them that this was the next step they should take in their lifetime of ministry.
And come they did and brought with them healing and encouragement. Doc’s gracious, godly spirit was a balm. He reached out to the constituents and built bridges in the community. He broadened our base by his ability to relate to people whom he always treated with grace and dignity.
His ability to preach the Word was demonstrated often in chapel. I remember, on occasion, the opening announcements, music, etc. took almost the whole chapel time and then John was on with about 10 to 15 minutes left. He would open his Bible and begin—no apology for the lack of time, no rebuke to those who ate up his time. No expression of irritation. He just preached the Word and said more in his few minutes than most of us could say in an hour. He, a gifted communicator doing what God had called him to do.
Because of his giftedness in preaching the Word, the ministries department named the annual award for excellence in preaching the John G. Balyo Preaching Award, given each year to a deserving student.
Betty deserves honor as a gracious hostess, loving wife, devoted mother and grandmother and a terrific fundraiser. Betty distributed baby food jars with painted lids for collection of dimes. I still have and use mine. As president of Women for Western (now the Corban Connection), Betty raised thousands of dollars for improvements in the residence halls. Old mattresses were replaced with new ones and lounges were redecorated—just two of the many projects she led.
So today we honor John Balyo, a man of integrity, courage and conviction, a gentleman through and through, and his wife Betty. It is fitting that we do this. Honor to whom honor is due, and it is due John and Betty Balyo.
Submitted by Steve Hunt, Vice President for Marketing
I was gone from the staff during the presidential term of John Balyo. In 1993 I returned to the staff at Corban, and was his office “neighbor” on the second floor of Schimmel Hall. I got to know him in his role as Chancellor, the next part of his ministry after his presidency. What I remember most was his inclusive, open manner to all he met. The late Corban staff member, Doug West, was also a next-door hall mate, and heaped his affection and respect on “Doc.”
Doug died in 2005. And now they are both gone, their offices occupied by successors who know them only through the stories of others. But the mark both men left in my life still affects what I do here today. Doug was also open but gregarious in a different way—maybe a “Tigger” to Dr. Balyo’s “Christopher Robin” style, but both were effective motivators.
At any rate, I am better off because of each of their ministries here. All weekend I’ve been daydreaming about the fantastic grin that Doug must have on his “heavenly face” today and that big bear hug he’s given his pal, Doc. at their new reunion. It is my privilege to compile this tribute website and I do it with honor out of respect for Dr. Balyo.
Submitted by student Lindsay Emerson
I never met Dr. Balyo in person, but I do know that in a way, God has used him to bless and enrich my life beyond everything I’ve ever known. I know that his legacy here at Corban College will never die. I know this because I see it in the faces of each and every girl that has had the privilege of calling Balyo “home”. I know it, because I see it etched on my own heart. Since the day we met Betty Balyo in dorm chapel and heard her and Dr. Balyo’s story, I have felt a sense of community and family among the women of Balyo. I recognize that without God’s work through the Balyo’s, John specifically, here at Corban, I would not be living with, learning from, and growing with the same family that I am now. I want to thank God for giving Dr. Balyo to us, and for working in him to produce fruits that will last a lifetime. I know the fruit growing in the girls around me has touched my life. I also know that there are many more fruits yet to come.
"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." (John 15:7-11,16)
Submitted by Dr. Greg Trull, Chair, Ministries Dept.
I will always be grateful for the path Doc Balyo followed. When I came to the college as a young professor in ministry, he quickly become a source of godly and savvy wisdom. “What would you do in this situation?” or “Tell me more about that time you…” became common companions in our talks. As the years went by, I learned that his path was more fruitful than I’d imagined. His years with the Lord, his grasp of His Word and love for His people were so deep. As I now train pastors to minister and preach, I hope each of them follow the path of faithfulness walked by Doc Balyo.
Submitted by Jim Hills, Professor of Humanities
John Balyo’s speech was as precise as his carefully pressed white shirts, immaculate suits, perfectly knotted neckties, and flawless manners. I did not say stiff. Dr. Balyo was, as they say, a consummate gentleman, born to and practiced in a kind of grace that seemed as effortless and natural as a star shortstop’s infield ballet, and as rare.
