CBC Alumni Perspective: Clayton Arp
Name: Clayton Arp
Graduation Year: 1980
Major: Bible & Missions
Current Position: Assemblies of God US Missionary with the Living Free Ministry
City and State: Louisville, KY
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
After graduation I served on staff at one of the first adolescent Adult & Teen Challenge centers, called King’s Ranch, now known as Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch. In 1984 I became the Director, and the Lord helped us see increase in student enrollment, vocational opportunities and facilities and property.
In 1997 I accepted the position as State Director of Adult &Teen Challenge of Kentucky. At the time the program was dormant with no ownership of any facilities. The opioid crisis in our state and all the Appalachian regions of southern Ohio and West Virginia had just begun with the introduction of oxycontin, strategically marketed in the poorest region of the United States. Out of necessity, our staff initiated a non-resident effort called Lifeline Connection, a strategy of small groups that Memphis Adult & Teen Challenge had developed under John DeSanctis, led by trained lay leaders. Living Free provided the curriculum for the groups and the facilitator training needed to train lay people for ministry. This initiative became so effective that US Congressman Hal Rogers paid for all the trainings in the 5th congressional district of KY and built a men’s rehab center called Chad’s Hope at the cost of 1.7 million dollars and turned the use of it exclusively to Adult & Teen Challenge of Kentucky! A movie was made called An Appalachian Dawn that tells the story of addictions in Eastern Kentucky and the Lifeline Connection ministry and the miracle of Chad’s Hope.
From 2005 until 2011 I served as a Regional Rep for Adult & Teen Challenge, USA. It was during that period that the leadership of Adult & Teen Challenge saw the tremendous need to add a non-resident component to the ministry now called Ready Now Recovery, giving hope to everyone and every family facing addictions. In early 2011 I was asked by Living Free to help initiate non-resident programs and help churches initiate a relevant, relational, non-labeling & biblical small group ministry both for recovery and discipleship, and for entire families to find the hope and help we all need!
What is your favorite memory from CBC?
My favorite memory of Central Bible College are the students gathering outside in the courtyard between Welch Hall, the Library and the Student Union for fellowship! And the outreach group going downtown to witness to the lost in the poorest areas of Springfield. That experience was life-changing for me and lead to a lifetime call of helping the least, the last, of the lost!
How did your experience at CBC prepare you for life after graduation?
Life after graduation was a deep conviction of serving, not being served. And truly trying to provide the most relevant ministry possible to the lost that know nothing of the Christian faith. Obeying the call and the burden was priority over every other decision, and we really had to trust in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33 and really that whole chapter.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
Entering the workforce is our greatest opportunity for ministry, whatever the vocation may be. Sharing the gospel is highest priority and the opportunities in the marketplace are limitless and needed more than ever!
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
In hiring new graduates it’s the character that counts! The famous words of St Francis of Assisi are so relevant today; “preach the Gospel, and only when necessary, use words”.