the Ambassador

Page 1

the magazine of ozark christian college FALL 2014

WHY WRITE? One Ozark professor’s divine dilemma. p. 6 JUST ONE Kyle Idleman shares his journey from preacher to author. p. 10

of the


CONTENTS TO INSPIRE President’s Perspective Matt Proctor A challenge to change the world one page at a time


Featured Theme Jessica Scheuermann How writing helped me through one of my life’s most difficult seasons


OCC Writes This Year A selection of recent writings by Ozark alums


New Testament Words Kenny Boles An in-depth look at the language of Scripture


Just One: Kyle Idleman Matt Proctor OCC graduate—a reluctant author—is used by God to write a bestseller


TO INFORM Campus News Recent happenings at OCC


The Big Picture A snapshot of life around campus


Meet Your OCC Family Introducing Ozark faculty member, Jay Engelbrecht


Coming Soon Upcoming events at OCC


TO CONNECT Here’s an Idea Dru Ashwell Practical tips for your life and ministry from our editor


Your Partnership David Duncan Helpful tools for Christian stewardship


Alumni News Updates from alumni around the world


One More Thing Amy Storms A final thought from our assistant editor


The Ambassador magazine is published four times each year to inspire, inform and connect the Ozark Christian College family. Editorial Team: Dru Ashwell, Jill English, Amy Storms, Kathy Bowers, Jim Dalrymple Graphic Design: Little Bird Marketing Photo Contributors: Chase Marcus, Thomas Montgomery, Gavin Lang, David Summerlin Contact Us: Ozark Christian College 1111 N. Main Joplin, MO 64801

The ultimate mission of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The immediate mission of OCC is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.



THE POWER OF THE WRITTEN WORD Matt Proctor Congo as a medical missionary. To turn his back on an accomplished and comfortable life, to start medical school at the age of 30—his decision seemed foolish to many. The faculty at St. Thomas was stunned, friends wrote with strenuous objections, and even his family expressed disappointment and alarm. Why would he bury his talents in the African jungle? Matt Proctor has served as president of Ozark Christian College since 2006.

One evening in 1904, Albert Schweitzer sat at his desk to sort the day’s mail. At 29, Schweitzer was already an accomplished musician and respected academic. A Ph.D. at 24, he published several books and was appointed as president of St. Thomas College. Despite his achievements, however, Schweitzer felt a stirring toward something more.

But Schweitzer was undeterred. He became a doctor, raised funds to go to Africa, and with his wife, established a hospital in the Congo. For the next 50 years, Albert Schweitzer shared the love of Christ with thousands who previously had no medical care. Eventually, in 1952, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The article explained that the mission did not have enough workers in Gabon, in northern Congo. They desperately needed a doctor and hoped that a few readers would offer themselves for this task. The article concluded, “Men and women who can reply simply to the Master’s call, ‘Lord, I am coming’—those are the people whom the Church needs.” Schweitzer closed the magazine. Years later, he described the impact of those words: “The article finished, I quietly began my [evening’s] work. But my search was over.” He decided in that moment to go to the 1

John Piper, A Godward Life, Multnomah Books, 2001, p. 13.

You’ll see in the articles ahead how God uses our graduates to lift up Christ on the printed page. (Of course, in our digital age, some do all their reading on a screen!) God has even used this magazine you hold in your hands—a publication of the college itself—to challenge and bless thousands of believers.

All because one magazine article caught his eye.

Ozark’s Magazine: New Name, Same Mission

The Life-changing Power of Paper and Ink

For many years, the college’s magazine has been called The Compass. Beginning with this issue, we are changing the name to The Ambassador. For decades, our school mascot has been the “ambassadors” from 2 Corinthians 5:20, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors.” We do everything we can to cultivate that identity in both our students and graduates; we are representatives of Christ to the world.

A Providential Piece of Mail That evening’s mail would completely redirect his life. Setting aside a magazine from a missionary society, the periodical fell open to an article that caught Schweitzer’s eye. Intrigued, he picked it back up and read the piece entitled, “The Needs of the Congo Mission.”

But God also uses other written words to speak to His people. A few sentences in a magazine forever changed Albert Schweitzer’s life, and perhaps a paragraph in an article or book has at some point reshaped you. That’s why Ozark Christian College has long encouraged the ministry of writing.

“Books don’t change people; paragraphs do. Sometimes even sentences.” So writes John Piper. He describes reading a lifechanging paragraph on the first page of C.S. Lewis’ book The Weight of Glory: “Almost 30 years later, I still feel the shudder of discovery and the rush of light that passed through me. Nothing would ever be the same again. Just one paragraph and the decisive work was done.”1 Piper is right. One paragraph—sometimes just one sentence—can change everything. Most often, it’s a sentence from God’s Word. Augustine’s heart was pierced by Romans 13:13-14. For Martin Luther, it was Romans 1:16-17. For Jonathan Edwards, it was 1 Timothy 1:17.

You’ll notice as you read that with the new name comes a new look. We’ve given it a new layout, added some new features, and included some new voices. But we’ve kept some things the same—Kenny Boles’ “New Testament Words” and the “Alumni News” are always favorites—and the mission of the magazine remains unchanged. Our hope is still to inspire, inform and connect. We want to inspire a deeper faith in our readers, inform you of the work the Lord is doing here at OCC, and connect you with the larger Ozark family. We pray it will continue to be a blessing to you. But be careful as you read. One sentence could change everything.



WHY WE WRITE Jessica Scheuermann

Jessica Scheuermann is an OCC English professor and Director of the Learning Center. She and her husband, Ryan, live in Joplin with their son, Josh.

One semester about halfway through my grad school experience, I took a class in which we wrote a personal essay on the topic of our choice. After slogging through several semesters of formal, heavy-on-the-researchlight-on-the-fun kind of papers, this essay was an oasis. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a nerd, and I loved my research projects, but it had been way too long since I had written for fun—even just for me—and this assignment didn’t feel like an assignment. It felt like a gift. As soon as I read my professor’s assignment guidelines, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. A Homecoming Fog I did grad school eight years after I graduated from Ozark with my bachelor’s degree. In those eight years, I started a career, had a baby, shipped my soldier husband off to war, and then lived through the messy re-entry phase when he returned home from Iraq a veteran. I had never really considered the difference between those two words—soldier and veteran—until he returned home, and I began to live that difference. Those were a couple of long years. I felt like we were obscured from one another, fuzzy and just beyond arm’s reach, but we came out of that fog. God did a lot of work on both of us during that time through friends, through a counselor, through prayer and


through a church family. I had written a very brief piece about that climbing-up-out-ofthe-pit experience right when we were still at its edge. Relief and joy drove my fingers along the keyboard—that, and an image of our newly-mended relationship as a gossamer strand I had to press into the palm of my hands to treasure and keep safe. I had tinkered with the piece a little bit on and off and then set it aside for a few years, unsure what to do with it.

