Heartfelt service the trademark of the Alumnus of the Year

Posted: April 29, 2010

By Rob Schellenberg

Front banner: Left to right: Cynthia Boyd, George Boyd. Photo by Rob Schellenberg.

George Boyd addresses the 2010 graduating class April 23. Photo by Rob Schellenberg.

lifetime of heartfelt Christian service has earned Dr. George W. Boyd special recognition from Briercrest College and Seminary.

Boyd was presented with the Alumnus of the Year award at the graduation banquet and program April 23.

“What’s exceptional about George is his heart – his pastor’s heart,” Dwayne Uglem, Briercrest’s president, said. “He just has this love for people.”

Boyd’s accomplishments are many, starting with serving the Briercrest student body after he came from Ontario and sold his vehicle to pay for his first year of study here.

“He did provide exceptional student leadership when at Briercrest,” Paul Magnus, Briercrest’s president emeritus and distinguished professor of leadership and management, said.

Boyd was Briercrest’s student body president in 1982, the year he graduated with a Bachelor of Religious Education. He completed his M.A. in Communications from our seminary in 1993 and then served in church ministries for over 20 years in both Western and Eastern Canada.

“His entire journey of serving has been marked by a focused and passionate love of Jesus, his church, his Kingdom and his people,” Magnus said.

Michael Pawelke, one of Briercrest’s board members, agreed:

“George is a very devoted, disciplined follower of Jesus Christ."

“He is ruthlessly committed to his own quiet time and walk with God,” and gently encourages others to dedicate themselves to spending time alone with God, Pawelke said.

Boyd is serving as the Canada East superintendent for the Associated Gospel Churches of Canada.

“People just so appreciate his pastor-to-pastor role,” Pawelke said, adding that Boyd is very selfless and committed to helping people succeed.

Boyd talks glowingly about his time at Briercrest and especially with the people who helped him expand his biblical knowledge. “I just came to Briercrest to learn the Bible, and it didn’t disappoint me,” he said.

He will always remember Briercrest as being staffed with “great people with a real heart for God, (and) with an absolute commitment to the Word—not just teaching it, but living it.”

He is dedicated to his job, but takes the time to listen to the people around him. This was evident during his visit to Briercrest as Boyd spent much of his time talking to others rather than focusing on himself.

That was also evident in Boyd and his wife, Cynthia’s, response.

“Cynthia and I just want to express that we consider this a huge privilege and a huge honour to be recognized in this way. The second thing that we would like to do is to obviously thank God. Cynthia and I recognize and appreciate the opportunities that God has given us over the last number of years. We thank and praise God tonight for what he has been able to accomplish in and through us and we want to give him the glory for that.”

He also credits Briercrest with having a lasting impact on his ministry. It was here that he penned his personal mission statement:

“To be a developing servant leader who is helping others to become all that God intends them to become through Biblical teaching, words of encouragement, and an inspiring example.”

“This really defines who I am as a person and it’s as a result of this institution—being here at Briercrest—that I am able to write that personal mission statement. In fact, as I reflected further, I realized that not only have they shaped me into this kind of a person, but Briercrest actually did those activities in my life while I was here as a student and even after I left this place.

“I have never lost the sense that my time spent at Briercrest has been a tremendous gift of God. A stewardship that we’ve been entrusted with so that we in turn can make that investment in other people’s lives.”