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AGTS News—Buntain, Kraiss and Trasher recognized as Pillars of the Faith

pillarThe AGTS Pillars of the Faith program honors men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving Jesus Christ and have followed the call of God in ministry, missions and the training of ministers. We acknowledge their generous contribution to AGTS and its mission to shape servant leaders.

In considering the criteria for the Pillars of the Faith initiative, one would be challenged to find three more deserving candidates than Dr. Fulton Buntain, Dr. Wayne Kraiss, and Rev. Lillian Trasher. They have each carved out enduring legacies through their selfless dedication to pursue God's call in their lives.

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Fulton W. Buntain Dr. Wayne E. Kraiss Lillian Hunt Trasher
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Buntain (center) with wife Lorraine and President Klaus

Dr. Fulton W. Buntain pastored churches for more than 60 years, most notably First AG Life Center in Tacoma, Washington, where his influence and leadership affected the entire community. "Pastor Buntain's personal integrity, commitment to excellence, steadfastness in trial and Spirit-inspired creativity have touched more lives than he knows, including mine" recalls Dr. Warren Bullock, member of the AGTS Board of Directors (BOD). Buntain's ministry had a profound impact on Bullock while pastoring a church in the same city for 11 years. "Our church benefitted from Pastor Buntain's leadership, and undoubtedly many others in the area did also. He truly is a Pillar of the Faith." Dr. Bullock worked in conjunction with First AG Life Center to fund the endowment in honor of Buntain. AGTS President Byron D. Klaus was on hand as Pastor Buntain was recognized with this honor at his home church in Tacoma.

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Left to right: Don Judkins, Wayne Kraiss and President Klaus

In the godly call of preparing servant leaders, Dr. Wayne E. Kraiss distinguished himself throughout a 30-year career in AG higher education. For 25 years, Kraiss served as president of Vanguard University. It was at Vanguard that AGTS BOD member Don Judkins had the opportunity to witness Kraiss's leadership in action. "He was always completely committed to the mission of Vanguard, and it was never easy." Mr. Judkins spearheaded the effort to see Kraiss honored as a Pillar of the Faith. Kraiss was presented with a medal with the inscription "Wayne Kraiss: a leader worth following."

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Jennifer Day with President Klaus

One hundred years ago, Lillian Hunt Trasher took a step of faith and followed God as he led her to minister to the children of Egypt. Thousands of children's lives have felt the love of Christ from that decision. The "Nile mother" has left an enduring legacy that continues to this day through the work at the Assiout Orphanage that she founded. Jennifer Day traveled to AGTS to accept this honor on behalf of Lillian Trasher. The AG World Missions department funded the endowment to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the orphanage. This scholarship will be dedicated to women who are called to full-time missionary service with the AG.

All Pillars of the Faith honorees are nominated by the president and approved by the AGTS Board of Directors. An integral part of this honor is the establishment of an endowment of $25,000 or more, which will provide scholarship assistance to future pastors and missionaries. To recommend a pastor, missionary or leader who has left an indelible imprint on your life, contact the Development Office (417-268-1012,

Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2011 12:57 PM

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