A servant’s heart with an entrepreneurial spirit
STAN NOFFSINGER ’76 IS GENERAL SECRETARY of the Church of the Brethren General Board, based in Elgin, Ill. But he started his career in the business world as an entrepreneur.
After earning a Total Quality Management certificate, he bought a small trucking company. He owned a travel agency, too. And he managed a group of physicians and medical clinics.
But God was calling.
Fortunately, Noffsinger’s entrepreneurial spirit gave him ability and courage for risk-taking. He and his wife, Debbie, and their two young sons moved to Maryland, so he could assume leadership of the Brethren Service Center. (He also led the Emergency Response/Service Ministries Program.)
Noffsinger’s management and organizational skills attracted the attention of Church of the Brethren. He received unanimous approval to serve as general secretary, the top administrative post.
As general secretary, Noffsinger sets the spiritual tone for the Church of the Brethren. He also serves as vice president-at-large on the National Council of Churches and is a member of the board of the U.S. Conference World Council of Churches.
One of his seemingly impossible tasks is advancing the cause of peace in a world rife with war and violence. “We understand the theology of peacemaking not just in response to violence or war,” says Noffsinger about the Church of the Brethren. “It’s a transformative way of life that looks at all of life through a very different lens.”
Last May, he received the 2009 Alumni Honor Award.
BY MELINDA LANTZ ’81
Longtime friend gives the gift of life, without hesitating a heartbeat
LIVING A LIFE OF SERVICE is a philosophy
that Kathy Fry-Miller ’75 strives to act upon. She
blood, volunteers at her
church and has worked
with children for the
majority of her career.
And when a friend of
more than 30 years
needed a kidney, Kathy
knew she had to try to help.
Fort Wayne teacher David Kiracofe fell ill and was told he
needed a kidney transplant. Many in his family were tested as a
match, but due to a genetic condition, those who qualified were
unable to give. So David was put on the organ donation list,
facing a wait as long as five years.
Along came Kathy. After tests, physical exams and prayer,
Kathy was found to be a match for David. On Oct. 15, 2008, a
medical team took her kidney and gave new life to David.
A year later, Kathy is positive she made the right decision. “I
never second-guessed myself,” she says. “But now that I’m healed
and healthy, I’m completely reassured. I’m so grateful that I
Her decision to donate a kidney seemed logical to Kathy.
“This is so something I would do, there’s no question,” she says.
“It’s a pleasure to see Dave so bouncy and happy, but my decision
came as an extension of my life work of being service-oriented.”
The benefit to David and Kathy go far beyond sharing a
kidney. “There’s closeness with our families,” Kathy says. “I have
a bigger extended family now and everyone is so grateful for
everything that has happened.”
BY MEGAN HINELINE ’04 FETTERS
‘When I came to Manchester,
SHELLY MANUEL ’93 TEDERS KNOWS A LOT ABOUT
buildings, building a reputation,
building a company and business
relationships. It’s her job to know
about building – and she’s good
Teders is president and
founder of Totally Productive
Group, consulting in process
engineering, and control and
She worked hard to get
where she is today, and it all
began at Manchester College. “I was an average student in high school,
didn’t apply myself and wasn’t really motivated,” says the former
first-generation college student. “When I came to Manchester,
“Although all my professors were equally good, the business
classes taught by Professor Tim Ogden ’87 really exposed me in a way
that equipped me for future success,” says Teders, who lives in Cape
Coral, Fla., with her husband and two children.
Teders used her MC degree to secure an administrative assistant
role at Zaring Homes in Indianapolis. She worked her way up the
company ladder and then was recruited by a national homebuilding
company. Again, she climbed up managerial rungs, earning their
President’s Award … and came to the realization the construction
industry needed transforming.
“MC gave me the strong foundation enabling me to leave a
successful, well-paying job and take a risk,” Teders says. With industry
savvy on her tool belt, 10 years ago Teders partnered with a colleague
to form Totally Productive Group to help construction companies and
other businesses with innovative, “makes sense” business strategies for
achieving bottom-line results quickly.
BY NATE HODGES ’10
“It’s in his DNA.” Setting an example for Manchester’s
ON MAY 24, 2009, MANCHESTER
COLLEGE CONFERRED an
honorary Doctor of Humane
Letters degree upon Dr. Timothy
Johnson, who then delivered the
commencement address. Here is
President Jo Young ’69 Switzer’s
“Dr. Timothy Johnson is a
man few of us have met but
nearly all of us know. As
America’s doctor for more than
30 years, he has made house calls
by way of our televisions on
ABC’s Good Morning America. He also provides important analysis of medical news for the
shows 20/20, Nightline and World News.
Dr. Johnson combines medical expertise with a generous dose
of humility. As a gifted communicator, he delivers plainspoken
explanations of often-complex health conditions and policies.
With his calming demeanor, he transforms our ignorance into
knowledge. He transforms anxiety into purposeful action.
Dr. Johnson originally pursued a career in the ministry,
graduating from North Park Seminary in Chicago. But a few
years later he entered Albany Medical College, where he
graduated summa cum laude. He continues to live at the
intersection of medicine and faith.
In the late 1960s, Dr. Johnson took these twin callings of
medicine and faith on a medical mission trip to Indonesia. There,
he and his wife, Nancy, a nurse, worked with Dr. Wilbur
McFadden ’53, a graduate of this College and longtime North
Manchester physician, providing health care to those in need.
Dr. Johnson has another Manchester connection. His mother,
the late Eunice Danielson ’28 Johnson. Ability and conviction are
in Dr. Johnson’s DNA. In a world starved for integrity and
authenticity, he sets an example for all of us who aspire to lead
principled, productive and compassionate lives.”
Commitment to faith, learning
and service adds up
IF GOD EVER NEEDS AN
ACCOUNTANT, Albert Cotton Jr. ’98
’99ma likely would make the short list.
Whether preaching from the pulpit for
Union Baptist Church in Fort Wayne
or evaluating financial statements
behind his desk for Lincoln Financial
Group, Cotton is committed to faith,
learning and service.
Cotton passed the Uniform C.P.A.
exam on the first try; then put his MC
business and accounting degrees to
work for Ernst & Young, and later for
Dana Corp.’s DTF Trucking. Today,
Cotton is a senior internal auditor for
Lincoln Financial Group in Fort Wayne.
But that’s just his day job.
“I started feeling the tug on my heart my second year at Manchester,
and answered the call in 2001,” says Cotton of ministry. “I have a
burning desire to share God’s love and paint the picture of the life God
wants you to live.” Cotton thrives with teenagers – directing youth Bible
study, church and praise jams. And of course, he does the accounting for
He especially recalls accounting Professor Art Gilbert ’53, who
“instilled a sense of professionalism in his students” and Introduction to
Public Communication with Professor Marcia Benjamin ’78, when “the
whole setup for (my) preaching started.”
A frequent and familiar face on campus, he delivered the “greetings”
from the Alumni Association to the 2009 graduating class. Cotton
enthusiastically embraces his service on the Alumni Board. “My role, as
an alumnus of color, is to do all that I can to aid other minority students
in seeing just how important an institution like Manchester College is for
BY NATE HODGES ’10