It seems that we are often asked about the history of Active Christians Today (ACT). People not only want to know what is going on now, but where we started too.
ACT has always been a ministry of faith. In the early 1970’s when the ministry began, it was a step of faith that led Darrel Fyffe, a faculty member at BGSU and a group of men to move into what was mostly uncharted territory. As one of the very early Campus Ministries, there wasn’t a “how to” book available and so they stepped out in faith and launched what became a successful campus ministry in every regard.
In 1973, another step of faith was required when Bruce Montgomery was called as the first full-time Campus Minister. With virtually no funds, Bruce came on board and eventually was able to raise what was needed to be a full time staff member of a Campus Ministry.
Not very much later, Steve Schetrtzinger joined the team. Again, ACT stepped out in faith and believed that this was the move that God wanted them to make. And it proved to be correct. According to Douglas Dickey in his book “Campus Ministry”, those two built a campus ministry that was “one of the strongest in the nation”.
Then came the ministry at the University of Toledo. Jim Nichols worked with a group of students, while he was the minister at Central Christian Church in Toledo that became the core for the new ACT ministry at UT. Bryan and Amber Rowoth were called to be the Staff for that group and three years later, faith again played a major role in ACT when they were killed in a tragic car accident in the summer of 1984. And even through this tragedy, the leadership of ACT kept working in faith.
And God remained faithful during that time as well. It was later that same summer when God called for ACT to step out in faith once again. They called Steve and Leigh North to work with the students on the campus of UT. Through their ministry, the work began by Bryan and Amber was continued and the ministry at UT flourished. It was under Steve’s direction, in 1991, that the students stepped out in faith and took ACT’s first trip to Haiti.
Faith continued to play a large role in the ministry with the calling of Dewey Thackston at BG and Brian and Kendra Mizer, followed by Jeff and Lisa Lyon and then Luke Gilkerson as staff at UT. ACT had a short time of transition during the spring 2008 semester where David Warner was assisting in the UT ministry.
Dan and Anna Wearsch joined as the ministry staff at UT beginning fall semester 2008. They served faithfully through the spring semester of 2015. Cyndi Ferrell has served on staff at the UT for many years.
Currently ACT is blessed to have David and Vicki Warner called to Bowling Green State University. David and Vicki Warner have been serving with ACT since 1995. Scott and Karen Weaver joined Cyndi Ferrell at the University of Toledo during the summer of 2015.
And as it has been in the past, these ministries are ministries that are totally operated by faith. And we pray that they will always continue to be such.
We try to be as responsible as we possibly can with the resources that God gives to us; whether those resources are buildings, equipment, monetary or students, but we must also always look for ways to stretch the ministry beyond what those resources can support. We truly believe that, as Hudson Taylor once said “Unless there is an element of risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith.”