From staff reports
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Two Joplin couples were honored with the Seth Wilson Outstanding Alumni Award at the Ozark Christian College Alumni Banquet Wednesday night.
Allen and Joy Brintnall were presented the award “in recognition for 30 years of exemplary service in a variety of roles at Ozark Christian College and 25-plus years of outstanding ministry at Spring River Christian Village.”
Rick and Sheryl Bushnell were honored “in recognition for 30 years of exemplary service in a wide variety of ministry roles with College Heights Christian Church in Joplin.”
Nearly 600 OCC alumni attended the banquet.
Allen Brintnall enrolled in 1969 at the age of 32 after working several years for Hallmark Cards in Topeka, Kan. While a student he was hired to work in the maintenance department as the superintendent of buildings and grounds — a job he did for 15 years. Allen graduated from OCC in 1976. After moving away for awhile he came back to Joplin in 1988 when the position of chaplain opened up at Spring River Christian Village.
He has worked there for nearly 25 years. When moving back to Joplin in 1988, Joy became residence hall director at Dennis Hall at OCC and her husband helped out in the evenings. They retired from the dorm in 2003.
OCC President Matt Procter said during the banquet, “Whether they were hugging a struggling student as dorm parents at OCC, or visiting a lonely widow as chaplain at Spring River Christian Village, the Brintnall's have excelled at expressing God's love in tangible ways to folks in need."
Rick Bushnell came to the college in 1966, where he met his future wife Sheryl. He graduated in 1970 and became the first youth minister for College Heights Christian Church. After have several preaching ministries and working in other jobs for several years, he returned to the college in 1982 and worked in the Development Department for two years. Then in 1984 he again joined the staff at College Heights and has been there since, serving over the years as family minister, associate minister and Christian education director. He is presently the senior adult minister and makes calls in the hospital and on shut-ins.
Sheryl has also served in various roles at College Heights teaching women's groups, mentoring young women, running the school cafeteria and being an administrative assistant at the Counseling Center at the church. She is now the administrative assistant to the Counseling Center at Christ's Church of Oronogo.
Proctor said, "Whether preaching a sermon, teaching a Sunday School class, working with the youth, calling on folks in the hospital, leading a thoughtful funeral service or taking the senior adults to a conference, Rick and Sheryl have been a constant ministry presence in this vibrant congregation.”
The Seth Wilson Outstanding Alumni Award at Ozark Christian College is named after the first and long-time academic dean at OCC.