Dr. Joe Aldrich, You Will Be Missed

113 comments Written on February 12th, 2009 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty

A Letter from President Dr. Daniel R. Lockwood


Dear Multnomah Family and Friends Worldwide:

I just received word this morning that Dr. Joe Aldrich, Multnomah's third president, has passed into the presence of the Lord.  He was surrounded by his wife, Ruthe, his two children, Kristi and Stephen, and other members of his family.  While his Parkinson's condition was progressively degenerating for many years, he recently took a severe turn for the worse.  Last weekend, he lapsed into a coma and the doctors told Ruthe he did not have long to live.

This morning the Lord took him home.


A Memorial Service For Dr. Joe

Dr. Joe provided important leadership for Multnomah during a significant time of transition.  The author of many books, his book Lifestyle Evangelism became a classic.  His vision was the impetus for the founding of Multnomah Biblical Seminary, and he pioneered the pastoral prayer summits, shepherding them into what is know today as International Renewal Ministry.  His love for students and his lasting imprint on Multnomah is memorialized in the naming of the Joseph C. Aldrich Student Center (JCA) dedicated in 2007.

What You Can Do

I know that Ruthe and the family would cherish deeply your prayers in this dark valley of their loss. We will collect your written condolences, print them, and send them to the Aldrich family.

3 Options

  1. Leave a comment below
  2. Email: drjoe@multnomah.edu
  3. Mail: 8435 NE Glisan Street, Portland, OR 97220

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Update (2/17/09): We released a formal Multnomah University press release that details some of the accomplishments of Joe Aldrich's life.

Update(2/19/09): The Oregonian has done a nice writeup about Dr. Joe Aldrich.

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Dr. Daniel R. Lockwood is Multnomah University's fourth president. Inaugurated in 1997, he has overseen an era of exceptional transitions. Under his leadership, Multnomah has achieved regional accreditation; solidified name and logo branding; changed to a University structure; built several buildings and launched numerous new programs.

113 comments “Dr. Joe Aldrich, You Will Be Missed”

Dr. Joe was a true treasure, and I was very priviledged to have met him and spend some brief time in the classroom wit him. My sincere condolences go out to the family!

I have small simple frame I keep on my desk that I unabashedly kept from Dr. Joe’s desk. It reads:

I Surrender my Life into the hands of God,
knowing He has predestined for me His best.
I will count the cost and by God’s grace
I will pay the price to become the best
that I am capable of becoming.
I will hold to my course
and by the power of the Holy Spirit,
I will finish strong.

Yes you did Dr. Joe, yes you did.

Dr. Joe,

Thank you for setting your face on Christ, and for working out your Salvation in the fear of God and the presence of man. Your humor and wisdom are an umbrella that thousands upon thousands of people have come under for seasons of their lives. The legacy and fame of the faithfulness of God, your Father, has been spread far and wide– across the oceans and through the generations because of your faithfulness to Him. Thank you for your devotion and willing, humble example. Though you will now be missed among us, your LORD will continue to hear our praises from us, because of you. God bless you, Dr. Joe, now in a way you’ve only dreamed of before.

Dr. Joe wasn’t just an eloquent speaker, with messages full of “pithy grabbers.” He also lived the lifestyle evangelism he preached.

He once gave special permission to me to use an unoccupied Multnomah house for a few months to shelter an indigent Cambodian woman I was tutoring, who was a victim of domestic violence, and her two little children, until she could get into transitional housing. He regularly reached out to prisoners and all kinds of outcasts of society.

Those of us who remember Dr. Joe, a humble and honorable servant of God, are privileged people.

I had Dr. Joe for “Life-Style Evangelism.” He had a lot of “pithy grabbers” to explain profound truths.He used to say “agree to agree on the essentials; agree to disagree on the nonessentials”. During his tenure he made peace with and brought together the “Charismatic” and Lutherans among others, recognizing Jesus made peace “through the blood of His cross.” We can always trust a sovereign God. His humor, stories, practical outlook and especially His trust in the Lord made a lasting impression on me.

To Willard Aldrich,

I was a student of yours during 85-88

I heard about Joe tonight. I rejoice in the LIFE he lived and the eternal reward he awakened to today!

To live is Christ, to die is gain. Joe lived this out.

I want to express my sincere love for you and Joe.

He used to pick me up for breakfast when I was the Student Missionary Union Chairman in 86-87. He was instrumental in leading me through the fears I was struck with when in the 80’s many men of God were sacrificing their lives for the temporal pleasures of lust.

I sat across from him at the breakfast table, eye ball to eyeball, and asked him if he had ever cheated on his wife. I really wanted to know, and he really told me. The answer was a resounding NO. But he did not stop there. Seeing my desperation that so many men of God were losing the battle with sexual temptation and surrendering all to become enslaved to sin and the resulting devastation, he proceeded to explain some of the strategies he used for success. What I remember most is the tattered pages he kept in the front of his bible. On it were at least a hundred names. he explained to me that when he is tempted, he faces off with the names on that list and reads them all the way through. “These are the names of all the people who would be affected by my decision to go through with the temptations of lust”, he said.

This has stuck with me my whole life!

Thank you sweet Father of Faith, for your instruction in God’s word which you so carefully presented, and in a way that left me unsure what you yourself believed about the topic, leaving me to wrangle with the truth and come to my conclusions after seriously studying the topic. You taught me how to learn!

And thank you for raising up a man the likes of Joe Aldrich. I am a father now (of 5 beautiful redheads!) and it is no small task to get the results you have experienced with that great man of God!

Thank you Willard!


Rick Sovereign

I was so saddened to hear of Dr. Joe’s passing. I was a student at Multnomah during the early years of Dr. Joe’s presidency (1978-82). What a blessing and honor it was for me to sit under Dr. Joe’s passionate heartfelt teaching in chapel and Lifestyle Evangelism class. I considered myself to be one of the “privileged” to have had such a rich Bible based heritage in my education with the likes of godly men such as Dr. Joe. He truly was a giant in the faith, one that truly made a difference in the lives of people like me. I’m sure without doubt he was received into glory with the applause of heaven.
Thanks Dr. Joe for showing us how to finish well!

Dr Joe,

Your passing is such a great loss for those of us who are left behind, but such a glorious day for you, I am certain. I wish I could be there to hear the Lord say “Well done.” For I know that, today, after many years of giving your life for His glory, you have finally heard those words.

Thank you for your simple and very practical faith. Thank you for your desire to lead others not only TO our Lord, but to teach, train and equip the masses to go out and do the same. I will treasure the wisdom you shared with those of us that were blessed to sit under your tutelage.

To the family,

I am so sorry for what most certainly must be a profound loss. You will be in my prayers in the days and weeks ahead. Thank you for sharing this precious man with the rest of us for we know that he would not have been the man we knew, loved and respected if it was not for the family that stood firmly behind him.

May the God who comforts all, bring you peace and rest in a time of pain and loss. And may you rejoice with Dr Joe as he sits at the feet of the One whom his life reflected so clearly to the world.

I remember standing in the line for lunch and Dr. Joe was with us (students) in line. I would talk to him while we waited and he remebered my Pastor from when he went to MBC. He truly cared about those around him and that was evident! He was such a typical man in so many ways; yet so extrodinary. To hang out in the student commons with us and eat lunch with us is just one of the small ways he connected with us and showed his love to us. He wasn’t above us-he was by our side. I will always treasure the man of God he was and the love he had for the Lord will most certainly live on.
For the family I send my love and prayers of comfort and peace.

I just posted a tribute to Dr. Joe on my PreachingToday.com blog (http://blog.preachingtoday.com/). His chapel messages, as well as his example, have made a profound mark on my life. I truly thank God for him every time I remember him.