His mind, too, was nimble and far-ranging. He could quote Dylan Thomas as easily as David the Psalmist, and as aptly—and in tones and cadences as distinctive and unforgettable as those of Gregory Peck or John Houseman.
It’s an unusual man who can inspire affection and something like reverence across generational decades, but I know when I tell my son later today of Dr. Balyo’s passing he will feel the same loss that I feel, and the same gratitude for the kindness and wisdom that John shone on everyone. David sat in John’s classroom and heard him in chapel, and spoke to me often of his great regard for the good doctor.
Mottos can be glib and vague, but at Corban College we know what it means to “make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ.” John Balyo showed us.
Submitted by Jon Meyers, Assistant Professor of Business
For the past few years I had the privilege of being a member of Cedar Hill Baptist Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Dr. Balyo was the pastor of Cedar Hill during the 1950s and 1960s. Rarely a Sunday or church event went by where I was not reminded by someone of his contributions to Cedar Hill, including his successful radio ministry.
The congregation’s favorite story told of Dr. Balyo’s initial call to Cedar Hill in the early 1950’s. Shortly after the Balyos accepted the church’s invitation, the church was destroyed in a fire. The church leaders quickly assured the Balyos that they were not bound by their acceptance, and were free to look for a more stable situation. Dr. Balyo’s immediate response: “I was called to a people, not a building.” Thus launched almost two decades of ministry that is still having an impact today.
Submitted by Nancy Martyn, Dean, Adult Degree Programs
As I think about Dr. Balyo (and Betty) and their time at Western Baptist, so many great and positive memories come into focus. Some of my most vivid memories begin with the first time I met Dr. Balyo. It was during the summer Bible Conference. I was directing the children’s program and making rounds between various activities when I happened to run into the Balyo’s in front of Schimmel Hall. I was hot and a little embarrassed to meet our new college president in such a state but they were so gracious and friendly and interested in what I was doing. I liked them immediately but was not aware at that moment what an impact Dr. Balyo would have on the College and the community. He was definitely God’s gift to the College at a time when his leadership and ability to raise funds was desperately needed.
As the years continued with Dr. Balyo in leadership, I think my favorite memories were when he spoke in chapel. I believe everyone made it a point to be in chapel when Dr. Balyo spoke. He also must have had a contract with the “Peanuts Gang” (especially “Charlie Brown and Lucy”) as they were always a featured illustration, cleverly woven into his carefully crafted messages. Dr. Balyo had a gift with words and was used by the Lord to challenge an audience (especially college students) with respect to service. I will always miss his chapel messages. Those were special days.
Dr. Balyo probably had special names for many of the people he encountered regularly on campus. He had a special ability to make one feel like a good friend. He referred to me as “Fancy Nancy” for several years and always followed that introduction with, “How are things going for you?” In the past few years when he could not recall my name, he would just look at me and say, “I always loved you.” I’m sure he also said that to many other people because that was just Dr. Balyo. I will miss him and will fondly recall our many opportunities to engage in great discussions over the years. His dedication to the Lord, his wife, Betty, the College, the students, the basketball teams J and the faculty and staff at Corban College will remain with us always. I am a better person for having encountered Dr. Balyo and Heaven is rejoicing with his entrance.
Submitted by Paul Dixon, Chancellor, Cedarville University
Pat and I want to extend our deepest condolences to Betty, family, and friends of Dr. John Balyo. It is always difficult to say good-bye. It is with our great hope that we know we will meet him in the morning.
John was an exceptional servant of God. He was mightily used as a pastor, professor, and
college president. He had a commitment to his Lord and to the Word that was exceptional. God
enabled him to communicate it simply, yet powerfully.
I thank the Lord that I was privileged to have had John Balyo cross my path and to be my friend.
Submitted by Gary W. Derickson, Ph.D., Professor of Biblical Studies
Dr. Balyo exemplified the model mature servant of Christ whose faith and godliness, exhibited in how he lived his life and touched those of the people around him, are to be imitated. When I needed spiritual guidance, he was the man I sought, knowing his love and concern, trusting his wisdom. That same maturity was demonstrated by him in his latter years. Dr. Balyo faced the loss his speech, though it was deeply frustrating, with a dignity and gentleness that comes only through a life in tune with God. I hope in my latter years to be the gentle godly man he was while with us, and continues to be in eternity.
