Donald A. Church

April 8, 1934 - January 16, 2020

Donald Church, affectionately called "Bubba" by his friends, is the humble founder of Timothy Project. He was born on April 8, 1934, in Erie, Pennsylvania, the oldest child of Earl and Edna Church. Don moved with his family to Kansas in early childhood and grew up in the farming communities of Wetmore and Wathena in Northeast Kansas. A star athlete in high school, Don attended Wheaton College (Class of '57) majoring in Botany and was a member of the football and track teams. During his final year at Wheaton, his family moved to Redondo Beach, California. On one of his visits to California he met fellow Wheaton grad Ann Marie Stromberg ('56). They were married on August 16, 1958, and made their residence in Wheaton where Don joined the faculty at Wheaton College as a football coach, track coach, and a P.E. instructor. Don spent his summers (1960-1978) mentoring young men on the "Engineers" work crews at Honey Rock Camp in northern Wisconsin. Don was passionate about sharing the Gospel and encouraging Christians around the world through any means possible. He used track and field as a vehicle for doing this in countries like Mexico (1968), Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, and Kenya (1972), Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania (1978, 1983, and 1986). He also introduced the Faculty Missionary Project at Wheaton College in 1983. Don was named Alumnus of the Year at Wheaton in 1986. He continued to coach Cross Country and Track at the College until his retirement in 1997. After his retirement Don enjoyed working on building projects for his friend Wayne Gordon at Lawndale Community in Chicago. He continued to travel to Eastern Europe to encourage Christians there. In the summers he enjoyed gardening at his riverside home in the village of Rural, Wisconsin. He is survived by his three sons David, Andy, and Tom; David's wife, Paulyn, and granddaughter Chelsea; Tom's wife, Alane, and grandchildren Chad and Alyssa; and Andy's husband Andrew Cook.He was preceded in death by his wife Ann (2015) and his grandson Joshua (2016).