David Showker "Bear Shirt Guy"


Bear shirt guy, youth minister, homeless, survivor of tragedy, honestly there are many names that have described Dave, but the name that has most defined and brought him through the darkest times is Christ follower.  Take some time to read Dave's story.  It is a true challenge to all of us to Live Our Story in such an uncompromising way.

Dave can be spotted spreading the word about the grace of Christ in many places such as:

                                        Twitter and Reddit

"I grew up in a Christian home, went to Christian School, and attended church most every Sunday growing up. But it wasn’t mine, it was my family’s faith, the curriculum I was taught, and what was expected of me. Through Middle and High School I hopped from event to event and church to church tagging along with friends depending on who was doing something cool that weekend or whoever I had hung out with the night before, until the Fall of my Junior Year. The year prior I had begun to question everything including my faith after the untimely death of my mother at the start of sophomore year.

Junior year, around a year n a half later I found myself standing at a crossroads. I will never forget that sleepless night, was I going to live the party, carpe diem, the yolo life that both my parents had lived most of their youth or was I going to actually go all in and embrace this Christianity and Jesus I’d spent my whole life learning about… The next morning I called a local Pastor I always thought was funny and personable, Todd Brown. Showing up at his office for some advice, birthed a relationship that would forever challenge and radically change my life. He asked me to start coming to their church. After a few weeks the Youth Pastor, Stacey Burkholder, asked me to come to youth group. I sluffed him off for awhile, yet he persisted. Finally he snagged me with a weakness and passion of mine, a youth hiking trip, I could not pass it up. Week after week I continued to return to youth until soon enough I felt fully ushered in as one of the group, family. It is there, Blue Ridge Church of Christ-Fishersville Va. that I found my home. Near Summer’s end in 2010 I made the commitment to go into ministry at a CIY event in Holland, Michigan. Over the next few years, up until Fall 2012, Todd and Stacey continued to pour into me daily demonstrating and reflecting Christ’s image as I had the honor and privilege to work under and alongside them on staff in youth ministry. I will always be grateful for their time, mentorship, and investment in my life. Though I struggled with the want to stay in my home-town and at the church I loved, I knew I could not suppress the hunger for knowledge that burned inside me. After considering several Universities it was at this juncture that I was made aware of Central...

I truly am stoked to see how God is going to use Central to challenge, mold and stretch not only myself but the community here at Central to His will and Kingdom work over the next few years. I’m stoked to be able to travel with Central often and spread the word of what they are doing to equip young men and women with the degrees they need to engage this culture and spring-board them into their calling post-graduation with little to no crippling financial debt! Not to mention it curbs my appetite to travel to, encourage, and encounter other broken vessels like myself.  Having spent years of my life living out of my car I am ready to do whatever it takes.

I’m just a unique child of God, a work in progress. Merely a mirror living to reflect Christ’s face, love, and joy. Life’s been quite the ride thus far. There are many points of my story that may only be touched on with time spent over a quality cup of coffee… But I will continue to cry out, so long as there’s breath in these lungs, a lesson that my Father taught me: Life’s far more worth living if you Live to Love, that passion and drive in turn fuels your Love to Live. Each morning I’m reminded of how brief and limited this time on earth is; even more-so recently. My Father passed away unexpectedly over Christmas break 2012. The things he taught me and the Christ-like example he displayed for me daily I will carry with me so long as I live and prayerfully  I may be able to impart portions of that on all those I come in contact with."

As a student at Central Dave is benefitting from the scholarship program the school has funded for the past twelve years to cover students tution so that they can pursue the ministry God called them to.  Central seeks right fit students who are passionate about ministry.  If you are looking for a place that will support you as you strive to follow your call just fill out the form on the right so we can stay in touch.  We want to equip you to Live Your Story just the way God is calling you!









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