Remembering Dr. Malphurs and Continuing His Legacy

The board of directors and leadership of The Malphurs Group announced today that its founder, Dr. Aubrey Malphurs, has died at the age of 78.

Aubrey Milton Malphurs was born on February 20, 1944, and was raised in Gainesville, FL. Dr. Malphurs attended Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM, 1978; PhD, 1981). He loved Florida Gators football, and had a good-natured, dry sense of humor. He was cherished by friends and family for his genuine kindness and humility. Despite his acclaim as an author and speaker, Dr. Malphurs was always quick to listen, slow to speak, and embodied a spirit of gentleness. Our team at The Malphurs Group will miss his steady presence, quick wit, and kind heart.

(Credit: Dallas Theological Seminary)

Dr. Aubrey Malphurs impacted countless pastors around the world throughout four decades of faithful ministry. He inspired thousands of students throughout his 38-year teaching career at Dallas Theological Seminary, but influenced thousands more through his prolific writing and consulting ministry. While we honor his legacy by equipping churches and pastors to make and mature disciples of Jesus, our team finds comfort in knowing that Dr. Malphurs has joined the “great crowd of witnesses” described in Scripture and is right now cheering us on alongside his Savior.

While we mourn for his family and miss our friend and co-laborer in the Gospel, we are encouraged that the work he began decades ago in training pastors and serving churches continues to make a global impact. The Malphurs Group serves thousands of pastors around the world every year through its content, training, speaking events, and on-site consulting. Aubrey was an award-winning and prolific author. He wrote more than 20 books on topics ranging from leadership development, strategic planning, and church health, which are a blessing and encouragement to thousands of leaders. His best-selling book, Advanced Strategic Planning has been read by tens of thousands of leaders around the globe.

As a consequence of his practically-oriented writings for church leaders, Dr. Malphurs was asked to consult with various churches who sought to implement his books in their context. This prompted Dr. Malphurs in the 1990’s to form The Malphurs Group, a church consulting firm that helps churches clarify their vision and become more effective in making and maturing disciples. In 2016, The Malphurs Group became a non-profit organization. Today, The Malphurs Group provides low-cost consulting services to churches in the United States and free training and consulting to any church outside of the United States.

(Credit: Dallas Theological Seminary)

Dr. Aubrey Malphurs practiced what he preached in raising up the next generation of leaders and by empowering them to continue the mission of The Malphurs Group. In 2008, he brought on Ron Donnini as CEO to help him expand the scope of the ministry. In 2017, A.J. Mathieu was installed as president of the Malphurs Group, and Scott Ball was installed as the vice president in 2020. Over the last few years, he gradually empowered the team he built with more responsibility. 

In a testament to Dr. Malphurs’ leadership, The Malphurs Group has increased its capacity each year and is on pace to serve more churches in 2022 than in any previous year, including a growing number of churches outside of the United States. The Malphurs Group has served thousands of churches through its various tools, and has a global vision to equip pastors around the world at no cost. His team looks forward to honoring Dr. Malphurs by continuing the mission for decades to come.

Dr. Aubrey Malphurs—the faithful husband, father, grandfather, friend, and humble follower of Jesus Christ—is survived by his wife of 59 years, Susan; their four children; and 8 grandchildren.

Inquiries from the public should be directed by email to leadership@malphursgroup.com.

44 responses to “Remembering Dr. Malphurs and Continuing His Legacy”

  1. Scott Ball Avatar

    I will miss Aubrey’s dry jokes and simple humility. I wouldn’t be doing this work that I love at The Malphurs Group without him. Our team will miss him terribly, but I am encouraged that his legacy will live on through the work we are doing. He touched so many lives, and I pray that we will do right by him in our ministry.

    1. Mark Dodd Avatar

      Thank you for these thoughts and reflection on Dr Malphurs
      Passing. I thank God for the work You all accomplished together spurring the church on to faithfulness and renewal!

    2. Chuck Jennings. Avatar

      We knew him back in Miami in the 70’s. He taught my wife in High school. We attended his church plant. He came and visited us here in western New York. And taught at the mission we were associated with.

      1. Chuck Jennings Avatar

        My wife remembers when he shared that he had applied to Dallas and was planning on moving there to go to Seminary. He taught a Bible literature class at the public school down in Miami. This was back in in the early 70’s. We knew and loved him so much.

  2. Chaplain Nathan Dixon, Army, Retired Avatar

    I owe so much to Dr. Malphurs’ teaching. He is by far one of my favorite authors, teachers, preachers, etc.

  3. Woody Oliver Avatar

    I studied with Dr. Malphrus at DTS 2000-2001. What an incredible professor and mentor. Sad to see such a tremendous tool of God departing. What a joy to know him and how prosperous for the Lord I have been because of Aubrey.

