Imagery of Regent people and campus

Regent Congratulates Alumnus of the Year

By Brett Wilson | May 9, 2014

Kevin Turpin.
Photo courtesy of Alex Perry.

"In everything that has happened in my life since I graduated, Regent was at the center of it all," said Kevin Turpin '01 (School of Divinity), the recipient of Regent University's Alumni Association's 2014 Alumnus of the Year Award. "It was here where my dreams started and percolated; God had to get me to Regent."

Before he graduated with his Master's in Practical Theology, Turpin was living in Buffalo, N.Y., with his wife and two children. It was there, in 1988, that he began to feel a stirring in his heart.

"It was a pivotal time in my life," said Turpin. "I would wake up and there was this newness, this sense that I belonged in a place like Regent."

It would take another four years for his story at Regent to begin. In 1992, he felt strongly that God was telling him all provisions had been made for him to begin his schooling. Shortly after, he was invited to work for the School of Business & Leadership, and begin courses in the School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC), and then ultimately the School of Divinity (DIV).

He remembers the first days of class vividly. Turpin recalls feeling a peace settle over him, as though he had stepped foot into a "dream world." And on those first days in the School of Divinity, he could see his purpose being formed. That was where he met Dan Backens '99 (DIV), senior pastor of New Life Providence Church in Virginia Beach, Va.

"We had a discussion in our first class about 11 o'clock on Sunday being the most segregated hour of the week; [Backens and I] talked about that after class," said Turpin.

Since that discussion, he and Backens launched New Life Christian Fellowship, which later became New Life Providence Church. Their church's main mission revolves around Turpin and Backens' very first conversation: racial reconciliation.

Since then, Turpin has taken on the role of associate pastor of New Life Providence Church. During his time there, he founded the Life Enrichment Center of Norfolk. The nonprofit serves at-risk adults and youth by focusing on literacy, mentoring and outreach programs for members of the Hampton Roads community.

Turpin also keeps his counseling skills fresh, teaching classes at Tidewater Community College as well as taking Psy.D. courses in Regent's SPC program.

The discovery of his gifts and callings over time is what birthed his mantra, and his advice to Regent's class of 2014 graduates: "Everything in the fullness of time."

"You will see how the dots connect; you will learn how to follow the Holy Spirit," said Turpin. "Wait patiently on the Lord with expectation, not with the sense that you have to force something to happen. You think you're dreaming now, but as you follow God, His plans for you are by far better."

For Turpin, even in the midst of his non-profit activities, his for-profit endeavors, his teaching, counseling and pastoring, his priority is being a Godly husband and father.

"As we humble ourselves, God has a way of exalting us for His purpose, not so that we can get a big head or to be seen, but praising what has been assigned to our hand," he said. Turpin carried this humility with him as he accepted the award, explaining that he was "amazed" and "astonished" by the university's recognition.

"I know there are so many more alumni who are doing far more than what I am, but I'm grateful, and it really causes me to reflect on why I came here," said Turpin.

Learn more about Regent University's Alumni Association.


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