Our Teachers

Neil & Elaine Sandford

Neil Sandford is a teacher and administrator with a passion for Jesus and the Word of God. Growing up in a strong Christian family, Neil experienced a deeper walk with God by attending Fairwood Bible Institute, and he desires that every student find Jesus and deepen their walk with God. As he found personally, that most often happens when people spend time with the Bible to both study it and apply it to their lives. That is when Jesus most often becomes real.

Neil graduated from Fairwood Bible Institute in 1972, worked first as an assistant pastor and then senior pastor of a small church in Florida for eleven years, before returning to Dublin to teach and administer the Bible School in 1983. He loves sharing practical skills as well as God’s word. In high school he started a debate team, and he loves to use those skills to defend the faith. He served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve for six years, becoming a small boat coxswain and navigator. As an amateur radio operator he learned electronics and radio basics, preparing him to be manager of Fairwood’s FM radio station (WVKJ 89.9). He has worked in architectural design and was involved in construction of several church building projects. This wealth of experience helps him in overseeing Fairwood’s vocational classes for men.

While generally serious in nature, his greatest love is working with people, helping them find God and live the Bible. His door is always open to students to share their struggles and concerns. He is tuned to listen to the Holy Spirit and change the school’s approach to be most effective in meeting the needs of the students. He has a servant’s heart and loves to serve God’s people.

Mr. Tim Murray and his wife Sharon with their daughter

Timothy Murray has taught Bible and related subjects for more than 40 years at Fairwood Bible Institute, where he also serves as Dean of Students, Librarian, and Historian. Trained in writing and editing, he received his BA in English from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, a degree which has not made him wealthy, but has enriched his teaching. His interest in literature gave rise to a semester course in Christian Literature, and he also developed a course in the history of the Bible which has proved beneficial to students over many years.

He has a heart interest in his students, and a love for Scripture. His desire is that the classroom be a place where the Word of God has “free course” among both teacher and students. The Book of Genesis, the books of the Law, and the Major Prophets are of particular interest in the Old Testament, and the Epistles and Book of Revelation are particularly rich areas in the New.

Timothy also serves as pastor for far-flung church members in other parts of New England and Canada and as editor for “Times of Restoration,” a church magazine. He is happily married, father of four adult children, and delighted grandfather of thirteen.

Dan & Ruth Murray

Dan Murray spent three of the best years of his life as a student at Fairwood Bible Institute, where he was inspired to pursue an intimate relationship with Jesus and extend God’s Kingdom. He received further training at Providence College where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English Literature in 1998, earning a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University the following year. After teaching English at the high school level for six years, he realized his dream of returning to Fairwood as a teacher in 2005.

In the classroom, Dan enjoys making the Biblical world come alive and helping students to see familiar material in new ways. “Make the strange familiar and the familiar strange” has been a guiding influence to his approach. He loves involving students in the learning process through Socratic questioning, insightful object lessons, bad drawings on the board, and student-moderated discussions. Whether the tone is serious or light, the goal of every class is helping each student to see the heart of God.

Outside of the classroom, Dan enjoys reading, bird watching, music, and playing sports (albeit at a pace much slower than his younger days.) He has a heart for mentoring young men, and is responsible for various youth and family ministries. He is happily married and supports his wife in homeschooling their five children.