I looked up to Dr. Joe. I appreciated his stand on Lifestyle Evangelism. I looked forward to all his chapel messages. I thank God for his life and vision!

Dr Joe was such a precious man! I remember sitting in his “Spiritual Life Class” my Freshman year, hearing him speak about God in a way that showed how closely they walked. It is amazing to think that he is now in heaven seeing Him face to face and walking together! His inspiration will live on in the lives of his students and family!
To Dr Joe’s family, you are in our prayers! It is not a small thing to lose such a great man from your lives. He will be so missed by all. We look forward to all being reunited in heaven.

I was a seminary student during Dr. Joe’s last year at Multnomah. I was an older student at age 46 and had heard many sermons during my previous years. To this day, now a pastor, I will never forget the chapel services listening to Joe Aldrich. Every time I listened to him teach, I found myself drying my eyes. I even tried not to tear up. It seldom happens to me when I listen to someone teaching the Word of God. It wasn’t his presence, or his delivery. But there certainly was the power of the Holy Spirit empowering him. I’ll never forget the Lord’s impact in my life through this servant of God. I’m happy for him.

The prayers of our church family at Highlands Community Church, Renton, WA are with you. Christ follower. Teacher. Scholar. Discipler. Leader. God continues to use Dr. Joe’s obedience to God’s truth and passion for people to encourage and empower me as a pastor. As a direct result of Joe’s heart for prayer summits, I have set my life and ministry on a course of dedicated intercession. May the precious hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus strengthen and comfort the family.

I knew Joe when I was a grad student (1959-60) and he was a regular student. I was pleased when I read that he had become president. He come from a remarkable family. ( I worked with his brother at our Vancouver Young Life club.) Heaven is his new home and his reward.

Dr. Joe was a man of God who helped me when my mother was dealing with Parkinson’s disease. Now both of them are in heaven. My heart goes out to all of his family as they deal with the earthly things that happen when a loved one goes to heaven.

I always felt a connection to Dr. Joe because we shared the same birthday. I will never forget the day his secretary came in to the Grad Class and sang Happy Birthday in her funny way! Although I only had him for that one class the care and concern that he showed for all people impressed me. When I read about his illness I was sad but knew that he would point people to God and that this, too, would bring glory to his God just as his life has.
~Grad Class (1989-1990)

We’ll miss you, Dr. Joe. You were a blessing. I remember how you always seemed to break out into “It Is Well With My Soul” or the “Surely Goodness and Mercy” songs. Your love for Jesus was evident. Now you surely “dwell in house of the Lord forever.” I thank God for your life.

Dr. Joe will always remain my great encourager! While a student at MSB Dr. Joe enouraged me to pursue pastoral ministry while others said I would never make it. He taught me the difference between a terminall thinker and a relational thinker. He challenged me to stay for the long haul in my first church and I am still here, now 26 years later! The first Sunday School Class I taught at VBC was “Lifestyle Evangelism”! What a model of a humble servant, when I asked him to disciple me, he graciously consented and taught me and prepared me for discipling other men. To his dear family, you are in our prayers for Gods comfort. I remember a time over lunch when Dr. Joe said to me with tears in his eyes, “I want to live in such a way that I will hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant”. I am convinced he has heard those words. Thank you Lord Jesus for allowing us to be in the presence of Dr. Joe, for a short while, and I look forward to spending eternity with him.

I loved his chapel services!

There was just always something soooo special about a Dr. Joe chapel. Not only did I feel like I had just received a super-natural hug, but also inspired to love the lost more. What a man of God! Praying God’s peace and comfort for his family.

Dr. Joe taught me a lot about being a man of God, a husband, and a father.

Once, He came to visit me when I was recording an album in the studio just to wish me well.

He told me he believed in me and that God had special plans for me. To be silly and honor him at the same time, we once named our rock band after him while we were at Multnomah. He always took time for me. He stretched my definition of corporate worship and gave me the tools to keep stretching today.

Once, when talking about being a married student, he gave me some advice about temptation and flirtation that have stuck with me for years. I used his advice in this video I made for our church


I’ll miss you Dr. Joe. See you soon enough.

I feel a loss in his passing, and pray all who loved him grieve with _hope_. I attended MU his last year of presidency, and appreciated his insight and perseverance. Please send my love and prayers to his family.

Like a child full of wonder Dr. Joe approached God. His prayers were real, his heart shaped by the Savior. He left a legacy in me and thousands of others.

We are praying for Ruthe and the Aldrich Family.

I was a student at MSB from “83” to “86”. I was a new Christian at the time and was having a difficult time fitting in to the “seriousness” I found in the Christian culture. Then Dr. Joe made me laugh. He was the first Christian leader that I’d ever known who made me laugh. Amazing man. Conversations with him, and reading his book “Lifestyle Christianity” played a part in shaping who I am today. He would say, “figure out how the system works, and get on the good side of the system”. I quote it to my children… He had a million “pithy grabbers”. (a phrase I still use)
The day I graduated, he laughed and said, “I wasn’t sure you were gonna make it”. Then we both laughed, because honestly, I was surprised I did.
They say two or three people shape who you become. Dr. Joe was one of mine.
Dennis Madden
B.S. “87”

I was in Dr. Joe’s last Spiritual Life class. His “Holy Huddles” helped me get through so many times! I love how Dr. Joe’s number one focus was a passionate love for his Lord. He really taught how influencial you can be just by how you live your life. To see him was to see Christ! Thank you Dr. Joe for a life well lived and The Lord well loved!! See you when He calls us all home!!!

I was given the assignment to recite a verse during one of Dr. Joe’s speaking engagements at a church in Salem. I spent hours rehearsing and reciting it, but when the time came, my mind went completely blank after the first line. So, I made up something that sounded biblical and sat back down.

Afterward, he sought me out and I apologized for getting nervous and forgetting the verse. He just laughed and said that it happens to him all the time!

What an example of grace and love he was to me at the moment and to all of us MBC students. He will be missed, but his legacy of lifestyle evangelism will not be forgotten.

Dan, I just heard the news this morning (Fri, Feb 13). Yesterday I learned that Harold Hoehner had gone into the presence of the Lord, too. A few weeks ago, I began to write “living eulogies” for four people who had most influenced my life. Harold and Joe were two of them. I’m really devastated; they both meant so much to me! I don’t know if Joe or Ruthe ever saw Joe’s eulogy. It’s posted here: http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2008/12/joe-aldrich/#more-1491

I had the privilege of taking one of Dr Joe’s final classes – a Spiritual Formation grad class in 99. The effects of his illness were starting to show, but the class was wonderful nonetheless. Several times he told the story of he and his friend on the roof of the barn – it’s important to understand how a system works and work within it. Often he would forget what he was talking about, then have to change subject and move on. But one thing he never forgot – when he started quoting Scripture, he’d keep on going, sometimes for minutes at a time. His personal warmth radiated from just below the surface. He left a mark on my life. I praise God for His work in and through Dr Joe’s life. I pray for God’s unique comfort in this time of loss for the family.

Peter Mead
Grad Class 99, returning to MBS 01-04

We look forward to joining with Dr. Joe again, as many of us did as freshmen, in a holy huddle… in song… in joy… for eternity. I am grateful for the impact Dr. Joe had on my life and the example of humble leadership he lived out.

Dr. Joe was handsome as a movie star, charming, intelligent, and yet completely dedicated to his God. He was a rare gem of a man; an example to both men and women of what a man who loved God could be. I was always in awe of him. We all need role models – someone to look up to – I am deeply saddened that he is gone, and at the same time relieved for him that he is in the presence of God and completely free of physical suffering. To his family I pray and wish all comfort.

