The Importance of Relationships: Evelyn Waymire & Gabby Bogear

By: Emily Lehner

Evelyn Waymire
Evelyn Waymire

As I entered Evelyn Waymire’s office, I saw her and Gabby Bogear sitting at her desk, eyes focused on the IWU Softball Team’s twitter feed. The feed was showing updated plays and scores from the team’s game that was happening in Michigan at the moment. This is just one example of the passion that these two ladies have for the IWU Women’s Softball Team.

Both alumni of Indiana Wesleyan, Waymire works as the team chaplain, and both her and Bogear are assistant coaches for the team. The positions were unexpected for both of them, but they are certain that this is exactly where God wants them to be right now. Waymire graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Social Work and was a part of the John Wesley Honors College. She holds an Admissions Counselor position for the university. Bogear is a 2016 graduate with an impressive athletic resume and Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and a minor in Adolescent Ministries.

Waymire cherishes her memories from being a student at IWU, and since working on campus, she stated, “One of the thrills of being an admissions counselor and coaching is seeing the students go through the same walk I did. It is the memories of going back and continuing relationships with professors and friends and the reminiscing that goes along with returning.”

Waymire believes the personal relationships she obtained during her time at IWU prepared her for the next step after college and allowed her to make her faith her own.

Gabby Bogear
Gabby Bogear

Bogear believes that the people at IWU influenced her greatly. “The whole atmosphere of meeting people who are different than you: different majors, different interests, different walks of life,” she said.

IWU allowed her to find the value in people, instead of only seeing value through school work or athletics. Bogear stated that IWU allowed her to develop a personal faith that was deeper than what she had before she arrived on campus.

IWU cultivated a home for Bogear and Waymire, giving them the desire to return here upon graduation. “I knew that IWU was where I wanted to be to determine where I wanted to be,” said Bogear.

Waymire, a member of Grant County from birth, said, “I was set to go to graduate school after college, and God redirected my path. So, it was humbling for me to see plans be halted and reformed in front of me. I received a job in Admissions, and I was excited because I got to be at a place that I love and talk about this place that shaped me and formed who I am today.”

When asked about their goals for the softball season, both Waymire and Bogear made eye contact, smiled and said, “Well, of course we want to win a National Championship!”

The ladies continued to talk about their goals and the lessons they have learned about taking time to read Scripture, be still, or even simply listen to the hearts of their players. Waymire said, “One thing I love about this athletic department is the focus on Christ and our duty to serve Him with the gifts He has given us as the coaching staff.”

Bogear believes that she has the ability to use her experience to comfort or relate to the players. “I, personally, had a really difficult time moving away from home, and it really hit me that the girls on the team were my family away from home. That stands true still today,” she said.

Both Waymire and Bogear aim for excellence in their coaching careers. The two reflect greatly an attitude of hope and servanthood for the rest of their players and coaching staff. The IWU Women’s Softball team will host their first home game of the 2017 season on March 10th.


Written by Emily Lehner, writer for the Alumni Center and a sophomore Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at

PotW “Lessons from Relationships and Failure” Rev. David Dignal

By: Rick Carder


David opened his seminar on Conflict Resolution with the statement, “If you are breathing, you will experience conflict.” Sharing experiences from his ministry, Dignal offered ideas on handling conflict in our lives during a teaching session hosted by the IWU Alumni Association – Fort Wayne Regional Network on February 11, 2016. Dignal defined his greatest passion as resulting from opprotunities of ministry, “When you can mend a broken relationship is a win. Anytime you can get people on the same page is a win.”

Dave DignalFor over thirty-five years David Dignal has served as a pastor in the Wesleyan Church. He has experienced ministry through his passion for teaching and leadership. David is an alum of IWU, finishing his Master in Religion degree through IWU. Dignal is also a graduate of Ohio Christian University (B.A. in Christian Ministries). He referenced Dr. Wayne Schmidt, Vice President of Wesleyan Seminary, who helped him learn how to manage conflict.

Dignal cited four areas of conflict: community change, financial stress, closed power systems, and prescriptive expectations. In the ministry of serving in a local church, he is reminded that working with people can be difficult but that, “there are many rewards as well.” In his ministry he has learned to lead gracefully.