Submitted by Ross Lincer
Dr. Balyo baptized me in 1955 when I joined Hough Ave Baptist Church which became Cedar Hill a year or so later. Because of his influence, at the age of 59 in 1995, I began obtaining my MRE. When I graduated in 1998 I was immediately hired to be the Director of Student Services at the Seminary. I retired in 2006 due to my health and now reside near where Doc began in Atlanta, Georgia. All I can say is we have lost a jewel that showcased God in a most significant way. The work of the Kingdom has lost a mighty man of God. Dr. Balyo was one of a very few men I have met in my 73 years that could reasonably say to someone follow me as I follow Christ. He was the verse, “Christ in us the hope of Glory.” Because of my age and health I expect to be with him in the not distant future and to bask in his smile once more. All Glory to God.
Submitted by Marty Trammell, Chair, Humanities Department
I was impressed by many aspects of Dr. Balyo’s life and leadership. He took time to find out who the students were, their needs, their hurts and joys. He spent many hours with them (a favorite part of his job) because he felt he was called to make a difference in more than an institution. He spent time with faculty and staff because he felt he was called to bring hope to those he served with. He spent time with those who supported the college because he felt he was called to encourage their work and witness. I guess, what I’m trying to say is that Dr. Balyo spent time doing the things that mattered at the moment, those things that transformed lives and started the college’s turn around. His is a legacy of time and hope and encouragement. Personally, I knew Dr. Balyo as someone I could ask tough questions. Whether about loving difficult people or listening to someone’s pain or celebrating someone’s accomplishment, I never left his side without knowing (not just feeling) that I had received wise counsel. Some of us used to joke, respectfully and warmly, that it was like hearing the voice of God. And to think that he is hearing that voice today. Wow! I continue to pass on his wisdom and insights about human nature and nurture (and few Charlie Brown cartoons) to my students. That’s how poignant his words and life were. Some men print their legacies in ink and paper and other men in the lives of those they’ve loved. I am honored to have known both men in Dr. John Balyo.
Submitted by Karen Pease, Director of Student Services, Northwest Baptist Seminary
I just received the news about Dr. Balyo being ushered to glory. I am so thankful that he is with the Lord… right where he always wanted to be. He was a special man, and I appreciated his short, but meaningful ministry to me when he came to visit me in the hospital after my accident on the way to Corban/WBC back in 1993.
My prayers are with you, the Corban community, and Dr. Balyo’s family during this time.
Submitted by Vivian Hubbard
I just opened the Corban web sight and saw the news of Dr. Balyo's passing. While I am deeply saddened, particularly for Betty, I know that the illness which took from him the ability that God had given him to share the gospel with such affluent ability must have been the saddest time in his life.
I will have to admit that I do not remember the first time that Vic and I met Dr. & Mrs. Balyo. Probably Vic met him first as their paths crossed in various conferences and evangelistic meetings. I could go on for a long time with stories but Dr. Balyo was not only a Godly man, of academic stature, but he also had a marvelous sense of humor, as anyone who ever saw that famous "twinkle in his eye will remember."
I was not always privileged to accompany Vic in his travels but he always came home with great stories and one that I will never forget is when he and Dr. Balyo were both in attendance at a huge rally at the Billy Sunday Tabernacle and Dr. Balyo asked Vic to sing "Old Mother Hubbard." I don't think that he did so during the meeting but he certainly did it, accompanied by Nelson Zarfas. It seems that there were so many times that the request was made and granted.
Vic was surely among the myriad of greeters who welcomed Dr. Balyo into the presence of his Lord and I know that Heaven is a much richer place to have him there. I am so often reminded of the wonderful little chorus, This World Is Not My Home, I'm Just a passing through.
Tim Collins M. Ed, Head Men's Basketball Coach, California Baptist University
Dr. John Balyo—A wonderful man of God. I will miss him, his life, his example, his wisdom and the fond memories I have of him. I learned a lot from that man about what it means to follow Christ. He was a great mentor to me, we watched him closely and were mesmerized by his ability to communicate deep spiritual insights. When I think about him, I am so glad I had the opportunity to work with him and for him at WB.
