EU Alumni Perspective: Del Ray Guynes
Name: Del Ray Guynes
Graduation Year: 1978
Current Position: Dean, College of Music and Communications at SAGU; Founder/Senior Partner of Crystal Eye Technologies
City and State: Red Oak, Texas
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
I have been a bi-vocational minister for most of my career. Ministry involvement has included serving as a youth pastor, Chi Alpha campus pastor, pastor of a hotel church in Southeast Asia, minister of music, and now, faculty/administration in Christian higher education. During much of the time, I’ve been involved in ministerial settings I have also held positions in technology-intensive business, pursuing development opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. Industries of focus have been telecommunications, media and communications, and most recently, social media analytics through my recent Ph.D. research. Having a dual occupational role has afforded some very unique ministry opportunities.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Being forced to choose I’d have to say it was a social event—the Junior/Senior banquet in the spring of my junior year, 1977. Tony Cervero was a class officer and hosted put on a fabulous, all-night excursion to Tan Tar A resort at the Lake of the Ozarks. The event featured gospel artist Danniebelle Hall, a nighttime dinner cruise and all-night access to a go-cart track and amusement park. I was a bit new to Evangel, and ended up somehow with a classy date and made some great friends. I had an absolute blast; truly a memory of a lifetime.
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
I have a great heritage as a missionary/preacher’s kid. In my formative years, I knew of little else in the adult world than the ministry involvement my godly parents had in church. I didn’t know anyone that was living a dynamic Spirit-filled life in the workplace. It’s not that people in the workplace that I knew weren’t Spirit-filled, it’s just I didn’t know them well. And anyone I did know that was pursuing God “full-on” was preparing for a career in vocational ministry.
As a junior transfer, I was enrolled in a lower level class that had as one of its textbooks, The Idea of a Christian College, by Arthur Holmes. There were two things I learned in that class that formed deep creases in my brain — the concept of the integration of faith and learning, and the axiom “all truth is God’s truth.” These were brand new ideas to me and prepared me to be able to accept the Lord’s leading into a very different career than I had anticipated.
These foundational concepts combined with the godly examples that I observed among professionals on campus—Bill Ernst, Robert Turnbull, Turner Collins, Doug Tarpley, Jim Tripp, Denny Duron, and of course President Spence (to name some) opened up a world of possibilities as to how God could use my life redemptively in places outside of church settings—in the marketplace.
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
The Evangel experience helped me feel that there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do if God was leading me into it. As part of the very first Crusader football team, I had seen that whole thing come into existence out of nothing, and it became a memorial and reminder to me of what could happen in my own life when a Godly vision is combined with the Spirit’s direction and focus. In this and numerous other ways, Evangel helped me embrace the unconventional if it presented itself—not that I should go looking for it—but that I shouldn’t shy away from it if the Lord’s path led into it. I had grown up to believe the pursuit of God’s general and specific will for my life was important, but before Evangel, the “box” of where He might lead me was much smaller.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
Two things: Study and assimilate principles of Bible characters that made a difference in their generation, and secondly, learn how to relate to and bridge disciplines outside of your own. First impressions are extremely important in the workplace (you never get a second chance to make one), and moral/lifestyle boundaries need to be established gracefully at the first opportunity you’re given. Also, make sure your desire to live a godly life includes competence; people aren’t inclined to receive input from a colleague that isn’t professionally competent. Secondly, there are career opportunities galore for those that are in touch with their inner “polymath”, someone that can solve problems by synthesizing disciplines. Having an ability to relate to and motivate colleagues across disciplines—transdisciplinary teams—is a valuable differentiator in the marketplace.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
In keeping with the advice just mentioned, I would look for two things: Involvement in ministry during the time at Evangel. Summers often afford focused opportunities, but weekly church attendance and support of local ministries during the school year is a huge marker for me, especially if there has been leadership involvement. I’d also look for indications of interest and involvement in disciplines outside of one’s own area of study.