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John and Edith Simpson Memorial Scholarship

Annual Award Amount:


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The recipient must be of sophomore or higher standing with financial need.

A Life of Service

The Story of John Simpson

John Simpson was born March 28, 1898 in Rocky Mount, Virginia. He was raised Baptist and was the youngest of nine children. At the age of four his mother died of tuberculosis. John’s eldest sister took on the role of being the mother. His father moved the family to South Bend, Washington. After graduating from high school in 1918 John enlisted in the Army to fight during World War I. He was sent to Washington State College for Officers Training. After completing two years of college in the army, he was discharged. John finished his last two years at Linfield College and graduated in 1924. It was here that he was baptized in the Holy Spirit.

John taught high school for several years in various small town locations in Washington. In 1929 he married the love of his life, Edith Beckman. Within three years of marriage both of their children were born, at this time John was teaching. In 1935 he was the first teacher hired by a Christian boarding high school called Canyonville Bible Academy ( Oregon). Even though newly married with two young children, John sacrificially taught at CBA without salary for one full year.

The next year John moved the family back to the Seattle. While in Seattle John attended graduate school at the University of Washington for two years, and purchased the property for what today is Shoreline Community Church(then Richmont Chapel). John is known as the founder of the church. He was employed by the Armed Forces YMCA at the beginning of World War II. Next he worked as a RR freight inspector for 12 years. At age fifty-nine John retired, and enrolled at Seattle Pacific College. In 1957 he earned his Masters Degree, and then taught for ten years at Northwest College(now known as Northwest University). John retired from there in 1967.

John was honored by the Alumni Association with the Didaskolos award – one of the highest awards given to teachers by the Association. John was passionate about ministry and church involvement. As a reflection of this he taught adult Sunday school classes, served on deacon boards and also served on the Zion Mission Board. He went to his heavenly reward on December 21, 1988, at the age of 90.

A Woman of God

Edith’s Story

Edith was born in Ballard on September 18, 1898. She attended school through the 8th grade. Edith’s father viewed High School Education as unnecessary. Edith was able to finish high school and receive a diploma by correspondence. At age 14, Edith went to work at Frederick and Nelson’s. She was raised in the Swedish Free Church, and in her teens became a member of the Swedish Tabernacle (now First Covenant in Seattle). She went to night school learning to be a secretary/stenographer. While in her twenties Edith and two of her girl friends moved to the Los Angeles area. While there she attended Angeles Temple and their Bible School. At this time she was baptized in the Holy Spirit. After a few years she returned to Seattle, and met John Simpson (1929). In a whirlwind courtship of three weeks, John and Edith were married at her parent’s home in Ballard. Edith stayed at home raising children until the family moved back to Washington in 1936.

The Depression hit hard. Edith managed to find a job working as a stenographer for the RR at the Union Station. Edith became the provider for the family. After working there for ten years, Edith worked for a lawyer handling tariffs with the State for small trucking firms. She continued working there until age seventy-two. Edith was also active in the church, and worked with Ruth Crawford, Northwest District of the Assemblies of God Women’s Ministries Director. In Edith’s later years, she developed Alzheimer’s disease. Edith lived until August 1990, age 91.

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