Pastor Dignal now serves at Edgerton Wesleyan Church, where he has been since the fall of 2002. He has turned the church around by providing an optimistic leadership style that included teaching principles of leadership to its members. He is also a trained church planting assessor for The Wesleyan Church. Dignal’s main focus in coaching an individual is to see that person develop their full “LQ” – leadership quotient. He said the LQ means, “We have to promote leadership development. The leader has to grow and not depend on the past successes. You can always add to your ability.” The leader’s growth is the key to his or her personal and ministry effectiveness and fulfillment.

In sharing on a personal level, Dignal shared that he completed a process of being certified in the Wesleyan Coaching Network. About himself he said, “I did my training with Tim Roehl. I really do like the GROW model, simply because it keeps my focus on helping the person grow in whatever area we are working on.” He describes the GROW model by asking pastors to look at their ministry “Goals” and “Realities” as well as the “Opportunities” then they define the plan in what he calls “What will we do?”.

Dignal integrates his coaching principles by engaging the passion of people and helping them find their strengths. As the Director of Alumni and Church Engagement, I (Rick Carder) asked David Dignal to provide leadership coaching to the Fort Wayne Regional Alumni Regional Network. Dignal is creative and optimistic as our team looks to serve alumni in the region. The team works together to define objectives and goals that reach and serve alumni. His leadership and coaching is a positive contribution to this team.

During his conflict resolution presentation Dignal shared a personal example of leadership roles and their constant change. “Yesterday we celebrated my nineteen year old daughter’s birthday. We often remind our children what the relationship roles are,” he shared. Further, “In dealing with conflict we continue to define roles. I have to remember that she is nineteen now. I have to make adjustments too.” As he reflected about ministry he said, “As culture changes you have to make adjustments. The message doesn’t change but the way we do ministry does. There are new opportunities when culture changes.” Now that he is a grandfather, Dignal was asked about how ministry has shaped him over the years. He said, “The impact has been that the perspective of children’s ministry has changed. I have always valued this ministry but now that I have a grandchild, it has given me a personal connection.”

This is part of why Dignal is passionate about church renewal. He serves on the Church Renewal Team with the Indiana North District of the Wesleyan Church that helps churches to be more effective. “I am part of the renewal conversations which I enjoy,” says Dignal. His greatest joy is in serving Christ. He commented, “Seeing God’s truth worked out in real life scenarios is my passion.”

“I have a responsibility to communicate vision in a way that people can understand,” says Dignal, “I want to get everyone on-board.” He continues, “I am good at repeating the same thing over-and-over again so that everyone gets it. I say the same thing but I say it differently so that people get it.” He teaches as an adjunct professor for IWU. He often encourages his students by helping them to connect to what he teaching by using stories and illustrations that build on principles.

On a personal level David was asked what his life Bible verse is. He answered, “I don’t have a life verse but I have a favorite. It is Philippians 1:6. I paraphrase it simply, ‘What God starts he finishes.’” It gives him confidence in the darkest times.

In speaking about his ministry impacts, he talked about two significant experiences that have shaped him. “One of those is the pastoral heroes in my life.” Referring to the four years he served as a staff with Pastor Jimmy Johnson in Bonita, CA. “He taught me to be real and relax in who God created me to be.” He also reference a painful time in his life. “My failure as a church planter,” he said. He continues, “It has shaped me because it taught me humility and forced me to realign on my values in the church. My failures caused me to come out and realize the importance of ministry.”

The accomplishments include church planting and training specialties. During a public recognition following his presentation at the training event as the newest member of the Pastor of the Week (PotW) inductee, David demonstrated a servant’s heart by sharing personal successes and failures. He has served over 35 years of pastoral ministry experience, 13 years as an Adjunct Professor for Indiana Wesleyan University, and served 7 years as Assistant to the District Superintendent of the Indiana North District of The Wesleyan Church. He now serves as a ministry coach for the Wesleyan Church.

Pastor Dave has been married to his wife Stevie for over 34 years and have three children (Sarah, Jonathan, and Rebekah), one son-in-law, and one grandson. They met at Circleville College in 1977. She was from New York and he was from Pennsylvania but we met in college. They started dating when I was in my last year of college.



Written by Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement.