Westmont College Class of 1973 50th Reunion

My graduating class from Westmont College recently gathered for their 50 year reunion. I was honored to be the president of our graduating class. I was not able to attend the reunion. I was invited to give the invocation at the dinner via video. I opted to declare a blessing over the class for the invocation. This is the text of my video:

Greetings! I’m disappointed that I cannot be with you this weekend to celebrate this half century milestone with you. I’m honored to be invited to participate in this way on this occasion.

For an invocation I would like to declare a blessing over you. It is a blessing based on Psalm 84:4-7. I often declare this passage over myself when I’m on my walks or when I’m passing through difficult circumstances. Joanne and I have enjoyed the manifestation of this blessing in our life and ministry.

One of the signs that has followed our ministry is that of rain especially when we minister in other nations. In Kenya our friends nicknamed Joanne “Mama Nafula” which means Mama Rain because It would often rain whenever we visited Kenya even in the midst of the dry season.

I declare that:

You are blessed to dwell in the house of the Lord.

You are blessed to have your strength in the Lord.

You are blessed to have your heart set toward the presence of the Lord.

You are blessed to create springs whenever you pass through dry valleys.

You are blessed to have the rains of heaven respond and to create pools in those dry valleys.

You are blessed to go from strength to strength.

You are blessed to dwell in the presence of the Lord now and forever.


Enjoy your celebration!

We were also invited to submit a short bio summarizing the highlights of our life since graduation. This is what I submitted:

My life pivoted significantly in 1968. That was the year I sensed the call to vocational ministry, and I began my friendship with Joanne. I chose Westmont as part of my track for ministry preparation. I also desired to develop and hone skills in critical thinking.

Joanne and I wed in June of 1972. We have two daughters. Eileen is married to Matthew McLean. They reside in Portland, Oregon. Heather is a single mom to our granddaughter Myah. They recently relocated to Las Vegas from Portland. 

After graduating from Westmont, I earned a Master of Divinity degree at Denver Seminary. In April 1977, I became the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church in the small rural town of Lakeview in south-central Oregon. Lakeview was our home base until 2022. In June 2022, we moved to San Marcos, California, to enjoy the warmer climate.

After eight years, I resigned from my position at First Baptist Church but felt led to stay in the community. We lead a team of Elders in founding Lakeview Ministries, a nondenominational community church. We desired a more outward-focused church that would serve our local community and the world into which Jesus had called us. We also experimented with a different leadership structure. I served as the Senior Pastor until the summer of 2000. Over the years, I had engaged in increasing opportunities to travel and minister internationally. As that pace picked up, I realized I had less time to focus on our local Lakeview Ministries congregation. Fellow Elders took the senior leadership helm.

In 2000 Joanne and I founded our ministry, EaglesRest Ministries. The focus of our ministry has been to equip, nurture and encourage leaders in the Body of Christ. During my travels, I noted the ministry burnout issue among missionaries and church leaders. This realization became the etymology for the name of our ministry. I have been privileged to minister in about a dozen countries, spending the most time in India, Kenya, and Mexico.

From Lakeview, we began to network with rural churches in the region. Doors also opened to the Hispanic community. We trained four couples for ministry and leadership and helped them plant Hispanic congregations. We regularly circulated among these rural and Hispanic churches and provided leadership and congregational support.

Looking forward from 1968, I would not have predicted a future focused on cross-cultural ministry. Looking back from 2023, I realize that my studies at Westmont, especially as a Sociology major, provided a critical foundation for our cross-cultural ministry.





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