Raymond Hudson (CBC ‘07, EU ‘09)

Current occupation: Lead pastor/church planter at City Center Church, Berkeley, California

 

What brought you to Springfield?

My youth pastor attended Central Bible College (CBC) and then AGTS. When I was a senior in high school, he told me I should go to CBC. I lived in Pennsylvania at the time, and I was interested in attending a Christian university in the state. I attended one of their services and felt like God told me that wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I made the decision to go where my youth pastor suggested, and traveled to Springfield to attend CBC.

What did God do for you while you were in Springfield?

It was a defining moment for me when I moved from Pennsylvania to Springfield. It was a complete culture shift, but Springfield became the place where God showed me what my future ministry was going to look like. As an African American, I feel like the Assemblies of God has made a lot of progress in embracing diversity and culture within the Church.

I also feel that my time at CBC equipped me with the necessary tools to develop a deep love for the Bible. Springfield was one of the best times of growth in my life so far.

How important was the Christian community you experienced at CBC and EU?

CBC and EU have such a rich heritage, and the community aspect of campus life at CBC was huge. I was able to develop deep relationships with others, which is a very important skill for anyone who wants to be a pastor. Those relationships helped me grow and pushed me to be better. Without that community support, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

It’s always a neat experience when I find myself amongst EU or CBC alumni. I may not know anyone’s name in the room, but there is a sense of family that exists among all of us. We are all connected to one another because we are connected to the mission of the school, which is to equip us to do the work that God has called us to do. You won’t find a community like it anywhere else.

What did you find most beneficial about pursuing an advanced degree at Evangel?

I honestly lacked organizational skills before my time at Evangel. I am a naturally extroverted person, so I relied on my charisma quite often. However, in pursuing my Master of Organizational Leadership degree at Evangel, I learned how to implement strategy and organizational skills to develop processes and systems that have served me well in an executive pastor role.

How have you pursued your calling to ministry following your time at CBC and EU?

Right now I am serving as the executive pastor, missions and campus expansion, at New Life Church in the San Francisco Bay area. New Life is a multi-site church founded by a pastor with a real vision to reach the city for Christ by adopting the multi-site model. Currently we are assisting several church planters. I get to be a small part of people’s stories and journeys. I also work with the Church Multiplication Network as a member of their field team. It has been an amazing experience.

What would you tell a prospective student?

I absolutely love Evangel. I love their mission and commitment to equipping young people with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their careers. Coming to Evangel was life changing for me. I am blessed and thankful for my opportunity to be a part of this community. You won’t regret your choice to join the family.