This was what I needed to write about. I needed to add to that brief, original piece. I needed to write about that journey, because that was really a better metaphor all along. It had only felt like a pit or a cave or even a trap, but even those dark times were really just a part of the always-moving journey my husband and I were on together. The initial piece I had written didn’t have that

That night in my writing class, as I read my professor’s assignment, this was the piece that instantly called my name. “Come back to me,” it whispered. “There is more to tell now.” A Father and Shepherd This particular semester was four years after I had written that original piece. Much had transpired in those four years, and I had perspective now. Once out of that pit, our path had been on a gentle, winding incline, and that semester I was able to look out over the landscape of those painful times and see things from a different view. My new perspective did not miraculously change or lessen the pain of those years, but it helped me see them from a Father’s perspective—a Father who had also been a Shepherd and who had never left our side during those long, shadowed days. It also helped me see the verdant pastures he had led us through since, always sustaining us.

perspective. Its chest was still heaving, blood and sweat still visible on its skin from the recent battle. This new piece would breathe easier, with some poignancy in its voice about the scars and the road of healing. I wrote that piece for closure. I wrote that piece to explain to myself what had happened and maybe even why. I wrote


that piece to remind myself where we had come from and where we are now. I wrote that piece with hopes of sharing it with other military families who were and are facing the same struggles. I even wrote that piece for other couples who will never experience an overseas military deployment, but who, nonetheless, find their marriages

disintegrating and slipping through their hands like grains of sand. Finally, I wrote that piece as a way of saying thank you to my Father-Shepherd for the gift of His presence and perspective. Honestly, writing it for a grade hardly even registered with me. At some level, my writing experience for that assignment speaks to every writer’s experience. Sure, we all have our unique light bulb moments that send us flying to

a sheet of paper to scratch out a thought before the words leave us. And we even have individual purposes for those various pieces that haunt us long after we click “save.” But all of us who write have felt the burden of the ideas themselves. We know what it is to feel the weight of the words in our minds and in our hands. When we write for ourselves or for an audience, we distill all the chaotic, swirling thoughts and emotions into black ink on crisp, white paper. Our thoughts literally take shape in the form of the curves and lines that make up our letters. I tell my students that writing and thinking inform one another: the more you think about something, the more you will have to write about. And the more you write about something, the more you will have to think about. As Christ followers, we have much to ponder and much to write about. The fodder for our thoughts is a God who can “measure the waters in the hollow of his hand” (Isaiah 40:12) and make the blind to see. He is a God whose ways are above our ways (Isaiah 55:9), and yet who loves the world so much that he sent his only Son to us (John 3:16). Some of our writing will be intensely private; the writing in our journals, for example, rarely ever sees the light of day. Some of our writing, like the piece I wrote for class or a letter or an email, will be seen by a select few. Some of our writing will end up in very public forums, whether or not it’s ever picked up by a publishing company. Think about social media, blogs, online

discussion boards and the like. Average folk, like you and I, have this unprecedented ability in the 21st century to write for large audiences. And we, as Christ followers, must continue to write for ourselves and for others because these black and white thoughtson-paper then go to work: teaching, encouraging, inspiring, correcting, healing, even provoking. Dipped in the Ink Why do we write? What is it that keeps us returning to the pen and paper or the computer keyboard over and over again? Eighteenth-century poet and satirist Alexander Pope asks, “Why did I write? what sin to me unknown/ Dipt me in Ink, my Parents’ or my own?” I love the scriptural allusion Pope uses in this passage. His lines refer to John 9 and the story of the blind man Jesus healed. The disciples’ first question when they see the blind man is, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Pope borrows the wording and idea from John’s gospel. He doesn’t completely understand the origin of the compulsion—the passion that fuels his writing. He only knows that he is steeped in it, as if he has been dipped in the ink he uses to pen his poems. I think I know the answer to Pope’s question. The compulsion to write is divinely wrought in us. This is the God of whom John speaks when he opens and closes his gospel with allusions to writing. John closes his gospel by telling us, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (21:25). John opens his gospel, though, by telling us about the Word, the logos who is God’s message or revelation written in human flesh. This God we cannot and must not stop writing about is a God who is also an author: He has written us on the palms of his hands (Isaiah 49:16).


OCC WRITES THIS YEAR A selection of recent works by OCC grads

Searching for Sanity:

Taste and See:

Life on Mission:

Jesus Prom: Life Gets

Jo Davis Cross (’11)

52 Insights from the

Experience the Stories

God’s People Finding

Fun When You Love

writes a blog about the

Parents of the Bible

of Advent and Christmas

God’s Heart for the World

People Like God Does

issues of young married

(Lighthouse Publishing)

(Upper Room Books)


(Thomas Nelson)

life that has more than

Lindsey Poznich Bell (’06)

Jan Johnson (’74)

Tim Harlow (’83)

Jon Weece (’97)

offers moms an opportunity

offers an innovative

offers clear Bible

promises us that life gets

to take a breath, dig into

small-group study built

teaching designed to

fun when we love people

the Word, and learn from

around Scripture combined

empower you to share your

like God does.

parents of the past.

with an approach introduced

faith with people.

2,000 unique visitors each month.

by St. Ignatius.

The Atheist’s Fatal Flaw:

Walls Fall Down:

Letting the Text Win

Exposing Conflicting Beliefs

7 Steps from the Battle of

(College Press)

(Baker Books)

Jericho to Overcome

Daniel McCoy (’07) and Norman Geisler

Any Challenge (Thomas Nelson)

(’76, current faculty) and J.K. Jones

As a guest on

Strip Away the “Nots”,

and Discover What God

St. Louis-area resident

Really Wants

Jon Michael Brown (’02)

(David C. Cook)

gave a biblical and personal

faithfully represent what

Dudley Rutherford (’80)

(former faculty) share

Jamie Snyder (’05)

atheists say they believe

reveals the secrets to

both a theology and a

writes that the Bible

and reveal the natural

overcoming any obstacle

methodology for preachers.

reveals significantly more

inconsistencies in that

through one of the most

“Thou Shall” callings from


extraordinary victories ever

God than “Thou Shall Not”

recorded—the battle


of Jericho.


Mark Scott

Thou Shall: Freedom to

perspective on the recent events in Ferguson, MO. The post, “I Will Not March for Michael Brown,” garnered over 42,000 hits.




Kenny Boles has taught Greek and New Testament for more than 40 years. Find more New Testament Words at

Demosthenes was an orator—one of the greatest orators of ancient Greece. On one occasion he thundered, “You do not need new laws; you have enough laws already! Instead, repeal the harmful ones.” In another oration, he demanded that the lawmakers rescind their vote on a new law, because they had been influenced by bribes.

In the New Testament the word was used in these contexts: to break the Sabbath, to terminate the law and the prophets, to destroy the temple. And one more: it was the word used in the Greek text of John 10:35 when Jesus quoted an obscure Old Testament verse and then declared, “Scripture cannot be broken.” In Jesus’ mind, that settled it.

The Greek word for repeal or rescind is a short one: lyo (LOO oh). It was also the word used by Herodotus when he recorded how on one occasion the soldiers of Sparta refused to fight, because they would not break their law against starting a war on a certain holiday. Other writers used the word in these ways: to revoke a will, to refute an argument, to violate a legal agreement, to dismantle a wall.

