SPRINGFIELD, MO.--Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft, 83, died January 5 of heart failure in
Kansas City, Missouri. He was returning to his home in Springfield from Washington, D.C. after attending swearing-in ceremonies for his son, John Ashcroft, U.S. Senator.
A longtime educator and leader in the Assemblies of God, Dr. Ashcroft had served as president of four Assemblies of God colleges. He was president of Central Bible College and Evangel College together from 1958-63 at which time he became full-time president of Evangel College, a post he served until 1974. He was president of Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenixville, Pa., from 1982-84 and of Berean College (1985-89).
From 1953-58 he served the church's highest education office as national secretary of the Department of Education. In that position he had oversight of the Fellowship's schools.
Since his retirement from the presidency of Berean College in 1989 he had continued in active ministry, conducting prayer seminars across the nation and in other countries. He served on the National Harvest Task Force for the Assemblies of God at the time of his death and was chairman of its National Prayer Committee for a time.
A prolific writer, Dr. Ashcroft authored numerous books including, The Sequence of the Supernatural, Ways of Understanding God's Word, and The Body of Christ. He also contributed articles to many of the church's publications and wrote scores of poems.
Dr. Ashcroft is survived by his wife, Mabel; two sons, J. Robert (Bob) Ashcroft, Jr. of Platte County, Missouri, and U.S. Senator John D. Ashcroft; 8 grandchildren; and a brother, Sam, of Nashville, Tenn. He was preceded in death by a son C. Wesley Ashcroft and his first wife, Grace.