Missy – ’91

Dr. Joe was a man who reached out in a personal way to everyone he met; his genuine deep walk with God touched me and drew me closer to the Father. As a student from 85-87, and later as a staff member, I so appreciated hearing him speak and knowing that his lifestyle matched his words. Thanking God for him.

Joe was my Pastor for most of my childhood before he took the post at Multnomah, That is how I best remember him, A great man of God, and a wonderful Teacher of the word of God. He was also a terrific family friend.

I will miss you Joe.

I will always remember when Dr. Joe and I would cross paths in Sutcliff and he would always take the time to talk (even if it may have been brief). I always felt as if I was important even though he had many under his charge. He will be missed.

I had Dr. Joe for Spiritual Life my freshman year. I remember his passion for the Lord. I also remember that during his lecture, a point that he made would touch him so much that he would break out in song. Thanks Dr. Joe!

Thoughts of Dr. Joe bring back memories of our years together as students at Multnomah and on staff at Trout Creek Bible Camp. Dr. Joe was a leader in student government at Multnomah and a basketball player when I was a cheerleader.

May God give comfort and strength to Ruthe and the whole Aldrich family.

Farewell to an Inspiration
February 13, 2009 in Christian Living, Christianity, Daily Journal, Encouragement, Faith, Heroes, Leadership, Life, Prayer, learning | Tags: Joe Aldrich, inspiration | by brucefong

My first meeting with the President of Multnomah Bible School came in the hallway of the Administrative building. We traded glances then paused to exchange greetings. I was a new faculty for the Graduate School and he welcomed me and expressed his delight to having me on the teaching team.

Over the years I enjoyed our occasional connections. He had a way of being down to earth, very sincere, real as a man can get, and a visionary. He substituted for my leadership class once. My students loved him. He had a deep and rich insight into the ins and outs of leadership. God gave him a practical winsome wisdom that could encourage a struggling student, grieving staff member, disillusioned donor, or distraught neighbor.

His name is Joe Aldrich.

Joe was not afraid to be the maverick. In fact the stories that I heard of his rambunctious youthful past gave him a reputation as a wide-ranging mischievous well-mannered rebel. I call it being creative.

He had a knack for touching the lives of people right where they needed it. People whose lives were deeply impacted followed Joe for his entire ministerial career. They were his personal cheerleaders.

Joe would be late for speaking at his President’s Chapel because he saw that his neighbor was digging a ditch in his front yard to have a new water main installed. He took off his coat, rolled up his sleeve and started digging until that last minute before he had to go and speak at chapel. He was just at home laughing with the most powerful leaders of the day, whether US Senators or best-selling authors or the nation’s best speakers.

Boundaries, barriers, or limitations were challenges to him. He is one of the main bridge builders between the Evangelical Church and its partners who practice the fullness of the Spirit, the charismatics. Joe saw that our differences in that realm were far less important than what we shared in common, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joe changed the face of prayer in the church around the world. His vision for the International Prayer Summits, changed lives of many Christian leaders who came. Those gatherings had no agenda. That blew everyone away. Instead, each gathering let the Lord direct the sessions and lives were transformed.

Joe Aldrich was a wonderful gift to the church. He was a wonderful gift to me. His leadership style was inspirational. I will miss him while heaven will enjoy him now forever.

Joe was a man that spoke and lived the truth, He was allways thinking about other people, I loved his humor,his humility and man that knew how to teach in such a relevant but handled scripture like no other pastor I have been taught under, I remember how he would give up his leadership to let other people lead, Joe was a man that gave me opportunities in leadership I will never forget, This was when he was pastor at Mariners Chuch, Joe we will miss you and I know God will be3 happy to have you with him. Ron Liden

Fundamentally, Dr. Joe was a pastor eager to multiply health and life among leaders. Whatever influence he had or whatever positions he assumed over the years, he used toward that end; the multiplication of leaders who were healthy.

People got a glimpse of that back in the 1970s when he pastored Mariners church. But I think it really became apparent as president of Multnomah and as the chief initiator for IRM

Dr. Joe had the gentleness and tenderness of a grandfatherly sort of leader, even though I don’t think he was “old” when he retired. But there was a “wisdom beyond years” on him. And there was a gracefulness about him that was a pleasant background tone to his life. Even if you disagreed with him, he was comfortable enough in his own skin to give you grace in return. Undoubtedly, he was a man that sought regular opportunities to be filled with the Spirit afresh.

As a president, what especially wow’d me is that he understood the church, he understood her importance in the program of God, and he exercised prudential judgment and graciousness in empowering Multnomah to be a servant of the church, locally, regionally, and globally.

If Dr. Joe was reading all these nice things that have been written about him, he would say two things in response:
-I guess God can draw a straight line with a pretty crooked stick!
-Ruthe is the unsung hero in all of this!

Our earthly world has lost a great saint, but we know that Joe is in a better spiritual world where we will join him someday. I wish to send condolences to the family, knowing that they are feeling sorrow right now. The entire Aldrich family is strong and I pray that you will hold each other up during this time. You are in my prayers.

Dr. Joe marked our lives at Multnomah like a tall Cedar tree among the giant Oaks. We grew under the shadow of these Oaks: John Mitchell; Willard Aldrich; Ed Goodrick; David Needham; Joe Kopp; Norm Cook; Terry Dirks; and so many others. Carol & I painted the halls of Sutcliff together with Joe & Ruthe. Later we prayed together for days at the Pastors Prayer Summits. Greater Portland has not had a “Visionary Spokeman” like Joe since the days of the 1992 Billy Graham Crusade. I have most of “Joe’s Proverbs” written on 3X5 Cards – like he taught me. We were never the same after Multnomah 1977-80. We were much more like our teachers from Jesus to John to Joe to God be the Glory!

Dr. Joe Aldrich had a long and rich history with the Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center over the years. He spoke at many conferences, encouraging people young and old to serve Christ faithfully and joyfully. He raised his family here and owned a summer home nearby for several years. He was a man of vision, wisdom and energy who also was humble, genuine and full of faith. In partnership with Cannon Beach, he initiated several cooperative conferences to reach families, pastors of large and small churches and, of course, the pastors prayer summits. While we have missed seeing him in the later years, he has always been a man of influence for Christ and he continues to influence those of us who knew him.

I praise God for Dr. Joe. He was the first man I looked up to and though, “I want to be like him!”

I admired and respected Dr. Joe immensely. He was a man of God, sincere in the faith and in the practical outworking of that.

His life was lived as a prayer.


I remember the day he spoke in chapel about trials and broke down weeping – and later announced his Parkinsons diagnosis. It was a quiet day of grief on campus.

I will remember the way he used his prayer summits for building bridges with the charismatic camp and that the Holy Spirit used him and his openness for doing something new in Portland among Christians. Multnomah got to be on the front line of that.

I will remember the way he was accessible, whether it was in class or in front of the Commons Building.

I will remember the Spotted Owl Hamburger Helper box on sideboard in his office. I don’t know the story behind it, but it made me laugh that it would be there in the “inner sanctum.”

I will remember being a part of something bigger than myself and the call on my life, as I was part of Multnomah and the larger body of Christ that Dr. Joe helped build. His legacy is part of my identity.

Dr. Joe will be missed and his absence felt.

I will never EVER forget Dr Joe’s chapel when he spoke about the Velveteen Rabbit and knowing the Love of God. A powerful powerful message and so impacting.

I was tutored under his dad Willard in the 70’s, and knew of Joe as the young son. What touched me immeasurably in my ministry were the prayer summits he mobilized, bringing pastors together to pray. That ministry will continue to touch the church of our new century in preparing us to be in oneness for finishing the Great Task. We will remember your passion for knowing God.

