The Dawson family all were Eagle Scouts including my father, uncles, and all my male cousins. Our church had a Christian Service Brigade unit, so I was the first to break tradition and had a wonderful time with my father there. I had the privilege to grow up in a caring Christian home, and accepted Christ as my personal savior at a young age in Sunday School. In high school I became very active in student leadership at church and went on 7 week long mission trips that made an impact on my faith and global outlook. In high school, I spent my summers serving at Sequoia Brigade Camp leading youth to Christ and exploring the great outdoors. I advanced up to the highest youth leader in our Brigade program and at age 18, received the Herald of Christ award.
During my college years, I experienced life with a cadre of Christian men living together on fraternity row with a mission to be light and salt of the earth. We lived in a small house we maintained, and shared in the planning, cooking and cleaning. Our fraternity, Alpha Gamma Omega, shared life together as we ate meals around the table five days a week. We had a weekly Bible study open to the community and had a membership program designed to disciple young college guys into men ready to duplicate an early church example of building community.
Twenty-five percent of our members, men like Bill Bright, have gone on to full time Christian ministry. After graduation, I went into full time ministry starting a new chapter of the fraternity and expanding my mind in graduate school. My life adventure continued on college campuses working in Residence Life, teaching in the classroom and raising a family on college campuses with a purpose of being salt and light though an open lifestyle. I have been active in local churches serving as youth director, helping lead short term high school mission trips, serving as a camp counselor, mentoring college students and starting college ministries, and discipling and leading youth to Christ in Awanas and Christian Service Brigade.
I first worked 17 years in public universities before moving to 6 years in Christian Universities and spent the last 3 years building a residential private business for Pepperdine students. Sharing my faith in public schools was difficult where policies are based on tolerance, and judicial codes decided by societal norms, but I had many opportunities at sharing Biblical truths and directly sharing my faith with students. I invested myself deeply in the local churches where we lived and served in youth ministries, choir, finance team, bus driver, camp counselor, and much more. At CSUSM, I worked with a number of local college pastors to start a church service on a state university campus where students could hear the Word and learn about being involved in local and campus ministries.
I completed my doctorate in Higher Education Leadership in 2020 with a focus on creating systems that help college students thrive. I am active in Christian Service Brigade serving on their board, running my own business, and having a hobby of running 3 antique stores. I married my best friend who I first met on a short-term mission’s trip, and we have been married for 27 years. I have 2 children: Sabrina who is 24 and is a Resident Director and active youth and food pantry volunteer in her church; and Drake who is 22 and serving the Department of Energy as a nuclear engineer on US Navy submarines in Bremerton, WA. We have been active members in local non-denominational churches. We currently live in Newberg, OR where my wife works for George Fox University.
I am interested in using my doctorate degree to launch a unique college program where students can get their AA degree in 12 months while having intensive community, life skill, and spiritual growth through activities, adventures, and short-term missions. I am launching a Frontiersmen Academy to explore this through Christian Service Brigade for next year.