Rev. Greg Dyson moves to Taylor University in his mission to support kingdom diversity
by Emma Waywood
Rev. Greg Dyson was the director of Intercultural Leadership at Cedarville University for five years. But, starting Jan. 1 of this year, he has moved on to a similar position at Taylor University.
Dyson has carried a personal passion for multiculturalism and diversity since first stepping onto Cedarville’s campus and will continue to maintain that passion long after he has gone.
A Cedarville alumnus, Dyson was the dean of admissions at Word of Life Bible Institute in New York before returning to Ohio. In 2014, before he had been announced as Cedarville’s next president, Dr. Thomas White approached Dyson at Word of Life. White was hoping to make the university he led look “more like heaven” when it came to student diversity, and he wanted Dyson’s help.
“How do we not take the world’s perspective on something like diversity, but a biblical perspective that would allow us to really celebrate what God has done?” Dyson asked.
This was the question the two men sought to answer at Cedarville. Through several talks and extensive prayer with White, Dyson decided to come to the university as the director of Intercultural Leadership.
The position includes multiple aspects: instructing faculty on how to best approach a certain topic or subject in class, organizing field trips such as the Civil Rights Bus Tour, speaking in classes about certain past experiences, defining important terminology like diversity and multiculturalism, and coming alongside incoming students and their parents in order to make them more comfortable on campus.
“I’m kind of like the assist on a basketball team,” Dyson said. “I’m trying to figure out how I can help someone else accomplish the thing they are trying to accomplish.”
Dyson said he was very passionate about his position at Cedarville. He reminisced on how parts of his own life, such as a fear of animals, have helped to give him the tools he needed to be used by God at Cedarville. Every time Dyson sees animals, he is reminded of how other people feel when faced with something strange and unfamiliar to them.
“It’s always possible for someone to get afraid of something they shouldn’t be afraid of,” Dyson said. “God made everyone, and He made us all different. I’m naturally afraid of animals; some people are naturally afraid of figuring out how we can live together and serve the Lord together. But when we do it, it’s awesome.”
During his time at Cedarville, Dyson impacted sophomore nursing major Rebecca Miller, who is also a member of the church Dyson pastors, First Baptist Church of London, Ohio.
“His boldness is what I’ve learned the most from him,” Miller said. “He’s so unashamed of his faith; when he’s preaching, he says such powerful things, and he doesn’t care if it’s offensive or difficult for people to hear, because it’s what God commands him to say. He’s taught me so much about how to be a person after God’s own heart, because I see that so much in him.”
Even with his work at Cedarville and at his church, Dyson began to have a distinct feeling that he could do more for Christ. Through his work, he’d visited several Christian campuses and seen the struggles they undergo in the area of multiculturalism. He came across an opening at Taylor University titled “Special Assistant to the President for Intercultural Initiatives.” He said that the Lord prompted him to investigate that position until he realized how much of an impact he could have on their program. After prayer, and guidance from White, Dyson took the job at Taylor.
Miller attested to the godliness and faith that prompted Dyson to make the move.
“I know this is something God wants him to do, and I’ve seen the impact he’s had on me and a lot of the other students here, so being able to let him do that somewhere else is going to be really cool.” Miller said.
Dyson was excited to share that his position at Cedarville will be filled and extended to the title of “Special Advisor to the President for Kingdom Diversity.” As of Jan. 1, Dr. Anthony Moore took this on along with his other duties. Dyson also said he will continue to pastor First Baptist Church until they can find someone to replace him.
Though Dyson and his family will miss the home they’ve built at Cedarville, he said that he was certain that the school would successfully move on without him.
Emma Waywood is a freshman journalism major and an arts and entertainment reporter for Cedars. She enjoys singing in Concert Chorale, watching reruns of “Friends,” and writing random novel ideas that never get anywhere.