W. Paul Ferrin
June 1, 1934 – February 23, 2018
W. Paul Ferrin, one of Christian music’s notable innovators, passed away at his Colorado Springs home on Feb. 23, 2018, at the age of 83. The second-born child of Baptist minister William Eugene and Alma (Steffy) Ferrin, he was born in Denver, Colo., on June 1, 1934.
After graduating from Lakewood High School in 1952 and studying one year at Northwestern College (Minneapolis), he began his music ministry. He began his ministry at an Assembly of God church in Colorado Springs, during which time he married Marjorie Daniel, whom he had met at Denver Youth for Christ playing piano and organ together at age 14. They continued to play duets for nearly seven decades.
Other Assemblies of God churches he ministered in included Grand Junction, Colo.; Wichita, Kans.; Memphis, Tenn.; San Jose, Calif.; and Sacramento, Calif. Eventually his denomination named him National Music Director.
In addition to his church responsibilities, he served at various times in the meetings of evangelists Ira Stanphill and Kathryn Kuhlman and was Music Director for the PTL Television Network. As a writer and arranger, he published over 300 songs.
When he and his wife returned to their native state in later years, they created a new format for Christian music: the all-community “Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing.” Attendance immediately began to swell, and in time these evenings of congregational singing under Paul’s leadership spread across the United States.
He is survived by three siblings: Alma Jean Spykstra, Claudia Muniz, and John Ferrin, four children: Kathryn (Louie) Salazar of Carlinville, Ill.; Diane Ferrin of Colorado Springs; Kent (Kathy) Ferrin of Rocklin, Calif.; and Kevin (Debra) Ferrin of Nashville, Tenn., nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, March 2, at 11:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs. Pastor Charles Crabtree will preach.
Memorial gifts may be sent in the form of flowers or monetary gifts to the following two ministries: Assist International, which cares for orphans through building family style villages in the developing world. P.O. Box 66396, Scotts Valley, CA 95067 or The Paul Ferrin Memorial Scholarship, Evangel University-Music Department, 1111 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, MO 65802.
- Celebration of Life Service Friday, March 2, 2018
W. Paul Ferrin
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March 18, 2018
Our memories of Paul (and Marg) are so special as they led our young marrieds class at Bethel church in San Jose. Paul always had a "bear hug" for everyone each week. With all his duties as Minister of Music, it made such an impact on our lives that they would take the time to pour into the lives of the young couples of Bethel. He was truly an example of the love of Jesus shining through his life. We also so appreciated his ministry of music and piano playing. Our condolences to Marg and the rest of the family. We look forward to seeing him again. With love, Barry and Dawna Karnes--San Jose
March 6, 2018
I used to take care of him when he came into the bank, he was always so friendly and loved to shake hands, i remember so vividly because i used to love how soft his hands were and looked forward to it. I honestly am still processing this as i helped him just recently, he was as warm as always, and i never expected this to happen. I wish i could of told him how much more i loved him, as strange as it may sound as I'm not family, i knew he felt the same way...Paul ill never forget you
March 5, 2018
Paul, you are my shining light and mentor Christian music experience for so many years. It was an honor and privilege to present God's word in music at Bethel in San Jose. Now you are with Christ and singing His praises in Heaven. You are missed my friend.
March 4, 2018
I was 6 years old when I first saw Paul Ferrin. My grandmother had taken me to a Kathryn Kuhlman evangelistic meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. As we sat in the balcony of Carnegie Hall grandma whispered in my ear that the man walking onto the platform was a great pianist. The reason she took me there was for me to see him play. She influenced me all my growing up years toward beautiful music and specifically piano music. I remember as a tiny child being mesmerized by his playing. Never could I have dreamed that I would see him again years later in Colorado Springs playing at Music Evangelism Bible Conferences along with his wife Marjorie and then at hymn sings and at church. Seeing him play again I was reminded of how long his fingers were and how effortlessly he played. It was beautiful to behold. I actually walked up to him once and told him when I had first seen him and he was so very surprised. My life has been deeply blessed by Paul Ferrin's music ministry and by him as a person. I very much look forward to seeing him again one day in heaven. My heart is with Marjorie and the family over their loss, but know there is rejoicing in heaven to have him there.
Brenda & Elzie Freeman
March 3, 2018
Paul Ferrin will go down in history as one of the absolute greatest music directors of the ages. We loved getting to know Paul and Marjorie through Don and Betty Wilson at Bethel Church in San Jose, CA 1977-78. We especially loved the Sunday night services. Paul would often open with "I Love the Thrill that I Feel When I Get Together with God's Wonderful People" or "I'm So Glad I'm a Part of the Family of God". Combine Paul Ferrin's musical talent and his love for people with Charles Crabtree's preaching ministry and love for people and it was a formula for success. Condolences to the family but there's "Joy in the Camp" in heaven with Paul Ferrin's and Billy Graham's arrival.
