Former CIU administrator/professor Peter Letchford with the Lord

January 02, 2014

The Rev. Peter Letchford, who helped establish the Graduate School of Missions at Columbia Bible College (now Columbia International University Seminary & School of Ministry), passed away on Dec. 17, 2013 in Augusta, Ga. following a fruitful life of ministry. He was 96 years old.

Letchford had a long resume that included missionary to Africa, church pastor, and dean of the Graduate School of Missions. He was involved in ministry to the very end. Nearly a year ago, he was still teaching a Bible class for seniors at First Presbyterian Church of Augusta, when his life caught the attention of The Augusta Chronicle.

CIU Chancellor George Murray, who sat under Letchford’s teaching when he was a CIU student, remembers him as a great Bible teacher and preacher who could explain Scripture and apply it in relevant ways.  

“He helped me fall in love with the book of Hebrews,” Murray recalls. “He was also a rigorous and demanding Greek teacher. When he spoke publicly, he was a bit of a contrarian, often taking issue with commonly accepted thought, even Christian thought, making you think carefully about what you believed and why.”

Murray says Letchford was also “a fabulous organist,” who would accompany the worship singing in the CIU chapel services.  

“Often, he would ask us to all sing unison on the last verse of a hymn, during which he would deliberately and skillfully change the harmony and intensity of the music in such a way that set us all singing so heartily that we figuratively ‘raised the roof’ of Shortess Chapel,” Murray said.

Read more about the life of The Rev. Peter Letchford.