Home E News E Dr. Don McGregor ’53, Gone to Be With the Lord
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University, California

Dr. Don McGregor, beloved missionary, pastor, and former executive director and professor of LPU, went home to be with the Lord in the early morning on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. He was 95.  A consummate mentor, pastor, professor, and friend, Don will be remembered also as a great missionary who served and led with tremendous humility.

“Don was a model, innovative disciple maker,” reflects LPU Professor Emeritus Mark Duzik ’80, “and he touched so many people to help us become better people, better Christians, and better leaders – that’s what he did all the time. And he did it compassionately.”

old yearbook photo of donDon’s early years were spent in Emporia, Kan. where he grew up fully intending to be a farmer. Little did he realize that the fields he would tend and harvest would be fields of people rather than fields of grain. During his senior year of high school, Don was stirred by a testimony of a woman who was a missionary to the Congo. When she expressed a need for someone to take her place, Don walked up to the front and asked, “What do I have to do to be a missionary?”  Don’s newfound calling to missions led him to Ottawa University, and during an Urbana USA Conference, Rev. Billy Graham, at the time a young evangelist, charged the crowd to “take the gospel to the ends of the earth.” Don was among those who responded with passion that night. His journey soon found him enrolling at LIFE Bible College.

old mcgregor family photoDon met his sweetheart, Sally, at LIFE Bible College (now Life Pacific University) and the two were drawn to one another by their mutual passion and call to missions. The couple married in 1951. After graduating from LIFE Bible College (Evangelizers Class of 1953), the McGregors planted the Pittsburg, Kan. Foursquare Church, where they pastored for 5 years before they heard about the need for Foursquare missionaries in the Philippines. Though initial hesitations arose out of concern for their young children, Don and Sally, amidst miracles, and by the leading of the Holy Spirit, set out to serve the Lord abroad in the beautiful land of the Philippines. (Read the full miraculous account here.) Though Don and Sally would remain in the Philippines many years (1958-1972) teaching, loving, serving, and discipling countless hearts, Don never thought too much of himself. In New Testament Fire in the Philippines, Missionary Jim Montgomery remembered his first encounter with Don, who barely recognized his own scope of influence: “I [Jim] complimented him on being associated with the fastest growing denomination in the Philippines. ‘I had no idea we were growing faster than others,’ [Don] said. ‘We’re just a little outfit ourselves and I thought that with all these other missionaries, many must be ahead of us.’ Don and Sally would minister for almost a decade and a half before returning to the U.S. (Don ultimately would become the Foursquare Philippine field director, pastor/leader of the Bible college in Manila, and from 1993-1995 the Director of Foursquare Missions International.)

In 1973, not long after returning from the Philippines, the Lord positioned Don into a new aspect of leadership and disciple-making: his role as Executive Director of LIFE Bible College, during the presidency of Dr. Rolf K. McPherson. Though “Executive Director” in title, Dr. McGregor took on many of the day-to-day functions and responsibilities of the college’s presidency, thus allowing Dr. McPherson to function in the dual role of president of the Foursquare Church. Dr. McGregor’s leadership left an indelible mark on LIFE Bible College (now Life Pacific University), and his humble and tenacious tenure set up his successor (Dr. Nathaniel Van Cleave) for success during the presidency that followed.

Don’s students recall him as being a loving and gracious leader. LPU President Emeritus Dr. Jim J. Adams 77’ fondly remembers time under the leadership of this great man: “Don was my ‘president’ at Life Bible College. Though holding the official title of executive director (the only one in the history of our institution), he was entirely the equivalent of a college president. He led the 50-year celebrations for our alma mater. Don and Sally McGregor had returned from the Philippines with a mighty ministry as missionaries, leaving thousands of converts and disciples in their wake. A few years ago, when visiting Manila, I had the opportunity to speak in the oldest Foursquare church in the city, where Don and Sally had worked and ministered for many years. They were legends there and had left an indelible mark even after departing 50 years earlier. Sally taught my Introduction to Missions class. Though I don’t remember the name of the textbook or specifics of the curriculum, I will never forget the gracious, loving presence of our dear professor Sally, who told us stories of the mission field that inspired young men and women like me to consider what we might do outside the borders of our own country. Thank you, Don, for your heart in reaching people around the world with the Foursquare Gospel and for loving us college kids at LIFE.”

LPU President Angie Richey shares, “Dr. Don McGregor, LIFE Alumnus, was key in the life of the University. He championed education for all leaders. [He] was appointed as the college’s first and only executive director in 1973 under Dr. Rolf K. McPherson, leading most of the day-to-day operations. He meant so much to the Richeys personally as well. His legacy of ministry in the Philippines, missions, local church, and the Bible College will leave an indelible mark.”

Though a great man by everyone else’s account, his humility would only allow Don to see himself as a servant of the Lord, loving and leading others to Jesus. In his later years, he continued to mentor and disciple others. His continued passion for the efforts of discipleship are evident in his own missionary insights shared by the Foursquare Church in 2020 (Read the full article here.): “If there’s one thing a bygone era can teach us, it’s the value of preparation, including studying the Bible and memorizing Scripture. Prove yourself faithful in small things at home before you leave for other tasks. Make sure your character and personal life are under the control of the Holy Spirit. A life of holiness is essential…”

Dr. Glenn Burris ’76, former president of the Foursquare Church, reflects, “What a warrior and a missionary legend. Loved my kingdom conversations with this spiritual mentor. Loved you, Don! You were a man of great faith and vision. Don was a former Foursquare Missions Director, a true General, and an Apostle to Asia!”

Rev. Charles Stanley ’78 shared, “Don was 95 years old and has been a gospel catalyst around the world. He was instrumental in the great movement in the Philippine Islands in the 1950s and 60s as a missionary for 15 years. I met him as my instructor at LIFE Bible College in a class titled, ‘Church Growth’. Don’s life and that class changed my life. Don lived his life in Christ in such a manner that he could say, like Paul, ‘Follow me as I follow Christ.’ Don was too humble to say that, but he was that kind of man.”

Don’s wife, beloved and respected missionary Rev. Sally McGregor, preceded him to heaven in 2007. (The Sally McGregor Memorial Scholarship still exists at LPU in her memory.) Don is survived by his three children—Mike, Robin and Julie—seven grandchildren, and more than a dozen great-grandchildren.

A service honoring Don McGregor’s life will be held on Thursday, May 23, at 11:30 a.m., at:

Crawford Family Funeral Center

610 NW 178th St.

Edmond, OK 73012

A graveside service will be held in Don’s hometown on Friday, May 24, at 11:30 a.m., at:

Rose Hill Cemetery

South Haven, KS 67140

Read Foursquare’s tribute to Dr. Don McGregor HERE.