Joe Aldrich was a dear christian friend and a man of God.
We went to Multnomah together and I even remember
that Joe came to our apartment a couple of times and
we studied together. He is rejoicing now in the presence
of His Lord and Saviour.

Dr. Joe was larger than life but it was the life of Christ that he projected. I had the privilege of attending his class. The world actually became real and reachable after leaving his class. Undoubtedly he fulfilled the purpose that God gave him. I can only assume that Jesus wanted him home sooner than the rest of us for the mutual love that existed between the two of them. Though I am saddened by this loss and grieve with his wife and family, I rejoice that He has finished the course…and finished it strong!

I remember when Dr. Joe introduced the prayer summits at Multnomah. It is as if it were yesterday we were sitting in the A-Frame with Dr. Joe leading when God made me confront areas of deceit in my life. Dr. Joe did not condemn but allowed the Holy Spirit to do His work. Then, he met with me afterwards and said, “Don you have been forgiven but now you need to allow God to develope your character.” He saw to it I was placed in an accountability group with Dr. Friesen. I will always be grateful. Thank you Dr. Joe.

I remember when Dr. Joe introduced the prayer summits at Multnomah. It is as if it were yesterday we were sitting in the A-Frame with Dr. Joe leading when God made me confront areas of deceit in my life. Dr. Joe did not condemn but allowed the Holy Spirit to do His work. Then, he met with me afterwards and said, “Don you have been forgiven but now you need to allow God to develope your character.” He saw to it I was placed in an accountability group with Dr. Friesen. I will always be grateful. Thank you Dr. Joe.

Dr. Joe, you’ll be missed. Under you oversight, you allowed me to be the first intern with International Renewal Ministries. You took time with me, shedding insights, granting interviews, hugs and jokes with me when you didn’t have to. You probably did the same with countless others – but that’s what made you so special. I always felt like I was the only one with whom you did these things.

This side of eternity you were a man of God. On the other side, no doubt, you will shine like the noonday sun.

We’ve lost an inspiration, a mentor, a leader, a teacher, a visionary, a friend. Well done, Dr. Joe. We are better people having spent time with you. . .

dr. joe gave us all the comfortable gift of relationship. like the Lord Jesus, joe saw each person as valuable. the respect he gave individuals, where they came from and whom they were, was clearly articulated in his book on evangelism. joe seemed to understand the difference between formula based Christianity and a real relationship with Jesus Christ. as was said of another humble, great leader who valued people; “now he belongs to the ages”.

The impact of the Aldrich family has been felt through my own experience and through the wider family of The Firs in Bellingham for many years. Joe’s legacy (along with that of his parents and siblings) has been one of faithfulness to God’s Word and commitment to sharing the message of that word wherever he went. While he will be missed – the memories and the example will remain.

I attended MSB from ’79 thru ’83 and I will never forget the many times Dr. Joe, Tennis Coach Hugh Salisbury and a couple of players from the tennis team would play doubles together. Joe Aldrich always made me feel so valued when he would regularly insist that I be his doubles partner. We both hated to lose (does that surprise anyone?) and the competitive juices really flowed. I will never forget how special those times were!

Dr. Joe not only taught great leadership principles… (Who can forget his pithy grabbers on church growth like, “It’s easier to breathe new life than raise the dead”?)….but Joe Aldrich truly modeled servant leadership! I would walk away from encounters with him just amazed that he genuinely valued his time with me.

Dr. Joe’s humility, his high level of leadership skills and his profound love for Jesus have served as an impactful model to tens of thousands over the years. His positive influence on so many has surely been rewarded with a “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Thank you Dr. Joe! And thank you Lord Jesus for giving us such a wonderful teacher to learn from.

How I loved Dr. Joe. His last year as president was my first year as student. I ran into him several years after I graduated at a Starbucks and he asked me what I was up to. When I told him I was a children’s magazine editor, he clasped my hands and said, “Why how wonderful!” in his warm way. He also took it in good humor when I wrote a fake April Fools article for the Voice about Dr. Joe being honored by a commemorative stamp. I did not know that honor is usually reserved for those who are no longer living. He just chuckled about it when I went to apologize. I appreciated that he was so supportive of the journalism program. Dr. Joe made a deep impact on my life.

We were privileged and blessed to come under Dr Joe’s teaching between 89-91. In that time we learned from his teaching, laughed at his jokes and were inspired by his vision. Yes, he was a great teacher, a clear communicator and a man of God, but he was always a genuinely enjoyable person to be around.

What a legacy this wonderful man has left us. Not only has Dr Joe trained a generation for ministry and service but his example of how much can be achieved by a life dedicated to God is priceless. We can do great things for our God, we can make a difference wherever we are in the world. Dr Joe showed us that.

Dear Father,
Heaven is surelly richer and we are poorer, but how glorious was Joe’s reception into the arms of the Savior. Give his family joy, grace and strength in the coming days without him. How wonderful that he has been released from this vail of tears into incredible delight in Your Presence, where we will all meet again someday. Amen
I was privileged to be a classmate of Joe’s at Multnomah in the late 50’s.

I appreciated his weekly messages at chapel on Thursdays when I was in the grad program in 1981-1982. They were warm, challenging and down to earth. Multnomah provided a solid foundation for me with InterVarsity these past 26 years. His integrity and approach to ministry is never far from my heart and mind.

When I heard the news that Dr. Joe had passed aways, my heart sank! I was deeply grieved because I was at Multnomah during his last year as president. I have always admired Dr. Joe as a true example of a man after God’s own heart! He was a very strong man of God and had a very gentle and loving spirit. He was truly living the life of Christ. He was a very gracious and passionate man who, for the first time in my life, gave me a tangible example of what walking with God in a love relationship really looks like. My heart goes out to the Aldrich family and pray for their comfort and God’s peace. I’m certain that Jesus weeps with all of you and the God of all comfort will walk with you all through this difficult and sad time until one day, one glorious day we will all see him again face to face and never have to say goodbye again! Father, bless all of those whose life Dr. Joe touched and continue to allow his legacy to impact this world in the name of Jesus! Amen! I am the better for knowing you Dr. Joe….terry s. <

When I heard the news that Dr. Joe had passed away, my heart sank! I was deeply grieved because I was at Multnomah during his last year as president. I have always admired Dr. Joe as a true example of a man after God’s own heart! He was a very strong man of God and had a very gentle and loving spirit. He was truly living the life of Christ. He was a very gracious and passionate man who, for the first time in my life, gave me a tangible example of what walking with God in a love relationship really looks like. My heart goes out to the Aldrich family and pray for their comfort and God’s peace. I’m certain that Jesus weeps with all of you and the God of all comfort will walk with you all through this difficult and sad time until one day, one glorious day we will all see him again face to face and never have to say goodbye again! Father, bless all of those whose life Dr. Joe touched and continue to allow his legacy to impact this world in the name of Jesus! Amen! I am the better for knowing you Dr. Joe….terry s. <

I’m so grateful that I got to attend Multnomah under Dr. Joe’s leadership for three years. His combination of learning and an evident tenderness for people and the things of God were a great example to me, as was his willingness to unite with Christians from a wide variety of denominational backgrounds. What a great man of God he was!

I believe God has been kind by “weaning us” from Dr. Joe for so many years. Perhaps the most significant thing we can do to honor him flowsw from this quote from Lifestyle Evangelism. “The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians—when they are somber and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths.” May we be better followers of the Savior for the coming generation who “Knew not Joseph.”

