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Alumni Stories: An Interview with Craig Gyergyo ’96

Craig Gyergyo is an associate pastor at Highpoint Church in Memphis, TN. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Craig for many years now and believe he sets a great example for anyone looking to pursue ministry as their career. He graduated in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Please enjoy this insight from Craig!

Tell me a little bit about you, your hobbies and your family.

My wife Lisa (Keehlwetter, 2001) and I have been married for nearly 17 years. We have three daughters that range from age 12 to age 7. Our girls are homeschooled and are active in our local community. Family life is a major focus in our household, as well as ministry. Those are two of my passions! Other than that, I enjoy early morning walks, long bike rides, visits to the movie theater with my wife and curating my vinyl record collection.

What is your specific title?

Currently I serve as an associate pastor at Highpoint Church in Memphis, TN. Highpoint is a non-denominational church comprised of three campuses in the Memphis area.

Image result for highpoint church memphis tn

Highpoint Church in Memphis, TN

What does being as associate pastor entail and what do you love about it?

I have had the opportunity to oversee college and young adult ministry, local missions, and small groups ministry during my time at Highpoint. Currently, my focus is on building a student ministry (grades 6-12) from scratch at our newest campus.

What I love about all of the roles that I have served in at Highpoint is the focus that we have on the Gospel. Simply put, we preach Christ! With this, we are seeing incredible stories of life-change emerge from our congregation. The combination of that focus and those stories generate a life-giving cycle, as well as a ton of passion, enthusiasm and fun.

What activities were you involved in at Grove City?

During my GCC years I was a member of the Alpha Omega housing group and also a four-year athlete as a part of the varsity football team. I was also active in a group called Warriors for Christ.

Looking back, I wish that I had been more involved on campus. Grove City College certainly provides a wide array of opportunities to both contribute to student life and develop as an emerging leader. At the time, I just wasn’t there. In hindsight, I can clearly see how I would have benefited from taking the initiative to be more active on campus at GCC.

How do you feel Grove City College prepared you for and benefited your future career?

Grove City College’s greatest legacy in my life is the development of a Christian worldview. I grew up nominally affiliated with the church as a result of my parents dragging me to worship and Sunday School throughout my middle school and high school years. But coming into college, I really didn’t have a sense of faith ownership – that is, I wasn’t personally committed to Christ. That all changed early on during my years at GCC and God used the environment at the college to install a new operating system in me, if you will, that was rooted in an understanding of God through the scriptures.

How available were the professors after class time if you needed additional help?

The professors were incredibly supportive and helpful to me personally. There are a few that I think of – for instance, Mrs. Barbara Stephens, Dr. Gary Smith – who had a major influence on the trajectory of my life. I feel like the faculty made a significant effort to generate a family feel on campus. Being available to help students after class time was a big part of that, I’m sure.

What does the school offer that you wished you had taken advantage of while at Grove City College?

GCC provides a faith-rich environment that is unique to pretty much anything else one will encounter in life. The opportunity to couple academic excellence and a faith focus is really, really special. I took advantage of both to a certain degree, but I left something on the table, I believe. The experience of living on a campus where such a high density of passionate Christ-followers exists…the opportunity to get involved in mission work…never ending opportunities to worship and fellowship in the context of Christian community…it really is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. I wish that I had appreciated it more at the time.

After graduation, were there any classes you wish you had taken to help with your degree? 

Not necessarily. I just wish I had taken the classes that I did take more seriously!

If you could change something about your college experience, what would it be?

People historically have a tendency to think of Grove City College as having a restrictive environment. For years, the jokes from both insiders and outsiders were about walking on the grass or curfew rules or about the campus being “a bubble.” I see Grove City College now as being an environment that actually promotes freedom – real freedom. If I were an incoming freshman, I’d want to take greater advantage of that God-given freedom to explore whom it is that Christ has purposed and called me to be.

What is your best advice to give an incoming freshmen at GCC?

Take in the beauty of the experience! The campus, the western Pennsylvania setting, the walks to the cafeteria, the late night conversations with friends in the dorms, the classes, the early morning chapel days (shout out to my father-in-law Dr. F. Stanley Keehlwetter!), the intramural sports – all of it! Grove City College is truly a special place and you only have one opportunity, one season of life to take it all in. Make the most of the time!

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