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Presidential Inauguration

About the Inauguration

cornerstone-inaugurationWe warmly welcome the community to join us as we worship, reflect and celebrate the inauguration of Dr. David A. Hoag as the third President of Warner University. The theme of the inauguration – Through Faith and Faithfulness – was inspired by the cornerstone of Warner University. Dr. Hoag’s message will be a reflection of our history as we look to the future of this great university. We sincerely hope you can find time throughout the week to celebrate with all of us here at Warner University.

Inauguration Ceremony

Friday, November 4, 2016

10:00 a.m.
First Baptist Church of Lake Wales Sanctuary
338 East Central Avenue
Lake Wales, Florida

Inauguration Program

Download a copy of the Inauguration Program.

Watch the Inauguration Live

Can’t make the Presidential Inauguration? Don’t worry, you can access the event via Live Events through our Portal at If you can’t watch during the event, you can view the Presidential Inauguration by going to the same portal and clicking On Demand.

Inaugural Planning Committee

  • Dr. Steven Darr
  • Mrs. Doris Gukich
  • Mrs. Chrissy Moskovits
  • Mrs. Lisa Murphy
  • Ms. Kareen Pickett
  • Mrs. Dawn Rafool
  • Mrs. Alane Richardville
  • Mrs. Lottie Sanders
  • Ms. Hannah Sikes
  • Mrs. Rachel Smith
  • Mr. Mark Thomas
  • Mrs. Tera White
  • Mrs. Leigh Ann Wynn

Special Guests


fuchsDr. W. Kent Fuchs, President of University of Florida

Inaugural Speaker

Dr. Kent Fuchs became the 12th President of the University of Florida in January 2015. Under President Fuchs’ leadership, the university has developed shared goals for the decade ahead. UF’s overarching aspiration is to be a premier comprehensive university that the state, nation and world look to for leadership.

Previous to the UF presidency, Dr. Fuchs spent six years as provost of Cornell University. He was appointed provost after serving as Cornell’s Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering from 2002 to 2008. He joined Cornell from Purdue University, where he headed the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 1996 to 2002. He was a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois from 1985 to 1996.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association of the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Association for Computing Machinery, and has received numerous awards for teaching and research.

President Fuchs earned his doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois, and a master of divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. He credits divinity school with teaching him communication and community-building skills, and to balance his innately analytic perspective with a deep appreciation for people and for human relationships. He also holds a bachelor of science in engineering from Duke University.

Dr. Fuchs is married to Linda Moskeland Fuchs, an art historian whose scholarship centers on the sculpture of sarcophagi created in the first centuries of Christian art-making. Mrs. Fuchs has two master’s degrees in art history, from the University of Chicago and Cornell, and a third in Biblical studies, from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. The Fuchses have three sons and a daughter, Micah, Eric, Isaac and Christine, as well a daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and two grandsons.Born on an Oklahoma farm in 1954, President Fuchs spent much of his youth in Alaska before moving to Miami, where he graduated from Miami Killian Senior High School. His two younger brothers and stepmother live in South Florida.

barberDr. George Barber, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Greenville College

Dr. George Barber joined Greenville College in the fall of 1999 as head men’s basketball coach. Before coming to Greenville College, Barber served as an assistant coach at Bradley University and an administrative assistant at the University of Kentucky, where he was a member of Rick Pitino’s staff for the 1996 national championship team. Barber graduated from Asbury College in 1986 before completing a master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Kentucky.

Barber was named the 2016 SLIAC Coach of the year, and his Panthers were regular season SLIAC conference co-champions. In 2015, Dr. Barber received the Lee McKinney Distinguished Service Award given by the Saint Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

He is the longest tenured head men’s basketball coach in Greenville College history and is the school’s all-time leader in wins as head men’s basketball coach.

Barber and his wife Lisa have been married for 28 years, and have 5 children, Ben, Zach, Mary Ashley, Abby, and Sam.

greeneBuddy Greene, Musician

Greene’s first big break came with an invitation to join Jerry Reed’s band, and shortly thereafter moved to Nashville. After touring the country, recording, and making numerous TV appearances with Reed, Greene was given the opportunity to record an album of original gospel music which brought him to the attention of gospel great Bill Gaither.