As we consider the power of the written word in this issue of The Ambassador, it is fitting to note the unmatchable power and authority of God’s own written word. If the laws of the Medes and Persians could not be changed or repealed (Daniel 6:8, 15), how much more permanent and binding is the word of God? For Jesus, the best answer to every question and challenge of life was simply this: “It is written. . . .”


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NOT A FAN How God turned one preacher into a writer and thousands of fans into followers of Christ. Matt Proctor Kyle Idleman was never interested in writing a book. He just wanted to be a preacher. After all, his father, Ken, was a preacher— as well as president of Ozark Christian College—so it was no surprise when Kyle enrolled at OCC to prepare for ministry. I had Kyle as a student in preaching class, and it quickly became apparent that he was a gifted communicator. “I love having a word from God for people,” says Kyle, “that comes at just the right time for their lives.” As a student, Kyle filled the pulpit at a small congregation outside Joplin, and after graduating in 1998, he moved to southern California to plant a church. The new congregation grew quickly, soon gathering over a thousand people each weekend. But with the growth came the temptation to simply attract a big group. A Growing Conviction “I was about 21, and it’s fair to say I didn’t have any idea what I was doing,” remembers Kyle. “I settled on using business methods—

strategic planning, entrepreneurial thinking—and without realizing it, I treated the gospel like a product to be sold, and church members like customers. If people come to church, then we have a successful church ‘business.’” But the Lord began to impress a lesson on Kyle. “Here is the question that convicted me,” he says. “What was I more concerned about? Preaching gospel truth, or getting people to come back to church? Jesus did it differently. He risked alienating the crowds, caring more about the level of commitment than the size of the crowd. He told people what they needed to hear—not what they wanted to hear.” This was a message God would continue to teach Kyle in the days ahead. In 2002, he was called to the preaching team at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Now speaking to one of the largest churches in the country, he knew he might still be tempted to craft messages to please the crowd instead of God. Sermon in an Empty Sanctuary “A personal transformation moment came,” remembers Kyle, “when I sat in our sanctuary a few days before Easter. I was thinking about how to write a message that would be attractive to the thousands who would fill the room like a big stadium. What could I say to wow them?” “But as I sat there with my Bible open in front of


me and the empty sanctuary around me, I felt a conviction: All too easily the church could be a stadium full of fans, rather than a sanctuary full of followers of Christ.” Kyle explains the difference. “The dictionary defines a fan as ‘an enthusiastic admirer.’ Fans want to be close enough to Jesus to get the benefits, but not so close that it requires sacrifice.” Thinking back on his childhood, Kyle realized he would’ve fit the description of a fan. “We sometimes point to funny things as evidence of our commitment to Christ, like the fact that we have fish bumper stickers or four Bibles. When I was a teenager, I had a t-shirt that said, ‘This blood’s for you.’ Next to a poster of Michael Jordan, I had a picture of Jesus. I would’ve told you that I wanted to be like Jesus…but I also wanted to be like Mike.” But Kyle knew that Jesus wasn’t interested in simply having admirers—people sitting on the sidelines, cheering His cause. Christ’s call was to complete commitment. In fact, He told His followers to pick up a cross. “A few years ago, I was struggling with my own commitment level,” remembers Kyle. “I went to my garage, grabbed a can of black spray paint, and painted words from the Apostle Paul on my closet wall: I DIE DAILY. For me, every time I saw my indoor graffiti, it summed up my challenge.” From Pulpit to Publisher Sitting in the empty sanctuary at Southeast Christian Church, Idleman realized he wasn’t called to “wow” the people who would soon fill the seats. His role was to point to Jesus—to invite people to pick up their cross and follow Him. A few days later at the Easter services, Kyle’s message called for a radical, full surrender to Christ. Preaching from John 6,


he reminded his hearers, “Jesus isn’t looking for fans. He’s looking for fully committed followers. Fans don’t mind Jesus making some minor change in their lives, but Jesus wants to turn our lives upside down. Fans don’t mind Him doing a little touch up work, but Jesus wants a complete renovation. So are you a fan or a follower?” That Easter sermon resonated deeply with the congregation and became a series of messages over the following weeks. One of the members at Southeast, Don Gates, served as Vice-President of Marketing at Zondervan Publishing and thought the message needed a wider hearing. “I was never really interested in writing a book,” Kyle smiles. “So many books are published every year. Why did anybody need one from me?” But Gates was persuasive. “If you turn that sermon series into a book, I’ll make sure it gets published.” After praying about it, Kyle decided to see if God could use him as an author. “I remember something you said in preaching class,” Kyle told me. “Preaching is ‘truth through personality.’ The truth I was writing wasn’t new, but we all have a unique voice, a unique personality. Each voice has a role, so maybe God could use the way my personality communicates to reach someone that others might not.”


Indeed God did use it. Since its release in 2011, Kyle’s book, Not a Fan, has sold over a million copies. Now a Writer, Still a Preacher Known widely now as an author, Kyle still thinks like a preacher. “I think there are two types of preaching authors: those who collect their sermons and turn them into a book, and those who write a book as one big sermon. I’m the second type.” The preaching skills he learned at Ozark have served his writing ministry well. “There are so many parallels to preaching,” says Kyle. “When I was a student in Homiletics, we had to manuscript our sermons, writing them out word-for-word. That was a good discipline for me, and I’ve done it ever since. You told us to write on the top of our sermon manuscript the name of a person or two we had in mind as we wrote the sermon. I do that now as I’m writing a book manuscript. Most of all, both preaching and writing are about communicating God’s Word to people.” When asked about the joys unique to writing, Kyle reflects, “I love hearing stories of how God got the book in someone’s hands. Someone gets it from a friend as a gift, and it sits unread on their shelf for six months. Then one day in a moment of need, they open it, and God speaks to them. Or a prisoner finds it in the prison library

and comes face to face with Jesus. It’s been translated into other languages—Korean, German, Polish, Spanish and others—and there are people reading it that I will likely never meet in person. I could’ve never had an audience with that person, but in book form, God can orchestrate getting the message into their hands.” Since Not a Fan, Kyle has written two more books. Gods At War confronts the forms of idolatry that often creep into our lives. His most recent book, AHA: The God Moment That Changes Everything, explores the parable of the prodigal son to describe what life-changing repentance looks like. Whether writing or preaching, Kyle remains thankful for his training at Ozark Christian College. “The most important things I learned at OCC were a love for God’s Word and a love for God’s people. When I’m communicating—in a book or in a sermon—if those are my motivations, then I’m building on the right foundation.”

Kyle Idleman (‘98) AHA: The God Moment That Changes Everything (David C. Cook, 2014)



73rd Year Begins

Campus Summer Projects

Handshakes, hugs and laughter—enrollment day last August had all three. Pray for our student body—all 743 of them—as we continue to prepare Christian leaders for Kingdom work.

