Lewis Sperry Chafer


Lewis Sperry Chafer was a well-known American premilleniarian, dispensationalist, founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, writer, and conference speaker. Chafer was born in Rock Creek, Ohio, the second of three children born to a graduate of Auburn. Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian Congregational institution in New York. His father, Thomas Franklin Chafer, was a Congregational pastor, and Thomas and his wife, Lomira Sperry Chafer, were devoted, caring parents.


Thomas Chafer's battle with tuberculosis, however, brought a constant strain to the family as pastorates were chosen with the hope that a more beneficial climate would assuage the disease. The battle was lost in 1882. Aside from the pain and loss of his father, which brought severe sadness and uncertainty into an otherwise music-filled, joyful home, two important events occurred that would shape the young man's life. First, though rarely mentioned, he was converted to Christ under the tutelage of his parents at the age of six during his father's first pastoral charge in Rock Creek; and, second, in the context of his father's death he heard an evangelist named Scott, who was suffering with tuberculosis also, who challenged him to a career in Christian service. The rest is history.