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Bible Lectures will look at worship in the book of Revelation

November 3rd, 2019

Melissa Archer, Ph.D.

Pentecostal theologian and scholar Melissa Archer will present the 2019 Bible Lectures November 10 and 11.

Melissa Archer, Ph.D., is chair and an associate professor in the Department of Biblical Studies at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla.

She will speak Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 11 at 11 a.m., both in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center. Her lectures are free and open to the public.

Before coming to Southeastern, Archer was an instructor for New Testament and biblical languages at Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tenn., and an adjunct instructor at Lee University, also in Cleveland.

Before that, she taught Greek and New Testament at Ashland (Ohio) Theological Seminary.

Archer has served with her husband, Kenneth J. Archer, as co-pastor of three churches, as well as the college pastor at Woodward Church of God in Athens, Tenn. She is an exhorter with the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.).

Archer has a B.A. in English and secondary education from Ashland University, an M.A. in biblical studies from Ashland Theological Seminary and a Th.M. in biblical studies from Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Ga.

She received her Ph.D. through Bangor University in Wales, where her dissertation was entitled “‘I Was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day’: A Pentecostal Engagement with Worship in the Apocalypse.”

She is a member of the Society for Biblical Literature as well as the Society for Pentecostal Studies.

A primary reason Archer was invited to give this year’s Bible Lectures is her scholarship Revelation, one of the common texts for this school year’s capstone course for Bethel seniors, Basic Issues of Faith and Life (BIFL), said Peter Goerzen, who organizes the Bible Lectures at Bethel.

Goerzen also noted that part of the interest of BIFL faculty in inviting Archer came from the fact that Mennonite Church USA and the Church of God have been involved in a theological dialogue over the past several years. 

Bethel alumna Gayle Gerber Koontz, professor emeritus at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind., is part of a group of Mennonite leaders who have met with Church of God counterparts to “[learn] about each other’s church histories and theologies with an eye toward our understandings of the Holy Spirit,” she said.

Archer’s presentations are part of the occasional Bible Lectures that have been given at Bethel College since 1914.

Her Sunday lecture is entitled “Liturgy and the Apocalypse” and her Monday lecture is “Worship Marks Us” (on Revelation 13:11-17).

In addition, she will speak to the two sections of BIFL currently in progress.=

Since 1951, the Bible Lecture series has been endowed by the Hartzler Foundation, established by Dr. and Mrs. John Ellsworth Hartzler. J.E. Hartzler was president of Bethel College from 1920-21 and was himself a Bible Lecturer in 1961. The lectures relate to subjects of general biblical, historical, theological and philosophical interest. 

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel is the highest ranked Kansas private college, at #12, in Washington Monthly, Top 200 Bachelor’s Colleges; ranks at #23 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest; is’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; has the #10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas according to; and earned its second-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star gold award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2019-20. For more information, see

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.