Cancer survivor, former faculty member returns to teach BJU business classes

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Cancer survivor, former faculty member returns to teach BJU business classes

Mellor served at BJU as the dean of the School of Applied Studies for 7 years and as the chair of the Division of Business and Trades for 5 years. Photos: Melia Covington

After tackling almost 30 years of work in the business world and earning advanced degrees, David Mellor faced a new challenge—cancer.

Mellor, a former faculty member returning to BJU this year, said he found out he had cancer when he was a year and a half into his seminary degree. God used one of his favorite verses, Psalm 37:23, to minister to him during that trial.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” He said that during that time of sickness, he learned that God does not tell us what is coming in our lives, or we would try to direct our own steps to get to the point we think we need to be at faster.

Mellor focuses his business classes on God’s plan and purpose for business.
Photo: Melia Covington

“He knows every single step for the rest of your life,” Mellor said. “But He won’t tell us, and He wouldn’t tell me, at that time, what is this cancer all about? The only answer was, ‘Do you trust Me?’” Mellor said he inherently trusted God and he knew this because he had taken a step of faith in beginning his seminary degree at the age of 44.

He said he believes that God gave him cancer to slow him down. He felt like he had gotten a late start and wanted to finish his seminary degree quickly, but he slowed down when the cancer came. “I wouldn’t [want to have cancer] again, but I’m glad I did it once, because I learned volumes about God, and I learned volumes about His sovereign plan for each and every one of us.”

Mellor had a long career in the business world as both a fuel system designer and management consultant. As a young Christian, he wanted to find a way to integrate his faith into his work when he joined the business world.

“I ask [my] students, ‘Does God care about business?’” Mellor said. “How? How do you know that God cares about business? [Then] to give them a verse we all know, ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.’”

Mellor said God has at some points in history dropped food from heaven for His people, but that usually He chooses to meet people’s needs in a more practical way. “He chooses business people to meet the needs of other people,” Mellor said. He thinks this shows God cares about business.

Mellor said that part of his philosophy is the idea that God calls all people to serve him. He said we have all been called to something, and we have been commanded to walk worthy of our respective callings.

“I like to ask students this question: ‘Has it ever occurred to you that whatever it is that you’re interested in, that’s not an accident?’” he said. “[Your talents are] actually God’s purposeful intention for you to now steward those talents and abilities.”

Mellor served at BJU as the dean of the School of Applied Studies for 7 years and as the chair of the Division of Business and Trades for 5 years. Photos: Melia Covington

Mellor served as the dean of the School of Applied Studies from 2002 to 2014 but has just returned this fall to BJU to fill a different position—that of a business faculty member.

In 2014, Mellor and his wife moved back to Indiana, their previous home, to help his mother move into an assisted living facility. They came back shortly after, and for the last three years Mellor has been working in Advancement at BJU.

“I had the privilege to be one of the people that raised the moneys to [renovate] the School of Health Professions and all the other cool things,” Mellor said.

Mellor said he welcomed the opportunity to return to the classroom this fall. He said he has real-world experience with operations management, which is one of the classes he teaches. “I never taught the class I’m teaching now, but I actually did it [at work] for almost two and a half decades.”