“I knew I would never be happy unless I was in full-time Christian service.”
WGM’s president, Dr. E. Dan Schafer, came to know the Lord as a teenager at a church service. Three months later, God called him to full-time Christian service. At the time, he thought that meant pastoring churches, but God revealed to him over time that his gifts were in administration.
While attending Anderson University (Indiana), he married Pam, his high school sweetheart. Dan then pastored churches in Ohio and Indiana for 12 years. During that time, he began to serve in regional and general leadership roles in Churches of Christ in Christian Union.
“God began to say, ‘I called you to full-time service, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the pastorate.’”
Dan contacted World Gospel Mission to see if there were any needs in administration and was asked to serve at Fairhaven, a nursing home for missionaries in California that has since closed. Two years later, he was asked to go to Hungary to fill in for a missionary who needed to return to the United States.
“I’d never really felt a call to overseas missions, but I figured it doesn’t take a call to be willing to fill in,” he shared.
Dan and Pam served in Hungary for two years, returning to the States so Dan could work at WGM headquarters in Marion, Indiana. He served in a number of administrative roles, including vice president of Advancement and vice president of Business Services. During that time, he earned his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. Dan later earned his DBA from Anderson in business administration.
In 2001, they moved to Kansas City for Dan to serve at the Church of the Nazarene as executive vice president for the JESUS Film Project. He eventually became the director of Finance for the Global Missions department, a role he served in for 12 years. For the last two years, Dan has
served as CFO for Shepherd Community Center, a compassionate ministry to the urban poor in Indianapolis.
Dan and Pam have been married for 38 years and have two adult children, Kevin (married to Kandy) and Julie (married to Jonathan), and six grandchildren.