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Dr. Bottoms was raised in the DFW area and currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dr. Bottoms began attending SAGU in 1989, and left in 1990 to serve as a youth pastor. He returned in 2000 as an online student and graduated with a B.A. in Church Ministry. 

Dr. Bottoms (R) is a state representative for the Colorado House of Representatives District 15. Dr. Bottoms is a United States Navy veteran and pastor of the Church at Briargate in Colorado Springs.

Q. When did you first become interested in politics?

 “I’ve always been politically charged. I talk about politics from the pulpit – which most people think is off-limits – but I talk about moral issues that are going on in the world and our country and how the local community is affected. 

Several church members and friends who were already in politics approached me about running for office. I listened but looked for every reason not to run for office. After much consideration and prayer together with my wife, I felt God speaking to me about running for office, so I did. However, I am a pastor at heart. Being a representative isn’t something I really wanted to do, but I do it out of obedience to the Lord.”

Q: How do you integrate your faith with your calling as a representative? 

“I go into the House of Representatives as a pastor and make that known. I ran for speaker of the house in a setting with a majority of opposing political views. Each person is given 10 minutes to speak. I use my time to speak about how God has created all of us as equals and how that perspective influences the current issues at hand. In conversation, I also remind other politicians that I’m praying for them.”

Q. What has been the hardest thing about being a representative? 

“It’s a collection of things. The first concept is that I’m still a pastor in my church. I have a solid staff, but being in politics takes so much time away from the church. I commute an hour plus each way, and so most of the time, I prep on the road. Every single thing I do is very intentional and also under attack. I dislike that, but it sharpens me in many ways.”

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

“The influence Southwestern has had on me isn’t just a moment in time. I attended back in the ’80s, and so now many of my classmates’ children approach me and say ‘hey, mom or dad says hi!” It’s not a moment for me, but there’s a community that transcends that. If you went to Southwestern, it’s apparent that we hold many of the same beliefs. 

Being on the alumni council with my wife, Linda, and occasionally teaching classes at SAGU has given us another opportunity to connect with SAGU. Southwestern is one of the few places I’ve seen stay consistent and strong with the gospel, missional mindset, and pentecostal foundations – even through difficult times. My parents attended Southwestern, my grandparents also attended, and it has been a powerful spiritual foundation for me.”

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

“I’ve always enjoyed the presence of God, but it took me a while to become dependent on the presence of God. 

I would like to impart to the student body that we’ve got to pursue Jesus. There’s a lot of stuff that comes along in life. But if you can make every single day that you’re seeking time with the Lord, and know if you don’t, you’re missing something. Everything else will come along, but you’ve got to be hungry for the Lord more than anything else.”

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