Dr. Wallace Swanson '52 - 2012 A Award Recipient
For Dr. Wallace Swanson, a childhood in a missionary-minded church in Minneapolis, Minnesota set the stage for a missionary career that would span five decades and impact thousands of people through medical care and Bible study programs. It was his pastor Dr. Paul Rees who suggested that Wallace study at Asbury.
Swanson served in the U.S. Navy for two years before attending Asbury as a member of the Rocket Class. At Asbury Wallace fell in love Charlotte Dillon, the sister of his roommate. Charlotte and Wallace both knew their lives would be in missionary service and they were married after graduation in 1952. Their next stop was the Wake Forest Bowman Gray School of Medicine. Initially the Swansons thought they might go to China where Wallace had been while in the Navy, but as they prayed, their calling to Ecuador became plain.
In 1961, the Swansons and their children arrived in Ecuador as full-time medical missionaries with HCJB/World Radio Mission.
Throughout the next 32 years, Swanson ministered through rural mobile clinics, as well as HCJB’s hospitals in Quito and Shell, often serving not only as a physician but also as an administrator and medical director. Their work was with the Auca Indians, a tribe known to many through Elizabeth Elliot’s book Gates of Splendor and later the movie End of the Spear.
After retirement, the couple continued to minister in Ecuador by teaching a Bible study called Camino de la Luz, or “Pathway of Light,” which was developed by Charlotte and has continued to reach new believers in the years since her death in 2001.
Swanson lives in Ecuador. He and Charlotte have four children.
“Jesus said to do two things: preach the gospel and heal. In medicine, you can do both,” Swanson said. “It’s been an unimaginable privilege, pleasure and adventure.”
Other 2012 A Award Receipients
Mr. Clayton Carpenter '62
Mr. Paul '97 & Rebeccca Knukle '67 Petrie