  4. Jeffrey Easley Avatar

    As a student of Dr. Malphurs at DTS from 1996-2000, I was mostly impacted by the practicality of his teachings and writings. He will be greatly missed. I want to offer my most sincere condolences. We are praying for the family.

  5. Alex Romero Avatar

    From Bogotá Colombia, I know the Malphurs Ministry for short time, but God touched with his work.
    My prays with family and friends.

  6. Rick Shonkwiler Avatar

    Dr. Malphurs faithfulness, with his applied theology and wisdom, was a great encouragement to me. The Malphurs Group website has been a “go to” spot for insights and growth. His legacy is consistency with what he taught.

    Praying for each of you who especially loved him and were mentored by him.

  7. Ralph Carter Avatar

    His books and the work you all do at the Malphurs group have helped me immensely.

  8. Todd Groat Avatar

    Such a great servant of God and one I was blessed to sit under both as a student and pastor who continued to lear from his material. “May his tribe increase!” Prayers for all his friends and family.

  9. Thane Kendall Avatar

    Dr. Malphurs’ ministry and work greatly impacted us, here at the Greater Gaston Baptist Association.
    We will miss him.

  10. Ronnie Gaines Avatar

    Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Malphurs nor the opportunity to hear him speak. However, I have had the great pleasure of reading his books. I am a professor at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma and one of the Doctor of Ministry classes that I taught this semester was “Ministerial Identity and Personal Assessment” and Dr. Malphurs book, “Look Before You Lead: How to Discern and Shape Your Church Culture” was the resource the students worked through. I am so honored to say that I have read his books. What a major part of my life and mentor and he never knew me. There are people who will come around in a person’s life who will impact them greatly, yet their paths may never cross. He is truly part of the “cloud of witnesses of the faith!”

  11. Bryan Carter Avatar

    Dr. Aubrey Malphurs was on one of my favorite DTS professors. His course changed my life, I was new to our church and he gave us a church revitalization project for class and it was foundational for helping us to develop a strategic plan for our church that guided us in the early years. I am forever grateful for Dr. Malphurs’ impact on my life and upon the life of our church.

  12. Billy Hardy Avatar

    I only know Dr. Malphurs through his writings. His books and leadership have greatly encouraged me to move forward with vision at our church. I am grateful for the Malphurs group and know that Dr. Malphurs legacy will continue for the coming generation

    1. Egessa Stephen Avatar

      The little time I have followed you people o email he have lost a strong hold mey his soul rest in peace

  13. Dereck Jackson Avatar

    I’ve learned so much from Dr. Malphurs over the years. I’m genuinely grateful for how he and the Malphurs group have shaped the way I lead the people of God. While this is a significant loss, his impact on the Body is multiplied significantly! Praise the Lord!

  14. Gary L. McIntosh Avatar

    I remember Dr. Malphurs as a good friend and colleague. We taught similar classes at different schools of theology, which gave us a common bond. He was a top leader, thinker, and writer for church health and growth.

  15. Dave Malick Avatar

    Aubrey was always a kind and encouraging person to me when I worked with him in Field Ed at DTS. I’m sorry to hear of his passing.

  16. Carter Shotwell Avatar

    Aubrey was a faithful church member and servant for the Lord.
    For 20 years he helped equip hundreds of Life Group teachers at Lake Pointe Church. He was always eager to serve anytime I asked him to. He also taught LG’s and served as an Elder. We were blessed to have him.

  17. Bob Rowley Avatar

    Aubrey was my advisor for my dissertation and then we co-taught a Doctor of Ministry cohort together for more than a decade. He influenced many and the church planting world is in his debt. His books often addressed issues others had not yet addressed. I appreciated him greatly!

  18. Shinina Shani Avatar

    I have benfited immensy from maasges I get through mail. I have never met him personally but I have met him through his teachings. I deeply appreacite and my his soul rest in peace

  19. Brian Hopper Avatar

    I was privileged to serve on the Malphurs Group Board for a short time and met Aubrey through Ron Donnini. Aubrey’s commitment to serving and equipping the local church with leadership tools is still some of the best work out there. We still rely on his strategic planning book and the emotionally healthy leader content. I loved his soft gentle spirit coupled with his strong, determined work ethic. I was saddened to hear the news of his passing, though thankful He is with Jesus. His legacy continues.

    1. Ron Donnini Avatar

      Thank you Brian for your kind words about Aubrey. He is in a much better place and he’s whole again with a sharp mind and a healed body! We’ll see him again! Please give me a call one of these days.

