“When I was a young boy I discovered a murdered man in the African bush. He had been killed with a machete so his brother-in-law could steal his shoes.”
Dr. Dick Brogden was born and raised in Kenya. His perspective on life, death, salvation and service is different because of the things he experienced growing up there, in a missionary family, rather than here, in the comfort, safety and abundance of middle-class America.
As a child, he developed a faith that works and a passion for sharing his faith with people who are without — the poor; the oppressed; the hopeless; the lost. That faith is his life, and it drove him to found the Live Dead movement, reflecting the deepest level of spiritual commitment.
“We are to die to self and live through Christ,” said Brogden. “From there we get His passion for the world, His strength, His vision and our marching orders.”
Live Dead is an initiative that focuses on planting churches among unreached people groups through multi-national teams. More than 40 percent of the world doesn’t have access to the gospel, according to the Live Dead research. Of the world’s 16,448 people groups, more than 7,000 are unreached — not a single church, Christian or Christian witness is known to exist.
Brogden currently lives in Cairo, Egypt, with his wife, Jennifer, and their two sons, Luke and Zack. They oversee both the Cairo Training Team and the Live Dead Arab World program, as Assemblies of God World Missionaries.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, Dr. Dick Brogden will be recognized for his faithful service when he is named the AGTS Alumnus of the Year for 2018, by the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary of Evangel University.
The presentation will be made during the Evangel Homecoming Banquet at 6:30 p.m., at the Bass Pro White River Conference Center.
In 1992, Brogden graduated from North Central University, a sister school to Evangel located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He immediately put action to his faith and returned to West Africa, where over the next several years he pastored a multi-tribal church in Kenya, worked among the nomadic Samburu, and moved to Sudan, where he served for 15 years.
During that time he earned a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Global University, which is based in Springfield, Missouri, but on their extension campus located in Nairobi, Kenya.
Brogden’s thirst for knowledge then led to a five-year stint with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, completing his Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies in 2014. He was impressed with the entirety of his AGTS experience, including “incredible classes, erudite professors and challenging reading.”
He added, “The most enriching aspect of my time at AGTS was the cohort of students I studied with. Their experiences globally and through decades of missions and ministry experience was invigorating.”
The Live Dead Journal, developed in coordination with his AGTS doctoral research, is a journal and prayer guide designed to lead Christians in 30 days of personal challenge and prayer for unreached people.
Released initially as a free e-book in October 2013, the journal rose to the No. 2 spot in the Religion and Spirituality category in Apple’s iBooks, and ranked as high as sixth in paid downloads in the Christian category on Kindle.
A visionary leader
“Dick Brogden is a leader who is always looking over the horizon imagining and creating a preferred future,” said the Rev. Omar Bieler, Eurasia regional director for AG World Missions. “His active mind generates more ideas than I can keep up with, so I have created a ‘Dick Brogden Ideas’ file that may well keep me busy for the rest of my life. I love this man.”
Dr. Jim Bradford, pastor of Central Assembly in Springfield, Missouri, feels that Brogden is perfect for his calling.
“Dick is a genius when it comes to mobilizing people to go to the hardest places to reach the least reached,” he said. “Behind that genius, however, is a deep spirituality that hungers for God, depends on the Spirit and loves Jesus. He is an admirable person in every way.”
Bradford has also been impressed to find that Brogden is an avid student of history.
“I have traveled overseas with him and been amazed at his grasp of the history of the Arab world. We will walk down a street and he can start relating names, dates, facts and interconnections over time periods that span centuries. His memory is unbelievable and he reads constantly,” said Bradford.
Jumping the shark
Brogden’s memorable encounter with the murdered man was not the only early experience that helped shape his future. He also shares a story of jumping off a 100-foot bridge into shark-inhabited waters.
“An old veteran missionary was so frustrated trying to win a hearing from Muslims without success that one day, exasperated, he went to this bridge full of Muslim pedestrians. He said, ‘If you stop and listen to me preach the Gospel, I will jump off the bridge.’ He drew a crowd, preached and jumped. He was a little crazy.
“We heard the story and said, ‘If he can do it, we can too.’ So we did….twice…and made the national newspaper.”
For more on the life-work of a man unafraid to take the occasional leap of faith, visit the Live Dead website.
EU Homecoming 2018 Honorees
Five alumni awards will be given during this year’s homecoming celebration, representing alumni from the three AG schools that consolidated in 2013 — Evangel University, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, and Central Bible College. The recipients were chosen by the Evangel University Alumni Association board of directors.
- EU Distinguished Alumnus – Dr. Barry Corey ’84
- EU Outstanding Young Alumnus – Heather Rooney McBride, J.D. ’03
- AGTS Alumnus of the Year – Dr. Dick Brogden ’14
- CBC Distinguished Alumnus – Dr. Mark Batterson ’92
- CBC Outstanding Young Alumnus – George Carballo ’09
For more information, contact Evangel University Alumni Relations Department at (417) 865-2811, ext. 7333.