Alumnus Spotlight: An Interview with Andrew Di Iulio

Tell us about yourself. What led you to seminary and, eventually, the ministry? Growing up in a Christian home, I do not remember a day that I did not know about the gospel. My father was an Army chaplain,

devoted to his calling to the military and even more devoted to his family. By God’s grace and the faithful witness of my parents, I came to a saving knowledge of Christ at a young age. Nonetheless, I had difficulty in truly grasping the concept and doctrine of grace. Over time, through the voices of peers and mentors, I began to see more clearly that the grace to be found in Christ was without end, being both the confidence of salvation and the incentive toward holiness. This newfound joy in grace, coupled with a sense of call to ministry, led me on a five-year search to find that place of service where

the Lord would have me commit my efforts. This included three summers in the Alaskan Bush, a year in New York City, a short stint in the mountains of Zacapa, Guatemala, and five trips to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Trip after trip, relationship after relationship, the Lord shaped my calling through ministry, people, pain, and joy. With the call to full-time ministry clearly before me, I saw that seminary needed to be the next step in my preparation for that call. So I enrolled at Erskine.

In what ways did Erskine prepare you for ministry? The people of Erskine came into my life at a crucial time. The faculty shaped the way that I approached Scripture in my teaching and

personal study, showing true care in their discipleship. This was never clearer than when one professor spent an hour with me after an evening class answering some questions that were weighing on me. More than the excellence in academics or the talented teaching, it was the shepherding of the faculty that had the biggest influence on me during my time at Erskine. The same care that was shown to me during my M.Div. studies continues to be shown to me in my Th.M. studies. As I look to gradu-

ate with my second degree from Erskine in May, this focus on shepherding is why I recommend Erskine to anyone considering semi- nary studies. In my opinion, nowhere else will there be found a faculty so committed to faithfully and diligently preparing individuals for real Gospel ministry to real people with real needs.

Tell us about your current church ministry. Because of the diligent discipleship of the Erskine faculty, I was more prepared than I would have been for the difficult road ahead.

After the Lord closed one door, he opened another and called Katie and me to serve the wonderful people of Devenger Road ARP Church in Greer, S.C. As is the case with most churches, one of our big goals is church growth, especially in the demographic of young people. Ready to put my hand to the plow and march toward that goal, I was humbled by some much-needed advice from a former pastor, friend, and mentor. The day before my ordination we sat down over lunch and I asked him, “What is the one piece of advice that you would give a brand-new pastor?” He thought for a second and then responded, “As you faithfully seek to grow the church, don’t forget to serve the people who called you.” Though I do it imperfectly, my first priority as the pastor of Devenger Road is to serve well the people who called me. Yes, there is outreach and, yes, we have new members and, yes, we desire to grow, but I dare not neglect the ones to whom and by whom I was first called. In addition to my responsibilities as the pastor of Devenger Road ARP Church, I have the honor of serving in Second Presbytery as the Chairman of the CE Committee, Vice-Moderator (2019), and Moderator- Elect (2020). This too was an area of service for which ETS prepared me through its course on ARP History and Polity. During my short time at Devenger Road, I have been humbled to see

the Lord demonstrate the power of his Word and Spirit in the life of this particular local church. In God’s infinite wisdom and mercy, it was here I preached my first funeral service, first led in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and it was also here I had the privilege of baptizing my own two sons. These are the joys, the sorrows, and the realities of ministry. It is all by God’s grace. Great is his faithfulness!?

Rev. Andrew Di Iulio is pastor of Devenger Road ARP Church in Greer, S.C. He received a Master of Divinity degree in 2017 and is currently pursuing a Master of Theology degree, both at Erskine Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Katie, have two sons, Lucas and Tony.

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