Alan Stirling, RCS c/o ’86
One of the RCS goals to #CelebrateRCS in our 50th anniversary is to connect with RCS Alumni and see what God has been doing in their lives since high school graduation. Dr. Hearne recently interviewed RCS Alumni and current MSHS Director of Spiritual Life, Mr. Stirling, class of 1986.
As part of the interview, Dr. Hearne asked for Mr. Stirling to share his thoughts on this month’s theme verse 2 Timothy 4:1-2, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”
Mr. Stirling shared, “This passage always causes my soul to stand in rapt attention as the aged apostle authoritatively articulates his disciple’s central task of preaching God’s word. Timothy must not cave to the pressures of his day to set aside God’s word in favor of public sentiment. Today, we must do no less. God’s word alone is the one essential message that is able to “make one wise unto salvation” and then fully equip the saved for every good work for which God has created him. May God give us grace as we carry out this glorious charge in our generation.”
When did you begin attending RCS and what year did you graduate?
Mr. Stirling: I attended Redwood from 1976-1986 (2nd grade – 12th grade).
Who was your favorite RCS Teacher and why?
Mr. Stirling: There were many greats, but my 5th grader teacher, Mr. Enns, has to be my all-time favorite. As a squirly 5th grader, I needed a loving and yet very firm hand. Mr. Enns embodied both. His godly teaching, example and stories left an indelible mark both on my heart and my trapezius muscle.
What activities did you enjoy participating in while a student?
Mr. Stirling: While there were a number of special activities that I enjoyed at RCS, what stands out most was participating in athletics. There are special relationships and memories from my years of playing sports throughout my years at RCS that will be with me for the rest of my life.
Mr. Stirling: What I loved most and made the biggest impact on my life were my coaches and Bible teachers. I am thankful for my coaches who taught me both sport and life. Academically, I always looked forward to Bible classes and the daily, consistent teaching of God’s word from my teachers at all levels. I honestly think I learned more of God’s word from teachers like Stan Edington than I did in all of my years at Bible College.
What did you do after graduating from RCS?
Mr. Stirling: After RCS, I graduated from Moody Bible Institute. Upon graduation, I returned to the Bay Area where I continued schooling, married fellow alumnus Karen Bakker (class of ‘88), and taught Bible and P.E. at the MSHS for 5 years. In the subsequent 20 years, God took our family overseas to live and work amongst the various Korean people groups of Northeast Asia. In 2017, God brought us back to the Bay Area, and in 2018 back to RCS, where I now teach Bible to our international students and serve as Director of Spiritual Life on the MSHS campus.
Why did you return to RCS as a teacher and now an administrator?
Mr. Stirling: God’s overarching call on my life has been to teach His word. Whether in Chicagoland or the Bay Area, Canada, Korea or China, wherever God has taken me, His clear call on my life has been to teach His word. When we returned to the US in 2017, our son Ben got to fulfill one of his dreams of attending RCS as a senior and playing on the varsity basketball team. During that year, I visited the MSHS campus several times. Like Ben, I dreamed of returning to RCS again and, if possible, teaching Bible to our international students. The dream became reality when Dr. Hearne offered me a job in the Williams Chapel during the 2018 Redwood Explore, not only to teach Bible, but also to serve as the Director of Spiritual Life at the MSHS campus. Now I am living that dream as I get to teach our international students in Bible classes each day or our local students from time to time in chapels, counseling sessions or other activities. In addition, my wife and I are grateful that our children also get to be part of the RCS family and learn from some of the same great teachers who taught us. Finally, my administrative roles allow me to learn from and work alongside a group of amazing leaders while I interact with the outstanding Redwood family in various activities and events. God has been so generous. Praise Him!
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