Submitted by Eldon Garner
When I worked at Corban, Dr Baylo impressed me as a very gentle man.He always was friendly with a smile and a warm greeting.We have lost a great man here on earth, but I know heaven has welcomed him with open arms.
Submitted by alumnus Rob Bovey
One day I asked Doc what he thought made him so successful in ministry. His reply was Love! He said, "You have to love the people you are serving. If you don't love people, you have nothing." This simple answer impacted me greatly. Especially, seeing that it came from a man who truly lived out those words. I think anyone who knew Doc, or even didn't know him for that matter, but had the privilege of being around him would say, "Yes, Doc Balyo was a man of unconditional love."
A privileged friend of Doc and Betty, Rob
Submitted by Bill and Gayle Steffen
We remember Dr. Balyo from his days in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our sympathies to Betty and the family. (Bill is Chief Meteorologist at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.)
Submitted by Craig and Marcie Woods, Grand Rapids, Mich.
My wife and I were introduced to John while he was at Grand Rapids Baptist College. I was an atheist at the time and couldn’t believe I was spending Saturday evenings at the home of a Baptist College professor studying the bible. His knowledge of the bible and his unconditional acceptance of us opened our hearts and minds to the truth of Christianity. John and Betty were such a big influence not only in our lives but eventually in the lives of several of my friends. John was undoubtedly welcomed home with the phrase “well done, thy good and faithful servant.”
Submitted by Frank E. Young, M.D., Ph.D., Former Commissioner FDA
In July 1956, I traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to begin my internship at University hospitals. My fiancée, Leanne Hutchinson, tasked me with finding a church for us to join after we were married on October 20, 1956. I heard a young, articulate, pastor expound the Bible in a way that I had never heard before. It took me two Sundays to locate Cedar Hill Baptist Church. During that summer, even though I was baptized as an infant, in the Presbyterian Church I became convinced that I should be baptized again by John Balyo. Throughout our nine years in Cleveland we were members of John's Church. We were drawn by the sound biblical teaching, the warm and genuine Fellowship of the congregation and our participation in the newly married couple’s class. We were impressed by the strong steady support that Betty Balyo willingly gave to her husband. It was an inspiration to us as a newly married couple. We began our long journey in faith soundly grounded through John's preaching.
Over the years our paths diverged as John took other calls to minister throughout the country and Leanne and I followed my career in academic medicine and government. Yet, we returned over and over again to communications with John and Betty and sought John's advice at critical junctures in our life. I had the great privilege of seeing John in action at Western Baptist Bible College where I gave a commencement address and spoke with students. I watched with great interest as the college grew under John's steadfast careful leadership and commitment to the Word of God. Our lives continued to intertwine as I became a Presbyterian minister late in life and Vice President of the Washington Metro campus of Reformed Theological Seminary. It was the sound foundation that we received under John's ministry that undergirded our spiritual lives. I remember in one sermon John relayed a little story of a woman who'd been in a congregation for over 25 years. He asked her what the main themes were in the Gospel of John and she couldn't answer. He queried her about the book of Galatians and again there was no answer. Finally he asked her about the purpose of the book of Romans. She replied "I don't know". In this story he continued by asking her how long she went to church. She said "25 years". Then Pastor Balyo said if I attended church for 25 years and knew as little as you do about the Bible, I'd want my money back. John taught the Word of God in an expository fashion. We could understand the Biblical truths and apply to our lives. He always gave us our money's worth!
John lived his faith with integrity and boldness. Whether he was serving as a pastor or a college president he sought God's guidance and implemented his heavenly Father's wisdom. He helped many through prayer and congregational care. Betty modeled the role of Christian woman in the difficult position as pastor's wife to Leanne and me. Her love was evident to all that knew her. Thank you, John and Betty for lives well lived to the glory of God. I'm sure my wife, Leanne, who went to heaven before John did, was there to welcome him. Betty and Michael, I pray that our Savior guide your footsteps in the difficult and lonely days of mourning for John. Those that have loved deeply, grieve deeply but we shall meet again.
