Derek Clark is both an alumnus and a student making an impact in Howard City, MI where he lives with his wife of ten years and their five children. He completed his AA from Grace in 2020 and serves full-time as the Youth Minister for Grace Community Church, a non-denominational church of about 250 in the Howard City area. Derek first began serving as a volunteer four years ago; volunteering for two years, and on staff for an additional two years. When the Associate Pastor retired, the 25-year young church hired Derek with plans for ordination and a continued path of leadership.
Derek recalls when he came to Grace, “Freda Bradley took the time to reach out to me on a personal level. She emailed me before the class was over and let me know that she enjoyed having me in the class and also encouraged me. She said that graduate school should be in my future and that she believed I was ready. That was the first time I thought about graduate school and I replied to her basically saying, ‘probably not going to happen’. Out of all the professors and all that they have said, what Professor Bradley said always sticks out, and I’m now on track to finish graduate school by 2023.”
Prior to Grace Community Church, Derek worked as an internet technician for AT&T for five years. “Listening to God and allowing Him to guide my steps was the biggest deciding factor to this position”, Derek said of his move to full-time ministry.
“My education has been impactful in the position that I am in. I have learned so much about theology and biblical history and it has given me a stronger foundation in my personal faith. Earning a degree from Grace Christian University has helped those leaders over me see that I am serious about being a leader in the community and that I am committed to serving.” says Derek who is continuing to take classes online.
By Ami Walker | Alumni Relations Department
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