Rev. David Echols Memorial Service

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.   

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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. 

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President Chen Jean-Lien donated the flowers from the university…..

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A Bible reading by SJU Dean Dr. Christopher Chen, who grew up here….

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His father, Rev. Charles C. T. Chen preached the sermon ~ Charles took over the chaplaincy from Fr. Echols in 1969. 

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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.  

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The staff choir sang and there was a moment’s silence to finish the service.

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Many reunions and photos to finish what was a very beautiful service of thanksgiving for a wonderful life, praise God!

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One Response to Rev. David Echols Memorial Service

  1. Charles Chen says:

    It was my privilege to serve as a preacher for a Memorial Service attributing to Fr. Echols on March 21, at the Advent Church of St. John’s University. The theme of my preaching was "The Truth of Jesus Christ through Human Life in perspective". Since I was Fr. Echols’ successor being as chaplain and chief accountant in school for 6 years, I was most impressed that Fr. Echols worked for school only for two years but he kindly and generously left a bequest to the school for a special fund set up in his memory to help needy students. The virtue of his generosity and love for the school has stimulated and encouraged us to love and to be loyal much more deeply and abundantly to the school now and in the future especially for us those who have worked for the school many more years than Fr. Echols. Honestly, Fr. Echols’ love and generosity to the school and the students has really set a very good model for us to follow and to learn. May his soul rests peacefully, joyfully, brightly and eternally in His bosom in heaven from now unto everlasting.

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