Huntington, Ind.—Huntington University will focus on local volunteerism during Service Emphasis Week from Feb. 6-8.
Dr. Gary Newton, professor of discipling ministries and director of the Master of Arts in Discipling Ministries at the university, will serve as the featured speaker for this event. His theme will be “Backyard Ministry: A Natural Training Ground for Global Discipleship.” During the 10 a.m. chapel services on Feb. 6 and 8, Newton will share “Biblical Priorities for Discipleship” and “Open the Backdoor: A Practical Strategy for Discipleship in our Backyard,” respectively. At a special service at 7 p.m. Feb. 6, he will discuss “Producing Lasting Fruit: Church-Based Community Outreach.” All Service Emphasis Week chapels will be held in the Zurcher Auditorium of the Merillat Centre for the Arts.
Newton will share his holistic philosophy of discipleship, and he will illustrate his presentations with his personal experience and the testimonies of others with whom he has served over the past nine years in Huntington.
“Gary really has a passion for service and ministry,” said Crystal Hippensteel, director of first year students and volunteer services. “Gary’s presentations will focus on volunteerism and ministry available in Huntington County. He will drive home the notion of volunteering wherever it is that God has placed you at a particular time – so for HU students, that is here in Huntington and the surrounding areas.”
Before coming to Huntington, Newton taught at Taylor University and Denver Seminary. He also serves as a pastor for a turnaround church in Huntington. He is the founder and director of the Huntington Kid’s Club, an outreach ministry to un-churched 8 to 12 year-olds in the Huntington community. Previously he has served as a senior pastor, Christian education pastor and youth pastor in Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Colorado and Indiana. He has spent five summers training pastors in Kenya. Newton’s research interests include volunteerism, discipleship and small groups. He has written numerous articles and chapters in books. His most recent book is “Growing toward Spiritual Maturity.”
The Joe Mertz Center staff will share “Opportunities for Local Ministry through the JMC” at the student-led chapel service Ekklesia at 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 6.
The Joe Mertz Center, founded in 1992, is the student-directed organization mobilizing Huntington University students for service. Approximately 80 percent of students are involved in some type of service, and students give 15,000 hours of service work annually – both locally and around the world.