Wesley Center Online

Westlake Taylor Purkiser

Westlake Taylor Purkiser (1910-1992) first made a decision to follow Christ at the age of five and rededicated his life as a junior in high school.  Following his graduation from Vallejo High School, Purkiser attended Pasadena College.  It was in his junior year of college that he was sanctified wholly.  In 1930, Purkiser graduated from  Pasadena College and married Arvilla (Billie) Butler. In his graduate studies, Purkiser earned a MA (1939) and a Ph.D in philosophy and education (1947) from the University of Southern California.

Purkiser served  as pastor of churches in Riverside, CA, Bellflower and Corning. In 1937 he began teaching at Pasadena College.  Along with his teaching, he was a part-time pastor for the Los Angeles Riverside Drive Church.  Purkiser also held the position of vice-president and dean of the college (1945-1948) and president ( 1948-1957).  In 1957,  Purkiser  moved to Kansas City where he became a professor of English Bible at Nazarene Theological Seminary and taught for three years.  His election to editor of the Herald of Holiness at the 1960 General Assembly was the beginning of a 15-year term where his focus was “ Holiness is wholeness”.   Following his retirement he taught part-time at Point Loma Nazarene College until 1977 and continued to write. 1

1. Ivan A. Beals, Heralding Scriptural Holiness (Kansas City, Missouri: Nazarene Publishing House, 1987), p 89-111.