Larry attended Multnomah from 1977-1980 graduating with his BS in Biblical Studies. He worked closely with Dr. Joe and Dr. Mitchell for many of the events and promotions at multnomah and has many fond memories of not only attending school, but being the photo editor for Multnomah Ambassador Magazine.

I (Elizabeth or Liz) had the opportunity to work on staff when I attended Multnomah in the fall of 1981 and through that next summer. There were many times where Dr. Joe and I would talk in the hall and before Larry and I were dating very long, Joe gave us his blessing from the lecturne after chapel one day. I loved how deeply he loved the Lord, people, and sharing God’s good news with others in such a practical way.

I loved his illustrations in various chapels and the leadership and guidance that he provided for Multnomah during the time I was able to attend campus. Even though I just graduated this last May, over a 27 year goal, Dr. Joe has always been a man that has inspired and encouraged both Larry and I to walk with the Lord and serve him throughout our lives and the upbringing of our two adult children.

To his family, thank you for supporting and encouraging him to serve God as he has over the years and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this time.

With gratitude and grace,

Larry and Elizabeth McDaniel

I am deeply honored to have attended classes led by Dr. Joe. During my internship he was an anchor in the midst of a storm for me. He led in love, he gave of himself in love, and now he is in the ultimate arms of love. He will be missed, but never forgotten.

My husband Glenn, and I send our love and prayers to his wife Ruthe, and family. May the love and peace of our Lord Jesus be your anchor during this time of loss.

I first met Dr. Joe my freshman year in 1995. I had a spiritual life class with him in the auditorium of CB, where he taught us to pray and to seek the Lord’s face. Like so many of you, I came to Multnomah to “get equipped” for full time ministry. I was ready to take the world by storm for Jesus. : ) I was all business and nobody was going to stop me from my desire of being a youth pastor. One day Dr. Joe stopped me dead in my tracks. I remember him saying, “Some of you will leave Multnomah and never become pastors, youth pastors, or enter into full-time paid ministry. Most of you will work amongst the world, becoming kite-shop owners, managers of people, moms, dads, etc. Jesus will use you greatly.” At the time I was kind of offended. I thought, “Not me! I’m came here to do ministry, and that’s what I’m gonna do!” Well, Dr. Joe’s words were prophetic and would shape my life greatly. I remember very little to nothing of what anyone said during my time at Multnomah. I do remember those words. They still echo to the core of my being. They were “very words of God” spoken into a young, moldable life. I am now a Police Officer with the Beaverton Police Department and get to speak the very words of God to at least one person each day. The Lord orders our footsteps and plans assignments for each of us to accomplish. Dr. Joe was right, God has an assignment for each of us, I am thankful he completed his assignment in my life. To God be the glory….for the great things He has done! I love you Dr. Joe.

My life was forever changed by experiences at Pastors Prayer Summit Branson Missouri. I am deeply indebted to Dr Joe for following the Lord and establishing the Prayer Summit movement. His contribution to unity in the Body of Christ and especially among pastors, will be a continual source of strength for thousands.

To all the Aldrich family,
It was my privilege to get to know all of you as a student at Multnomah 1960-1963. Even Dr. Willard was young back then. The entire family demonstrated that they are a genuinely Christian family, human, but full of Godly traits. They had lost their mother just before I went to Multnomah but their genuine family togetherness sustained them. Many of us were touched by your authenticity. I was also privileged to know Jon, Joe and Tim at Dallas Seminary. For those of us more accustomed to a fundamentalist “bunker” mentality, I clearly remember Joe and Ruthie demonstrating what later became known as “life-style evangelism.” It was not a gimmick. It was genuine living out of truth. Joe is receiving his reward in heaven but may his earthly memory accurately reflect the truth which he and his family have lived out. Joe, your passion for living life with humility, zest and an authentic burden for those who need the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ is a fastastic legacy. You bring credit to Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Willard, your dad, and the Aldrich name, but especially to Jesus Christ. Your love for Him leaves a legacy no critic can tarnish.
Tom R. Hawkins, MSB ’63 Dip., ThM, PhD, Dallas Seminary

I am the daughter of Dennis Fuqua, current director of IRM. I never knew Dr. Joe personally, but I have seen the inpact that he has had on my dad’s life and that is more than enough for me to know that he was a very special man. I will be keeping the Aldrich family in my thoughts and prayers.

Dr. Joe was a Spiritual Emphasis Week speaker at Multnomah when I was there and his classic, Lifestyle Evangelism, was published. I can still remember his messages. Then he led Multnomah through an important transitional period so that by the time my three kids were ready for college, I was delighted that they followed their parents. He had a huge impact on the pastor of my home church. So although I never really knew Dr. Joe, I often lived in the blessing of his ministry.

Dr. Joe, I never knew you personally although your writing and, more recently, my experience with Prayer Summits, have left an indelible mark on my soul. Look forward to meeting you soon!! and very soon!!

I first met Dr. Joe at a Grad Class “Table Talk” in 1994. I asked him how he determined which pastors would be invited to Prayer Summits, IE where he would draw the line. Without hesitation he answered that a Christian Science pastor had attend the last Prayer Summit, and all our jaws dropped! He went on to say that this pastor shared his testimony with the other pastors at the summit, how he had come to faith in Jesus outside of his organization but felt the Lord wanted him to remain where he was in order to lead as many of his congregants as possible to Jesus. All the pastors grilled the man with questions until they were satisfied that he was indeed born again, and then they joyfully celebrated communion together. Dr. Joe continued to slay our sacred cows and boggle our minds for the rest of meeting. I thought “Wow, this guy’s so far outside of the box, he’s not even in the same zip code as the box!” I think of the reverse of Mark 7:8 when I think of Dr. Joe, he truly put the commands of God above the traditions of men.

The next year I was very excited when Dr. Joe agreed to be my mentor. Each time we met I would lay out the foundation of an idea for outreach or etc. and he would spend the rest of the time constructing an amazing skyscraper of ideas on top of it. Creative ideas sprung from his mind like fireworks. What an amazing visionary.

Dr. Joe told me that he viewed Multnomah as a ministry to the city and the world. Others would say “No, Joe, it’s a school!” but his response was that while it is in fact a school, teaching/learning is a means to an end, not an end in itself. He always kept his eye on the main thing–to love God and to love people to God. I praise God that many people have come to Christ through Multnomah’s ministry, and that many more will in the future.

Thank you Dr. Joe, you are greatly missed but your legacy of loving God and loving people to God will continue to impact us all.

The cycle of worship…

It was in 1979 that I took Dr. Joe’s Spiritual Life class. It was by far the easiest “A” I received from Multnomah, yet I learned more from Dr. Joe than any other professor that semester.

In retrospect, I recall that one day Dr. Joe taught about worship. I learned that when I worship, truly worship my Savior that change occurs in my life.

As this change occurs (sanctification) a sense of deep gratitude takes place resulting in true worship.

This is the cyclical nature of worship. I have been intrigued by this miracle since that day in Dr. Joe’s class. To think that God would intervene in the simple, daily affairs of my life was profound to say the least.

I will never forget this “Dr. Joe” lesson. And now, Dr. Joe has the blessing of face to face worship of the Savior. I look forward to joining Dr. Joe someday in completing the cycle of worship.

Thank you, Dr. Joe for leaving such an indelible mark on my life!

I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Joe almost 2 years ago when he came to the pastor’s prayer summit at Multnomah. What a dear, sweet man. I didn’t really get to talk to him but his presence there meant so much as he joined the group of us in prayer. His legacy was felt even then.

Of the numerous memories I have of Dr. Joe and the Pastors’ Prayer Summits I was privileged to share with him, I was impressed by his seemingly endless resource of creative ways to engage pastors and his great desire to build them up in faith and in practical wisdom. His legacy lives on in the lives of people beyond number!

