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Celebrating the Success of Manson Graduates

Featured Alumni of the Month

r Raygan Baker:

Ordained Minister, Bethel United Church of Christ

Upon graduation from Manson in 2007, Raygan  attended Seattle Pacific University where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Christian Theology.  He then earned his Master of Divinity from Duke University and completed a one-year ordination program with a mentor.  He is now ordained in the United Church of Christ and has pursued the ordination pathways and requirements set forth by the denomination.  When he was thinking about this career path in college, he started by talking to other pastors and getting their advice.  “Once I got into the ordination program and seminary, I met with committees at the church and conference levels to share why I wanted to be a pastor with them and did internships in churches to gain experience and develop relationships with other pastors.” 

Raygan is currently a Minister of Children, Youth and Young Adults at the Bethel United Church of Christ in Evansville, Indiana.  “It’s a big, crazy job, where I do anything from cast the visions for these programs, to recruit and train volunteers, write and lead worship services for children and youth, co-lead Sunday worship with the entire congregation, plan and lead local and long-distance service trips, plan special events throughout the year and a multitude of other activities that arise with these programs. It’s a job that pushes me to be creative, passionate and as focused as I can be.” Raygan reflects that while he was in high school at Manson, becoming a minister would have been the last career path he’d every expect himself to follow.  “I rely on being creative every day, so I was served very well by all the teachers that pushed me to think in ways and subjects that I wouldn’t have been able to do on my own. 
Mrs. Kami Kronbauer pushed me to think of really abstract and confusing concepts in math classes.  I learned to think of language in a different way in Spanish class with Mrs. Heather Teague.  I rely on being able to write well every day and Mrs. Sue Neff and Mrs. Jennifer Koth encouraged my writing in high school and that support has served me well.” Raygan advises, “all you have to do is work hard and take advantage of every opportunity you get.  Students from Manson can go on and do anything. 
Manson is a unique place with unique opportunities and embracing that will make you stand out to future colleges and employers.  You can go across the state or across the country with the resources made available to you in Manson, but you’ll have to work for it.  Leaving Manson can be daunting and people from other places will have had their own opportunities and advantages, but if you’re willing to work harder, you really can go anywhere and find opportunities you don’t even know exist yet.”