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Waxahachie, TX

September 20, 2019 | Andrew Hurst

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is excited to honor former SAGU President, Dr. Delmer Guynes, this fall through an incredible work of art. In appreciation of his life of service and in celebration of his 91st birthday, the institution will dedicate the “Divine Servant” statue on Friday, October 11, during Homecoming.

The “Divine Servant” statue depicts the biblical setting in John 13:14 in which Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, the ultimate example of servant leadership.

Dr. Kermit Bridges, SAGU President, says, “Servant Leadership is a core value of our university. President Guynes and his wife, Eleanor, modeled selfless service as missionaries, educators, and pastors.”

As a committed vessel for the Lord, Dr. Delmer Guynes left his footprint through his work as a missionary, pastor and former President of Southwestern. Looking back on his ministry, Dr. Guynes’ complete devotion and reliance on the Lord would guide him through his time as a missionary during a period of isolationism in China and during his presidency at Southwestern.

With a heart for missions, he and his wife, Eleanor, accepted God’s call into ministry in China until it became a closed country in 1949. However, when one door closed, God faithfully opened another for him to walk through in faith as the opportunity to minister in Malaysia presented itself to the Guynes.

Thirty years later, after years of serving in Malaysia and as Executive Vice President at AGTS, he and Eleanor learned that they would once again be able to return to China and continue the work that God had placed on their hearts.

Over the next 10 years, the Guynes developed Operation Sunrise, an international prayer program for China, and Sunrise Educational Foundation, a teacher placement program for Chinese universities and schools.

The “Divine Servant” Statue

During his missionary appointment, he returned to SAGU to serve as the University’s President from 1982 to 1984. He would later return to the United States in 1989 to work as a Missionary in Residence and he became SAGU’s President once again where he would serve until his retirement in May of 2000. Under President Guynes’ leadership, SAGU rebounded from a period of low enrollment and financial difficulty and achieved a record enrollment of 1,672 students.

“The Guynes encouraged all to embrace a life of servant ministry following the example of our Lord washing the disciples’ feet as depicted in this beautiful work of art,” said President Bridges. “The towel Jesus used in this passage became a symbol for special recognition for individual acts of service by President Guynes called the ‘Order of the Towel.’”

The “Divine Servant” brass statue weighs 1200 pounds and stands a 3’6” by 6’6” by 5’. It is one of the most inspiring pieces from the artist Max Greiner.

The unveiling will take place at the front entrance of the Sheaffer Center building following Homecoming Chapel on Friday, October 11.

As a leading Christian university, SAGU educates and prepares individuals who want to serve Christ and others. SAGU helps students discover and develop their God-given callings in a Spirit-empowered, learning community.

We believe in affordable tuition, made possible in part through the financial support of donors who embrace the mission of SAGU and the importance of affordable, accredited programs to train Christians for leadership in ministry, business, education, and service.

Most majors are available in-person in Waxahachie, TX, and online through a wide range of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

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