March 2, 2018
My prayers are with all of you at this time. I will always remember Paul and Margie Ferrin and their musical ministry at Central Assembly of God in Wichita, Kansas. I served as a secretary at Central Assembly of God - 1961-63. I have lived in New Jersey for past 50 years and attend Capital Assembly of God. Have served on the official Board for 25 years. Lately many of my friends have been marching into glory. God bless and strengthen you daily.
Narch and Carol Arace
March 2, 2018
We send our deepest sympathy to the dear Ferrin family at the loss of their love one Paul. We have fond memories of Paul and Marge as we were members of the Bethel Church Choir in San Jose. We first became involved at Bethel Church in 1976 when our daughter, Natalie, was asked to joined the youth choir by director Deanna. Also, Natalie, with a letter of recommendation from Paul Ferrin, became part of a contemporary singing group Bridge. It was our privilege to have Paul and Marge in our home for dinner after he came and did a choir workshop and hymn sing at our church in Dublin, Ca. Blessings until we meet again.
Narch and Carol and family.
Howard and Marylyn Drake
March 1, 2018
We have so many wonderful memories of Paul (and Marjorie). We sang in the Bethel Church, San Jose choir under
Paul's direction the entire time he was there. We will never forget all his wonderful hugs. His enthusiastic leadership was infectious and inspired all of us. We enjoyed their hymn sings. Our visit to PTL and time spent with them there was
memorable. Paul will be missed very much until we meet agin. With much love, Howard and Marylyn
Ruth A. Porter
March 1, 2018
Dear Ones, I didn't get to know Paul as much of the others in the music ministry
did. I have been part of the MEF/OVM for 9 years and his leadership has
ministered to me unmeasurably. He was/is a great servant of our Lord.
Thank you for sharing him with us for such a blessed amount of time. He is
rejoicing with the saints. With dearest love and sympathy, Ruth Porter
Wayne and Esther Wehrmann
March 1, 2018
Paul and Marjorie are dear friends, and special to us. We have had meals and hymn sings in our home,
usually fixing asparagus and lamb chops for Marjorie, and steak for Paul since he didn't like her menu!
He would always threaten to bring his own hamburger. For the last few years, Paul played in my piano recitals, usually closing with a hymn and prayer. What precious memories! Sorrow and joys mixed
together. We will meet again in heaven.
February 28, 2018
Oh the wonderful memories I have of being a part of the music ministry at Bethel Church in San Jose, CA. Paul and Marge have been a vital part of my life for years and Paul will be greatly missed. Until we meet again in Heaven, good bye dear friend. Prayers and condolences to Marge, and to the children I watched grow up, Kent, Kathy, Diane, and Kevin, and to your families.
February 28, 2018
His smile was never ending and you had to smile when you saw him. His music was awesome. Next to Billy Graham he was the greatest.
February 27, 2018
William Chin to William Paul Ferrin... We shall all miss you until he meet again at the Lords presence... I always loved hearing the Old Hymms like when I was in the East Coast Christian churches which my God father took me weekly with him...
Enjoyed singing at the Billy Graham Crusades and MEF Conferences from 1970' till 2012...
February 27, 2018
I am truly blessed to have been able to attend the wonderful Hymn Sings for several years! It was always a delightful time of worship. The offeratories by Paul and Marge were powerful and wonderful. I thank the Lord that our pathways met, and I am so grateful I was able to speak to Paul and Marge after the Christmas hymn sing this past Christmas. My heart hurts for all of your family, and I will be praying for you to feel the mighty "Everlasting Arms ever holding and enfolding you." (I know how it hurts to lose a precious father.)
Sharon Weese (Colorado Springs, CO)
Dean & Valerie Peterson
February 26, 2018
Marjorie and family members - our memories of Paul and family goes back to the early 1970s and the Bethel Church family. The Ferrin family connected with us forever when we were married at Bethel in 1973. Paul was a special person to us as we began our life together. We are blessed to have intersected our life paths from time to time. May the peace of God be with you all . . . Dean & Valerie Peterson
Brian & Kelly Keith
February 26, 2018
Paul Ferrin was always a larger than life figure in my life. His towering frame and booming voice was only matched by his bright smile and large, loving heart.
He was pivotal in my life, being the one to give me opportunity to minister at PTL as a singer, which opened up doors for ministry to this day, where my wife and I serve at a local Assembly of God Church as lead pastors.
Thank you, Paul, for seeing the potential in me, and for giving a 21 year old wide-eyed young man the opportunity of a life time to sing for the Lord on the national stage.
Many lives have been touched by you over your years of ministry. You will be missed. You were always in my mind invincible. I thought you'd live forever. But, alas, God obviously needed another great and anointed worship leader up in Heaven.
Get the choir and orchestra ready! I believe we're gonna have a massive reunion soon!
All our love and prayers to the Ferrin family.
February 25, 2018
My love and prayers are with you all. Paul and Marj are special friends to me and Paul will be missed so very much. I rejoice because he is with the Lord, and feel sorrow because he is away from us. I'm so thankful that Paul was, and always will be, a part of my life. Marj, we'll talk soon.