Taking Christ to the Nations Last summer, many Ozark students, graduates, faculty and staff—74 people in 38 countries—went “into all the world.” Servants (51% Female, 49% Male): Students Intercultural Studies Graduates Faculty/Staff

74 40 19 15

Countries Served:


OCC’s technology department, led by Mitch Piercy, worked hard last summer, installing high-speed network switches, speakers and projection systems in OCC classrooms. They overhauled the electronic sign at the main entrance, ordered a new outdoor security system, and much more. Physical plant director Tim Runyon and his staff completed many special summer projects, too. The PPD team replaced the chapel stage, removed old wooden storage units and replaced them with metal storage shelves in all residence halls, installed campus street signs and park benches, created a patio area in front of the Mabee Student Center and constructed a new office space in the Casteel Administration Building. We’re so grateful for the hard-working staff at Ozark, who daily exemplify our core value, “…not to be served, but to serve.”


24% 21% 5%




OCC Camp Teams


Community Volunteer Expo This year’s Community Volunteer Expo welcomed 70 exhibitors from churches, ministries and nonprofits in Joplin and the surrounding area. The Expo presents volunteer opportunities, internships and paid positions to OCC students, letting them see where to serve during school. To be involved in future Expos or for more Christian service opportunities, contact the Ministry Center at 417.626.1234 ext. 2019 or

Students Visit Southland Christian Church Last summer, OCC sent out 24 students for a total of 52 weeks of camp and Christ In Youth events throughout the United States. Groups traveled to Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Michigan to show and share the love of Christ to students. OCC sophomore Marcus Schaeffer writes of his camp team experience: “At Rainbow Christian Camp, our fifth week, I led a group of ninth grade boys. I saw these boys begin to understand the freedom that Jesus has given us, and I saw their desire to share that freedom with friends who don’t know it. One of the boys in my group decided to be baptized at the end of the week, and I saw the rest of the boys surround him and celebrate with him. To see the Spirit move in the lives of those students and change them through the week was absolutely amazing.”

Twenty students in this fall’s “Preaching and Creativity” seminar headed to Lexington, Kentucky, to sit under the teaching of alum and Southland’s lead minister Jon Weece, SCC staff member and Ozark alum Dan Hamel, and OCC executive vice president Damien Spikereit. Students discussed sermon planning and creative brainstorming in the writing process at the Richmond Road Campus, a converted mall that now has a weekly attendance of around 4,000. They also toured Southland’s main campus (Harrodsburg Road) and saw how things work behind the scenes at the church.

Draws Huge Crowd

Request a team for your 2015 summer camp at

On September 12-13, speaker Danny Curry, the Jordan Howerton Band and 1,051 middle schoolers converged on campus for a powerful 24 hours. Students learned, “God is for you in your sin,” “God is with you in your pain” and “Go be for/with the world.” OCC grad Brian Jennings and residence director Seth Reynolds also led interactive seminars. Please pray that God will grow the seeds planted in young hearts that weekend, to bear much fruit for His glory.



Boatman’s New Roof is On

Women’s Volleyball: A Work in Progress

In early September, a hard-working crew replaced the roof on Boatman Hall. This much-needed $27,000 project has been funded in part by Ozark friends who responded to our August project request letter. Thank you to those generous friends who, to date, have given $19,283 to put a roof over students’ heads!

Ozark Staff Members Honored Each fall, OCC is pleased to honor employees who have given years of service to the ministry of the school. This year, 23 employees were recognized—five years (3), 10 years (6), 15 years (5), 20 (3), 25 (3), 30 (2) and 35 years (1). Delores Michael has worked in the Food Services Department for each of those 35 years. Thank you to all of our employees who give daily to the Lord’s work as Kingdom servants.

OCC women’s volleyball began with a bang on a road trip to Ankeny, Iowa. The team came away with victories there, and are currently at 7-1. “As always,” says Coach Tony Allmoslecher, “the team is a work in progress.” The Lady Ambassadors have a few returnees from last year’s team that finished 39-11 and second in the nation. Carrie Page and Rickie Duley lead the way as juniors, followed by sophomores Ashley Bonnemier, Nichole Scaggs, Jennie Snyder, Austin Welch, Tessa Lucas and five incoming players. “We face some huge challenges in the next few weeks, but the girls are poised and ready to attack each one head-on,” Allmoslecher says. “We compete in a tough region, but due to our tradition of winning, beating Ozark is a huge deal. We need to keep growing and be the team that really plays together as a squad.” Coach Allmoslecher is assisted by Katie Berry.

HEARD IN CHAPEL This fall, our college family is engaged in three powerful series of messages in Chapel each Tuesday. Listen to the messages at, or watch the messages on the college’s YouTube channel. Here’s a taste of what we’ve heard so far…


“So don’t underestimate for one minute the transforming power of one small act of justice done in the name of Christ . . . remembering that God brought justice into the world in one small act.” Doug Welch, 9.2.14, God is . . . Just.


OCC Soccer Team: Young but Deep


Men’s Basketball: Season Outlook “The 2014-2015 edition of men’s Ambassador basketball could be a tale of two semesters,” comments Coach Chris Lahm. “The Ambassadors carried 18 players as they began practice in October. Five of those are transfers seeking eligibility for the spring semester. This could drastically change the look of the team.” The team includes five returning players from last year’s squad that finished at 18-18. The season opener on November 1 is an exhibition game against Philander Smith College of Little Rock, Arkansas. They also will play exhibition games against John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla, Missouri. The Ambassadors are coached by Chris Lahm—his tenth year as the men’s head coach, and 29th year overall—and assistants Skip Walker and Kyle Wicklund.

Women’s Basketball: ‘Foundation of Excellence’

After a mini-camp, three-a-day and two-a-day practice schedules and try-outs in August, 21 young men made the roster for the 2014 OCC soccer team. With only two seniors (David Kerlin and Billy Bonfield) and four juniors (Taylor Hunt, Nick Hilgediek, Jose Heredia-Garza and Kelvin Maina), they are a young team, but deep in talent. Head coach Kevin Greer comments, “In one short week, the team came together and exhibited a lot of talent as well as heart.” Captains this season are Kerlin and Hunt, with Jesse Koskovick as manager and Kendall Martin, statistician. Coach Greer is assisted by Andy Storms.

“Adam Clarke offered this description of God: ‘The eternal, independent, and selfexistent Being . . .who, from His infinite wisdom, cannot err or be deceived; and who, from His infinite goodness, can do nothing but what is eternally just, and right, and kind.’ This we believe. So tell me, why would you want to sin against this Person?” Michael DeFazio, 8.26.14, God is . . . Here

With core returning players and several new talented additions, the Lady Ambassadors should excel in both conference and regional play. The team will be led by junior Tesia Snow, who returns from a major knee injury that kept her on the sidelines for most of last year. Also returning are Chelsea Matlack (1st Team All-Region, AllConference, ACCA 1st Team All-American) and Whitney Matlack (Honorable Mention All-Region). The Lady Ambassadors welcome Baylee Hilton from Aurora, Missouri. Hilton had a standout high school basketball career, and is anticipated to have an immediate impact at the collegiate level. Coach Tab Hall says, “This year, the Lady Ambassadors are driven to play hard and motivated to win. They will be a fun and exciting team to coach and watch as they continue to build a foundation of excellence.” Coach Hall is assisted by Deb Hafer.