Through touring with the Gaithers, as well as continuing to write and record his unique brand of gospel music, Buddy has built a solid reputation as a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and performer with a distinct southern flavor.

Greene co-wrote “Mary, Did You Know?” with friend Mark Lowry, which has become a Christmas season standard recorded by well known performers such as country greats Kathy Mattea, Billy Dean, Kenny Rogers, Wynonna Judd, and Reba McEntire, Broadway legend Michael Crawford, and Natalie Cole.

Over the years Greene has performed throughout North America and abroad. These days he’s usually in the company of one or more talented musicians, celebrating his musical roots and breaking new ground whenever possible. School is never out, as far as Buddy is concerned, especially when it comes to making music.

grimsleySenator Denise Grimsley, Warner University Board of Trustee

A fifth-generation Floridian, Denise Grimsley was born and raised in the Florida’s Heartland. She graduated from Warner Southern College with a degree in Organizational Management and is a current member of the Warner University Board of Trustees.

For eight years, Denise served in the Florida House of Representatives, and was the first female chair of the influential House Appropriations Committee. In November, 2012, she ran for and was elected to the Florida Senate. She currently serves as Chair of the Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities committee.

During her legislative career, Denise has been recognized by a variety of organizations, from the Florida Citrus Mutual to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, for her consistent efforts on behalf of the Heartland. She is regarded as an expert in state health care policy, a reputation forged out of her concern for patient access to quality, affordable care. To that point, Denise has authored or been a key player in nearly every significant piece of health care legislation passed by the Florida Legislature in the past five years.

A proud mom and grand mom, Denise has enjoyed a career in nursing, as well as managing her father’s small business when he fell ill. It was after encountering run-arounds and red-tape from government agencies that she decided to become active in public service.

Denise makes her home in Sebring and currently serves as hospital administrator for Florida Hospital’s facilities in Lake Placid and Wauchula.

garyhoagReverend Dr. Gary G. Hoag, Brother of the President

Rev. Dr. Gary G. Hoag is a passionate follower of Jesus who is widely known as “the Generosity Monk” as he has dedicated his life to encouraging Christian generosity. His “daily meditations” circulate widely and help readers grow in their understanding and practice of biblical generosity.

He is an ordained minister with a Ph.D. in New Testament from Trinity College, Bristol, UK. Globally, he champions the faithful administration of God’s work serving as International Liaison for the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), while also serving as a visiting professor at various seminaries in the USA and around the world. He was a content reviewer for the NIV Stewardship Study Bible, and author of numerous articles and books including his most recent volume: Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy.

hoogstraDr. Shirley V. Hoogstra, President of Council for Christian Colleges & Universities

Shirley V. Hoogstra became the seventh president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities in September 2014. In this role, Hoogstra combines her zeal for the rule of law and her passion for Christian higher education as she promotes the value and purpose of high quality, Christ-centered liberal arts education that shapes the heart, soul and mind.

Prior to the CCCU, Hoogstra served for 15 years as vice president for student life at her alma mater, Calvin College. She also spent more than a decade practicing law as a partner at a firm specializing in litigation in New Haven, Connecticut. She has served on the boards of several community organizations and schools, including the New Haven County Bar Association and Calvin College. She earned a bachelor’s in education at Calvin and a Juris Doctor, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

jacksonDr. Jesse L. Jackson, Superintendent of Lake Wales Charter Schools

Dr. Jesse L. Jackson is the Superintendent of Schools for the Lake Wales Charter Schools system. Dr. Jackson received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Florida in 1979, his masters in Educational Leadership and his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Florida State University.

Dr. Jackson served as a high school social studies teacher in Chiefland, St. Petersburg and Tallahassee, Fla, while also coaching a variety of sports including football, basketball, softball and track. Dr. Jackson’s first opportunity for school leadership came when he was hired by Leon County Schools to serve as assistant principal for Bond Elementary. Six months later, Dr. Jackson was recruited by Thomasville High School to serve as assistant principal. Soon, Dr. Jackson was hired as the school principal for Florida State University Schools in Tallahassee, where he eventually served as superintendent.

