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EU alumni perspectives: Dan Wheeler, Terry Steen, Brian Roland

Dan Wheeler, Terry Steen, Brian Roland

Dan Wheeler (’77), Terry Steen (’77), Brian Roland (’73),

Tell us about your career and what you do now

Roland

I’ve spent the majority of my career in broadcasting, both in front and behind the camera. As a Producer/Director, I’ve won two Emmys and 17 Religion In Media (RIM) Awards. In my career, I’ve worked with Rex Humbard Ministries, WCFC TV in Chicago, and the Trinity Broadcasting Network. On the management side, I was Director of Network Operations for Crawford Communications, managing the operation of 26 networks that included HGTV, The Discovery Channel and Country Music Television. I was the General Manager of Georgia Dome Productions in Atlanta, Georgia where we produced the Atlanta Falcons football games as well as college football and basketball games and concerts. Stationed in Singapore I launched eight new networks for Discovery International including Discovery Asia, Australia, New Zealand, India, Euro-South Africa, Turkey and the Middle East. The latter part of my career was spent in new media, managing a national network of producers and creating live pay-per-view events over the Internet.

Steen

I have spent my entire career combining my accounting and management education with my calling to further God’s kingdom. I have served in various church and ministry leadership roles. I’m an ordained minister and have served twelve years as a certified church administrator for two different churches. I’ve been an adjunct college professor, workshop speaker and written various articles for publication. For the last 18 years I have been a church consultant with AG Financial Solutions, helping churches and pastors throughout the Southeast analyze their financials, as well as fund and fulfill the vision for their congregations.

Wheeler

I have spent over 40 years working in radio and television. For the last 29 years, I have been a host on QVC, the world’s largest electronic retailer. I recently retired from QVC and formed Fearless Faith Ministries with Brian and Terry, who also graduated from Evangel. I’m also writing a book for West Bow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson, about my late wife called, Hurricane of Love: My Journey with Beth Wheeler.

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

Roland

There are so many great memories; it’s hard to mention just one. Harvest Festival, KECC Radio, My band, “Soul Purpose” and the camaraderie with my dorm mates. One story that still makes me laugh was when a professor sprung a surprise test. Not being prepared, an upset Wes Ashcroft came into Jim Lupica’s room in the old barracks, Dorm 66, where a bunch of us were gathered around, and threw his book against the wall. The thrust of the book broke the plaster and the book fell behind the wall. The look on Wes’s face as he just stood there saying “My book, my book” was priceless as we all fell out laughing.

Steen

There are almost too many to start… Living my first year in the “jock dorm” (the last year the barracks were used as dorms.) Meeting Dan Wheeler and becoming roommates all through college and still lifelong friends. Intramural sports competition. Socializing in the cafeteria for meals. Playing on the EC baseball team. Dorm life. Hosting the fall Harvest Festival with Dan. Finally, double dog dares, by which I met the love of my life, and now wife, Karen Billeter, during my junior year.

Wheeler

All of the great fun in the dorms. Terry Steen and I were roommates all four years and it seems like everybody was always in our room. We were always pulling pranks like throwing water on couples who were kissing goodnight below our window. I also have fond memories of hosting the Harvest Festival and playing on the EC baseball team.

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

Roland

My time at Evangel helped me to identify my artistic creativity and develop the foundation of my career.

Steen

My time at Evangel allowed me to become more outgoing and engaging with people, giving me a greater desire to connect with people on a deeper level. Those seeds were planted in my spirit back then to help me use my business education as a way to invest in people, not “portfolios.”

Wheeler

My time at Evangel really helped me to deepen my relationship with the Lord. I was able to take an honest look at my talents and my passion and identify that Communications/Ministry was my career path.

How did your experience of EU prepare you for life after graduation?

Roland

EU gave me the confidence and experience to take on the challenge of television broadcasting in both religious and secular fields. Not just the business end, but securely knowing my true north.

Steen

I learned a lot about myself and gained a confidence level in my ability to connect with people, as well as appreciate and develop my sense of personal value in Christ for the days ahead.

Wheeler

I gained a lot of confidence in my speaking and writing abilities during my four years at Evangel. I have used both of those skills every day since.

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

Roland

Ask the Lord for guidance and go through the open doors He provides. If and when a door closes, don’t try to knock it down or break through it. Turn and walk away and go to through the next open door the Lord provides. When you ask the Lord for guidance, be prepared to follow His lead. It may not be exactly what you thought it would be, but God wouldn’t put you in a situation where you can’t excel. He will put you in a place you will succeed according to His will.

Steen

Seek spiritual wisdom and knowledge along with getting a formal education. If you seek to live a life focused on character and integrity, influence and leadership will follow.

Wheeler

Work hard and love Jesus with all of your heart. Acknowledge Him in all your ways.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

Roland

I know their education would be exceptional so I would look for someone that has a servant’s heart but is still eager to learn and take direction.

Steen

A person with strong interpersonal skills, a humble confidence, looking to put others above themselves.

Wheeler

I look for a heart to serve others and a great work ethic. Too many kids come out of college and automatically think they are entitled to a corner office and a big salary. Respect and salary must be earned.

What advice would you give a current HS student preparing for college?

Roland

College is a great experience. You are on your own, presumably for the first time, and the decisions you make can create your destiny. It’s easy to look up to a professor because you will be learning so many new things from them, but never put your trust in their knowledge alone. The only person you can truly trust is Jesus. Question what doesn’t seem right to you. Make the Bible your “True North” and you will always find the answers to your physical, moral, spiritual, and financial questions.


More Information about Fearless Faith Ministries:

Roland

After my retirement, I along with two other Evangel graduates, Dan Wheeler and Terry Steen, formed Fearless Faith Ministries. The Lord is blessing our efforts and our social media presence continues to grow daily. We deliver your “Morning Cup of Inspiration” each day on our Facebook page @FFM60 and have a website where all of our videos can be found at www.ffaith.org. We currently have over 18,000 followers and encourage alumni to join us. We also have a YouTube channel and Instagram page. Stop by, visit us and write us a comment.

Categories: Cultivate