“I have a friend who has made cardboard covers for all the remotes in his house, and on each of them are the words, ‘I will not be entertained by the sins Jesus died for.’’’ Matt Proctor, 9.16.14, You Can . . . Resist Sexual Temptation


THE SACRED HOUR Tuesday at 10:00 continues to be the heartbeat of OCC—the hour when the Ozark family gathers in the chapel to glorify God.

Celebrating 30 Years of the Living Christmas Tree Ozark Christian College presents:

A Strand of Pearls Thursday, December 4 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 5 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 6 4:00 & 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 7 4:00 & 7:30 p.m.

Tickets - $7.00 Children under 12 & overflow seating - $5.00

Tickets on sale beginning Monday, October 27, 2014 • By phone at 417.626.1221 • Online at • In person at the OCC Chapel (Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)



Getting to know the people of Ozark Christian College

JAY ENGELBRECHT, DAD AND DREAMER Looking for Jay Engelbrecht? Good luck finding him. He may be in a classroom, teaching Composition or British Literature. Or, he may be playing Ultimate Frisbee with his Lifetime Wellness students. Most likely, though, you’ll find Jay outside. “Southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas are charming,” Jay says. He would know. The Missouri native commutes to work on

his mountain bike via Joplin’s Frisco Trail, an old railroad running north-south through the middle of town. A fan of winter weather, Jay also dreams of someday exploring Montana by bike. Until then, Jay and his wife, Sharon, love traveling to Mexico to build homes with Casas Por Cristo and raising their three kids close to OCC.

Bike-riding Book-lover: Jay earned a BA in English from the University of Missouri, and an MS in Educational Technology from Pittsburg State University. He credits his mom—also an English teacher—for his love of Shakespeare, Bronte, Dostoevsky, Dickinson and Frost. “They’ve taught me so much over the years, and now I get to introduce my students to them!”

In Memoriam: Jay’s most important role, he says, is dad. “I want the inscription on my tombstone to read, ‘He taught Madeleine, Jacqueline and Miles to ride a bike.’”

Casas Por Cristo: After days of laboring under a hot sun in Juarez, Mexico, Jay loves to watch families enter their safe, dry home. “It’s super small, but the kids are stoked, and it’s given in Christ’s name.”

Montana Dreamin’: “I’ve had several amazing students like Anna Burns, Emily Hinebauch, Drew Thompson, and Danny, Lisa and Jenny Larsson—all outstanding people from Big Sky Country. I want to see the rugged beauty of Montana and meet the people who raise such morally stalwart youngsters.”


COMING SOON Upcoming events at OCC

November 13-16, 2014: International Conference on Missions, Columbus, OH ICOM is coming to Ohio this November, where thousands of missions-minded Christians will refocus “vertically”—that is, rather than a horizontal focus on the here and now, attendees will be challenged to maintain a vertical focus on God. Conference President David Butts writes, “It will be a gathering with prayer at its very center. Worship, messages and workshops will all

point us to the Lord who empowers us for His mission.” This conference features Scott Longyear, Dick Eastman, Zebedee Togarepi, Greg Pruett and Peter Ignatius, as well as 180 workshops, 650 exhibits and the African Children’s Choir from Zimbabwe. For details, visit, and visit your Ozark family at booth 737.

February 3-4, 2015: International Focus Week OCC welcomes David Butts as main speaker for this year’s International Focus Week. A sought-after conference speaker, David serves on several boards of directors and committees focused on prayer and evangelism, including America’s National Prayer Committee and Pioneer Bible Translators. David will also serve as president of this year’s International Conference on Missions in Columbus, OH. Dave received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lincoln Christian College (1975), a bachelor’s (1978) and master’s (1982) from Indiana State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Theology (PhD) from Atlantic Coast Theological Seminary (2014). In 1993, Dave

and his wife, Kim, launched Harvest Prayer Ministries. He has also authored several books, including When God Shows Up, Desperate for Change, The Devil Goes to Church, Prayer and the End of Days, Asleep in the Land of Nod, Revolution on Our Knees and Pray Like the King. Each year, International Focus Week offers OCC students a deeper understanding of the Great Commission’s global aspect. Dave and other guests will bring messages and workshops on the theme of prayer in global missions. A schedule for the week can be found at, and the public is invited to attend.

April 10-11, 2015: Women’s Conference at OCC Ladies, mark your calendars! Speakers Carla Scott and Beth DeFazio will discuss “Life in a Word: Lessons from Ecclesiastes.” The weekend also includes workshops, a Saturday lunch, late-night games and worship led by award-winning Christian musician Mandie Pinto (Real Life Church, Santa Clarita, CA). Invite a friend, and join us for Women’s Conference at OCC!

Beth DeFazio


Mandie Pinto

Carla Scott



Upcoming events at OCC

April 24-25, 2015: Deeper Life Take your high schoolers deeper this spring, at OCC’s annual Deeper Life convention. This weekend offers a deeper environment for student leaders and youth sponsors alike—deeper in the Word, deeper in prayer, deeper in relationship with the God who loves us. In addition to main sessions, breakout seminars and worship, Deeper Life also includes the annual OCC preaching festival for seniors. Find out more at

June 2-15, 2015: Take a Pauline Tour Ozark invites you to tour the cities of Paul this summer with professors Chad Ragsdale and Michael DeFazio. The pages of Scripture and history will come alive as we walk the streets of Ephesus, Corinth, Athens, Rome and many other cities. Trip details including itinerary, cost and registration information may be found at or email Chad Ragsdale at Space is limited, so respond soon!


HERE’S AN IDEA Practical tips for your life and ministry

3 WAYS TO KINDLE YOUR CREATIVITY You can contribute a verse. What will your verse be? Recognize these advertising lines lifted from Walt Whitman’s prose? Apple has been promoting their iPad relentlessly this year, using this question to encourage us to use their tablet “to add a stanza to the world’s story.” Truth is, our Father is interested in each of us contributing a verse—or, creatively sharing our story— with the watching world. “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.” Eph 5:1 (NIV) God created. We can imitate Him by . . . creating. Let’s be honest. Being “creative” is not always easy. The muse isn’t always there when you need her. But whether you are trying to come up with a new idea for a lesson or an article or book or painting, etc., being able to get those creative juices flowing is important. Dru Ashwell is Vice President of College Relations and editor of The Ambassador.

Here are a few suggestions to begin your journey of contributing a verse:

Read . . . a lot. Author Michael Gelb writes, “Baby ducks learn to survive by imitating their mothers. Learning through imitation is fundamental to many species, including humans. As we become adults we have a unique advantage: we can choose whom and what to imitate.” Spending time listening to creative people will naturally help our creativity. Choose wisely what you read, but make the time in your daily and weekly schedule to soak in ideas from the wise sages of both the past and the present.

