Alumni Spotlight: Dan Gowdy

Aug 28, 2023 | Alumni

“A full life of service to Christ”

Dan Gowdy resides in Grand Rapids, MI with his wife, Nancy, and has two sons, Troyce (29) and Kallyn (26). Although Dan graduated from Grace in 1992, he still serves as a board member, and we’re so glad he’s stuck around!

While at Grace, Dan earned his Bachelor of Theology in Pastoral Studies. During his time on campus, he also completed a short-term mission trip to Tanzania & Congo, was the first to complete the pastoral internship at Muskegon Berean Church (as part of the B.Th. program), was president of the Ambassador Club, and played basketball and soccer. He was even selected 2nd Team All American NCAA Div 2, 5th in the nation in scoring for soccer during his senior year! 

When asked about his most memorable experiences about his time at Grace, Dan reminisced about his trip to Africa as part of the short-term mission trip. 

He shared, “We visited Rukwa Valley in Tanzania, which was an amazing experience.  A very poor part of the world at that time, but the response to the Gospel of Jesus was tremendous. 

Steve Sherman & I traveled from Tatanda, Tanzania to Kama, Congo with our backpacks.  The Lord kept us safe.  Meeting Baba V in Kama, the longest serving missionary in history, was inspiring.  Baba V was well into his 70’s at that time and as a testament to his passion and drive, we didn’t have time to unpack if we wanted to catch up with him on safari.”

For the last two years, Dan has been serving as President/CEO of Wedgwood Christian Services. Since 1960, Wedgwood Christian Services has been boldly taking on the toughest mental and behavioral health challenges facing children, teens, families and adults through residential care, counseling services and community programs. With adolescent mental health having now been declared a mental crisis, the services that Wedgewood offers are more needed than ever.

Dan loves that, “Wedgwood is a bonafide Christian organization, where I can fully express my God given gifts, that were sharpened at Grace, to help transform lives that experienced severe trauma as a result of abuse or neglect.”    

Before accepting his position at Wedgwood, Dan worked at Hope Network for 24 years in a variety of roles (management, program development, staff development, marketing, sales, and fundraising). He also worked in development for Sunset Retirement Communities for 4.5 years as well as starting a consultant company (Exceed Organizational Development) before receiving the call to lead Wedgwood Christian Services.

When asked how his time at Grace prepared him for life and his career, Dan noted, “Grace surrounded me with like-minded young men and women who wanted to serve the Lord but didn’t quite yet know what that might be like.  It allowed me the space and time to test my gifts and learn from that experience.” He also added, “The professors were invested in my personal growth and development. And the friends I made at Grace have become life-long relationships that I meet with for encouragement and accountability.”

Classes that Dan especially found helpful were Methods in Bible Study, Greek & Hebrew classes, and all of his classes with Dr. DeWitt, who encouraged him to never stop asking questions.

Thank you, Dan, for sharing your story! We’re grateful for your impact at Grace Christian University!

 

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