Eight years ago, Dustin Salter came to TCU and brought Reformed University Fellowship with him.The Rev. Dustin Salter, 37, died Monday, March 19, 2007, at 3:40 p.m. surrounded by his family. More than four months ago he fell off of his bicycle in Greenville, S.C., and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
The Rev. Salter was an amazing teacher who loved the students he worked with, said Ronald Pitcock, assistant English professor and a friend of Salter’s.
“Dustin really thought of the students as his own children,” Pitcock said. “He could bring so many people together.”
RUF started out as a group of only 12 members, but quickly grew under the Rev. Salter’s leadership. When he left last spring to be the minister at Furman University in Greenville, there were enough RUF members to fill the floor and balcony at the chapel they met in, Pitcock said.
The Rev. Salter was transported from Greenville back to a local facility in Fort Worth on Jan. 31. He was placed under hospice care when his condition worsened the week before Spring Break.
The Rev. Salter graduated from the University of West Alabama in 1992 and from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Fla. before he became the RUF minister at TCU.
Under the Rev. Salter, RUF became one of the largest campus ministries on campus, said Walt Jones, an RUF intern.
“He was such a gatherer,” Jones said. “If you got to know Dustin you wanted to be around him more. He loved the gospel and he loved to preach. People could see that so they wanted to come back to hear more.”
University Minister Angela Kaufman said people were also drawn to the Rev. Salter because of his genuine personality.
“He was one of the most real people I knew,” Kaufman said. “There was no pretense or need to pretend to be someone he wasn’t.”
Jones said he will remember the Rev. Salter’s laugh.
“He had this really great, really loud laugh. That’s the first thing you recognized about him,” Jones said. “It was always fun to go to restaurants with him because everyone would look over and see who was laughing so loud.”
Every week, the Rev. Salter would always say the same thing to students before he left TCU, said Rob Hamby, the current RUF campus minister.
“He’d say, ‘You’re never so good that you stand in need of God’s grace. You’re never so bad that you stand outside of God’s grace,'” Hamby said. “Dustin made RUF a place to find grace.”
The Rev. Salter is survived by his wife, Leigh Anne, sons Jacob, 9, and Nathan, 7, and daughter Meredith, 2.