Collaborate. When possible, bouncing ideas off of another person can help spur on new ideas. Sometimes conveying your ideas out loud to someone helps you see them in a different way. The Bible says, “As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another,” (Prov 27:17) and, “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.” (Prov 15:22)

Find your time. Everyone has a time of the day when they are most creative. Maybe it’s when you first get up in the morning. Perhaps it’s late at night after the family goes to bed. Guard this time and start small, with realistic expectations. Don’t expect to finish a novel after two or three days/weeks/months. Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Enjoy releasing your creative juices, whether it’s writing or painting or gardening, or whatever your creative verse is. “Thinking, planning, imagining, creating—processes encouraged by reading—remain essential to society. Even television shows must have writers. Without people oriented toward language, very little would be accomplished. The point is, the wielders of influence will always be those who read and write, who still work within the framework of language. If Christians remain true to their heritage, if they train themselves to be people of the Word and pursue the disciplines of reading and writing, their influence will be felt once again as it was in the formative moments of our civilization.” Gene E. Veith, Jr., Reading Between the Lines


FEBRUARY 23-25, 2015


Aaron Brockett

Nate Bush


Mike Baker

Bob Russell: What the Church Can Be Ken Idleman

Bob Russell

Josh Huckabay Worship Leader

Damien Spikereit

Dr. Gary Zustiak: Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis

• Nursery and preschool during all sessions and workshops • Elementary K-5th grade during all evening sessions • Teen session Wednesday evening To register or for more information, visit

YOUR PARTNERSHIP Helpful tools for Christian stewardship

LIKE IT OR NOT The other day, Libby placed my 2014 Ozark staff photo next to my 1981 Ozark student photo—like it or not, things have changed! There is more of me in some spots and less of me in others (especially on top). As things change, so must our strategies and plans. We have revised our estate plan several times over the years and are again thinking about some modifications. Change motivates change.

TRIBUTE GIFTS July 12-September 10, 2014 In Loving Memory: Dwight Carr

Jean Cargile Pat Bradfield Lois Barr Phyllis Ulm

Russell Comeaux

M/M Glen L. Graham

Fannie Foust

Harold D. Culver

Harvey Gaither

M/M Robert Hedrick III Claudine Gering

Brian Giebler

John Patterson Charlene Robertson Ralph Sparks Mark Sonderman M/M Martin Williams M/M Howard Tackett Hermina Doubledee M/M Rick Utter J. Larry Martin Paul Foster, Jr. M/M Ronald Minson M/M Mickey Bobbett Antioch CC, Leslie, MO M/M Donald Moore

How about you? Do your plans reflect your current family situation? Do they take into account your financial circumstances today? Are they current or way out of date? A simple thing like a photo comparison can trigger change in thought and action. If you need to review, update or create your stewardship plan for your estate, please feel free to give me a call (417.626.1218) or email me ( anytime. It would be a pleasure to assist you in any way I can. Oh yes! We hope you like the change from The Compass to The Ambassador!

Learn more at

M/M Ron Billiard M/M Kevin Moyers M/M Thomas E. Williams M/M Doug Miller M/M Larry Catron M/M Ray Schell Helen Gibson Anna Moyers’ Graduating Classmates of 1947 M/M Leo Moyers Rebekah Moyers

Rosa Mull

M/M Joe Tyler

H. Dean Price

M/M Bill Abernathy M/M Charles Gash

Lloyd Robbins

Dr. & Mrs. C. Robert Wetzel

Nadine Robbins

Dr. & Mrs. C. Robert Wetzel

Marcelle Rosebaum

M/M Larry Catron

Bryan and Amber Rowoth

Dr. & Mrs. Brian C. High M/M Paul Rowoth

Louise Tate

M/M Paul Holder

Pat Handley

Scott Handley Valerie Stetler

Charles and Dorothy M/M David Wittenborn Wittenborn

Gary Leake

M/M Leonard Leake

Dewey Wofford

Wade Lowrey

Center Point CC, Carthage, MO

Connie Mieir

Bill Mieir, Sr.

Ray Moyers

M/M Charles Gash M/M Jeff Mullican Phyllis Neumeyer M/M Jerry Witt Dr. & Mrs. Daniel Lowry Karen Paddock M/M Daniel Williams Jennifer Addington Kathryn Powell M/M David Martin M/M Bill Douglas M/M Dale Johnson M/M David Millard A. Jean Armstrong M/M Robert Hirons

So if you’re overstuffed with quality items you no longer use or need, why not donate them to Ozark where they’ll be converted to cash to prepare men and women for Christian service? Consider donating electronics, cell phones, vehicles, stocks, gift cards and many other items.

Ray Moyers

In Honor Of: Forum Boulevard CC, Dr. & Mrs. Brian C. High Columbia, MO Brandon Kittle

Tribute Gift Form In Loving Memory Of…

Given By:

In Honor Of…

Name Enclosed is my gift of:



Please send acknowledgement to: Name

Gift Card Vehicle Laptop Commodities Real Estate

Address City/State/Zip


Dr. & Mrs. Brian C. High



Plenty of ways to give!

Forsyth CC, Forsyth, MO

separate paper for additional names.



One Year Goal: $80,000 • Upgrade Classroom Furnishings: chairs, tables • Update Classroom Technology: video projectors, sound systems, white boards Over $33,000 has been given so far.

Thank you, Ozark alumni!

SAVE THE DATES Alumni Special Events during 2 015 PR EACHIN G -TEACHIN G CO N V ENTION


Tuesday, February 24 – 8:45 pm Class Reunions – 1955, 1965, 1975, 1985, 1989, 1995, 2005 Wednesday, February 25 – 4:00 pm Alumni Banquet

INFORMATION PLEASE We want to keep in touch with you, so please help us update your alumni file! We need your: • Name • Maiden name • Address • Year of graduation/years attended • Cell and home number • Email Send to: @Ozark 1942 @Ozark Admissions 25



Brent (90) and Kelsey Irwin on the arrival of Becks Lynae on May 2, joining older sister, Blythe. The Irwins live in Maysville, MO.

Tyler (attended) and Jenny Cullins (09) Skaggs on the birth of Chloe Brielle on April 28 in Joplin.

Brandon (10) and Amber High (08) Kittle on the arrival of Audryanna Jo on July 29. The Kittles minister with Willard Community CC in Willard, MO.

Ryan (attended) and Heidi Aikins on the arrival of Kingston Steven on July 26. Ryan serves as lead pastor with the Hillside CC in Marshfield, MO.

Nathan and Ashley Storms (attended) Arp on the birth of Steiger Ryan on July 31. The Arps live in Casa Grande, AZ.

Kevin (09) and Lauren Bryant on the birth of Myla Joelle on July 23. The Bryants minister with the Kingsway CC in Mt. Vernon, MO.

Adam and Kristy Peebles (09) Griffith on the birth of Aiden Victor on May 30. The Griffiths serve in Thailand with New Mission Systems, International.


Adam (01) and Heidi Russell (99) Graunke on the birth of Noah Stephen on August 28. The Graunkes live in Martelle, IA, where Adam serves as pulpit minister with the Martelle CC.