Dr. Jackson’s tenure as superintendent of the Lake Wales Charter Schools system began on January 1, 2008, following a nationwide selection process.

Dr. Jackson has served as a member of a variety of boards including the Florida Center for Research Science, Technology, Engineering and Math International, Board of Directors for the Panhandle Area Education Consortium, Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Teacher Educators and on the State Advisory Council for Safe and Drug Free Schools.

He was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He and his wife Cassandra are proud parents of three children, Jesse Jr., Caroline and Kirsten.

lyonDr. Jim Lyon, General Director of Church of God Ministries

Jim Lyon grew up in Seattle, where he served as an Associate and then Senior Pastor of the Fairview Church (1977-1991). In 1991, he moved to Anderson, Indiana to become Senior Pastor of the Madison Park Church of God. After 22 years at Madison Park, he accepted the invitation to become General Director of Church of God Ministries, providing leadership for the Church of God in the United States and Canada, and networking with the church in 84 other countries.

Lyon studied at Seattle Pacific University and the University of Washington Law School, before taking a post in Seattle with Northwest Airlines. Always fascinated by politics and the public interest, he has worked in many civic and church-related fields, including serving as a member of the Washington State House of Representatives.

But, it is the Christian ministry that ultimately owned his heart. It is the conviction that Jesus is at work in the world, redeeming and transforming us, that has molded his life and vocation more than any other. Articulate pastor, teacher, and motivational speaker, he became the host of CBH ViewPoint, the English language broadcast of Christians Broadcasting Hope, in 1996.

In 2011, Lyon released his first book, Go Ahead. Ask Anything, based on a sermon series delivered at the Madison Park Church, the book addresses the top ten questions posed in a community survey asking, “If you could ask anything at church, what would it be?” A second book, Jesus B was released by Warner Press in 2015.

Lyon and his wife, Maureen, married in 1978 and have four sons and five grandchildren.

weathersSteven S. Weathers, Pastor of One Fellowship Church

Steven S.Weathers is a native of Miami and he currently serves as the pastor of One Fellowship Church in Highwood, IL. Primarily serving as a teaching pastor since 1999, he has preached regularly and served congregations through pastoral care, discipleship, and evangelistic efforts as assistant, associate and interim senior pastor roles. In addition to pastoral ministry, Steven has served in adjunct and visiting academic teaching instructor roles at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Extension in Little Rock, respectively. He is currently pursuing a PhD in the Intercultural Studies program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. His interests focus on the way racial dynamics impact evangelical institutions in the U.S. His desire and passion for unity, and inter-ethnic church leadership led him to pursue an academic understanding of racialization within evangelicalism.

Steven also serves as the director of the Intercultural Development Office and is an adjunct professor teaching Race and Ethnic Relations at Trinity College of Trinity International University. Steven is married to his wife Lisa of 18 years. Together they have been blessed with three children, Steven II (17), Johnathan (13), and Nia (11). Steven enjoys attending his son’s sporting events, billiards, and spending time his wife.

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

9:30 & 11:00 a.m.
Chapel Service – South Lake Wales Church of God
Steve Weathers, Pastor, One Fellowship Church

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

3:00 p.m.
University Board of Trustees Fall Meeting – Ratzlaff Board Room

8:30 p.m.
Special FCA Evening Chapel – South Lake Wales Church of God
Dr. George Barber, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Greenville College

Thursday, November 3, 2016

9:30 & 11:00 a.m.
Homecoming Chapel – South Lake Wales Church of God
Dr. George Barber, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Greenville College
Distinguished Alumni Award, Alumni Service Award & Alumni Ministry Award Presentation
Ms. Kareen Pickett, Director of Alumni Relations

5:30 p.m.
Inaugural Dinner for guests of Dr. David A. Hoag – Darby Lecture Hall

7:30 p.m.
Concert, featuring Buddy Greene – South Lake Wales Church of God

Friday, November 4, 2016

10:00 a.m.
Inauguration of Dr. David A. Hoag, Third President of Warner University – First Baptist Church Sanctuary

Inaugural Reception immediately following ceremony – First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Student Life Friday Night Lights & Fireworks – Warner University Baseball Field

