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On Tuesday, February 14th 2023, Dr. George Zemek went home to be with the Lord. He was 80 years old. Dr. Zemek was one of the first faculty members at The Master’s Seminary, teaching from 1988-1994. 

Though more than 25 years have passed since Dr. Zemek was a full-time faculty member at The Master’s Seminary, his impact on the institution has not waned. His humility, grace, theological precision, and exegetical care have influenced hundreds of Master’s Men. His books, particularly Road Maps for the Psalms, have almost certainly helped thousands of preachers proclaim the Bible with greater clarity and power.  

From The Master’s Seminary, Dr. Zemek went on to teach at various institutions, each connected to a local church. Dr. Zemek’s great joy was training pastors, preparing men to preach and shepherd the flock of God. His final ministry was at Grace Immanuel Bible Church in Jupiter, Florida, where he served as an elder, and the affiliated Expositors Seminary, where he was the academic dean for fifteen years before retiring to become the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Exegetical Theology and Scholar in Residence. In total, Dr. Zemek taught and served in leadership in local churches for more than a half-century. Dr. Zemek is survived by his wife Judy. 

Upon hearing of Dr. Zemek’s passing, former students and colleagues expressed their gratitude for his life and ministry. Their tributes are included below.  


“I first met George during my doctoral residency at Grace Theological Seminary. His passion for God’s Word, and his commitment to it, pervaded every aspect of his life and ministry.

He loved to study the Scriptures and to faithfully equip the next generation of ministry leaders through his teaching, preaching, and publishing. He was a skilled writer, able to enunciate the intricacies of God’s Word and elucidate their application to the present day. He was a gifted teacher with an incredible ability to open the Scriptures and plumb their depth and breadth. He was always willing to teach whatever classes needed to be taught, whether it was Hebrew, Greek, Theology, OT Introduction, or biblical exegesis.

George was not only an admired colleague but also a loyal and treasured friend. During his tenure at TMS and over the years since, whenever our paths would cross, he would always address me as “friend.” And that he was. He was a friend who was closer than a brother!”

— Dr. Irv Busenitz, former Vice President of Academic Affairs at The Master’s Seminary

“Dr. Zemek will always have a special place in my heart.  Prior to enrolling at The Master’s Seminary, a friend who had studied under Dr. Zemek at Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana told me, “When you get to TMS, be sure to take Dr. Zemek.” I asked, “What does he teach?” My friend replied, “everything.”

I took my friend’s advice and signed up for every Zemek class I could. After my first year of seminary, at age 23, I asked Dr. Zemek for advice about my studies and my desire to take some fun electives at another school. I still have his hand-written response in my “things worth saving” file. He began his letter with “Since you have asked for my input, I’ll offer it although I’m not sure it’s what you’d like to hear.” It was not what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear. It was a straightforward, clear, and kind admonition to focus on my studies and get the right tools I needed for ministry. He wrote, “I think your electives all ought to be in Greek and Hebrew language studies…at The Master’s Seminary.” I stayed and finished my degree at TMS and now I am privileged to teach here. I am truly grateful for his shepherding at that time of my life and for his life that impacted so many others.”

— Brian Biedebach, Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministries and Dean of Students at The Master’s Seminary

“I first met Dr. George and Judy Zemek thirty-five years ago when he came to be professor of theology at The Master’s Seminary. Alongside the other very accomplished professors at TMS, the institution certainly had in ‘Doc’ (as he was affectionately known by all), a world-class theologian and apologist.

I was a recipient of his excellent teaching ministry and I had the privilege of having him as my Master of Theology adviser at TMS. Our partnership in ministry would continue in the coming decades as we served together in Arkansas, and Florida.

I am one of thousands of men he taught to preach and defend the truth of God’s Word. His legacy will remain in all the hearts of those men who both have been, and are still now, heralding the gospel around the world. Speaking on behalf of these men, I pay my own profoundly thankful and grateful tribute to God for Dr. George J. Zemek, an unheralded, humble giant in biblical and theological education over the last fifty years. His was a life of faithfulness to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ—in whom Doc Z now worshipfully rests!”

— Lance Quinn, Vice President, Expositors Seminary

“There is no way to adequately express the joy we have in knowing our cherished mentor has entered into the blessed rest and holiness he so faithfully proclaimed. Doc poured his life out for the edification of the church and the training of pastors. His faithfulness to the end encourages us to press on more fervently, imitating Doc’s unwavering commitment to the authority, clarity, and power of the Scriptures. Heaven alone has recorded the wondrous deeds our God accomplished through this theologian, whose shepherd’s heart forged immovable convictions in the thousands of pastors he trained over five decades.”

— Jerry Wragg, Senior Pastor Grace Immanuel Bible Church; President Expositors Seminary