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Longtime Southwestern Christian College professor dies at age 95


Guss Dunn Farmer Sr.

Southwestern Christian College is mourning the death of Guss Dunn Farmer Sr., who served as head of the Bible department and taught Bible and Greek during his 56 years with the historically black Christian college in Terrell, Texas.
Farmer died Wednesday at age 95.
Funeral services were planned Saturday at White Rock Church of Christ in Dallas.
“Dr. Farmer was probably the favorite professor of many at SWCC from the ’50s till the ’90s,” said Matthew L. Terry Sr., minister of involvement for the Hutchins Church of Christ in Texas. “He taught a great number of preachers in the brotherhood.”
Terry praised the “awesome sacrifice, love and dedication” displayed by Farmer, who was white. The 1989 Southwestern graduate said that in the 1950s — “in the pre-era of civil rights” — Farmer dedicated himself to a “very poor, struggling black Christian college.”
“He was a direct but very approachable and beloved professor,” Terry said.
In a note from the Southwestern alumni association, Peggy Yvonne Wells Autry wrote:

Dear Friends,
It is with heaviness of heart but with the glorious hope of heaven that we share with you the passing of our beloved Dr. Guss Farmer, retired professor of Bible and Greek at Southwestern Christian College.  Dr. Farmer had recently celebrated his 95th birthday and 70 years of marriage to his dear wife, Janie.  Dr. Evans (Southwestern President Jack Evans) marked his birthday with a beautifully-framed presentation of photos of Dr. Farmer in various roles of service at the institution he loved, SwCC.

Read Farmer’s full obituary.

  • Feedback
    My deepest sympathy to Dr. Farmer’s Family and Friends. I was not aware of this college until I read his obituary in The Christian Chronicle news blog. I feel sure that he was a dedicated example to his students and those who knew him. Wish I could have known him. JKB
    Jeanne K. Briscoe
    June, 12 2011

    It is amazing to me how many members of the church of Christ in America who do not know of the existence of Southwestern Christian College. I have met young people in Japan who are from Texas who have never heard of the college.
    I wonder if it is because of the insularity of our society.
    I have already posted my tribute to Dr. Guss Farmer on Facebook. I will add to it here. When I was his student-my classmates and I were told by him to ask a question in each class. I loved to asked questions. After a while my classmates depended on me to ask the questions each time. We all learned from that experience and from all of the classes we had with him and the questions he asked of us. Guss and some other people were surprised during my time at Southwestern that not only were the ministerial students seriously studying and learning the bible lessons Guss taught, but also the female students were studying and learning too on the same level as the male students. The only class most of the females were not in was Greek.
    Dr. Guss Farmer was one of the best bible teachers in America. I am sorry Jeanne K. Briscoe and scores of other people who will read of him here for the first time did not have the opportunity of meeting him or being his student.
    Dr. Farmer’s legacy is in the hearts and minds of all of his former students and is set in stone at Southwestern Christian College. When we talked of him privately we affectionately call him Guss with love in our hearts. He will be missed here on earth. We look forward to being re-united with him in heaven.
    To the family of Dr. Guss Farmer: The sun has set on your loved one’s time on earth. There is a sunrise on his eternal life in heaven. He will be there when you get there. In time the sorrow you feel now will be replaced by pleasant memories only.
    Until that time-please be comforted by the thought that all of people who
    knew him as their teacher and colleague at Southwestern are in prayer for your spiritual and physical comfort.
    In Christian love,
    Eloise Brown
    Hitachi City Japan
    Eloise Brown
    June, 16 2011

    One correction to the above comments. When we talked of him privately we affectionately call him Guss with love in our hearts.
    This should have been: When we talked of him privately we affectionately called him Guss with love in our hearts.
    Eloise Brown
    June, 16 2011

    Dr. Farmer was the minister of Ferguson Road Church of Christ in Dallas in the mid 1950’s. I was then a twelve year old girl who took notes when he preached. His clear scriptural messages were dynamic and loving. Brother Farmer made the Word of God come alive. I am so thankful and blessed to have been his student. I recall vividly the Sunday morning he baptized me into Christ.
    My deepest sympathy to his sweet wife and his entire family. His son Glynn was in our youth group. As I remember, each Sunday the small auditorium was packed to hear Dr. Farmer. I am so blessed that he was my introduction to salvation.
    I know he has heard the Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.
    Myra Taylor Gordon
    June, 16 2011

    Southwestern Christian College is unknown to many because of the polarity of the Church. Bobby Ross has been trying to feature stories on all types of Christians (e.g. White…Black…American…Asian…African…Rural…Urban…Country) but we have a long way to go.
    Monique M. White
    June, 16 2011

    Monique,
    You are correct about Bobby Ross’s efforts. I applaud him for his efforts to have inclusive coverage.
    You are also correct about the issue of polarity among churches of Christ.
    Be blessed and be a blessing.
    Eloise Brown
    June, 21 2011

    Monique and Eloise,
    Thank you for your kind words. I must stress that it’s not just me but the entire Chronicle staff, including our president and CEO, Lynn McMillon, that is committed to inclusive coverage of all Churches of Christ.
    Bobby Ross Jr.
    June, 21 2011

    Thanks so much for sharing the story of this great Christian . He lived and taught by example. Without him there would not have been a legacy at SWCC.
    Freeman Wyche SWC1974
    June, 30 2011

    I am saddened at the loss of one of my favorite instructors at SWCC. Dr. Farmer as well as other professors who are still teaching there, were transformational figures in many of the college students lives. I am glad to have known him and I am blessed beyond measure to have studied the Bible with him.
    Colleen Mansel Holliday
    July, 3 2011

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