Submitted by Former President, David and Koyce Miller
I was saddened to hear of the home going of our good friend and leader, Dr. John Balyo. But I know that he is with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What a hope we have and what great joy this brings to all of our lives.
My memories of John go back to the seventies when he came to the college and gave the student body an exposition of the Book of Romans. Then he brought the baccalaureate address at Grace Seminary the year I graduated. I will never forget his ending and neither will many of my fellow classmates. He ended with a triumphant shout to go out and do something for the Kingdom of God.
My greatest time with John were the times that I worked on his administrative staff for a couple of years. It was during this time that he decided to recommend my name to the board of trustees of the college to follow him as the next president of the school. We had a great relationship and this continued as he became the Chancellor of the college instead of taking other positions that he was being offered at the time. We often joked that the reason we had this relationship is that we were both from Ohio, both graduated from Grace Seminary and both had served the college as its president. I have many great moments stored up in my mind about John as we traveled together to National and State meetings and to Korea where I thought we might have lost him due to a torn aorta. Visiting donors of the college with him was a special treat as he knew exactly how to raise friends and not just funds.
Not only did John Balyo come to the college just at the right time in the history of the school, but I believe he was the greatest preacher that I have ever had the privilege of listening to. His message in Grand Rapids in the eighties was one of the best. I still have the video of the night he poured his heart out to the crowd and shed some tears. He was concerned about the love among our churches and others brethren. He was one of the most respected men I ever knew. He served as the Council Chair of our Church Association more than any other person has ever served.
John Balyo will be remembered by many. And he will certainly be missed. But for many of us, he has left an impression on us that will never end. Thank the Lord that he is in the presence of our Savior Jesus Christ and may God bless his dear wife Betty and his son at this time.
Submitted by Dr. Michael G. Loftis, President, ABWE International
How our hearts ache for you in the loss of your wonderful husband, and a great servant-leader and Bible preacher. We so enjoyed his visit to our home and region of Central & Eastern Europe with Dr. Larry Armstrong.
How we rejoice with him as he hears the voice of His master welcoming him home to rest from his faithful work for the kingdom of God. Thank you for taking such good care of him and serving faithfully at his side all these years.
Please accept our condolences and prayers on behalf of the entire ABWE worldwide family, board, and administration. Jo Beth and I regret that we will be unable to attend the funeral on this coming Saturday due to prior commitments. Know that our hearts will be with you and our prayers will continue for you in the days to come.
Submitted by Dr. Reno Hoff, President of Corban College & Graduate School
Dr. Balyo usually started his messages with a Peanuts cartoon written by Charles Schultz. Schultz, who was a Christian as well, had a 50-year ministry in giving people hope and optimism, transcending cultures and languages. Some have said, “Mortals may fall by the wayside but Peanuts will live forever.” The Peanuts cartoon characters are simplistic children, but put life in perspective, according to Aquila. “Charlie Brown is a loser but he is optimistic,“ Aquila said. “Every fall he believes that he will really get to kick the football that Lucy is holding. Every baseball season he believes his team will win a game.”
Dr. Balyo knew that Peanuts was important because it is one of the things that helped us all get through the day, whether with a chuckle or a good feeling. We all can identify with Charlie Brown.
As Peanuts is refuted to live forever, we do know that we all will live forever — some in a heavenly state as is the case with Charles Schulz and, of course, Dr. Balyo. Not only will he live forever but his work on earth will live forever as well, because he invested his life in people. All the people in his various ministries are, or have made, a difference in the world for Jesus Christ. Dr. Balyo had the same attitude as Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians (1:6), “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
In 1983, at age 63 and comfortable as a professor in a seminary, Dr. Balyo heard the Lord say, “You are too comfortable and ready for a new challenge.” I know that Dr. Balyo was really like another senior citizen who lived long ago. His name was Caleb.
Joshua 14:11–12, “I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day.”
Just as Caleb needed this courageous mindset, so did John and Betty. The hill country (Western Baptist College) that the Lord was calling him to lead had made several changes for the better, but the enrollment declined before they could be fully implemented. The college enrollment had declined from 505 to 250 students.
