From CSU to the Ministry

Reza Zadeh, in dark blue jacket with Broncos’ logo, leads a group of Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers in prayer before a game.

By Ann Gill (M.A., ’76)

Johnny and Alex Square both have served as pastor of the Iasis church in Fort Collins.

Among the extraordinary array of careers held by CSU alumni is the ministry. The paths Aggies and Rams have taken to the ministry are as varied as the nature of their service, which ranges from church pastor to ministry organizations.

The late Harrison “Lad” Anderson (B.S., ’49) was a parish minister. A Navy pilot in WWII, he earned an animal science degree after the war, then attended a Presbyterian theological seminary. Lad spent more than 35 years serving parishes in Deer Lodge, Bozeman, and Great Falls, Montana, as well as in Los Gatos, California.

Kevin Mark speaking at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes gathering.

The path to the ministry for some alumni went through Ram football. Johnny Square (B.S., ’87), star kick-off returner in 1973-76, became head pastor for Iasis Christ Fellowship Church in Fort Collins and team advisor for the Rams. While he now serves Iasis in other capacities, he continues ministry to the team. His son Alex (B.S., ’09) played running back for the Rams in 2006-09 and now serves as head worship pastor at Iasis.

Kevin Mark (B.A., ’05) was a kicker for the Rams in 2002-05; since graduating, he has served with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). He currently is vice president of Field Ministry. His office is in Dallas, but he spends a third of his time traveling, working with a staff of 120 in his region, 7 of whom are direct reports. Kevin explains that, while FCA’s target demographic is athletes, anyone is welcome at the weekly meetings of their 15,000 groups.

J.T. English speaking at a Village Church gathering.

Alumnus Reza Zadeh played linebacker for the Rams in 1997-99. He went on to become a pastor at Timberline Church in Fort Collins, then he and wife Allyson started Timberline Windsor. In 2014 they both joined the staff of Athletes in Action, where Reza is Front Range director. He also serves as chaplain for the Denver Broncos, facilitating a Bible study for coaches and players and ministering to players. Allyson facilitates a ministry for players’ wives.

Mark Gathier is vice president of Cru and leads its U.S. Campus Ministry.

Some Rams found their calling to the ministry while at CSU. A Bible study in Corbett Hall changed the path for J.T. English (B.S., ’07), who went on to earn a master’s degree at Dallas Theological Seminary and a doctorate at Southern Seminary. He now serves as pastor of training at The Village Church in Texas. Concerned that training for the ministry required individuals to go into debt to earn advanced degrees, J.T. is working to create in-house ministerial training programs.

Mark Gauthier (B.S., ’85) came to CSU on an ROTC scholarship, intending to serve in the Army. After he became involved in Bible studies, his path changed. He joined Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) and, after graduation, was assigned to Harvard University. Mark next began a ministry to 67 campuses in the greater Boston area, then moved to Orlando in 1996 to lead a division of Cru teams. He now serves as vice president of Cru and executive director of Cru’s U.S. Campus Ministry.

In a variety of ways, these and other Rams in the ministry serve their fellow human beings and their faith.