Thane and Bethany Chaney (attended) Garnett on the arrival of Kennedy on August 27 in Fort Worth, TX.

Travis (09) and Nichole Palmateer (09) Roberts on the birth of Emma Suzanne on September 10 in Wichita, KS. Travis serves on the staff of Riverlawn CC.

Tyler (10) and Abigail Curran (11) Lane on the arrival of Norah Gwen on August 14. The Lanes live in Tracy, CA, where he serves as student pastor at Journey CC. Doug (11) and AshLee Gowing (11) Aldridge on the birth of WyLee Renae on August 12. The Aldridges live in Carthage, MO. Derek (08) and Cassie Lahm on the birth of Emily Joy on August 14. The Lahms live in Oakland, NE, where Derek is a principal (K-12) and head boys’ basketball coach at LyonsDecatur Northeast High School. Logan and Abbie Moyers (attended) Harris on the birth of Kelzie Jo on August 9. The Harris family lives in Diamond, MO. Tim and Rachel Charley (05) Sanderson on the arrival of Aubree Mae on August 30. The Sandersons live in Kearney, NE.

David (04) and Amy Modert on the birth of Nathaniel Eli on August 29 in Hayward, CA.



OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHY: Doug Fadness (86) passed away after a fall on September 14 in Rockford, IL. He had been living in Forsyth, MO. Pray for his wife, Bev, and their family as they adjust to this sudden loss.

Brian Giebler (attended/former faculty) passed away suddenly on July 24 in Joplin. Keep his wife, Cindy, and his children in your prayers at this difficult time.

Randy King (attended) passed away on August 1 from injuries sustained in an assault in Joplin on July 27. Continue to remember Randy’s family as they work through this loss.

June Pommert (attended) passed away in Joplin on August 17, after a short illness. Keep her husband, John (56/72/76 former faculty), in your prayers as he adjusts to life without June.

Richard Snell (57-M) was killed in a hunting accident on September 13. He lived with his wife, Thelma Sack (attended-M), in Lexington, NE. Pray for Thelma, as they had just celebrated 60 years of marriage this past summer.

Charles Thomas (56-M) passed away in Tulsa, OK, on August 29. Keep his family in your prayers as they miss their father and grandfather.

CLASS NOTES: Class Of ‘57:

Class Of ‘68:

Howard and Lovell Montgomery (55) Mountcastle celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on June 17, and Howard celebrated 60 years in the preaching ministry this summer. They are retiring from full-time ministry, closing a ministry in Caruthersville, MO, and plan to live in the Joplin area. Howard hopes to do interim ministry and Lovell some substitute teaching.

Alan and Janet Dittemore (95) Bemo celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 16 at a reception hosted by their children. The Bemos live in Joplin, and are doing some outreach work in SE Asia and other countries.

Class Of ‘71: Class Of ‘62: Richard Billings celebrated 50 years in the preaching ministry and serving with the Chelsea CC in Chelsea, OK.

After 41 years in education, Dr. Dan Lowry retired from the University of Missouri College of Education as director of the nation’s largest education partnership. Dan served 31 years in public education and 10 years in higher education. Dan and his wife, Carol, continue their ministry with Leeton CC in Leeton, MO.

Class Of ‘72: Class Of ‘66: Dr. R. Joe Wilson reports that in June, World Mission Builders (Joe is the Domestic Coordinator for WMB) assisted the First CC in Sturgis, KY, to frame up and dry-in a 20,000 sq. ft. worship/ educational facility. Additionally, the fifth chapel WMB has built inside Oklahoma prison walls has been completed at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, OK.

After 40 years of ministry with the New Testament CC in Keokuk, IA, Bill Hauser will retire on October 19.



CLASS NOTES: Class Of ‘74:

David Schepper, minister of the Galena CC in Galena, KS, and also a Joplin police chaplain, was recently awarded the Diplomate Credential Level award from the International Conference of Police Chaplains. The award is the second-highest credential bestowed by the conference, requiring completion of 500 hours of professional studies, 15 years as a law enforcement chaplain, 20 credits in the field and service to the ICPC.

Paul Buschmann celebrated 40 years of ministry with the Hoover CC in Platte City, MO, in August. R. Wayne Lowry began his second year of ministry with the Greenwood CC in Greenwood, MO, and he and his wife, June, celebrated 40 years of marriage on August 3.

Class Of ‘76: George Williams retired from the Oklahoma prison system on October 3 after working in this field for 18 years. George lives in Tuttle, OK, with his wife, Patti Miskowsky.

Class Of ‘78:

Class Of ‘86:

Phil Hester of Bedford, IN, writes that he lost his wife of 35 years, Carol, to lung cancer on August 11, 2013.

Damon Jones has been a probation and parole officer for the State of Missouri for nine months. In August, he participated with Team World Vision in the Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon (with OCC classmate Steve Spear ‘86). It is the longest relay race in the world, and proceeds will provide clean water for the newest country on earth, South Sudan. The Jones family lives in Rolla, MO.

Class Of ‘79: Michael R. Williams will celebrate 40 years in ministry in November. Michael, who has been in prison ministry since 2001, is the chaplain at the Shawnee Correctional Center, which houses 1,900 inmates in Vienna, IL. Since October 2008, the Lord has brought 302 inmates to be baptized during services there. Michael received his Master of Divinity in 1996 from Lincoln Christian Seminary. He and his wife, JoDelle, will celebrate 39 years of marriage in December and currently reside in Carbondale, IL.

Class Of ‘83: Kevin Klein has accepted the position of discipleship minister with Racine CC in Racine, MO, leaving a ministry with College Heights CC in Joplin. Allan Wall and his family recently took a mission trip to Cuba with his family. They visited a Cuban minister and church supported by their local church.

Class Of ‘85:

Class Of ‘88: After over 36 years, Mary Clymer retired as church secretary with the Christian Church of Carl Junction, MO, on July 20. Mary lives with her husband, Gordon (59/former faculty), in Carl Junction.

Class Of ‘90: Jeffery Jones recently completed a chaplain training program and is working as a hospice chaplain in Reno County/Hutchinson, KS. He also serves with the Attica CC in Attica, KS.

Class Of ‘91: Nancy Bottoms Storms recently retired from US Airways. She is doing substitute teaching in Chandler schools and lots of volunteer hours at Chandler CC in Chandler, AZ, and helping with her grandkids. Her husband, Roger (76/OCC trustee), serves as lead pastor of the Chandler CC.

Daniel and Esther Powell celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on August 26. The Powells live in Webb City, MO.

Class Of ‘94: Matt Bortmess earned a Master of Science degree in Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University this summer. Matt lives with his wife, Lynda Hahn (attended) and children in Rochester, IL.




Class Of ‘95: Brian Williams was awarded a Master of Philosophy degree in Christian Ethics, with high honors, from Oxford University in Oxford, England this past spring. This is a requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy degree that Brian is presently working on at Oxford.

Class Of ‘98: Joe and Kirsten Bentsen (attended) Williams have closed their ministry with Northside CC in Kansas City, MO, to allow Joe to become lead pastor with the Bella Vista Christian Church in Bella Vista, AR.