  20. David Bowman Avatar

    Before we ever met, Dr. Malphurs extended kindness to me. I was forced out of the church I served. He invited me to attend a meeting he was hosting free of charge. I wasn’t able to take him up on his offer, but I will never forget his graciousness. A couple of years ago, he told me to stop calling him Dr. Malphurs. He asked me to call him by his first name. My respect for him is too great to do so. I am forever grateful for his books, his training events, and most of all, his friendship.

  21. Gene Henderson, Th.D. Avatar

    I was privileged and blessed to receive training from Dr. Malphurs in Advanced Strategic Planning. He taught that there is no long range planning but planning can be strategic. I and the church I served were greatly benefited from his knowledge. I am grateful to have known him and to have been instructed by him.

  22. Tracy Weaver Avatar

    During my years as a student at DTS (ThM 1984), Dr. Malphurs was always available with wise counsel and a gentle kindness. As a young pastor wrestling with the challenges of ministry that are rarely addressed in textbooks, he made himself available to me for several personal phone sessions … they were life savers! His “Ministry Nuts and Bolts” book is still one of my most valued for its practicality. God’s comfort and mercy to the Malphurs family during these tender days.

  23. Pastor Matthew Ling Avatar

    Though never met Dr. Malphurs in person, I used his leadership books extensively during my years as the pastor of a local church in Malaysia.

    We, WEA Family Challenge (https://family.worldea.org/), have drawn much from the thoughts of Dr. Malphurs in his book ‘Look Before You Lead: How to Discern and Shape Your Church Culture’ in preparing our training framework for quipping churches in culture change management – in building the family discipleship culture in a local church.

  24. Louis Avatar

    God alway has His Man. That is my vision of Dr. Malphurs, the tutor I never met but whose books expanded my knowledge about Christian leadership and strategic planning. He has finished his race and he has kept the faith, he will receive his crown. Comfort to the entire family.

  25. Gregg Zackary Avatar

    Dr. Malphurs was a very encouraging professor and field education supervisor when I was a student at DTS. I have blessed by his writings and friendship through the years.

  26. gary nitschke Avatar

    Thank you Lord for this humble servant. He took the time to minister at tiny Chapel in the Woods and to give his lunch hour up for one on one time to disciple me. Love to Susan. Moved to be better because of his example.

  27. Camelia Joseph Avatar

    I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Malphurs passing. He was truly a blessing in my life and ministry. I first encountered his book “Ministry Nuts and Bolts: What They Don’t Teach You in Seminary” (the title might not be quite right). Loveland Church where I serve as Executive in the early 2000s used his book to guide us through re-envision and restructuring our ministry. Our ministry team studied the book for months and implemented his teachings. After, I read many of his books. They serve as a guide as I did church consulting and strategic planning. Finally, I was blessed to be a part of a 3-day training Dr. Malphurs taught at Dallas Theological Seminary for church consultants through the Society for Church Consulting. He was amazing. He told us he was retiring and gave us the PowerPoints and materials he used for church consulting. I have followed him since. I am so happy to know that you will be continuing his work.

  28. ramesh richard Avatar

    Our student and teaching careers converged over the last 45 years. I was intrigued by his dissertation on a denomination that was inclined toward legalistic practice which later helped some of its leading pastors move toward a grace-based model and service. We shared, not only a similar theology but also a philosophy of pastoral ministry. Aubrey’s versatility of interests allowed him to serve across several professorial and administrative responsibilities at Dallas Seminary. We also saw him experience the pain of loss with God’s powerful graces. I thank God for the life, ministry, and example of my brother, colleague, and God’s servant, Dr. Aubrey Malphurs.

  29. Christopher L. Scott Avatar

    Dr. Malphurs was always kind and considerate to me as a student at Dallas Theological Seminary. I must admit that his classes were the few classes that I receive an “A” in. It was nice to know that among Greek, Hebrew, and Systematic Theology, there was a place I could feel accepted and know I might be gifted for future ministry. His classes affirmed those leadership gifts which I now use as a senior pastor at a church in Washington. Thank you, Dr. Malphurs for your ministry. You will be missed, but your legacy lives on in the countless pastors like myself that put to work the teachings you gave us.

  30. Gordon Penfold Avatar

    Dr. Malphurs and I graduated in the same year from DTS in 1981. He received his Ph.D., and I received my ThM. I did not see him again until 2011, when I presented the results of my D.Min dissertation at Talbot Seminary. Aubry plied me with all kinds of questions. For the next two weeks, we exchanged phone calls daily. He finally said, “Let’s do a book together.” After a few seconds of hesitation, I agreed. The result of those conversations was the volume, Re:Vision–the Key to Transforming Your Church.

    Aubrey patiently and faithfully guided me through the writing process. As a result, I have now published two more volumes with three more in the wings. Aubrey helped launch me as a writer!