The impact of the Aldridge family is immense, especially with regard to the world-wide pastors’ prayer summits. Prayer is the key for national and international revival, and pastors/ministry leaders coming together for extended prayer is having a mighty impact.

Joe Aldrich’s impact on my life came with pastor’s prayer summits. My first summit experience was the first summit in New England (back in 1991?). There were maybe 45 of us, and the summit got off to a rocky start. Fundamentalist and charismatics went at it at successive prayer summits for the next seven years as we saw God slowly (this is New England, after all) build a solid foundation of men — and women — dedicated to the Kingdom principles of unity and love.

Joe Aldrich’s gift to the Body of Christ is the passion of God to see His people come together under the Lordship of Jesus, people who are still divided over modes of baptism, spiritual gifts, last things, and a myriad of other non-essentials. Because of his vision for the things of God, my life was changed.

Lord, thank You for Joe Aldrich.

I appreciate so much how available and approachable Dr. Joe always was. He had a way of making you feel like you were one of his closest friends when you spoke with him. I also loved his sense of humor. We had many very funny meetings together!

I’m so sorry for your loss Ruthe. Dr. Joe told me that one of the things he was looking forward to most concerning his retirement was being able to spend more time with his family. I hope you can cherish those times and memories.

May God give you peace in Joe’s passing.

Mike Pate
(Former Director of Development at Multnomah)

It was with sadness when I read of the passing of this incredible man of God who touched so many of our lives during the time we spend at Multnomah. Thank you Lord Jesus for the privilege of hearing him speak, of watching him walk his faith in so many different ways. May God be with his wife and family during this time and through the days ahead. May they be comforted and touched by all those that God will bring into their lives and know that you are with them. To God be the Glory even as we mourn the loss of this man in our lives here on earth.

I never met Dr. Joe Aldrich in person.
But his work has meant much to my own personal life and ministry.
I am certain that his obedience to fulfill his call will be felt for many, many years to come, now on this earth; and in eternity.
One day, I look forward to meet him and thank him in person.
May our precious Lord be praised.

I remember a time when I was over my head and had to call on the most connected christian guy in my local area. I called Joe and told him I had to see him now. It was 1996 and he was still President. Walking into his office I explained how I felt that I was so far out of my league that I wondered if I had mislead people and mis-represented my ability? His first words to me were, “Jim, welcome to the family.” “What I said.” “Welcome to the family. That is how I felt almost the entire time I have been President at Multnomah.” “Your serious Dr.Joe?” “Jim. . .keep it ever before the Lord and keep doing the next thing. Maybe it will turn out well in our eyes or maybe it will seem like a disaster in our eyes but the Lord uses all of it to produce something of value in His eyes.” He shared some great insights with me. . . .and then after awhile we were talking about chainsaws, boots, who makes the best diesel pick-up . . .what pastors in the area he was seeking counsel from on current business. He then invites me on a fishing trip or was it target shooting up in the Mt. Hood Forest. Joe knew his guns, knives, fish, and trucks and even heavy equipment. Joe knew men and counseled men on women. We all know that fine balance came from his time and commitment to Jesus who then granted him favor, wisdom, and understanding in all things. He still made mistakes . . .but they were just part of the process of leadership. I count him as one of my 5 mentors. Joe had Howard Hendricks. . .I had Joe Aldrich! There are few men I could write for days on. . . Big Brother Joe to all of us.

Dear Family,
I did not personally know “Dr. Joe”, but I did know who he was and I did know about “Friendship Evangelism”. The title of the book carries a great message, so great and vital a messge that some of Satan’s emisaries have taken it upon themselves to attack the book! This is really a testament to the validity of the message of the book, yes we can say Satan does not like “Friendship Evangelism”; that should not be a surprise to any of us as Christians. What it should do is motivate us to follow the Lord in Evangelism as Dr. Joe followed the lord and led the way for the rest of us “to go and do likewise.” May God greatly comfort all of you as you grieve his passing. He is asleep in Jesus!

I never forget Multnomah cause of my second place where by the Grace of God I was born by the Holly Spirit . for me Dr.Joe was a man of prayer and such of elegance teacher, and wise man. He has done finishing his race untill the Lord call him back home. thank you Dr. Joe for teaching us walk with the Lord. May the Lord strengthen and comfort his family. we are from Jakarta, Indonesia

During the first year of his presidency, Dr. Joe taught something like an Intro to Christian Education class. I was a freshman. He frequently got off the subject and his ramblings about various issues were as inspirational and enlightening as his chapel messages. He had a big impact on my life and ministry. See you in the Kingdom, Dr. Joe.

It was life-changing for me! I’ll never forget the 1981 CB conference I attended in Yakima. I was going to hear Joe Aldrich, the new president of Multnomah, speak. I must admit that I was somewhat cynical, thinking that “the son” was probably not as solid as “the father”. What I heard was a message delivered from a mind and heart that genuinely cared for the lost. Coming from a background where evangelism was always an event, I was amazed to hear how evangelism could be a way of life. When I saw Joe cry as he told the story of his barber coming to know Christ, I realized that I had not been motivated by love whenever I had shared the gospel with a stranger. I came to understand that evangelism is all about loving my neighbor as I do myself; becoming his friend. Joe said, “It’s worth it to love your neighbor even if you never see him give his life to Christ, because God loves him. I thank the Lord for Joe Aldrich. Heaven is richer; earth is poorer.

I never met Joe but 3 of my 5 children went to Multnomah. Another son married a Multnomah graduate and another daughter-in-law is now teaching a class at Multnomah. Joe’s ministry and vision has borne fruit in my family and it will be fruit that lasts! I appreciate that!!

On behalf of the servant leader team of the Greater Philadelphia Renewal Ministries and the hundreds of prayer summit participants that have attended our prayer summits, I want to thank God for how He used Dr. Joe in bringing the prayer summit ministry to the East Coast. It was back in 1991 as Philadelphia prepared for a Billy Graham Crusade that Dr. Joe came to Philly and shared his vision for prayer summits. He invited the executive committee of the crusade to Cannon Beach that January and we were deeply touched by the Lord at that summit. We came back to Philadelphia with the vision for prayer summits and held our first prayer summit that May.
Over the past 18 years, Dr. Joe, Terry Dirks, IRM and Multnomah have coached us and enabled us to have a prayer summit ministry that reaches not only the East Coast, and throughout the U.S., also but Canada, Europe, and Africa. The brothers and sisters of the Greater Philadelphia area exalt the name of Christ by acknowledging the magnificent way He worked in and through Dr. Joe. The churches in the East have been blessed by Dr. Joe and he will never be forgotten. Soli Deo Gloria

Joe Aldrich played a significant role in my life when I was a young Christian. When I graduated from college in 1972, I didn’t have a clue what I should do with the rest of my life. I had made a commitment to Christ two years earlier and became involved with the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ on my college campus. So I knew that God had a purpose for my life, but I didn’t know what it was. At Explo 72 at Dallas, Texas I stood in the rain in the Cotton Bowl with thousands of other college students and made a commitment to Jesus Christ to serve Him wherever in the world He would send me. This was in response to a challenge by Billy Graham. I took this commitment very seriously then, and still do. The first place God sent me was back home to Laguna Beach, California, and to Mariners Church in Newport Beach, which had been my spiritual home for the previous two years since I had become a Christian. Mariners was small and very informal in those days and Joe was our pastor. I stood up at a worship service on a Sunday morning in June,1972 and asked for prayer for God’s direction for my life. The next week I got a phone call from Joe. He and Roland Niednagel wanted to talk to me in his office. I was overwhelmed when they invited me to serve a one year internship at Mariners, working with senior high youth under Roland’s direction. Of course I said yes. The highlight of each week was a meeting with Joe in his office. He always called me by my Greek name, Stephanos. One particular meeting stands out in my memory. I told him that I was discouraged about what I regarded to be the poor quality of the Bible study materials I was developing for senior high youth at that time. Joe was sitting behind his desk. He swiveled around and pulled a file out of a file drawer. It had my name on it. In it were several samples of my Bible study materials. He spread these out on top of his desk. “I don’t keep junk in my file cabinet,” Joe said. I never forgot that. Today, 36 years later, I’m still developing Bible study materials. These are being used to train inner city pastors and church planters in LA and are being used by Christian inmates in several California state prisons. Thank you Joe for believing in me.