How does a person get this courageous mindset? You begin with a different spirit. Caleb and Dr. Balyo both had it. It is described in Numbers 14: 24, “My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly.”
Under Dr. Balyo’s leadership, the enrollment made a substantial turnaround to more than 400 students. The gift income also increased to a point that we had successive balanced budgets. One the last challenges he had was to secure refinancing of the mortgage of the college. It was a ten-year loan with a balloon payment due. In 1990, as it is today, most banks and savings and loan institutions were not making new loans or refinancing. That was during the years of other financial crises. Eventually, all of the savings and loan institutions were taken over by the government. Sound familiar? I guess there is really nothing new under the sun as stated in Ecclesiastes 1:9.
The problem we faced was foreclosure if we did not find financing. Dr. Balyo assigned me, because of my banking experience with cold-hearted bankers, to see if I could get refinancing. After several months of unsuccessful efforts we began to wonder what the Lord had in mind. Then one day I received a call from our savings and loan people to meet with them. I entered a room full of people and the manager who sat silent. I started to give a presentation as to why we deserved a loan. I was stopped by a person who seemed to be the leader. He said, “we don’t need to hear the presentation. We just want to know if you want to refinance, what terms you want and we have to sign the paper today.” I said “yes,” and I told him the most favorable terms I thought we could get away with.
I called Dr. Balyo and told him he needed sign the loan that day and we needed the Board of Trustees to make a resolution that very day! The secretary of the Board was in Seattle at another meeting so could not get down to Salem on time. We had just purchased a fax machine the previous day and I asked him to fill out a resolution and fax it to us immediately. Dr. Balyo and I went to the savings and loan with the fax hoping it would pass since it was not the original. They did not say anything so the transaction was completed. In the car, Dr. Balyo and I rejoiced. It was one of the highlights of my spiritual life to experience the obvious direct intervention by the Lord. The next day as I read the newspaper, I found out that the savings and loan was taken over by the government and that it was the same firm that we were dealing with. Our tax dollars were at work.
This event was not the only time the Lord intervened in events as Dr. Balyo was president. Another time a $100,000 was needed and during a prayer meeting of administrators, Dorothy opened the mail and found a check for $100,000. There are numerous other examples I don’t have time for now.
The reason I mention these examples is because Dr. Balyo was a man of prayer, and he was especially helpful to me with his prayer support. It appears that some people, like Dr. Balyo, seem to have a special line to the Lord. I refer to this as the “Moses Factor.” It refers to having a number years under your belt. It is the reason for the faith that Dr. Balyo exhibited and is the same reason that Moses had.
Hebrews 11:26, “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of a greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”
That is why we are joyfully celebrating the life of Dr. John Balyo. We know that he now in a place ready to receive his reward by the Lord. We know this because our Lord told us it was so.
Revelations 22:12, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”
Dr. Balyo would want me to ask you this question. Are you in a position in your life where you are prepared to receive this reward? If not, Jesus has prepared a way for you to receive it. Take it. It is free!
Submitted by Lyle & Betty Markwood
As we think of our dear brother and friend now with the Lord, there are two words which stand out in our memory: Faithfulness and compassion. He identified himself with the needs of all whom he contacted. We treasure his memory and his impact on our life and the life of our family. We love you “Dr. B.”.
Submitted by Corban alumnus Pete Coulson
I praise God for the refreshing gift to life Dr. Baylo presented to me through his Christ-like example. Being around him I always left with a renewed Christ-like perspective to live life and share His truth for the one who loved us and gave His life for us. I remember every memorial day, working out at the cemetery passing out flowers to families, Dr. Baylo and his kind wife would stop to talk to me and see how my family was doing. When I was going through some personal challenges in life Dr. Baylo would stop to pray with me and encourage me through God's Word. I praise God for the gift such a great friend. I am a better man because of his commitment to sharing the Grace, Love, Mercy and Forgiveness of the Savior he so dearly loved.
Submitted by Jim Jeffery, President, Baptist Bible College, Graduate School, and Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
My regard and love for Dr. John Balyo began when I was a young pastor sitting under his preaching ministry at a Bible conference. His ability to teach the Word with accuracy, apply it with clarity, and communicate it with artistry caused me to respect him from that day forward. Later our paths crossed a number of times, and I found him to be a gracious and winsome fellow servant.
John served well at BBC&S, always having an encouraging word for students preparing for ministry. He loved God’s Word and wanted others to understand it and use it as their basis for life and ministry. John was a tremendous blessing to his colleagues at the school.
I am sorry that responsibilities at Baptist Bible College & Seminary and a speaking engagement this weekend at a church in Maryland prevented me from attending the funeral. We are rejoicing that John is with the Savior he loved and served, but we sorrow with you at the same time, knowing that you will miss his godly influence and his faithful prayers.
Please know that we are praying for you during these days.
Submitted by Rick and Laurie Wilson
Sorry to hear about John's passing but we celebrate his promotion to Heaven. Laurie and I were a part of a neighborhood Bible study held at John and Betty's home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
It was the first time we had ever heard anyone clearly explain the gospel in terms that we could understand. And it was also framed in the demonstration of acceptance and unconditional love - truly supernatural. John kept sharing Scripture and recommending books by C.S. Lewis and A.W Tozer. Betty kept sharing some of the most incredible desserts we had ever tasted. It was a combination that breaks down even the most hardened sinners.
We are literally eternally grateful!
Submitted by Bud and Gretchen (Milner) Hurst, Cleveland
What an incredible privilege it was to grow up under the ministry of John and Betty Balyo at Cedar Hill Baptist Church. I well remember the fire that destroyed our building just after we had called the Balyos and the comforting reassurance from them that they were called to a people, not a building. My teenage years were impacted for a lifetime by Pastor Balyo's clear Biblical teaching; he made the Bible come alive. We had to hurry into church to get a seat, as the congregation grew rapidly under his ministry. We felt free to invite friends and neighbors to church, as we knew they would hear a clear presentation of the gospel coupled with practical Bible study. Our family enjoyed many happy times with the Balyos through the years, and my husband and I feel honored to have kept in touch with John and Betty inspite of the miles that separated us. Our lives have been forever impacted by the friendship of the Balyos. Betty, we are praying daily for you and Mike during these difficult days. Our love--
Submitted by John Greening, GARBC National Representative
God has welcomed Home an influential leader from our fellowship of churches, Dr. John Balyo. While I could rehearse many ways God has used Dr. Balyo to influence and develop people in ministry, I will share one of my memories, which epitomizes this Godly servant:
I recall sitting in the morning Bible hour of the 1977 GARBC Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, listening to Dr. Balyo proclaim the glories of our God from the Psalms. As a rookie pastor, I said to myself, “This is what the heart of the ministry is all about. I want to preach in such a manner that God’s flock is drawn into a closer walk with Him.”
To Dr. Balyo, now in the presence of the Lord, I express my gratitude for centering our association of churches near to the heart of God, where we must remain—today and each tomorrow.
Submitted by alumnus Dean Ellis, Colfax, Wash.
Dr. Balyo...what a dear man of God! I thank our Lord for the times I would spend with him in his office at Corban. He always took the time to encourage me and build up my faith. What a joy it was to know him...even for a brief time. He labored among some of God's best. He shared with me about his fishing trips with men like H.A. Ironside and others. If you look in the Moody archives you will find Dr. Balyo's sermons there...given (I think) at Founder's Week or at the Pastor's Conferences. And yet...to sit and talk with him about the Scriptures and the things of the Lord, you'd never get the idea that he thought anything significant about himself. He was quite content to magnify the Lord in everything...knowing that "[Christ] must increase, while [he] must decrease". I wonder if any of us realize how great a man we had among us for a season. "Then they will know that a prophet has been among them" (Ezek. 33:33). Our prayers will continue for Betty and the entire Balyo family...knowing that we will, indeed, see him again as we are gathered together in the presence of the Lord!
Submitted by Carolyn Fisher Darch, Troy, Michigan
I was a new Christian when I joined Cedar Hill Baptist Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in 1960. Under the teaching of Pastor John Balyo, I gained needed understanding of the truths of God's Word. I have always felt that the years I spent under Pastor Balyo's excellent preaching provided a strong and stable foundation for this new believer.