Interview with David Hyde
This interview is with David Hyde, one of our Upper Grade teachers. He teaches Writing, History, Debate, and Bible classes at GCA.
What is your background and what gave you a desire to teach?
I pastored for several years in two different churches and in that role, I had the wonderful opportunity to disciple. We (my wife and I) have always believed that God’s command is to make disciples. God always sees fit to provide the tools needed to accomplish that task. We did that in Columbus and Toledo, OH. While we did that, our church was 52 years old and had never taken a missions trip, so we took a group of people to Mexico. At the time, it was easy and inexpensive. We took our first trip and then came back, and it really changed the makeup of the church. It gave a real purpose to [the church’s] giving when it came to reaching the world with the Gospel. We even saw people beginning to take trips themselves, which was exciting! After taking several trips there year after year, I was asked to attend a pastor’s conference in Mexico. It was during that time that God made it very clear that it was my turn to answer the call. It was one thing to stand in the pulpit and encourage other people to do that, but now the Spirit of God was saying, “What about you?” I had been in the church ten years. I resigned the pastorate in 1999 to raise funds and go to Mexico.
Ministry in Mexico was incredible; if there is anything that I can point to in my life to say that I really saw God at work, it was in Mexico. After, Johann and I had done 8 months of university language training we were involved in evangelistic Bible studies every night of the week, and there was potential for more. Out of that, we started a Bible study in a lady’s house. Now, I had learned formal Spanish in a university language program, there I was on the mountaintop, trying to teach, but they could not understand my Spanish and gave me strange looks! But, this old lady in the Bible study, Rosa, asked me if I would teach her the Bible. I said, “Rosa, I’m sorry, I don’t know enough language to teach you the Bible.” And here, this lady, who had less than a 4th grade education, said, “I will teach you Spanish if you will teach me the Bible.” And so, that is how it worked out. She started teaching me all the ways one communicates that do not fit the conjugations, because their Spanish was so poor— and what a blessing she was to me. However, I’ll never forget when I found out that Rosa couldn’t read. She was constantly mixing up Moses and Jacob and Adam and Noah: she would tell the Bible story, but with other people’s names. And it was so much fun just to see her grow. One day during Bible study, I said, “Rosa, why don’t you read this verse to us.” And she looked horrified, and I said to myself, “uh-oh.” She replied, “I hate to tell you this, and I have been trying to hide it, but I cannot read.” I said, “Oh Rosa, I wish you would have told us that.” So, our study group gave her the Bible on CD. I will never forget her taking that and hugging it, and with tears streaming down her face, saying “My Bible, my Bible.” And back then, you could not fit an audio Bible on one CD, it was more like 15. It was a big deal.
So ministry in Mexico was a big deal. We loved it there. And through some events—the sickness and death of my mom—God brought us back to the states. When He did, we chose to live in the Springfield area because Johann’s parents were becoming elderly. I had drug Johann all over the world in ministry, but it was time to minister to her family. So, we kind of settled here. She got a job, and I started working at Sears. Now, I believe that Christians are always on mission, and that geography does not mean nearly as much to God as it does to us. Where we accomplish mission does not matter. So, Johann and I were doing the same thing we had always done, meeting people and seeking to exalt Christ and watching people being drawn to Jesus, right there at Sears. It was a blessing to do that, and not from an office inside of a church building, but right there in Sears. That became my office. We saw people come to Christ. God is great at exalting Himself and it was a joy to see him do that there. We made some great contacts and had great relationships with people. After Sears closed down, I started at Ace Hardware in Ozark and did the same thing there. Out of this, there are Bible studies we started still going on today, including three former co-workers I regularly meet with.
The Lord really brought me here to GCA through a trip I took to Haiti. I met several students and their parents in preparation for that trip. Being in Haiti bonded us together; but, I did not think about the possibility of teaching at GCA. In the months that followed, I kept contact with students through meetings at Steve Edney’s house, one of the parents who had gone. One day, while at Ace Hardware, Mr. Moss texted me and asked if we could meet for lunch. What came out of that meeting is that it would not work for me to teach at GCA part-time and Ace Hardware full-time. So then about a month before school started, Mr. Moss called me and said “Hey, we need to talk. Can we meet again? Some things have changed and God has opened up an opportunity and I wondered if you would pray about that?” I responded, “I have been praying about this since the beginning of the summer and I don’t have to pray anymore. I know this is what God wants.” For me, it has just been an incredible time coming into the school, meeting the parents, meeting the kids. I am just so glad to be a part of this. I’m sure that a honeymoon season will be over at some point— I’m hoping not— but I can’t believe that I get to do this. I am having a great time!
What kind of surprises have you encountered since starting here?
There have been a couple of surprises. I had forgotten the difference between teaching an 8th grader and a senior, and teaching those age groups have been an incredibly fun challenge. It is not that I teach differently, but the 8th graders have an incredible energy that I don’t necessarily see in the mature 12th graders. You walk into that 8th grade class, and they are bouncing off the wall and it has been fun to come alongside that— it energizes me! This experience has been a huge surprise to me. I mean, I have 5 children, but I forgot what they were like in 8th grade.
As far as the material is concerned, I am learning every week. I love the classics and have always read them, but it has been a long time. To delve back into the material thrills me. And to look at Ancient History [one of Mr. Hyde’s courses], the best that man can do is worship thousands and thousands and thousands of gods, and then there is still no peace. There is the pursuit of peace, but never getting there. What a blessing for us that God pursues us and did so when He sent His Son. One of the things that we have learned is that when you look at Gilgamesh or the Egyptian’s gods, those are gods created in man’s image, when Scripture teaches God created man in His image. Big difference.