When Jack Turpin was in the fourth grade, he got expelled from his Oak Cliff, Texas, school for skipping class. His father had started drinking after a business failure, so Jack’s parents divorced. His mother scraped together enough money to move to the least expensive part of Dallas’s upscale University Park, because she wanted Jack to attend excellent schools.
Mrs. Turpin’s commitment paid off when Jack’s fifth-grade teacher, Lannis Smith, took a special interest in the boy who lagged behind his classmates. She tutored him for one hour daily after school.
In the Park Cities Jack found more than a good school—he also found Christ. And he discovered he was good at tennis—really good. His tennis acumen combined with his academic standing won him two college scholarships. Having graduated valedictorian from Highland Park High School, Jack went to Rice University, where he won numerous tennis titles.
After completing his engineering degree, Jack founded Hall-Mark Electronics Corporation, an electronics distribution firm. He served as chairman of the board until its sale nearly thirty years later.
During those years Jack found another love on the tennis court, a young woman named Sally. Sitting with her in Dr. Donald Campbell’s Sunday school class, Jack also developed a love and passion for the Bible. In that class Jack also learned about DTS. Hungry for more Bible teaching, he enrolled in the seminary’s Lay Institute, designed for lay leaders seeking theological education.
After they married, Jack and Sally assumed active roles in DTS’s ministry. Jack served for thirty years (1981–2011) on the Board of Incorporate Members until he retired in May. For ten of those years he served as chairman of the Board of Trustees (1988–1998). One of the most significant accomplishments during his tenure has been his establishment of the Dallas Seminary Foundation. This was the fruit of Jack’s long-term vision to serve individuals and families who desired to leave a legacy through their estates, while providing for the school’s future financial needs. It has brought him joy to watch as the Lord has used the Foundation over the past twenty-five years to serve families as they steward His gifts.
If you walk on the DTS campus today, you will see the Dallas Seminary Foundation offices. You will also see Turpin Library, which Jack and Sally donated. Additionally, you’ll see Luke’s Closet and Pantry, which Sally helped develop by organizing board and faculty wives to distribute clothing, household goods, and food to students. Sally served faithfully until her death seven years ago. She and Jack had been married fifty-one years.
As one who believes all his resources belong to God, Jack says he has “fun” being a steward. Part of that stewardship involves partnering with the Dallas Seminary Foundation to manage resources. Financial freedom, Jack says, came when he changed from wanting to make money to wanting to follow God. And he trusts the Foundation’s competent staff to help him manage well.
As Lannis Smith was to Jack, Jack continues to be to Dallas Seminary, working to assure that the leaders of the next generation receive solid training. The reason is simple: He believes in the Seminary’s mission. “I believe in the doctrines taught at DTS,” Jack said. “And I believe the seminary is effective in helping people communicate God’s Word throughout the world.”
DTS is forever indebted to Jack for his faithful leadership and investment.
Proverbs 21:26 says, “The righteous give without sparing.” To learn more about making a generous investment in Dallas Seminary’s future, contact Scott Talbot, Executive Director of the Dallas Seminary Foundation at 214-887-5190, send a message to [email protected], or go to dallasseminaryfoundation.com.