|Dennis Gaylor and his wife, Barbara|
Dennis Gaylor, the national director of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, U.S.A. since 1978, retired from his position on April 12, 2013. He had served more than three decades as national director under four executive directors in AG U.S. Missions and four directors in the National Youth Ministries - Church Ministries.
During Gaylor's tenure, Chi Alpha has grown from 67 chartered campus ministries to 304, and from fewer than 60 campus staff to 554 paid missionaries. In the past two years, more than 100 recent graduates participated in Chi Alpha internships. In 1978, 5,866 students were involved in Chi Alpha and today there are 24,254 students involved.
Prior to his appointment as Chi Alpha national director, Gaylor was the South Texas District Chi Alpha director with an office at the University of Houston Central Campus from 1974-78. He graduated from the University of North Texas in 1972 and earned a Masters in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Houston Clear Lake in 1979.
His dream and passion from early on as national director, "was to see young single men and women, married couples and families be able to do campus ministry as a full-time calling and career." During the late 1970s and early 1980s, newly graduated and radically saved individuals determined to stay on campus and share the good news with any who would listen and emerged as the first Chi Alpha campus ministers.
In the mid-1980s, Chi Alpha was recognized as missions and a historic move was made with Chi Alpha leaving the National Youth Ministries - Church Ministries, where it had been since 1947, to AG U.S. Missions in 1986. This change accelerated the growth and expansion of Chi Alpha. The national appointment of missionaries in Chi Alpha in 1992 opened the way for men and women called to university mission to plant Chi Alpha ministries on campuses and in states where they had never been before.
Since Gaylor joined national Chi Alpha, revenue that comes in to support missionaries has increased 1500 percent. The National Chi Alpha office operates on about 7 percent of this revenue.
In Gaylor's final message to all Chi Alpha leadership who had gathered in Ft. Worth for the World Missions Summit and Imagine conference, he asked, "What would move us to ‘greatness' and fulfilling God's dreams for Chi Alpha? God's dream for us always leads us back to our spiritual foundation before we move forward in the Spirit. We must renew our commitment to God's Word, pray, and live a consecrated life of service. These spiritual disciplines will ignite our lives to dream God's dreams for Chi Alpha."
Following Gaylor's departure, U.S. Missions Executive Director Zollie Smith Jr., has announced that Bob Marks, a long-time member of the national Chi Alpha staff, will be the interim national director. Smith says a search committee of key Chi Alpha leaders is being formed to help find a new Chi Alpha national director. For more information about Chi Alpha, see its website.