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Alumni awards for Evangel University Homecoming ’19 Celebration

Published on Sep 25, 2019 by Evangel University News


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Alumni Board of Directors from Evangel University will honor five alums as part of the Homecoming ’19 Celebration. The alumni awards will be presented during a banquet at the Bass Pro White River Conference Center on Saturday, Oct. 5, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The alumni association presents Distinguished Alumnus awards annually to honor those Evangel and CBC grads who have made significant contributions to their chosen field, church, community, state, nation or to the university.

They also recognize that many young alumni have enjoyed significant achievements in the few years since their graduation, although they may not yet have reached the height of their accomplishments. The Outstanding Young Alumnus award is presented to those in that category.

The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary at Evangel University will also present the AGTS Graduate of the Year during the Homecoming 2019 Celebration Banquet.

For details on the Homecoming ’19 Celebration, visit the Evangel University website or call (417) 865-2811 ext. 7333.


Alumni awards will be presented to (l-to-r with class years): Karen Best ’81; Dr. Milta Oyola Little ’02; Dr. Scott McCrystal ’84, ’13; Rev. Dan Betzer ’58; and Dr. Eric Welch ’05. //



EU Distinguished Alumnus — Karen Best ’81

Ms. Karen Best has had a multifaceted professional career. She has held positions as a politician, educator, motivational speaker, publicist, business owner and real estate agent. She served two terms as the mayor of Branson, Missouri, (2015-2019) and is the co-founder of The Best Team of Keller Williams Tri-Lakes, a real estate company active in commercial and residential sales. Before that, she was an elementary school teacher for 10 years and an elementary school principal for the same. In an earlier life, she was the Special Events and International Publicity Coordinator for MGM Studio in Los Angeles. She currently serves as chair of the Missouri Census 2020 Complete Count Committee at the appointment of the Governor and is running for Missouri State Representative for the 156th district.

• EU Outstanding Young Alumna — Dr. Milta Oyola Little ’02

Dr. Milta Oyola Little graduated from EU with a degree in Biology and Spanish. She then went on to earn a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from Midwestern University, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2006. She served at St. Louis University Medical Center as an associate professor of geriatric medicine and the director of the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program for nearly a decade before transitioning into her current role as an associate professor of Geriatric Medicine at Duke University. Recognized as an international leader in her field, Oyola Little specializes in the unique health needs of the elderly, especially those with complex medical and social issues.

• AGTS Alumnus of the Year — Dr. Scott McChrystal ’84, ’13

Dr. Scott McChrystal served 31 years on active duty in the Army — 10 years as an infantry officer and 21 as a chaplain. He then became the Assemblies of God’s endorser for military and Veterans Affairs chaplains, where he worked with a team to help shape the fellowship’s chaplaincy ministry. After 14 years in that role, McChrystal is retiring to devote significant effort toward supporting The Warrior’s Journey, a robust internet site that connects people with answers, training, chaplains and pastors, and a host of individuals and organizations who support the military community.

• CBC Distinguished Alumnus — Rev. Dan Betzer ’57

Rev. Dan Betzer serves as the senior pastor of First Assembly of God in Fort Myers, Florida. He is known not only as a pastor but as a writer and television and radio host, with over 65 years of broadcasting experience. He is perhaps most recognized for his nearly 17 year hosting role on the “Revivaltime” syndicated Assemblies of God radio show, as well as for his “Dan and Louie” on-air children’s program. Betzer has held executive positions within the Assemblies of God fellowship, including 15 years as the assistant district superintendent of the Peninsular Florida district and 20 years as an executive presbyter. He currently hosts nine television programs and one radio program each week in southwest Florida.

• CBC Outstanding Young Alumnus — Dr. Eric Welch ’05

Dr. Eric Welch is a biblical scholar, historian and archaeologist. Following his graduation from CBC, he earned his master’s degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from Penn State University. As a scholar and faculty member at the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky, Welch brings an interdisciplinary focus to the study of the ancient Mediterranean world. His research on a wide variety of subjects, such as ancient pottery and the texts of the Old Testament, allows a better understanding of the history of Israel and its neighbors. Welch’s current focus is writing a book on how the Hebrew prophets developed and employed a theology based on agricultural futility language.


Evangel University, with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the church and society globally. Evangel and AGTS serve more than 2,300 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 65 undergraduate majors and 19 master’s and doctoral degrees. For more information, visit


WRITTEN BY: Erin Hedlun & Paul K. Logsdon