|At Nyack Susan gained experience not only in evangelism but also in training others to do
evangelism. Besides her seminary course work in Greek, Hebrew, doctrine, etc. she worked both at
the local college business office and in a local church, where she headed up the Evangelism Explosion
training. She also met many more missionaries, and the grown-up children of missionaries who were
studying at Alliance Theological Seminary. Susan was one of only three women in the M.Div.
program at that time.
After two years of schooling, Susan did a summer internship at Allegheny Center Alliance Church in
Pittsburgh, working with Dr. Maurice Irvin. (Little did she know that a couple years later she would
meet and marry his nephew, who resembles M.R.Irvin in many ways). Allegheny Center was at that
time a church in transition. For years its tradition-minded congregation had been fairly monochrome,
but the neighborhood had become darker in pigmentation and far more diverse. Susan was
instrumental in evangelizing several African-American families and bringing them into the church. It
was the beginning of a turn-around in the nature of the church. She also designed an evangelism and
discipleship training manual for the church. Dr. Irvin encouraged Susan to participate in many
aspects of church life, leading worship, discussing theology and ministry with him, the senior pastor,
and various other responsibilities. It was an affirmation: the Lord had indeed called her to the ministry
She then accepted a call to serve as Director of Children's Ministries at Omaha Gospel Tabernacle in
Nebraska (now called Christ Community Church). In that capacity she recruited and supervised over
250 adult volunteers, as the preaching pastor at that time wanted some kind of children's ministries
going on for the full range of ages during each of the three services per week that he preached. The
guy who recruited her out to Omaha, though, Tom Stebbins, had his own agenda: he wanted Susie
to come there to help him form up Evangelism Explosion training, as she had helped him do at
Simpson Church in Nyack. So she had two major responsibilities simultaneously.