Evangel University announces the passing of former president Dr. Robert Spence

Dr. Robert Spence/Evangel University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Evangel University announced the death of former President Dr. Robert Spence Wednesday.

He suffered a stroke Sunday night. He had been hospitalized since.

A public memorial service will be held on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, at Evangel in the Robert H. Spence Chapel. A visitation will be held between 1:30-2:45 p.m., and the service will be at 3 p.m. The memorial service will be shown live on the school's website.

Dr. Spence retired from Evangel in 2014 after 40 years of service to the university. During his tenure at Evangel, Dr. Spence guided the transformation from a college campus of mostly World War II-era barracks to a state-of-the-art university. The institution doubled its enrollment, gained university status, completed 12 major building projects and expanded its academic offerings to include more than 100 undergraduate degree programs and 10 master’s programs.

During his final three years at Evangel, Dr. Spence participated in the work leading to the approval of the consolidation of Evangel University, Central Bible College and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

In 2004, Dr. Spence received the Springfieldian Award, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s most acclaimed honor, recognizing outstanding community service and commitment to Springfield. Also in 2004, Spence was the recipient of the Missourian Award, which acknowledges the most accomplished and recognized citizens of Missouri.
In early February, he received the "key" to the city from Mayor Ken McClure.

Current President Dr. Carol Taylor in a statement said the family asked her to extend its gratitude to you for your love and support. Please continue to keep the Spence family, and especially Dr. Spence’s beloved wife, Anne, in your prayers.

If you wish to send cards to the family you may mail them to Evangel University Office of the President at 1111 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, MO 65802, and they will be delivered to the family. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions to the Robert H. Spence Evangel University Memorial Fund. Click HERE to donate.