Distinguished Alumni 2020
After attending Prairie High School, Dr. George Foxall graduated from Prairie Bible College in 1952, prepared for missionary service in Africa. At SIM candidate school he met his future wife, Ruth Balisky, a nurse and graduate of PRBI. After their wedding in Nigeria, they were assigned to an extremely isolated mission station. Ruth oversaw a Leprosy Segregation Village and a dispensary as George trekked to local villages to share the gospel with Muslim elders. Three years later they and their infant son David moved to a small agricultural town, joining a missionary community and a large population of Christians. George led a Hausa language Bible school and trained church leaders while Ruth managed a daily 250-patient clinic, trained health workers, and worked with over 2,000 leprosy outpatients.
In 1974 the Foxalls relocated to the city of Kaduna. George served the church in Theological Education by Extension and in 1979 SIM seconded him to the Association of Evangelicals of Africa to be the Administrative Secretary of the Association Council for Theological Education in Africa. Over time he earned Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Religious Education and then a Doctor of Missions from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Ruth embraced a ministry of hospitality and spiritual care and they helped establish an indigenous church that has grown to include 6,000 congregations with more than ten million members. The couple has now retired to Three Hills after 42 years of faithful ministry in Nigeria.
Dr. Larry Sharp graduated from Prairie High School in 1962 and Bible College in 1965. While studying at Seattle Pacific University he met and married Vicki Biederman who had grown up in Alaska. After a year teaching at PHS, they departed for Brazil in 1972 under UFM International (now Crossworld), to work at the Amazon Valley Academy and Larry later became president of the Evangelical Christian Mission of Brazil. In 1993 they returned to the Crossworld officein Philadelphia where Larry was Vice President of Operations and Vicki served as trainer and database manager.
While there, Larry founded IBEC Ventures, a consulting group that helps to start missional businesses in the most impoverished areas of the world. Since earning a PhD at the University of Calgary, he has taught and written curriculum for Christian colleges and a weekly blog and other articles for journals and websites. His book The Greatest Missionary Generation was published this year. Larry also serves on several boards and is chairperson of the Freedom Business Alliance which serves the survivors of human trafficking. Vicki’s ministries have included homemaking, teaching, mentoring, hospitality, editing and database development. Married fifty years, the Sharps make their home in Everett, Washington.
Jordan and Julie Cavanaugh met at Prairie College, where they graduated in 2008, and both hold Masters’ degrees from Regent College in Vancouver. For the past twelve years they have served at CrossRoads Church in Red Deer, AB, where Jordan focused on youth, discipling students through life-on-life relationships. Wanting to influence teens with exposure beyond their culture, he developed partnerships with missionaries overseas, enlarging his students’ view of the world and helping them to recognize and care about the marginalized in their own communities.
While being actively involved in ministry with Jordan, Julie also conducted extensive research into the social needs of Central Alberta. This led to the church partnering with other existing organizations and public schools, focusing on caring for vulnerable children, youth and single parent homes. During the migrant crisis of 2015/16 Julie led relief teams to Lesvos, Greece, to provide aid and organization in the refugee camps, as well as respite for exhausted local front-line workers. The parents of three young daughters, the Cavanaughs now oversee Kindergarten to Grade Six families at CrossRoads with a passion for integrating children into the body of Christ. They speak regularly on family discipleship and enjoy using their home for mentoring and hospitality.
Distinguished Alumni Nomination Criteria
Prairie College wishes to honour and recognize three alumni who personify Prairie’s values and have translated their educational experience into distinguished achievement in Christian ministry or the professional world.
One alumnus will be recognized in each of the following areas:
- Lifelong Christian Ministry
- Integration of Christian Faith and Professional Achievement
- Early Career Excellence – an individual who is 40 years of age or younger
- Be a graduate of one of Prairie’s schools.
- Have made a significant contribution to the cause of Christ through Christian ministry or in their chosen career.
- Bear witness to Christ through a sincere walk with the Lord and exemplary Christian character.
- Be nominated by their peers.
If you know someone who fits our criteria, please send your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to PO Box 4000, Three Hills, AB T0M 2N0, by May 31, 2021 with the following information:
- Nominee’s name, address, and phone/email.
- Details as to why they should be considered for this award.
- Your name and contact details.
If you are looking to nominate someone for the Centennial Living Stones, please follow the nomination instructions above as well.