United States Congressman, Kenneth Marchant, and Farmers Branch Mayor, Bob Phelps, were an integral part of the Dallas Christian College 65th Anniversary Celebration. Congressman Marchant read from the proclamation, which he presented to the US Congress, in honor of the 65 years DCC has been training young men and women to be leaders in their communities and the world. He paid tribute to the college for its role in both he and his family’s lives. Mayor Phelps also paid tribute to the college for the 50 years the college has made its home in Farmers Branch with a proclamation which the City of Farmers Branch had prepared for the occasion.

Former President Melvin Newland took time at Celebration 65 to remind us of the history of Dallas Christian College. As the son of the founding president, Vernon Newland, Melvin had a good perspective. He shared about the amazing rescue of his family from a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines (Vernon Newland and his family had been missionaries to the Philippines before the World War II broke out). He remembered how his father was driven to make a difference in the world for Christ.

Vernon thought the best way to make that difference was to plant churches and start Bible colleges to train workers and leaders for those churches. Melvin concluded his recounting of the beginnings of DCC by talking about his father’s last days before he died in a plane crash in the Kiamichi Mountains in Southeastern Oklahoma. To his last day on earth, the founder of Dallas Christian College was always on the move, always concerning himself with the Kingdom of God, and raising up people of influence. It was a powerful moment in the 65th Birthday Celebration.

After former President Melvin Newland shared his testimony, former President Dusty Rubeck spoke of his time at Dallas Christian College. Then, a video was presented from past presidents Gene Shepherd and Dr. John Derry.

“The History of your school was one of the great contributions to the kingdom of higher education and to the church. And your mission is one in which we have great identity in Hope International University,” said Dr. John Derry.


In Philippians and 2 Timothy, Paul uses the image of a runner straining toward the finish line. In a relay, all the runners strain to advance the baton for their team, carefully handing the responsibilities on to the next runner. President Brian Smith honored our faculty, present and past, with batons that recognized their work and their investment in the next generation of influencers.

The inscription reads, “Dallas Christian College thanks you for passing the baton of knowledge to the next generation.” The inscription then cites Proverbs 20:15, which says, “Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.”

President Smith also recognized some very important people who have impacted DCC greatly, E.L. and Sue Derr. In honor and memory of their significant contribution in preparing students to educate the world, the education department will now be known as the “E.L. and Sue Derr Department of Education.” To accept the plaque in honor of E.L and Sue Derr were their three children: David, Bob, and Elizabeth. Dallas Christian College would not be where it is today if it were not for the Derrs and the donors like them.

The choir showcased a medley of songs throughout DCC’s history and ended their performance with the singing of the school’s Alma Mater. We closed the program by a prayer from alumni, James & Bonnie Beukelman. Finally, to end the night, Paul Diaz, Sr. Chairman and trustee, cut the cake in honor of these 65 years.

Thank you to everyone who came out to participate in the 65th Birthday Celebration, because of your support we continue to educate and mentor students to be people of influence.

Lydia Faith is the public-relations intern at Dallas Christian College and a reporter and photographer at the Cornerstone.