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Dudley Rutherford

2011 Seth Wilson Outstanding Alumni Award

Dudley Rutherford

"The first time I met him at church camp I learned two things:  he was a natural born leader, and he never settled for the "normal way" of doing things.  The Lord has used those two attributes in him for great kingdom advances."

WICHITA:  He grew up in Wichita, Kansas, where his dad, Dean, was minister of the Countryside Christian Church.  While in high school, he came forward one Sunday morning and told his dad, "I want to be a preacher."

OZARK:  In 1976 he began at Ozark to learn to be a preacher.  Since he was 6'5" and quite athletic, he played basketball.  His second year he set sixteen school records and was selected as Ozark's first All-American First Team in the NCCAA and the team placed third their national tournament.  The highest any OCC basketball team has ever placed.

RENEE:  A young lady entered Ozark in the fall of 1979 and he began a relationship with Renee Epps.   He graduated from OCC in 1980, preached in Des Moines, Iowa, and they were married in 1984.  In 1987 they moved to California and he began preaching at the Hillcrest Christian Church, Granada Hills.

CHURCH GROWTH:  The church grew from 300 to 1000 his first eight years.  The Hillcrest Church and Shepherd of the Hills, a Baptist church, merged in 1995 with 1600 members.

MULTIPLE-CAMPUSES:  Since that time the church has grown to more than 10,000 members within 17 different services each weekend, including four daughter churches and four satellite campuses.

JOHN WOODEN:  Dudley became close friends with the legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. When Wooden passed away last summer his family asked Dudley to speak at both the private and public services.

NACC:  Dudley will serve as President of the NACC (North American Christian Convention) in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 5-8, 2011.

President Proctor added, "It's not normal for a kid from Kansas to thrive in Los Angeles, but he has.  It's not normal for an independent Christian Church to merge successfully with a Baptist congregation, but his congregation did.  It's not normal for a church in a largely white suburb to be incredibly ethnically diverse, but his church is, it's not normal for a guy to be blatantly evangelistic when he preaches at a high-profile memorial service filled with celebrities like Coach John Wooden, but he has.

In his discipleship and in his leadership, Dudley…has always left normal in the dust."