A very moving tribute to the first chaplain of St. John’s University!
In those days SJU was known as St. John’s and St. Mary’s Institute of Technology and the Rev. David Echols (known to everyone as Fr. Echols) was chaplain from 1967-9. Not only was he chaplain but also chief accountant, English teacher, chaplain to the Good Shepherd English congregation, and a million other things. Students recount how he used to bring his tools to class and afterwards go round the dormitories fixing them up! He was clearly an inspiration to everyone, and students remember him not just in his official role, but also as a friend, a listener and a faithful servant of the Lord.
He died on January 28 at his home in Seattle, USA, and kindly left a bequest to us which will be used for the new church centre and for a special fund set up in his memory to help needy students.
The sun came out after a morning of terrible rain and wind, amazing! We welcomed almost 100 people to the Memorial Service held in Advent Church, many students and staff, including quite a few who actually remember him in person.
President Chen Jean-Lien donated the flowers from the university…..
A Bible reading by SJU Dean Dr. Christopher Chen, who grew up here….
His father, Rev. Charles C. T. Chen preached the sermon ~ Charles took over the chaplaincy from Fr. Echols in 1969.
SJU lecturer Micah Lu was one of the first intake of students and went onto teach here, he remembers Fr. Echols well and shared in the service very movingly of his memories.
The staff choir sang and there was a moment’s silence to finish the service.
Many reunions and photos to finish what was a very beautiful service of thanksgiving for a wonderful life, praise God!