Denominational and educational leaders are reflecting on the many accomplishments of former Free Methodist Church – USA Board of Administration Chairman Hank Bode, vice president emeritus of Azusa Pacific University, following his death Sept. 16 at age 80.
“The Board of Bishops along with the entire FMCUSA mourn the passing of Hank Bode, celebrate his faithful love for God and the church and express deep appreciation for his effective leadership,” Bishop Matthew Thomas said. “Serving for 23 years on the Board of Administration of the FMCUSA, seven years as its chair, 40 years as a lead in the Development Department of Azusa Pacific University and many more years in leadership on the Southern California Annual Conference Board and at Foothill Community Church, Hank has left an imprint of kind, faithful and caring service to the church. We celebrate his life and will experience his legacy for years to come.”
Bode served on the denominational Board of Administration from 1979 to 2002 and as board chairman from 1995 to 2002. Azusa Pacific University hired him in 1965 as the chief financial officer and he subsequently served as vice president of finance, assistant to the president, and vice president for legal and special projects over the next four decades. He then joined the university’s estate planning team to support and assist donors.
“Throughout his long history with our university, Hank was always a trusted advisor, known for his financial integrity, unwavering moral compass, and deep love for the Free Methodist Church,” Azusa Pacific University President Jon Wallace said in a statement on the university’s website. “For the Bodes, APU was a family affair. Hank’s wife, Sherri, served as an associate professor, teaching music over her 30-year career, until her retirement in 2005. Their children, Brian and Suzanne, are also alumni. Hank saw APU as a place where students mature and grow in preparation for a life of service.”
Bode received a Bachelor of Science in business from Long Beach State University, a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University and a Juris Doctor from Western State University. He became a founding member of Foothill Community Church — a Free Methodist congregation in Azusa, California — in 1966. He shared his testimony and detailed his church involvement in this video released by Foothill Community Church in 2013: