Sunday, September 12, 2010

Denver Seminary President Mark Young on the Passing of Vernon Grounds

The day that we all knew was coming, but wanted to keep pushing further and further into the future, has finally arrived.  Dr. Vernon C. Grounds peacefully slipped into the presence of the Lord this morning, Sunday, September 12, 2010.  He was 96 years old.
As I’ve called several folks today with the news, just about everyone wanted to pause and relate a “Vernon story.”   His influence for the sake of the gospel spans generations and continents.  The demands on a person of his stature in the broader evangelical community can often distance a leader from others.  Dr. Grounds never let that happen.  He finished his life just as he had lived it these many, many years—gracious, interested, thankful and compassionate. 
Just before moving to Wichita this past summer, Dr. Grounds replied to my question about how I could pray for him with these words, “Just pray that the Lord would open a new door of service for us in Wichita.”  Ninety-six years old, with over seventy years in ministry, and he was still seeking a new door of service.  As my wife and I sat with him just three weeks ago in his apartment in Wichita, he pushed back the fog of sleep for just a few short moments and prayed a “Vernon prayer” for Priscilla and me and the ministry of Denver Seminary.  I’ll treasure those words for the rest of my life.
As plans for a memorial service are completed, we will communicate them through our website –
We know that many of you would like to express your love to Mrs. Grounds, to daughter Barbara and son-in-law Bob Owens, and granddaughter Emily and her husband Mike Gagnebin.  If you would like to share your tributes and memories, please post a comment through the seminary website at
We ask you to join us in prayer for the Grounds family.  Our desire is to serve them well and to honor our dear friend, teacher, counselor and mentor.  Pray for us in that as well.
With a heavy heart,

Mark Young

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