Bud also led in the administrative work of organizing and leading the AACS Washington Conferences that were held in D.C. each year. Even though AACS president Dr. Al Janney presided at these events, it was Bud, and our staff from Normal, and later from the Fairfax office, that provided the planning and administrative structure for all the AACS programs. I oversaw the day-to-day operation, but it was Bud who was the leader. We worked very well together. I understood his high standards for everything from appearance, attention to detail, and striving for excellence.
During that time, he also initiated the AACS Student Competition that began at Tennessee Temple in April of 1979, but then moved to Bob Jones the next year to accommodate the crowd of contestants. This competition in Bible, Academics & Arts was the fruit of several dozen state associational competitions from the affiliated state chapters that made up AACS. There were many, many more high school, junior high, and elementary school students across the country participating in local and state competitions.
In addition, he had the vision to work with other leaders in AACS to bring about Athletic Competitions, a Christian Honor Society, and other activities that helped to serve Christian schools nationwide. And he did all of this while still pastoring a thriving and growing church.
It was the intersection between the demands of moving AACS ahead, and the church program where I had the greatest challenge. Often, we would both fly out on Wednesday for a conference that was held on Thursday and Friday, and then fly back to Bloomington-Normal on Friday evening. I would be exhausted – and Bud seemed to be energized for the weekend of church ministry.
He had established a very effective Saturday morning men’s prayer breakfast that became a key discipleship factor in the church. I, along all the other pastoral staff members, were expected to be there. But the other guys hadn’t been flying back the night before to Chicago O’Hare and then commuting down to our community on a connecting flight. I loved the Saturday morning ministry, but it was difficult for me to keep up. Not for Bud.
He also gave very effective leadership in organizing the male leadership of the church into a large and active Deacon Board. By the early 1980s there were 27 deacons – and all were involved and contributing. He had years before reorganized an old separate board system of seven deacons and seven trustees into one group. As the church grew, he wisely expanded the deacons to include more and more talented and dedicated men.
He treated these men as equals and communicated extensively and clearly his ideas, vision, and goals. The deacons made decisions based on open discussion, and he listened – sometimes pausing for further study and discussion. He never ran ahead of the men. The board was organized into various action committees that oversaw and reported to the full board. We always had several biblically qualified “Elders” on the board. I served alongside my dear friend Evangelist Paul Levin for several years.
Deacon meetings were always spiritual highpoints and they were events that we looked forward to each month.