In Memory of “Doc” Dobbins

Two Weeks ago my wife and I went to a memorial service in Akron, Ohio at Emerge Counseling Center for Dr. Richard Dobbins. “Doc” was a friend and mentor for many of us.

When I graduated college, I joined the staff of the church Dr. Dobbins founded, Evangel Temple. After pastoring that church for 25 years, he left and founded Emerge. (He left a few years before I joined the staff).
While on staff at “ET” I got my Masters in Counseling at Ashland Seminary. The counseling and psychology courses for the program were taught at Emerge, by Doc and his staff. I had the privilege of sitting in his classes (about 30 of us) each week for two years. During this same time, Joyce was on the administrative staff there.
That began a friendship and mentoring relationship that had a lasting effect on my life and ministry. Doc was a huge help in guiding us through a tumultuous pastoral change in 1990 and for the three years that followed. Since then, our contact has always been meaningful.

In honor of Doc’s life…and since I’ve been off recovering from surgery (got home from the service about midnight that Wednesday, and had surgery the next day)…I decided to re-read all my class notes from the dozen classes I took with Doc. I had to dig in my archives, and found files from 1980-1982. Hand-written class notes, tests, papers, and Doc’s printed handouts. WOW…what a treasure of insights.

If you knew him, you know he had a GREAT, wise way of saying things that just hit you.

I’m going to take the next few weeks and each week…blog a thought he shared that has stuck with me over the years…I hope they impact you as well.


On the surface, this might seem almost arrogant. But the reality is, no one is liked or loved by everyone! Add to this, those of us who are “people=pleasers” at heart, want EVERYBODY to like us, like what we do, what we say, who we are…and so on.

This can make you WAY too susceptible to criticism and rejection.

Add to this, that our self esteem is most secure when it isn’t rooted in the fickle approval of others…it truly is helpful to REMIND YOURSELF…”It would be nice if everybody loved me, but it’s not necessary.”

9 thoughts on “In Memory of “Doc” Dobbins

  1. This hits home right now. Just going back to work after being off for a short time, I’m back to trying to find out where I fit in. I am wanting approval from everyone. Such a hard time trying to realize to focus on my priorities and be confident.

  2. I remember showing a video series by Doc Dobbins in a Minnesota church back in the early 1980s. (Yeah, the church where you were in our wedding, Stan!) I hope those series and others are still around and available. – Joel

  3. Great!!! Wow…my cousin is Lynn Trenent..Im sure Joyce knows her! family, Bowers,Goldens,Crawfords,Custers,…..all touched by this mans life. Im not real in tune with blogging…I sure hope I dont miss these words of wisdom….Thank you for sharing these and for savoring your notes….

  4. “Doc” truly a man of great wisdom. I was blessed to fed from him for 16 years when he was my Pastor. He married Charles and I and dedicated our 3 children. Many fond memories.

  5. I remember him from the couples retreat in Columbus. Len Mink was the entertainment. You and Joyce led one of the classes. I know because we bought the tapes for the sessions. We were going to Gospel Temple during that time. We were newly married and thought it was a wonderful weekend. I remember the communion service at the end and it always meant a lot to me.

  6. This “people-pleaser” pastor couldn’t have needed to read your blog today, more. Thanks Doc, and thank you for sharing your memories Stan.

  7. Congratulations on your new blog! Pretty cool dude! The people pleasing issue can be quite interesting…. Your right too…. EVERYBODY does not does not love me. Then why when I hand out student evaluations at the end of the semester, do I wonder about the 1 out of 30 or 40 that says I am the worst instructor they have ever had? Human nature…. đŸ™‚

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