Gordon Dorian dies at age 93

Gordon Dorian, pastor emeritus of Olivet Baptist Church, Wichita, Kan., died in his sleep on Good Friday (March 25) 2016. He was 93.

Dorian served as Olivet’s pastor for 35 years. He also was a leader in both KNCSB and the Southern Baptist Convention.

His ministry career had a humble beginning, Dorian recalled during his retirement celebration at Olivet on May 7, 1989.

Dorian took his first step toward a career in ministry when he accepted Christ at age 13 in the heart of the Depression. He and his family had lost their home and were living in a hotel room.

“My mother sold her refrigerator to send me to camp,” he recalled.

After serving in the Navy in World War II, Dorian studied at Carson-Newman College, Jefferson, Tenn. There he met his future wife, Doris Overbey, and they were married in August 1948.

Dorian pastored Altamere Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, for four-and-a-half years while studying at Southwestern Seminary.

While in Fort Worth, Dorian heard about Olivet from Tommy Adkerson, who was serving as the sole member of the church’s pastor-search committee.

During Dorian’s 35 years at Olivet, the church recorded 2,144 baptisms and 2,867 other additions. Total receipts were $9,233,922.

Dorian also was extensively involved in all aspects of Southern Baptist life. He was elected moderator of Sedgwick Baptist Association (now Heart of Kansas Association) five months after arriving in Wichita in 1954.

He served as KNCSB president, on the Southwestern Seminary board of trustees and on the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.

But Dorian’s first priority was always leading people to Christ. During the 1989 retirement celebration, Paul Davis called Dorian “one of the greatest one-on-one soul-winners I’ve ever known.” Davis was retired director of missions for Sedgwick Association.

Harold Conley, KNCSB’s long-time business administrator, was one of the many people Dorian led to Christ.

During Conley’s funeral in May 2005 Dorian recalled his efforts to share Christ with him. The Conley family lived in Wichita in the early 1960s.

“I kept visiting him in their home,” Dorian recalled. “He sure wanted to give me a hard time.”

Finally Dorian challenged Conley, “You need to give your life to Jesus Christ.”

Conley gave his characteristic wide grin and said, “Yes, I do.”

“After he was saved, he took over our bus ministry [at Olivet] and did a great job,” Dorian recalled.

After retiring from Olivet, Dorian continued to be active in ministry. He joined Immanuel Baptist Church, Wichita, and taught a Sunday School class there. He also served as a chaplain at Mel Hambleton Ford and ministered in many other ways.

Surivivors include his wife of 68 years, Doris; a son, Mark; two daughters, Deborah (Pete) Ochs and Diana (Jeff) Brown; one niece; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

The funeral was held Friday, April 1, at Central Community Church, Wichita.

Memorials may be sent to:

  • Trinity Academy, 12345 E. 21st St. N, Wichita, KS 67206
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  • Dorian Ministries for Missions in care of Olivet Baptist Church, 3440 W. 13th St. N., Wichita, KS 67203