Please join us in reflecting on the life and ministry of Dr. Thomas Edward Dow, who went to be with his
Lord and Saviour on December 8, 2021 at the age of 81. Known as “Mr. Emmanuel,” Dr. Dow served as President of Emmanuel Bible College from 1988 to 2002, and again as Interim President from 2009 to 2012. He was Emmanuel’s President Emeritus & Chancellor at the time of his death.
Dr. Dow was a student at Emmanuel in the days when the College operated from Ahrens Street in Kitchener, finishing his Bachelor of Theology degree in 1961. Prior to serving as President, Dr. Dow’s ministry included pastoring Evangelical Missionary Churches in Stratford and Waterloo. His teaching career took him overseas to seminaries in Nigeria and Siberia. Dr. Dow served as a faculty member at Emmanuel for many years, and alumni remember him as a lively instructor with an astonishing depth of knowledge.
“Emmanuel Bible College and Dr. Tom Dow were synonymous names in our home from my earliest memories,” says Dr. Neil Cudney, Emmanuel’s current President. “For five decades, he shaped, formed and inspired a love of God and His Church. His influence and life’s work will continue on for decades to come. We are thankful to God for the gift of his life and legacy that continually declare ‘Emmanuel – God with us.’”
Dr. Dow was born in Royal Oak, Michigan and raised in Petrolia and Sarnia, Ontario. He leaves behind his wife Lois, his children Stephen, Sue and Marianne, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His first wife, Carolyn, preceded him into eternity.
The memorial service for Dr. Dow was held Saturday, December 18 at Bethany Evangelical Missionary Church in Kitchener.
“From the moment of our first meeting, Tom and his humble demeanour offered encouragement and support to me. He was loved, appreciated and committed to the ministry of EBC. He was a godly leader in the true sense: a servant and teacher who cared for his students and his staff. Tom, thank you for the legacy you have left and the disciples seeking to be like Christ because of you.” ~ Dr. Derrick Mueller, EBC Past President
“The EMCC family celebrates the significant legacy of Dr. Tom Dow. Approachable and wise, he brought out the best in every student, including myself. He was not only a history teacher but a history-maker in so many ways. The EMCC is stronger because of his contributions and mentoring … always serving to bring us together and toward Christ. There are a number of adjectives that might be used to capture Dr. Dow’s influence but I would suggest “beloved” expresses how I will remember him. Our care and comfort are gratefully expressed to his family.” ~ Dr. John Cressman, EMCC President
“Dr. Dow was Mr. Emmanuel. I remember his gentle manner and his sense of humour. He had a pastor’s heart, caring for students as they journeyed through their college years. It struck me often how many couples who met at Emmanuel had Tom perform their weddings. I appreciated his passion for the scriptures. He loved teaching the course on Psalms, and students responded as they worked through the text and applied its lessons to life. One time I recall he tried to memorize each Psalm and succeeded. Tom also appreciated the inner spiritual life. I remember at the end of chapel services he would pray and invite God to work in the heart of students and minister to those who came forward for prayer and anointing. For him, I think the chapel was at the heart of the college and not the classroom. I will remember him fondly and celebrate the life he invested in so many others in preparing and training multiple generations of Christian leaders.” ~ Dr. Stephen Roy, Past President and former Academic Dean
“When one is appointed the president of a college and your immediate predecessor is the living embodiment of that institution, it can be daunting. But Tom Dow came alongside me graciously, showed me the ropes, and became a mentor and friend. We shared many stories in the car as we drove together to visit friends of the college and he gave in to my entreaties that he stay involved in EBC’s affairs long after he intended to retire for the second time. As with so many others, I found that Tom’s Spirit-led heart and caring nature led me on correct paths. He wouldn’t want any praise, but he deserves so much. And he will be laying down all that he gains at the feet of our Lord.” ~ Dr. Mark Boughan, Past President
“A man of great stature who educated and inspired generations of students, modelling a life lived in the imitation of Christ. Passionate in his love for his God, gentle in his approach to others, erudite in his intellectual pursuits, the name Tom Dow became synonymous with the college he loved and served for so many years. Many will rise up to thank him, even as he casts the crowns of his accomplishments before the Lord whom he loved to serve. His life touched and changed the lives of many others.” ~ Phil Delsaut, Past President