    Aubrey IS a great friend. I will look forward to our reunion in heaven! I’m grateful for his far-reaching ministry.

  31. Niyi Dunmade Avatar

    Oh no!!!!!! That’s a great man! Such a fantastic church consultant. He did leave a good legacy right from the Society For Church Consulting. My prayers are with the family. AJ & Scott has stood in strong for you. We blessed God for a life well spent for the Body of Christ.

  32. George Daniel-Oghenetega Avatar

    It is painful to know that Dr. Malphurs has passed.
    Though I never met him, as a DMin student at Biola University, he has impacted me positively through his books in the course of doing class assignments, and presently writing my dissertation.
    My love to his family.

  33. George Hillman Avatar

    I have a job at Dallas Theological Seminary because of Dr. Aubrey Malphurs. I know that’s a strong statement, but that is my personal testimony to the legacy of Aubrey in my life.

    Though I didn’t attend DTS, I developed a friendship with Aubrey when he was leading the seminary’s Field Education department. I was an associate pastor at a church in the area, and I had DTS students every year as interns. I’d read one of Aubrey’s books years earlier in my own MDiv seminary classes, so I was aware of him as an author. But I got to know Aubrey as a person through those initial interactions in internship supervision training, and Aubrey and I hit it off as friends. He took an interest in my doctoral studies (I was finishing a PhD at the time), and we started having quarterly coffee meetings at a coffee shop in the Lakewood neighborhood. No agenda—just conversation. I really loved those times with Aubrey and looked forward to them.

    Aubrey was so insightful and so kind to me, very much a father figure to me. After three years of him mentoring me, he asked me if I would perhaps be interested in joining him on his internship staff at DTS. I was beyond humbled (and a little nervous), but I jumped at the chance. And the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

    As a young leader, I needed an advocate to help me navigate life in an organization. Aubrey was my advocate, taking a chance on a young thirty-four-year-old associate pastor to come lead alongside him. He saw something in me, and I am truly eternally grateful.

    Eventually the tables were turned, and eleven years later I became Aubrey’s “boss” when I became chair of the Educational and Ministries department. Aubrey’s office was right across the hall from me in the dilapidated old Faculty Annex Building (fondly known as “FAB”), and we discussed everything from college football (he was a huge Florida Gators fan) to trends in the church. He was ahead of his time with a prophetic voice for the church. I loved talking with him in his office. It was a safe space for me where I could ask all my questions.

    Aubrey’s reputation was probably bigger outside of the campus than it ever was on campus. His books were so ahead of their time, and he influenced a generation of church leaders in the areas of church planting, strategic planning, finances, and emotional intelligence. He was in-demand as a church consultant. But Aubrey was also my friend and mentor, whom I loved deeply. He impacted the global church, but he also impacted my life beyond words. It is no stretch to say that I am the leader I am today because of Aubrey. Thank you, Aubrey, for investing in me. We’ll miss you.

  34. Gordon Penfold Avatar

    Dr. Malphurs and I graduated in the same year from DTS in 1981. He received his Ph.D., and I received my ThM. I did not see him again until 2011, when I presented the results of my D.Min dissertation at Talbot Seminary. Aubrey plied me with all kinds of questions. For the next two weeks, we exchanged phone calls daily. He finally said, “Let’s do a book together.” After a few seconds of hesitation, I agreed. The result of those conversations was the volume, Re:Vision–the Key to Transforming Your Church.

    Aubrey patiently and faithfully guided me through the writing process. As a result, I have now published two more volumes with three more in the wings. Aubrey helped launch me as a writer!

    Aubrey IS a great friend. I will look forward to our reunion in heaven! I’m grateful for his far-reaching ministry.

  35. Yonas Cheka Avatar

    It is painful to know that Dr. Malphurs has passed.
    Though I never met him, I blessed God for a life well spent for the Body of Christ. I am so happy to know that you will be continuing his work.
    My love to his family.

  36. Akye Essuman Avatar

    I thank God for the life and ministry of Dr. Malphurs. Sincere condolences to you all.

  37. Stan Baker Avatar

    I learned so much from Dr. Malphurs in person at DTS circa 1997-2002, and through his books. His philosophy of ministry and leadership development have permeated all aspects of my life and work both within and outside the church. Thank you to his organization for carrying on his legacy. I offer great love, condolences, and appreciation.

  38. Genesis Tinshu Avatar

    So saddened to learn of the passing of my former professor. Heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family. I remember him as a man of God dedicated to the cause of Christ, especially in raising leaders and empowering the saints for the work of ministry. Rest well in the bosom of your heavenly Father for whom you so faithfully lived and served.

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