Two words sum up Dr. Dave Yoder: Strength and Knowledge. Dave educated himself in the strength conditioning field. He knows all about the body and how to build muscle. He keeps his own body strong and conditioned, but this application of physical strength is not where his true strength lies. His strength finds itself coupled with a knowledge of Christ Jesus and he does not like to separate the two. For him it began as a young man growing up in a Chist-centered home. He realized how strong a man can become – in Christ. This strong young man allowed Jesus to bear his griefs and carry his sorrows when he was saved January 14, 1970. From high school Dave joined the United States Army in 1984. While in the Army he met Terri, who is now his wife. He served in the Army for three years until 1987, using his strength to defend his country. From there he enrolled in Kent State where he graduated in 1991 by earning a degree in Secondary and Physical Education. Along the way he and Terri had two daughters: Jennifer and Julie. During all of this he remained a student of the Bible. He hid its knowledge in his heart. He used his degree to secure a job in Columbus. As it turns, out God also used his time in Columbus to lead him and his family to Anchor Baptist Church in 1995 as first-time visitors. He came as just a layman, finding his place with his family in the pews each week. Not one to sit on the sideline for very long, he and his wife joined in the work just four weeks later, helping teach in Anchor Baptist School. Seventeen years later he has done everything here: mechanic, bus driver, groundskeeper, Sunday school teacher, Anchor Baptist School teacher and principal, Spanish ministry founder and pastor, assistant pastor, cleaner, greeter, and youth worker. This has been the true maturation of strength and knowledge for Dave; the strength to stay and the knowledge to serve. Strength and knowledge came together to make a faithful man, and we are so glad we found him.
David Clay, like many American children was raised in a broken home. He endured the pain of not having his father in his home, of only brief visits with the man whose blood flowed through his veins, and of constantly being uprooted to move to new unfamiliar surroundings. But through all the uncertainty he had one constant: Jesus Christ. Although his mother did not attend church consistently, she did send her son to church. Dave was saved on October 13, 1988, at the age of 12. Simply put, life was a struggle for Dave. Being raised in a single-parent home was a struggle, as was living a Christian life with the temptation of a football career grabbing at him from a young age. But to him the satisfaction that came from pure living was worth it. It also helped that he had strong Christian men along the way to help teach and guide him. Jim Schroeder, Clint Cavenas, Pastor Bob Smith, and Andrew Bryner taught him what true service and sincerity and selflessness were. In 1994 he graduated from high school and went to bible college. Life never came easy for Dave, so would college be any different? It would not. Dave struggled through many serious health and family issues during college, but he persevered. While in college he met his wife Tonya Schwender. They were married July 2, 1999. They have four children: DJ, Alyssa, Zachary, and Alana. After college he moved his family to Columbus, Ohio where he has served on the church staff since 2002. It is no mystery why God put him through the struggles in life. Our bus director, he now mentors on five bus routes hundreds of young children as he leads them down the road of struggle that he knows so well.