Saturday, November 5, 2016

10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Football Pre-Game Activities – Legion Field

12:00 p.m.
Homecoming Football Game – Legion Field

7:00 p.m.
Classical Concert – South Lake Wales Church of God
Dr. Jonathan W. Reed, Warner University Associate Professor of Music

Hotel Accommodations

The following hotels should be contacted for rooms during the week of Inauguration.
Holiday Inn Express
2953 Ridge Way
Lake Wales, FL 33859
(863) 949-4800
Hampton Inn and Suites
22900 US HWY 27
Lake Wales, FL 33859
(863) 734-3000
Hampton Inn of Bartow
205 Old Bartow Eagle Lake Rd.
Bartow, FL 33830
Contact: Christy Hughes
(863) 535-5007 x5005

Maps & Directions

First Baptist Church of Lake Wales

Parking map2

Driving North on Highway 27 toward Lake Wales, turn right on Central Avenue, if driving South on Highway 27 turn left on Central Avenue and in about one mile First Baptist Church will be on your right

Click here to download a campus map of Warner University

Office of the President

warner_hoag_0030Dr. David A. Hoag, Third President of Warner University

Mr. Rob Quam, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Warner University announced to the campus community on Monday, May 2, 2016 that Dr. David A. Hoag was being named the third president of the 48-year old institution, ending a two year search conducted by an eight member committee, in conjunction with national executive search firm.

“Dr. David Hoag embodies what the Warner University community desires and deserves in a President. His spiritual leadership, strong moral character, quality family life, depth of experience in higher education, and calm temperament are a perfect fit for the ethos of our campus community. Dr. Hoag is poised to build on a foundation laid by our two previous presidents,” states Rob Quam.

Having served 29 years in Christian higher education, Dr. Hoag is clearly a visionary leader who has prepared himself throughout his entire life for this moment. He is an experienced leader in higher education, an expert related to financing and fundraising, and views the world completely consistent with Warner’s Statement of Faith. Most importantly, Dr. Hoag’s relationship with Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior is real and obvious.

He left the position of Senior Vice President, University Advancement, at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. He has previously served in leadership roles at Asbury College and Greenville College.

“It is a privilege for me, in conjunction with the entire Trinity community, to offer our heartiest congratulations to David Hoag on his election as the new president of Warner University. David will bring many good gifts along with years of experience at a variety of institutions in the world of higher education administration to bear upon his new calling at Warner at this particular time. We congratulate the Warner University family on their selection of David Hoag and we wish the best for Dr. Hoag, his family, and the Warner community in the days to come,” states David S. Dockery, President, Trinity International University.

Dr. Hoag holds a Ph.D in Higher Education from Saint Louis University, a Master of Science from the University of Kentucky, and a Bachelor of Science from Asbury University. He also has earned a Certificate of Achievement from Indiana University Center on Philanthropy Fundraising School.

Dr. Hoag is married to Joanna, who he met in college, and they have been married for 30 years. They have two daughters, Jamie Sanfilippo (Ryan) and Joni Stanick (Scott), who are both married.

Board of Trustees


University Cabinet

Dr. David A. Hoag, President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Steven L. Darr, Vice President and Chief Academic Officer
Mrs. Doris B. Gukich, Vice President for Advancement
Mr. Kevin W. Jones, Associate Vice President for Admissions and Athletic Director
Mrs. Dawn B. Meadows, Dean of Students
Mr. Gregory A. Rodden, Vice President for Business and Finance, Chief Financial Officer, and Title IX Coordinator
Mrs. Dawn M. Rafool, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing

Warner University Inaugural Office

For general questions relating to the Presidential Inauguration, please contact us at:

Phone: (863) 638-7261
Mailing Address: Office of Advancement, 13895 HWY 27, Lake Wales, FL 33859

For Delegate RSVP, please click here

Once you’re on campus, please visit either the Ratzlaff Administration Building or the Royal Services desk inside the Rigel Student Center, as staff will be available to answer questions or offer any assistance or guidance you may need.

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries, contact Leigh Ann Wynn, assistant vice president for advancement, for information. Leigh Ann’s email is and her phone number is (863) 638-1446.