EU Alumni Perspective: Colby Fulfer
Name: Colby Fulfer
Graduation Year: 2002
Current Position: Arkansas State Senator
City and State: Springdale, Arkansas
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
Over the past 20 years I have worked in various capacities. I served as a pastor for 18 years before God shifted my calling in life. After sensing that shift and through illness in our family, Rachel and I bought a family business where we saw tremendous growth. During that time I was serving on the City Council in my hometown of Springdale, Arkansas, which is in the heart of one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country. We sold our company and took time to decide what our next step would be. Over the next year we felt as though the right opportunity would present itself and God opened another door. Our Mayor created a Chief of Staff position and asked if I would consider serving our city in that capacity. I accepted the position and have been working in that role for 2 years—and in February of this year, I was elected to the Arkansas State Senate. I have enjoyed my time in the Senate while also being able to continue serving our city as Chief of Staff.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
My favorite memory from my time at Evangel was playing football and being part of the 1997 football team. I attended CBC as well and my favorite memory from my time there was meeting Rachel Michels, who would become my wife, on the steps in front of the Zimmerman Building.
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
“Calling” is an interesting concept. I remember feeling a call into ministry at a young age and never imagined that I would do anything else in life. However, I went from ministry to business and politics because that’s where God led me. I didn’t leave ministry because I was burned out or because anything wrong had happened in my life. I stepped out of full time ministry because God shifted my calling. He closed that chapter of my life and took me into an opportunity to minister to many people through my business. Now he has opened opportunities for me in the political realm and I’m going to continue walking through the doors he opens. So the one thing I can attribute to Evangel in identifying or developing my calling is this. There was an emphasis on your spiritual condition while I was there. Being able to listen to what God is telling you will help you identify your calling. Don’t assume that the career path you choose in college will be your lifelong calling. You have to zig and zag with what God is calling you to do in that moment. Identifying your next step and God’s calling requires walking consistently with Him.
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
Some of the most influential moments to shape my thinking came from hearing the various speakers that came and spoke at our chapel services. They offered practical wisdom from life experiences that always stayed with me. We all gained knowledge from our studies but were exposed to practical wisdom from so many great men and women who shared their life experiences with us.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
You are owed absolutely nothing. Don’t become dependent on the idea that a random opportunity will present itself after graduation that will lead to great success. Align your thinking with what God wants for you and only move forward through doors that He opens. You’ve been blessed to live in the greatest country that has ever existed and through those open doors, leverage the free market and capitalism to be successful in the direction He leads you.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
Here are the 5 questions I ask.
- Who’s calling the shots in their life?
- Are they willing to learn or do they have all the answers?
- Do they have the ability to simply add to their output or do they have the capacity to multiply their output?
- Do they have the ability to recover from a mistake?
- Do they make excuses?