Respectfully submitted by Steven Krantz
Harvest Bible University
Aliso Viejo, California

I will always be grateful that Joe came out to Philadelphia before the Greater Philadelphia Billy Graham Crusade and encouraged pastors to pray together. It was a wonderful experience being a part of those early prayer summits. Rest in peace.

Dr. Joe has greatly impacted not only my husband’s life, but also his lifestyle. Now, as the Director of the ministry Dr. Joe began, Dennis has combined a long searching journey of his own with that of IRM and is not only impacting pastors and cities around the globe, but personally becomming more and more a wise, praying, man of God. Dr. Joe has had a huge impact, and been a wonderful supportive friend in the process.

Dr Joe has very positively affected Lincoln City where I pastor and Tillamook county where I live by starting Pastors Prayer Summits. My church has benefited and I have been blessed by PPS for about a decade and a half. Pastors have received healing. relationships have been forged, and the ‘Church of Lincoln City’ has been strengthened.
Pastors who have had differences have been placed together as roommates at Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center and have discussed those differences into the late hours of the night, only to have the Holy Spirit inspire them to ask and receive forgiveness both from God and from each other. I have asked for and received forgiveness from a pastor of another denomination for the pride of regarding my denomination as superior to his. Pastors have prayed for me, my family and my church.
Pastors have been shielded from attacks by the enemy by the prayers of fellow pastors. The relationships forged at PPS has increased weekly times of prayer in local communities. One pastor told our group, I would have left Lincoln City years ago if it hadn’t been for these weekly prayer times.
Dr Joe has influenced many men he never met and they don’t even know his name. But I do, and I thank God for using him to bless me.

8 years older than me, Joe was my leader. He became one of Mitchell’s boys. Dr. Mitchell was my pastor too. As a camper at Trout Creek Bible Camp, I remember the skits he did with Wil Jensen, like “Honey and the Bee.” As Junior Class President at MSB in 1968-1969, everyone reported to me that Joe Aldrich raised an extraordinary amount of money as a fundraiser when he was Junior Class President. Joe went to DTS, got his doctorate, then taught classes as I began studies at DTS. Dr. Joe was pastor of a large church in CA and then he followed his father to be President of Multnomah School of the Bible. I served as pastor of a small church in Texas, then was called by Multnomah in 1988 to be a Professor at the new seminary started by Dr. Joe.

What a creative, unseminary-like curriculum! Two plus two courses, 12 hours of credit earned in local church internships, management, leadership, conflict resolution, family ministry, all designed by Dr. Joe. He and Terry Dirks welcomed me to Prayer Summits, invited me to speak to pastors, elders and deacons. His vision for washing the feet of churches in the Pacific NW was contagious.

Dr. Joe would call faculty meetings where nothing was on the agenda except a concert of prayer where deep prayers mingled with acapella songs of worship. A Day of Faculty Prayer at his dad’s house on Livingston Mountain would be punctuated by shouting to the fading hearing of Dr. Mitchell, who sat on the couch, “Do you have anything to say, uncle John?” Dr. Mitchell would humbly begin and then wax eloquent on the faithfulness of God while tears were streaming down my cheeks.

One Prayer Summit at Cannon Beach, Dr. Joe was leading. He invited me to come after I finished classes. The circle of 40 pastors sang, prayed, and waited on the Lord…..It was one of those cherished moments when the Lord’s presence was palpable… no one moved or spoke for several minutes until one said, “Lord, we don’t want to leave. Your presence is wonderful.” And we stayed in silence longer…then went to dinner. Dr. Joe Aldrich experienced his final commencement, and he enjoys the Lord’s presence now and forever.

Wish I could have come to the memorial service today…. I had a class in Daniel/Revelation to teach this afternoon (Dan. 12:2-3).

My fondest memories of Dr. Joe are his love for simply gathering around in a tight circle with people and welcoming them to sing their hearts out to Jesus. The community that happens when people get physically close while singing to Him is intense, sacred and hallowed.

As I have the privilege to lead people in worship, I often still call people out of their seats to a holy huddle of acapella singing to Jesus. During these tender and sometimes tearful times, I always remember Dr. Joe’s influence and passion for simple songs of praise.

Thank you Dr. Joe for your example of humble worship to the great God of all creation. Thank you for showing us the power in humility before Almighty God.

Your life has pointed me to Jesus in so many ways. Thank you for your example of devotion and faithfulness to Him.

Sincerely, Miriam Gibby

The ripple effect of Dr. Joe’s life has touched people like me, who never met him. My husband and my good friends have told stories about him, and the ways he helped transform their perspectives on the Lord have affected me too. I’m sure he is now in heaven able to see just how great a difference his faithful life made on earth. I wish his grieving family Christ’s peace.

It is said that it is the first impression that is the lasting one. Certainly life affords many an occaision where this would seem so. This however is not the case with Dr. Joe; It was my final hour of class with him some 10 years ago that would seem so profound, definitive, and somehow eternal.

As a young emerging know-it-all, I stepped into my only class with Dr. Joe- Spiritual Life. My first impression was that he was a bit of a stoic fellow. Maybe he’s too serious or perhaps he is going to be stern. How wrong I was in that first impression.

Instead, what I found was a man on assignment- focused and strengthened by humility. He didn’t police the group, or try to command our attention. Instead, he invited us to join him in discovering the practice of honoring a worthy God in word, thought, and deed. He knew it would be the thirsty that would listen.

I think my freshman classmates all seemed to sense very quickly that when he spoke, we needed to listen. His example inspired us into a great longing for becoming. You couldn’t help but realize your thirst for such maturity and love for God and your neighbor.

I’ll never forget our last day of class. He had a way of reminding us that spiritual life was meant for the external as much as the internal. That it’s not about you, but Him, through US. In the round, we sang “Behold what manner of Love,” and I knew through his humble example and leadership, that together, we would give glory to our King, and He would be pleased. And that.. you never forget.

Thank you Father for brother Joe, the Aldrich family, and so many other leader-examples you have blessed us with.

Dr. Joe is signifcant in our lives because of Prayer Summits –we will always be thankful to the Lord that Dr. Joe was faithful to the vision the Lord put in his heart to draw God’s people, especially leaders, together to pray and seek His face.

We will always remember his joyful way of starting a song at a Prayer Summit, and of his obvious enjoyment of fellowship with Christ’s Body in prayer and worship to our King. Now he sees Him face to face.

I first met Dr. Aldrich at a Prayer Summit in Portland. His faithfulness to equip and educate young people for the ministries to which God has called them, and to bring God’s leaders to the forefront has been greatly admired. He was faithful, regardless of circumstance to the call of God, and we in the Church Community miss his tremendous leadership. One day we will join Dr. Joe in praise and admiration befor the Throne of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

What a man of God Dr Joe was. He had an open door policy, which I used, and many of my friends as well.
Dr Joe would speak at Chapel, up on the hill. I always enjoyed his messages, almost stories, because he would paint a picture in my mind with the brushstrokes of his words. Therefore, his messages would stick on the canvas of my mind for days.

