Alumni Perspective: Rich Wood
Name: Donald Richard “Rich” Wood
Graduation Year: 1983
Major: Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
Current Position: Global Discipleship Pastor at Victory Church
City and State: Oklahoma City, OK.
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
- 34 years in Pastoral Ministry (Ordained with the Assemblies of God)
- 18 years in Youth Ministry
- District Youth Director – Oregon
- National Fine Arts Director – A/G Headquarters, Springfield, MO.
- Executive Pastor
- Lead Pastor – LifePoint Church, Vancouver, WA.
- Current Position – Global Discipleship Pastor, Oklahoma City, OK.
What is your favorite memory from EU?
- Being a part of the “Originals” that helped start the football program.
- Learning/observing the heart and call of ministry through athletics from Pastor/Coach Denny Duron and our staff of coaches, including DeAnza Duron.
- Spirit of God moving on our campus during “Spiritual Emphasis” weeks.
- Dorm life
- Meeting my future wife Shari “Swanson” Wood at EU.
How did EU help you identify/develop your calling?
Being born and raised in the AG, there was an atmosphere, and consistent opportunity to experience ministry at different levels in your spiritual growth. I always felt like God had placed a “mantle of leadership” on my life. But when I arrived at Evangel, I was placed in the refiner’s fire, and that is where God began to shape and mold me into who and what I am today.
Being expected to lead my “peers”, and to be around other Godly leaders helped set me on a course for growth and refinement. Being a worship leader for the football team, a leader in the dorms and in my circle of friends, allowed me to move later into a ministry position and call upon those experiences as a training ground for life.
How did your experience at EU prepare you for life after graduation?
Life for me started before graduation, in that my last year of eligibility as a football player, I also became a “married student/athlete”. The responsibility of a new wife, a home, academics, off-season job, and athletics pressed me into becoming a multi-tasker, whether I wanted to or not.
I will forever be grateful to Evangel for developing in me a “Christian Worldview”. Every human being faces the choice of either seeing his or her fellow man as an object or as a blessing. As Christ-followers, we are to see and love each other “as Christ loved the church.” That is one of many things that were refined in my life during my time at EU.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
First of all, it is not about you, it is about “others.” Second, can you learn to “honor” those above you and below you, equally? Third, if you will give God your whole heart and life, He will give you a life of blessing and joy that cannot be explained.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from EU/AGTS?
- Are they willing to work hard, after everyone else has quit?
- Will they serve both the greatest and the least equally?
- Will they pursue life-long learning?
- Are you willing to get up again and again, after you’ve been knocked down?