Campus News – Dr. Robert Booker Retirement

Robert and Avis Booker
Robert and Avis Booker

Post by John Hoag

Dr. Robert Booker has officially retired from NBBI. He will continue to live on our campus and do limited travel and ministry on behalf of the school. In his own words, Bob has chosen to describe his retirement as a “slight change in direction.”

Bob, as he is affectionately known by his friends, was the president of the freshman class at NBBI in 1965. We were classmates that year and our class verse was, “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.“ Acts 6:4. When I think of this verse, I know that Bob Booker has lived out the truth of giving himself to prayer. The literally thousands of miles we travelled together always began with prayer, multitudes of decisions he had to make were bathed in prayer, and when he was asked to be interim President, he made “prayer” the emphasis of our school year.

In 1982 he joined the New Brunswick Bible Institute staff. His life has been given to teaching the Word of God. In teaching Bible, Missions, Public Speaking and personally communicating with many students in his office as their friend, Bob Booker influenced many young people to take the Word to the world.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord, ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24. Bob Booker also loves the outdoors. This perhaps reflects his being brought up in Maine, where they describe their lifestyle as “the way life should be.” Bob has enjoyed good Christian fellowship with many friends in God’s creation by canoeing, hunting, fishing, four-wheeling and swapping stories round a campfire or in a cabin by the lake. Whatever Bob does it can be described as being done “heartily.”

As his fellow workers we would agree that his service exemplifies a life-long diligence to duty. He has been an important member of the leadership team at NBBI serving as a Board Member, Dean of Men, Dean of the school, Vice-President and interim President over his years of service. His construction skills have played an important part in the campus expansion projects. In his teaching ministry on campus and his work as a faithful member of his local church, Bob Booker is a man who can be counted upon to faithfully, promptly and heartily fulfil his commitments.

Bob Booker is first my loyal friend and my beloved brother in Christ. We, the Staff and Board, know that he carries his share of the load with integrity, dexterity, loyalty and humility. We also know that, “in word and deed”, he has desired to honour the name of Jesus Christ. We, as fellow team members, thank God for Bob and Avis and will continue to value their fellowship in another stage of their service for Christ. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus , giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17.

  1. Trent Boyd

    Mr.Booker played a prominent role in my student life at NBBI. His was one of two offices which I frequented. It wasn’t ALWAYS because of his role as Dean of Men either.

    For the first two years at NBBI I thought that perhaps the Lord was calling towards the foreign mission field. In that mindset I found myself often asking his advice as he was the head of the missions program. Very few of the schemes I developed in my head worked out but he was ever patient in taking time to listen.

    In the years since graduation (90) I married his niece Laurie (90) and very quickly began to address him as Uncle Bob. A few years ago I felt the need to offer him an apology. When I came to NBBI in 1987 I thought he was an old man. At the time of the apology I was older than he was back then. Obviously I had been wrong.

    My appreciation for Uncle Bob’s heart for the Lord and for people has only grown. I have spent many hours with he and Aunt Avis in their living room in fellowship and conversation. I always leave their home encouraged.

    Of two things I am certain. The “slight change of direction” will continue in the path of the righteous. And it will also include a deer stand.

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