My condolences to the Aldrich family. God’s peace be with you.

I will never forget the impact of Renewal Ministries on our Spokane pastors Evangelical Ministry Association prayer group and our very fortunate experience of being led by Dr. Joe and Terry Dirks and others back around 1990. I personally took significant strides in my spiritual growth at the prayer summit facilitated by Renewal Ministry leadership.

Many, many years before that, Lifestyle Evangelism had a great and lasting impact on my way of witnessing.

Additionally, Tad, you and Joe are two of my heroes on this earth. Tad and Cindy, I surely thank God for you both assisting Dr. Willard these many months. Your dad is a great treasure.

In a small Bible that I used to take to chapel I have written on the inside cover the last words of a message Dr. Joe gave at his last Family Chapel service as President: “Obey your Commander, fulfill your mission, and serve your generation with distinction” (5/8/97). The Commander is pleased, the mission fulfilled, and we are all blessed by Dr. Joe’s service to our generations.

Well, Dr. Aldrich, I didn’t know him very well, so, I’ll try to keep it as short as I can, Dr. Aldrich, I didn’t know you very well. But, I think, that’s okay, ya know what I’m talking about. Ya, I just wanted to tell you, that, I miss you, Brother, and I suppose that’s all I’ll say for now, because I know you will be waiting up there in heaven, and I, will be more than glad to see you, if you know what I mean. So, yea, that’s about it, just wanted to tell you that I miss you, and I love you, and…I really honestly…miss you.

Dear Ms. Aldrich, Children and extended Aldrich & Multnomah Family.
I began MSB fall of ’78 and lived in Sutcliffe dorm all three years. One year my window was immediately above Joe’s office and I used to have fun sending down encouragements to him via a basket with belts linked together, swinging the basket against his window until he retrieved the cookies, apple or note. I never signed my name to anything, but at the end of the year, I remember that he had something sweet delivered to my room in return. I have such fond memories of his approachable leadership style and knew in my core that God was using him well. His book lifestyle evangelism has meant a lot in my life and perhaps some day we will see how his efforts multiplied the harvest. I have even seen it referenced in Lutheran evangelism materials! Dear Aldrich Family, I know your hearts ache and I will add my prayers for your comfort and peace knowing that God will answer them. Thank you for sharing your husband, father, brother and friend with us all. It was my honor to know him. Peace be with you all. Jennifer

I attended Multnomah for one year in 1986. As a petrified and impressionable incoming freshman, I will never forget my first night at MSB. There was a mixer held for all incoming freshman at the A-frame. Dr. Joe came and spoke briefly to welcome us to MSB. He truly lived his faith and showed what a man of God can really do! I also had the opportunity to take Dr. Joe’s Spiritual Life class. It was a life changing experience and formed who I am today.
The world will be a different place without him but it is better for having known him. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Aldrich family during this difficult time and the years ahead.

My husband and I attended the Rural Pastors conference when it first began. I remember listening to Dr. Joe telling stories about his family when he was a kid…..and how he used to be quite a handful in his growing up years. (As a matter of fact he told us some of the things he did in his college years also!) As the mother of a son who was quite a handful, I took great comfort in seeing a man who was also a handful, turn into a wonderful Godly man! I asked him if he had any wisdom he could give me in raising a boy who was so much like him. He told me to never give up and to be diligent in channeling him in the right direction and then he will do alright and will probably be a leader one day. Well, today is my son’s 27th birthday……there were alot of really hard times, but he has done alright and just began his own business. He also has a wife and 2 kids. I never forgot what Dr. Joe told me, and I always thought about what he said in the hard times and it encouraged me to hang in there.
Also, I know that you as his wife and family had to sacrifice alot of time away from him so that he could minister to others…..like me and many many others. Thank you for your sacrifice…..I know there were many times it was not easy for any of you. I pray that our Lord adn these many tributes comfort you in your times of sadness and that HE will be your strength. May God bless you.

I know Dr. Joe is now in the place he longed to be and is at his absolutely best, but I miss him. It was not very long that I have known him – distance between us did not make it easy to be together often. I firmly believe, however, that human relationship is not only about amount of time spent together but, more so, how much one could open up his/her heart to each other. I feel Dr. Joe opened his being to me for those few times. His humble heart, sharp mind, great skill of communication and child-like simplicity impacted me deeply. His impact on my life and personality is now being shared in Japan among many pastors and missionaries through Prayer Summits. I thank the Lord our God for Dr. Joe.

I want to thank all of you for your kind and thoughtful words about my dad. It has been amazing to read through all of these incredible stories and to hear how he touched all of your lives. It has helped me out tremendously during this difficult time.
Thanks again,
Kristen Aldrich Hoevet

I only knew Dr. Joe as the active fellow his mother wrote about in Musings of a Mother. I read the book so many times, I’ve felt like a family member. I only hope God has video recorders so that someday we can see Joe and his mom clutching one another as he stepped into Heaven.

Bless you, Aldrich family.

Jane Bateman

Months have passed since Joe’s going home celebration, but it’s taken till now to bring myself to write. The loss I feel has been too great. Yet my joy at Joe’s heavenly reception is even greater. Joe entered my life at a critical point during studies at Multnomah Seminary. My knowledge, experience, and ability to paint a portrait of a godly man was limited. Joe agreed to help nurture that….me… through a discipling relationship. Over the next 10 years, we met as much as once a week or as little as once a year. The thing with godliness though, I learned from Joe, is that time and space have no bearing on the impact felt from the life of one who’s heart is ablaze with the glory of the Lord. It inspired me to observe Joe as Joe no matter where, when, or with whom. Spreading grace like fertilizer, through a word of encouragement or compliment wherever he went was his signature. Joe said, “Humility is always a return to reality.” He evidenced this in later years when people, being moved by his tears during speaking or prayers, would comment, “Oh Joe, you’re so spiritual!” Joe would respond with a smile, “No…it’s just Parkinson’s.” I think the measure of a truly great man is the depth and stretch of canyon he leaves in the hearts of those who held him. Like the Grand Canyon, nothing can fill the heart-space that remains from the impact of a great man – no stone big enough, nor piece of earth conceivable. Jesus comforts and steadies the heart who’s experienced such loss, yet not even He fills it in. Jesus reveals the canyon for what it is… Grand and Beautiful. Not a hollow of loss, but an Ebenezer of Joy, Remembrance, and Thanksgiving. With delightful satisfaction the heart sighs, “Ahhh Yes… Joe was here.”

-Timothy Maxwell
Crossline Church
Orange County, CA

only knew Dr. Joe as the active fellow his mother wrote about in Musings of a Mother. I read the book so many times, I’ve felt like a family member. I only hope God has video recorders so that someday we can see Joe and his mom clutching one another as he stepped into Heaven.

Bless you, Aldrich family…


Memories of Dr. Joe’s Spiritual Life class and chapel are still with me 17 years later. Wonderful conversations over lunch in the cafeteria and running into him on campus while I was working over school breaks are also good memories. My condolences to Dr. Tim and the rest of the family. Thanks so much for sharing Dr. Joe with us!

Joe was a man that spoke and lived the truth, He was allways thinking about other people, I loved his humor,his humility and man that knew how to teach in such a relevant but handled scripture like no other pastor I have been taught under, I remember how he would give up his leadership to let other people lead, Joe was a man that gave me opportunities in leadership I will never forget, This was when he was pastor at Mariners Chuch, Joe we will miss you and I know God will be3 happy to have you with him.