November 11, 2014
By: Tiffany Kriss
Student, Mid-Atlantic Christian University
Dave and Katie Boyles graduated from Mid-Atlantic Christian University in May, 2013. Dave graduated with a major in Biblical Exposition and a minor in Worship and Music Ministry, and Katie graduated with a double major in Biblical Exposition and Counseling & Psychology and a minor in Cross-Cultural Ministry.
Dave came to MACU because his youth ministers, such as Jason Woolard, recruited him because they had gone to MACU and were good mentors to Dave. Dave came to MACU hoping to become a worship leader and in 2011-2012 he accepted an internship at Christ Church in Winterville, NC. Dave’s internship was a year long so he could get the full experience, so he and his wife, Katie, went and did the internship in between their Junior and Senior years at MACU. Working with Jordan Clark (alumnus of MACU) as his mentor, Dave learned a lot. However, after the internship, Dave knew that he didn’t want to be in a traditional full time church ministry position because he felt like he could be more effective from the outside because wanted to “get out of Christian bubble” and “to do something more hands on.”
Dave found that MACU gave him many opportunities to take leadership and ownership of his faith, and he really appreciated that because he believes that, “if you don’t get involved and take responsibility and ownership of your faith, you’re not really going to be effective or grow.” Dave was also given opportunities to explore ministry options in a “safe environment,” surrounded by “people who love you, and who can give you good feedback”. Chapels and leading disciple groups are things that he highlighted as being things that allow MACU students to, in a sense, “practice ministry”. At MACU, Dave learned “what it means to serve God, in a safe way with guidance from people who are spiritually mature.” Beyond leadership opportunities and classes, Dave also mentioned that he grew simply by spending time with Professors out of class, such as Dr. Larsen who would invite a group of guys over to play a game or go out to dinner. Other Professors and staff members also impacted Dave and Katie as they are a good resource since they are “always willing to help because they actually do care about you.”
Katie came to MACU because her older sister, Annie, and her husband, Brian, came to MACU for a year before she did, and introduced her to MACU. At the time, Katie didn’t know about the university. The students at MACU took a spring break mission trip to Louisiana to help hurricane victims of Katrina, and there was extra room, so Katie was invited. Even though she was invited as a non-student, this gave her the opportunity to interact with current students and professors and observe. She saw students interact with those in need, and at the end of the week, all of those people that they helped came to a huge dinner, and they were all so grateful to God that they had even survived. At the time, Katie was questioning her faith, so on the ride home, she asked Ian McCarty what made him believe in God. Ian said something along the lines of, “there’s so much bad stuff in the world that I have to believe there is something greater.” Katie came home from that experience and told all of her friends, and they were skeptical, but then over the summer, she did some church camps and then came to MACU in August. Katie was, in a sense, a young Christian and she found that at MACU she was constantly challenged to grow and was given leadership opportunities so that she could own her faith. Katie also experienced accountability for the first time in her life. Katie was allowed to be creative with her faith, which was a big deal to her, because she is very visual and likes to express herself. She was also given chances to “disciple and chances to ask questions without feeling dumb.” Katie also made the comment that at MACU, “we have really smart and respectable professors who are not afraid to tell us their story if we ever ask.”
As they were getting ready to graduate from MACU, Dave and Katie were introduced to Maritime ministries, when a group of individuals came out of this boat called Praise the Lord and asked if anyone wanted to go on a trip to Manteo for Fall Break. Dave and Katie said "yes". It was the first mission’s trip that they had been on where the plan was to talk to people and pray for people, which they found to be a little stressful going into it, but once they were there, it made more sense because there were so many people passing through there and asking questions. This trip made a huge impression on both Dave and Katie because it was, “so cool to be able to interact and have spiritual conversations with people we just met, and to feel like we were effectively evangelizing, without going to door to door.” They also were able to do some hands-on tasks, as well, such as fixing other peoples’ boats, and working on their boat.
Dave and Katie had three options for ministry as they prepared to graduate. They could move with friends to New Zealand, Dave could go into full time music ministry, or they could join up with Maritime Ministries. They prayed a lot about it, and then the president of Maritime, Roy Armstrong, came to Elizabeth City, North Carolina and wanted to take them out to lunch. At lunch, he approached them about joining the team, and he let them know that Maritime had been praying about it and wanted Dave and Katie because they had the characteristics the ministry was looking for. Dave and Katie told them that they would pray about it for a month and get back to them because they wanted to make sure. When Dave and Katie graduated, they decided to join with Maritime and they moved to Richmond, Virginia which used to be the headquarters for the ministry. Richmond was where Maritime kept two of the boats, one being Dan Smith’s Paloma, which is now currently on MACU’s campus. Dave and Katie were in Richmond from June 2013 through September 2014, and while they were there, Katie started her Master’s Program at Liberty online for Marriage and Family Counseling.
Dave and Katie came at a transitional time for Maritime, and this winter was slower than usual giving them the opportunity to learn more about the boats. During this time, Dave also got a part time job as a dock master (January-September of 2014). In June, 2014 the president approached Dave and Katie and let them know that prayer was needed for the future of Maritime, since things were getting financially tight. Maritime began to meet together weekly, and they came up with two options: either dissolve after twenty-three years, or relocate. The decision was made to relocate to Elizabeth City, and in July, 2014, that process began. Now that Maritime has been here in Elizabeth City for a month, numerous opportunities have come up. Just recently over MACU Fall Break (October 6th-10th), Dave and Katie were able to take some MACU students out to Manteo, to help them explore ministry options, as well as their gifts and talents. Maritime focuses on doing trips that are two-fold, helping the group of people they take with them, specifically focusing on team building and discipleship training, and once the group is at their destination, they try to get to know the boaters and try to get into the community.
Currently, Dave and Katie are serving with Maritime and are excited for the future. Dave is also working as a band director for the MACU traveling band. Dave and Katie are self-supporting missionaries, so they are learning how to fundraise in order to support their ministry