Doc & Cedar – Part 7


Old Main Buildings on Pillsbury and Maranatha campuses

Doc & Cedar

In 1985 Dr. Rammel invited the FBF to hold its annual meeting on the campus of Pillsbury College. I was not able to attend that meeting because it was during the time that our family was moving to northern Virginia to take up my new duties with AACS. It was during this meeting that the historic photograph of the four presidents of Pillsbury was taken. I treasure that picture and keep it among my memorabilia.

Cedar was a character. He was full of enthusiasm, responsibility, loyalty, and determination. Doc was equally a unique character. He was shrewd, brilliant, scholarly and definitely determined. I was enriched knowing both them in a very close and personal way.

 As I come to the conclusion of my thoughts I desire that the reader contemplate two things for me.

First, I would like you to offer any corrections of fact that you might see in my account.  I wrote strictly from my remembrances, not from reading what others have written about the two men or the institutions/organizations that they led and influenced.

Second, I would really welcome thoughts and anecdotes from your experience with either man, or about them both. I am not interested in rehashing the past, although I have offered a few opinions in my discourse about the history surrounding the conflict between the two men. Insights and perspectives are welcome; placing blame and recrimination are of no interest to me. I’ve struggled enough in the past over the fallout of these conflicts and I do not need to go there again.

Lessons & Thoughts


  • I appreciated his commitment to the local church – in doctrine & practice. 
  • I appreciated his clear, consistent & non-sensational dispensational emphasis. 
  • I appreciated his reasonable and vigorous advocacy and defense of Biblical Christianity. 
  • I wish he would have traveled and promoted Central Seminary. 
  • I wish he had been dedicated to working more with other leaders.
  • I wish he had built coalitions rather than focusing on differences. 


Myron & Thelma at our Watertown home
  • I appreciated his deep and personal interest in people — youngsters, pastors, church members and me. 
  • I appreciated and marveled at his enthusiasm, energy and commitment to his ministry, friends and organizations that he represented. 
  • I appreciated that he accepted me for who I was, and that he grew to respect my convictions, decisions & relationships/friendships. 
  • I wish he had been more careful and nuanced about some of his positions.
  • I wish he would have let others share the load – delegate more. 
  • I wish he had slowed down and preserved some health and energy for the end of his life. 

Links to the Series:

7 thoughts on “Doc & Cedar – Part 7

  1. logosman

    Both men founded institutions which still impact young leaders a half century later. God uses varying personalities to fulfill His purposes so that He gets the glory. We benefited from knowing them and seeing them at their best and maybe at their worst. Thanks for sharing your up close perspective, Gerry. Have a great Father’s Day!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Charles Baker

    Hi Gerry I was dean a PBBC in 1985 when the FBF met on campus. Cedar gave one of the messages. He was not the preacher he once was. He had slowed down considerably. He was having cognitive challenges. I felt sorry for him.

    In the 1970’s and perhaps beyond, Cedar had a Maranatha conference every Summer at the Lucerne Conference Center in California. He always scheduled Jack Hyles for Monday and Tuesday. When Hyles left on Tuesday many of the people left. The crowd was pretty thin for the rest of the week. Around 1986 I was interim pastor of a group the had split off from Fourth. They were Clearwaters loyalists. The Sunday after Mrs. Clearwaters passed away I was invited to dinner in the home of one of the members. They were very close to Doc and had him over for dinner that day also. It was good to see him. Thanks for your writing. Brought back many memories.

    Charles Bsker

    1. Thanks for that insight. Yes, in 1985 Cedar was worn out at 70 years of age. I also visited Doc in 1995 in the nursing facility where he was being cared for at the time. He didn’t really recognize me, but we talked and prayed with him. But 8 years earlier at 87 Doc was still pretty sharp.

  3. Charles Baker

    In my California years I worked closely with Arno and Archer Weniger. You probably already know this, but in case you didn’t, the only sister of the Weniger brothers was a brother of Myron Cedar. I met them at Archer’s funeral in 1982.

    Charles Baker

  4. Dr. David Sorenson

    I came along about 4 years later in life than you, Gerry. but you have brought back vivid memories of Doc and Cedar. I highly respected both. I was privileged to be an asst pastor at 4th B in the early 70s and knew the Cedarholms via Lake Nebagamon in the early 60s. After the Cedarholms retired to the lake in the summers, I was privileged to be his summer pastor in the early years of Northstar Baptist Church which I had founded in Duluth in 1989. Many Sundays, they would drive in to Duluth from the Lake to go to church at Northstar, eat dinner in our home after church , and then spend the afternoon with us, mostly napping. My wife Pam got saved under Don Nelson in the final months of his tenure at 4th B and was basically a bus kid, but Doc was her pastor and she went on to become what my father called the perfect Pastor’s wife. Thanks for the memories

    1. So good to hear from you Dave. You and Pam will be interested to know that my next writing project is entitled: “A Pioneer Youth Pastor.” I want to tell some of the story of old “Nelson” as we referred to him. But to also share some of his ministry principles that I think are still pertinent for today. Stay tuned.

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