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Hometown: Tyler TX

Degree(s) Obtained / Years Graduated from SAGU:

Pastoral Ministries 2002, MBA 2020

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Daren: I am the Executive Director for Adult & Teen Challenge of Dallas.  Prior to this assignment, I was the director of a ministry called Child Hope Guatemala.  I served for 13 years as a missionary with the Assemblies of God.  After I graduated from SAGU with my bachelor’s I spent nine years in the Banking industry and served as an associate pastor in my local church.

Heidi: I am married to Daren Walker, and we have three sons, Josiah, Nicolas & Kenan. I was raised as a pastor/missionary kid and felt a call to ministry at age nine and pursued that call ever since through both ministry and education and credentialing. I currently serve as the operations manager of Adult & Teen Challenge Dallas. 

Q. How did your time at SAGU influence/ prepare you for what you are doing now?   

Daren: The master’s degree in Business has helped me to successfully lead an organization.  Also, it has helped us to launch multiple micro businesses.  Without this degree, I would not be able to lead this ministry with success. 

Heidi: SAGU played a major role in preparing me for what I currently do. At the core of what I do is Christian Education, so the Bible teaching and ministry portion of my education at SAGU has been essential to my current ministry role. 

Q: How did you know you wanted to be in your current field? 

Daren: I felt the call to be a missionary when I was at SAGU.  Later on, God confirmed my call to missions at a missions service.

Heidi: God opened the door for Daren & to serve here at Adult & Teen Challenge of Dallas. There is no doubt in my mind that the open door was God-ordained. 

Q: Tell us a little about your role in your current career/ ministry.  

Daren: I lead a ministry that helps men who struggle with life-controlling issues.  I set the vision for the ministry and implement strategies on how to disciple men and help them find freedom.  This includes all of our fundraising efforts, entrepreneurial endeavors, and policies to help further the ministry as well as collaborating with our board of directors.

Heidi: As the operations manager, I oversee the operations of the ministry here. I help teach classes, manage finances, and oversee the staff. 

Q: Tell us about a memorable/funny moment in your career/ministry.  

Daren: One time, I was trying to communicate with a police officer in Guatemala that I needed direction on how to make a U-turn.  Instead of saying, “Where do I make a u-turn” in Spanish` I said, “Where do I go to give birth.”  The officer just looked at me and tried to help me turn around.  Language bloopers are always funny!

Heidi: A memorable/funny moment of my career would be all the times of traveling through the airport with 15 or more bags and managing that and three kids as we traveled back and forth to other countries during our missionary career. There was always some drama to go along with the experience.

Q: How has SAGU left an impact on your life?

Daren: I was struggling with meaning before I went to SAGU.  When I started studying at SAGU my life was radically changed.  I grew in my relationship with God, gained a God-given vision for my life, and realized the importance of the mission of God.  This foundation has helped my wife and I to plant two churches, build 3 schools in Guatemala, and now lead an organization that gives men their lives back.  

Heidi: SAGU and the teachers there have made a huge impact on my life and equipping me for ministry. 

Q. What would you tell a current SAGU student today? 

Daren: Finish the race that you start!  In the end, you will be so glad you did the work and accomplished your goal.  Make an impact on this generation and live for Jesus.

Heidi: Keep God first, and he will direct your steps and provide for your needs wherever he calls you to go. 

About SAGU: Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927 and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.

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