Class Of ‘99: Dusty Frizzell earned a Master of Arts in Bible and Theology from Lincoln Christian Seminary in May. Dusty serves as youth pastor with Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch, CA.

Class Of ‘00: J.W. Bergmann was awarded a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Lincoln Christian Seminary in May. J.W. lives in Plainfield, IL.

Class Of ‘01: Ronald “Hobie” Brown is serving as a chaplain (spiritual care coordinator/grief support specialist) with Hospice Advantage in Lee’s Summit, MO.

Class Of ‘02: Allen Williams was awarded a Master of Arts in Worship Studies from Lincoln Christian Seminary in May. Allen serves as worship minister with Rogers CC in Rogers, AR.

Jenny Thomas Fay earned a Master of Arts in Bible and Theology from Lincoln Christian Seminary in Lincoln, IL, in May. She lives in Las Vegas, NV, where she serves with Canyon Ridge CC as children’s pastor, and her husband, Garett (02), is youth pastor.

Class Of ‘03: Amanda Powell has accepted the position of 7th-12th grade principal and athletic director at Golden City R-III School District for the 2014-2015 school year. She is currently in a doctoral program scheduled for completion in 2015. Tony Streck has left a store management position with Walmart in Tulsa, OK, to work in the home office of Walmart in Bentonville, AR, as Replenishment Manager. Tony and his wife, Holly Jones (02), and their family will make their home in the Bentonville area.

Class Of ‘05: Dallas Henry was awarded a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Lincoln Christian Seminary in May. Dallas lives with his wife, Alpha Brown (05), in Wilmington, IL, where he serves as lead minister with the First CC. Kim Koch Kirschner is serving as part-time early childhood director with Prairie Grove CC in Prairie Grove, AR. James Manuel is serving as lead pastor of the Green Mountain CC in Lakewood, CO. Melissa Streeter Winston was recently named one of the top 15 Leaders Under Forty to watch by the Joplin Regional Business Journal. She works with Bright Futures, a program to assist the Joplin schools in helping students (K-12) excel in school and reach graduation. She recently earned her counseling license, and does counseling for House of Hope, a ministry to troubled teens and their families in the Joplin area. She and her husband, Erik (05), recently started a business called Trident DVR, which sells home security systems. They live in Joplin.

Class Of ‘06: Kathryn Schrage Tucker is serving as part-time early childhood director with Prairie Grove CC in Prairie Grove, AR.



CLASS NOTES: Class Of ‘14:

Class Of ‘07: James Morrill was awarded a Master of Divinity in General Bible from Lincoln Christian Seminary in May. He was also selected as the Master of Divinity Honored Student for the 2014 graduating class.

Class Of ‘08:

Kylee Amos and Nick Hatfield (current student) were married in Joplin on September 7. They are making their home in Battlefield, MO. Both serve on the staff of Glendale CC in Springfield, Kylee as associate children’s minister and Nick as part-time young adult minister. Joseph Lang is serving as children’s minister with the Central CC in Ocala, FL.

Jason Poznich earned a Master of Divinity in Preaching Ministry from Lincoln Christian Seminary in Lincoln, IL. Jason left a ministry in Centralia, IL, to become the preaching professor at Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, MO.

Class Of ‘10: Ryan Fletcher and Megan Gariss (09) were married in Oronogo, MO, on August 8. Ryan is serving on the staff of Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria, AZ. He was also awarded a master’s degree from Johnson University in Knoxville, TN, this past May. Kyle Welch and Monica Williams were married in Porter Ranch, CA, on September 26. Kyle serves on the staff of Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch, CA.

Attended: Cody Papinchock is serving as associate minister of discipleship and worship with the Fifth Avenue CC in Havre, MT.

Faculty/Staff: David Roadcup (former faculty) has resigned his position in the seminary at Cincinnati Christian University, effective December 31, 2014. He has joined the staff of TCMII in Indianapolis, IN and Heiligenkreuz, Austria. He will serve as Professor of Discipleship and Outreach Representative.

Articles: Christian Standard September “Why Would You Be the President of the NACC?” by Dr. Tim Harlow (83) October “The Power of the Arts” by Dr. C. Robert Wetzel (56-M) “A plea from a preacher who’s passionately concerned about the future… AVALANCHE” by Dudley Rutherford (80)

Class Of ‘13: Zach Pittman and Rachel Crockett (current student) were married in Joplin on July 19. They are making their home in Joplin while Rachel finishes her studies at OCC. Danielle Wilson and Kyle Brown were married in Peoria, AZ, on September 26. They are making their home in the Phoenix area.

The Lookout September 21 – “Growing in Knowledge” by Victor Knowles (former faculty) September 21 – “Never Give Up” by Dr. H. Lynn Gardner (61/ former faculty)

Books: See pages 8 and 11.




“I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of Ozark and see the value of training men and women for Christian service. As I have entered into full-time ministry, I have seen the ways God has used Ozark to shape and mold not only myself but also the people I work alongside. I am so thankful for the classes, the investment of professors, and the different relationships that were formed throughout my four years attending Ozark. Ozark is worth it. It has been so EHQHąFLDO DQG OLIH FKDQJLQJ %HFDXVH of the experiences and impact that was made on my life, I want to give back to the school I love to help do the same for other students. I believe that God is at work through Ozark, and I am happy to do my part each month to support my alma mater and invest in current students. ”




1111 N Main St Joplin, MO 64801 Change service requested

ONE MORE THING A final thought from our assistant editor


Amy Storms is a wife, mom, writer and dorm mom in Strong Hall.

At the age when little girls want to be cheerleaders, I begged my parents for a set of pom-poms. After all, all my friends were getting them, and recess at school wouldn’t be nearly as fun if I were the only pom-pomless cheerleader. Our school colors were red and white, so the other girls bought pom-poms to match. But when my mom drove me to the store for mine, I chose, not the red of the Weatherford Eagles, but a set of blue pom-poms for my favorite school. Ozark Bible College. At eight years old, I was already a fan.

I was a fan of men like Wilbur Fields and Bob Stacy. I’d grown up hearing my parents tell stories of their former professors’ faithfulness and Christlikeness. I watched their lives and patterned mine after their examples. I was a fan of women like Jackina Stark, who came to my home church to lead women’s retreats, and whose many articles and books I would read over the years. At a young age, I only loved Jackina’s humor and kindness and fun. But soon, I also came to appreciate her gift with words‌and to love the Christ she taught. I was a fan of OBC—and then, of OCC—a place that was home to so much of my story, and the vehicle through which God challenged me and grew me and called me.

At age 18, carrying books instead of pompoms, I walked Ozark’s hill as a student. Today, three decades removed from my cheerleader days, and exactly 20 years after my freshman year on campus, I live and work here again as a residence director in Strong Hall, and an assistant in campus events and publications. I’m still a fan. Still a cheerleader for this place that exists to train men and women for Christian service, and teaches the Word of Christ in the Spirit of Christ. Still waving blue pom-poms—metaphorically, of course—for the ministry of Ozark Christian College. My favorite school.

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