NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
Dennis D'Augostine: Loving the Church and the City
Dennis D'Augostine has a passion for evangelism and a deep love for his church, Steamtown Church, in Scranton, PA.
A graduate of Word of Life Bible Institute's two-year program, Dennis is a two-time recipient of Word of Life's prestigious C. Sumner-Wemp Award in Personal Evangelism.
He is also a graduate of BBC, focusing on the Youth Pastor program, and earned Master of Ministry and Master of Divinity degrees from Baptist Bible Seminary.
Originally from Vineland, NJ, he, his wife, Kelly, and their two boys, Michael and Matthew, live in Scranton, a city that Dennis has a great love for and desperate desire to reach with the love of Christ.
Read more In the Spotlights here.
Why did you attend Word of Life?
I went to the Word of Life Island camp when I was 16. After high school, I wanted to be a police officer, like my dad, but I decided to go to Word of Life for one year and then become a police officer. I went for a year, but they have a really good way convincing you of the value of giving career ministry an opportunity. They show you the importance of the sacred over the secular. I wanted to give the sacred one year even though I had no intention of continuing on there. God was sovereign through everything and He obviously wanted me to be doing what I am doing now because I am very fulfilled.
What led you to BBC?
I was originally accepted at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. I wrestled between the option of going to college or jumping into ministry after two years at Word of Life. I didn't go to Moody, and I had some pretty awesome success in youth ministry in South Jersey and Virginia. I worked in youth ministry from the summer of 2000 to the fall of 2001. After some difficult life experiences, I took a step back to examine the direction of my life. I felt that I needed to go back to school. About a week before classes started I called (Director of Church Relations) Glenn Amos, because he was the one person I knew who was familiar with one of the bible colleges in this area of the country.
What was your transition to BBC like?
When I left Word of Life, it was difficult for me. I have found that most students experience some difficulties. Life is different there; you live in a bubble. My transition was made a little easier because BBC has a very realistic approach to giving you a pace of Christianity that can be maintained.
What was your BBC experience like?
The size of the school does not enhance your campus experience. I received the same kind of positive experience at BBC that I would have received at any larger school.
My experience at BBC was unbelievable. It was just as unbelievable as the experience of anyone who goes to a bigger college or university. There is a lie that says bigger must be better, and that is not necessarily true. I love BBC also because I was able to become involved in ministries and had opportunities to be a part of Scranton culture. BBC has a lot of awesome opportunities because of where God has placed it.
Word of Life helps you recognize your call; BBC is in an area that is highly unreached. I believe it is very important to become a part of the culture of the area. For someone interested in evangelism, the northeast is where they want to be. At Word of Life I got a strong impression of evangelism. BBC has a very high view of the church, so I had a very balanced experience.
What are you involved in currently?
I am the lead pastor of Steamtown Church, a church that came about through the efforts of Project Jerusalem at BBS. Steamtown Church is a very positive representation of BBC. We are big on grace; BBC has a great view of grace. I am the planter of the church, along with three other Word of Life and BBC grads - Peter Fox, Josh Wilson, and Matt Miller.
What were some challenges of starting a new church?
The entire Steamtown Church project has been a challenge. We are young first of all, and we are in a mecca of religiosity, where people don't completely grasp God's grace. The mindset of this area has also been a challenge; it is a very tough area.
What are some the rewards you have seen so far?
Steamtown Church has experienced an historical amount of growth. This entails our House Church movement, conversions, baptisms, future church plants, and networking with other pastors.
Where would you like to see the church go?
I would like to see Steamtown have the capacity to fuel and fund a church planting movement. I see myself at Steamtown Church indefinitely. I anticipate buying my gravestone in Scranton.
Learn more about the Youth Pastor program at BBC here.
Learn more about Project Jerusalem here.
The story of Baptist Bible College & Seminary is best told through the lives of students and alumni. Share your story and tell others how God has been leading in your life. Visit www.bbc.edu/yourstory.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to learn and serve with excellence as they gain critical leadership and life skills.
To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.
Posted on: 5/24/2011 3:36:44 PM