Edgar H. (Buddy) Gaines - 1990 A Award Recipient
Occasionally the close observer of the campus scene here at Asbury notes a student who seems born to lead. The student’s lifestyle and spirit reveal the qualities essential to good handling of people and programs. Three decades ago there appeared a young man on campus with just such gifts.
Rev. Edgar H. “Buddy” Gaines’s classmates elected him student body president. Significantly though, the first word about him in the yearbook that year is: He is “a president who plans prayer meetings.” He apparently felt that effective leadership should begin for one on one’s knees.
With hisc ollege degree behind him and his heart burning for missions, Rev. Haines accepted a short term assignment in Hong Kong with the Oriental Missionary Society (OMS). In spite of his strong Carolina accent, he began to learn to speak Cantonese, the dialect of the Chinese language which was to be his new tongue.
After his stint in Hong Kong, he returned to Asbury to get his theological training and to be married. His ultimate purpose was to return to Asia. Now a quarter of a century later, Florida is home for his office and for his family, but Asia is his parish.
Today as he travels across the continent, Christian leaders affectionately call him “boss.” He has firmly established himself as one ofthe leaders in the world in the field of evangelism. The organization through which he works is rightly called Evangelism Explosion.
In 1975, Rev. Gaines began to study the principles of evangelism espoused by that organization. In 1978, Evangelism Explosion held a clinic in Hong Kong. Rev. Gaines was there. His conviction was that Asia was ready for this approach. By the end of the year of 1990, our friend completed sixty different clinics on evangelism in 18 countries across Asia. Thousands of Christians have been discipled in evangelism by him or by those he has trained. It could be, somewho know him say, that in the decades to come millions of Asians will be won to Christ as a result of the work of this solitary leader in personal evangelism.
It is appropriate that the Asbury College Alumni Association should recognize Edgar H. (Buddy) Gaines for the able leadership he has given across the world as Vice President of Asian Affairs for Evangelism Explosion International by giving to him the Distinguished Alumnus “A” Award of Asbury College.
But it is not to him alone. We recognize his wife Martie, a fellow Asburian, and their four children. In this of all ministries no man could do it by himself.