Dr. D. Ray Hostetter, lifetime Christian educator and beloved husband and father died on February 12 at the age of 88.
Written by H. David Brandt, Dean of Messiah College (PA) 1977-1988, Former Daystar U.S. Board Member
The work of Ray Hostetter was essential in the development of Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya. In 1978 Ray came to my office to discuss the idea of partnering with an African institution and support that institution in becoming a Christian university in Africa. This was largely in response to the question of how should an American Christian university support the results of mission work in Africa since the start of the 20th century. Till then, the pattern was to bring as many students as financially possible to study at our schools in the U.S. This was both expensive and not always helpful to the church in Africa when these students chose to stay in the U.S.
Ray had the idea to sharethe resources of Messiah College with an existing African institution to develop a university that would serve African students in their context and culture. This partnership between Messiah College and Daystar University brought the first bachelor’s degree program of an accredited Christian liberal arts institution to Africa.
The result of that first conversation was to find an appropriate institution. In 1979, Ray took a 3-month sabbatical leave designed to visit post-secondary institutions in southern Africa. After these visits Ray selected Daystar Communications, a school in Nairobi, Kenya, as a good partner. The rest, as they say, is history.