Caleb Befus: Change of Plans

Mar 20, 2024 | Alumni, The Journey

As soon as he graduated from high school, Caleb Befus ’12 knew that he wanted to live in the mountains, and certainly in a place much warmer than Michigan—more like where he grew up.

Caleb was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, where his parents are missionaries through Grace Ministries International. Chuck and Joy Befus joined the ministry of Chuck’s parents, Clarence and Elnora, planning to only stay for five years. Thirty-seven years and nine children later–Caleb is third in that line–Chuck and Joy are still there.

Caleb graduated from an international Christian school in Costa Rica before coming to Grace Christian University, just like his 2 older siblings, parents, and grandfather had done before him.

Choosing Grace Christian University was an easy decision; he received scholarships specifically for missionary kids like him. He wasn’t exactly sure what he’d major in, but he was sure about one thing: though he came from a long line of Christian ministers, he adamantly opposed the idea of being a pastor.

“I did not want to be a pastor,” Caleb says. “Especially when I was in high school—I would tell everyone who asked about it that it wasn’t for me!”

But—spoiler alert—God had other plans.

Toward the end of his time at Grace, he felt a pull to pastoral ministry, and finally settled on the Pastoral Studies program.

Caleb realized he had spent his entire life in ministry, constantly helping his parents with various tasks at church and through their ministries in Costa Rica. He saw that his parents had given him plenty of wisdom as a solid foundation for his life.

“My parents provided the blueprint, and Grace helped me build my faith up from there.”

So Caleb—who originally said he would never be a pastor—transitioned from associate to lead pastor after three years at Grace Bible Fellowship in Jenison, Michigan, not far from the Grace Christian University campus. He was only 26.


“when you give your life to Christ… you go where He leads.”


“Becoming a pastor at that age is not for everyone,” Caleb says. “And I doubt I could have pulled it off without God’s grace and the excellent lay leadership team already in place at Grace Bible Fellowship.”

Caleb explored more ministry opportunities in the community. For several years in a row, Grace invited him to speak in chapel, and after giving a particularly challenging message, President Kemper asked him to consider being on Grace’s Board of Directors.

“My favorite part of being on the board is that I get to help steer the school that guided me and many family members over the years towards lives in ministry,” Caleb says.

While Caleb may not have planned this life for himself when he was in high school, he’s quite happy about the direction his life has taken—even if there are no mountains or tropical temperatures.

“My calling was surprising to many, no doubt,” Caleb says. “But at the same time, when you give your life to Christ, you devote yourself to Him and you go where He leads. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”.


Read more stories like this in The Journey Magazine | Spring 2024 >


Rob Kilgo is a 2021 alumnus and the Assistant to the President.

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