Dannie Obryan (Dan) Beller, known across the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC) as the dean of pastors, was born July 13, 1932, near Byars, Oklahoma, to Clarence and Hollie (Loper) Beller. He graduated from Byars High School in 1949 as valedictorian of his class. He attended East Central College, in Ada, Oklahoma, for two years pursuing a major in elementary education and planning to be a school teacher.
However, God had other plans for this intelligent young man. At the beginning of his sophomore year of college, Dan experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit at a revival meeting led by the Rev. Mildred Wicks in the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Ada, Oklahoma. He was filled with great joy and soon realized God was calling him to preach. In order to follow that call, he transferred from East Central to Southwestern Bible College in Oklahoma City to pursue a Bachelor of Theology.
He was ordained as a minister in the IPHC in July 1953.
While attending Southwestern, Dan met Marie Gosnell, a fellow student and the daughter of a Pentecostal Holiness pastor, Lamar Gosnell. Dan and Marie became friends, and after dating several months, they were married on September 21, 1953. The Bellers lived in Oklahoma City where Marie worked for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company and he continued his studies. When he finished in 1954, they launched into ministry, traveling full time as evangelists. The couple spent the next 13 years in a variety of education and ministry pursuits. They pastored in South Coffeyville, Oklahoma, for almost three years. That is where their only child, Dana, was born.
In 1959, Dan was elected Christian Education director for the East Oklahoma Conference (now known as New Horizons Ministries). During the seven years he served in that role, he continued his studies at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and Oral Roberts University (ORU) in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In 1965, the conference gave the Bellers the assignment of planting a church in Pryor, Oklahoma. As they organized the new work in Pryor, Dan commuted daily back and forth to ORU, working on a Master of Divinity, which he received in 1968. On the same weekend, he also received a Bachelor of Arts from OBU.
In September of 1967, Dan and Marie were appointed as pastors of Evangelistic Temple in Tulsa, where they served for over 34 years. Under their leadership, ET, as it became known, reached a membership of over 2,000, becoming the denomination’s first “megachurch” in the United States. They led in the construction of a new sanctuary in 1974 and eventually in the purchase of 12 different properties for expansion. In 1982, the church added a Family Life Center with a gymnasium, commercial kitchen, dining hall, classrooms, and offices. The ET School (K4 – 8th grade) was established in 1984. After his retirement, Dan served as pastor emeritus of SpiritLife Church, which is the new name adopted by the congregation.
Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham remembers Dr. Beller as an exceptional leader, “Dan was one of the premier IPHC pastors in his generation. He led Evangelistic Temple to be one of our largest congregations at a time when there were but a very few. An outstanding leader, pastor, preacher, and godly man, we are thankful for his life and ministry.”
In 1983, Dan received his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, in Pasadena, California. He also received an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from ORU.
Dr. Beller authored two books: Progress Through Pioneer Evangelism (Advocate Press, Franklin Springs, Georgia, 1973); And the Lord Added to the Church (Advocate Press, 1989). He also had a television ministry for 15 years and gave radio devotions for several years.
The Bellers traveled extensively around the world and conducted over 20 tours to Israel, which also included several other Middle Eastern and European countries. Dan also ministered in other countries, including Korea, Canada, Argentina, England, Costa Rica, Chile, China, and India. In 1979, he was one of the featured speakers at the World Pentecostal Conference in Vancouver, Canada. He preached many times in the Yoido Full Gospel Church of 750,000 members, pastored by Dr. Yonggi Cho in Seoul, South Korea. He also served as a board member of Church Growth International (1980-2001), chaired by Dr. Cho.
Though Dr. Beller was invited to speak in churches and conventions in several denominations, he remained supportive of and loyal to the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. He served in several offices and on various boards through the years, including 22 years on the National Christian Education Board (now Discipleship Ministries). He was assistant superintendent of the East Oklahoma Conference for four years and served several terms on the conference board. He chaired the Board of Regents for Southwestern Christian University for 13 years and was the first pastoral representative on the General Executive Board of the IPHC, where he served for four years.
Dr. Dan Beller was revered across the IPHC, but nowhere greater than in his own conference. Bishop Randell Drake refers to him as “a prince of man, who ministers with dignity and humility. It was an honor to serve alongside this great servant of God.”
Besides their daughter, Dana Acevedo (Luis), the Bellers have two granddaughters, Jessica Parker and Natalie Owens, and four great-grandchildren.
Services for Dr. Beller will be conducted by Moore Funeral Home and held on Friday, September 20, 2019, at 10 am at SpiritLife Church, 5345 S Peoria Ave, Tulsa, Oklahoma.