I was born a dozen miles up the San Joaquin Valley from the Bible college where Tim Dugas’ dad, Paul, taught for several years, so the various names of the Dugas clan have been familiar for as long as I can remember. My father and grandfather both held the Dugas brothers, Paul and Phillip, in high regard, so I grew up with a generous dose of respect for the whole bunch. I guess that’s why I felt a little proud and important in July of 1980 when Tim Dugas spent a couple of hours on the sweltering Oklahoma District Campground telling me all the reasons why I needed to go to Christian Life College. He’d recently returned to Stockton himself, and, following in his father’s footsteps, was now part of the teaching and leadership team. A few weeks later, I loaded my clothes and my new stereo into my white diesel pickup, and headed west to claim all that Brother Dugas had promised was waiting for me.
He was working in the print shop when I arrived a week before classes were to start. He walked to the dorm with me and showed me all my options: lots of small, barren rooms with bunk beds crammed inside, and a common shower room conveniently located right in the middle – whose showers I would soon discover worked better than the drains. He didn’t tell me which room to choose, but he did lead me to a larger room at the very end of the hall and said, “If I was moving in, here’s where I’d stay.” I took his gentle “hint.” He walked back to the print shop, and I transferred all the boxes from the white pickup truck to that big room at the end of the hall.