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Alumni Spotlight: Gary Rieben

Graduation Year: 1966
Major: Education/History
Current Position: President: Give Me That Book Ministries. Director: Action Ministries Trust/Ntcheu, Malawi, Africa. President Action Malawi School of the Bible. Director of Mudzi Owala Ministries.
City and State: Fort Worth, Texas; Ntcheu, Malawi

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

  1. Education: Evangel, BS 1966; Fuller Seminary, M-Div. 1976; D-Min. Fuller Seminary 1999.
  2. Public School Teacher: 1966-1972
  3. Senior Pastor: San Diego, Ca. 12 years; Santa Barbara, Ca. 14 years.
  4. Missionary: Pastoral Leadership Development world-wide 2006-2014; Missionary to Malawi 2014-2024.
  5. Authored a book entitled: Give Me That Book. (1912)
  6. Presently: Our Mission in Malawi: “Displaying the beauty of Jesus by serving the most-needy of Malawi through words of truth and works of love.” We feed 3-4000 orphans, three times a week when the food runs out; we feed widows and provide goats to those who care for orphans; we sponsor students in High School as well as sponsor students who enter medical training; we have a Bible School (AMSOB) for clergy that is a two year curriculum that has graduated over 900 pastors from the villages of Malawi and Mozambique in the ten years since its founding; we distribute Bibles; we provide seminars on Biblical Counseling, marriage and family living; leadership development.

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

  1. Seeing my wife: Barbara Jean Blue, for the first time.
  2. The pursuit of Jesus. Away from home, establishing my own personal faith in God.
  3. The relationships. Eating, sleeping, playing and praying together during such a life shaping time, established a network of friendships for a lifetime.

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

  1. An environment where knowing and enjoying the Lord was made easy.
  2. Instructors who cared for students enough to encourage and confront them.
  3. An advanced class in historical research which gave me a love for truth and the means to seek it out.
    How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
  4. My time alone in the prayer chapel sealed my calling to full time ministry.
  5. Key relationships became my partners in future ministries by their love, prayers, and companionship in ministry, to this day.
  6. A few, but crucial instructors, gave me special attention that helped secure my confidence in my calling for a faith-driven, Christ-honoring, Bible centered service.
  7. The death of a dear and precious class mate forced me to order my days in his memory.
    What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
  8. Take advantage of these crucial years and pour yourself into them.
  9. Invest in relationships that will bless you the rest of your days.
  10. Make the Word of God your passion: Meet Jesus every morning in His precious life-giving Word. Beat upon small portions for long periods of time till you dig out all of the gold God has hidden there. Repeat the words of Scripture till they are embedded in your mind and become fixed in your heart so you please Him in all you do.

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

I would ask three questions:

  1. First question: When did serving Jesus cost you something very precious?
  2. Second Question: What disciplines order your walk with God?
  3. Third Question: What one passion grips your heart and orders your days?