Earnest Wilbur Fields


Earnest Wilbur Fields, beloved father and former professor of Ozark Christian College, passed away May 7, 2019, after a short illness.
Wilbur was born in 1926 in Hugoton, Kansas. His father was a Dust Bowl-era farmer and his mother was a school teacher.
Wilbur dedicated his life to the ministry and following and sharing the teachings of Christ. In 1965, he began teaching at OCC and served there for 36 years. He was deeply respected and beloved for his exuberance, his excellence in teaching and for his abundant graciousness and kindness.
Throughout his life, he loved learning. He had an incredible depth of knowledge, studying history, geography, ancient languages, paleontology, music, astronomy, photography, grammar, archaeology, and was a scholar of the Old and New Testaments. He completed a master's degree in Biblical Literature. He authored Biblical commentaries and served as an archaeologist on numerous Mid-Eastern digs.
He is survived by his children and their spouses, Elaine Fields, Murray Fields, Marlon and Laurie Fields, George and Marcia Weeks; and granddaughters Sharalyn Fields. His wife of 68 years, Margaret Louise Fields, passed away in 2016.
The family wishes to thank OCC staff, former students, friends and family for sharing tributes and memories of Wilbur. And, the family offers heartfelt thanks to the staff, volunteers and his friends at Spring River Christian Village for their deep compassion and outstanding care.
Mason-Woodard is providing final arrangements. A tribute service will be scheduled at a later date.
Published on May 12, 2019
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1 posts

Bob Hine ~~ OCC Alum ~~ Archaeology Friend
May 13, 2019
I feel a deep sense of loss with passing of Wilbur Fields. It is easy to say: “He was a humble, highly intelligent, totally unique in style, in word, in approach to life, a scholar, a dedicated teacher, a dedicated archeologist, a Super Star of a man who was known & loved by thousands! The only people who loved him more than his students & colleagues was/were his family!!!!!” He truly loved God The Father, Jesus The Lord, & The Blessed Holy Spirit!

Brother Fields came to Ozark Christian College to teach while I was a student. Interestingly enough I had only one class with brother Fields ~~ it was Philippians & Colossians. He only was asked to teach that class only one time based
...on a semester need! That class, was in its own way, the most user friendly, congenial, warm spirited, helpful, class in my years at Ozark. (I remember him using William Barclays Commentary for the class ~~ which was Great!! Fortunately he did not hear the Prof. I had in General Epistles who said: “Don’t ever use William Barclays’ Commentaries!” My college girlfriend bought a set of Barclays Commentaries for me when I graduated from OCC ~~ how sweet it was & she was!!!)

By sheer circumstance, & momentary inspiration, Wilbur took fifteen minutes out of one class, and taught an outlining method he learned, from momentary inspiration, from Merrill Tenney at Wheaton College! I believe that fifteen~ minute~moment was meant as a gift for me from The Lord! I related to Brother Fields that I used that outlining technique 99.99% of the time for the hundreds of sermons I have preached through the years!!!!! Those sermons were as expository as it gets!!! (Brother Stacy’s English Grammar class laid a great foundation for that supreme moment in The Philippians Class!) I cannot say enough good about both of those classes!!!!!!!

After sitting in on one of Brother Field’s archeological presentations at a convention I approached Brother Fields about joining in an archeological dig in Israel. He put me in touch with a Christian organization called Associates for Biblical Research. I joined him at a dig in the late 90’s ~~ about ten miles north of Jerusalem as the ABR group was digging for the Old Testament city of Ai. (Which was eventually identified by National Geographic to be Biblical Ai!! Talk about monumental physical labor, scholarship & dedication ~~ it was all there on that Ai dig!!)

After that trip to Israel, Brother Fields & I became much closer friends. I always sat in on his archeology class at The Preaching & Teaching Convention & in his classroom for one day after the Convention!! I always gave him a Yankee dollar or two for his next trip to Israel ~~ which turned out to be a trip each year for 14 years. His archeology class was packed with Biblical history & archeological information related to it.

When Brother Fields became incapacitated & took residence in Spring River Christian Village in Joplin, Missouri I visited him twice a year ~~ always with a three pound box of candy ~~ which he loved sharing with the nursing staff. (The staff had a real affection for Wilbur ~~ candy not withstanding!) I always visited with him the week of The Ozark Convention & in September (his birthday month) as my wife & I journeyed thru Joplin on our way back home from Yellowstone & Colorado. (Had there not been 500 miles between us I would have visited him much more!). We always had prayer together before departing!

I feel deep affection for Wilbur at his passing, though I know he is now enjoying the best days of his life!!! (It is the feelings you have about those for whom you care!)

May God Bless Wilbur Fields memory, the value he left in the lives of others; the tons of writing in the form of books, syllabuses, & papers he wrote; & certainly “the outlining technique” he taught me in Philippians & Colossians on that one special day!!!!!

I am no more than a man but if God judges the intent of my heart to be true ~~ I would commend the soul of Wilbur Fields to the God he loved and served!

Wilbur Fields was a Good Man!!!!!!!

Say not ye, ‘There are yet four months and then cometh the harvest’? Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes and look on the “Fields,” for they are white already to harvest.
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