In recognition of his spiritual leadership and life-long dedication to God’s work, Principal Donavan Reeder was ordained by the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventists on Sabbath, February 23. While this formal recognition of God’s calling is usually reserved for pastors, leaders in other church ministry areas, such as school principals, may also be selected for an ordination service. Reeder has served at Campion Academy for 35 years; 31 years as a dean in the boys’ dormitory, and four years as principal, making him the longest-serving employee of the Rocky Mountain Conference.
Conference leaders participated in the service which included a moving tribute from Reeder’s daughter, Jessica Reeder, as well as a special song performed by Campion’s select choir, Koinonia. A life-long mentor to Reeder, Pastor Thure Martinsen was selected as the main speaker for the event. Martinsen encouraged Reeder to continually prioritize his own personal walk with Jesus no matter how time-consuming or stressful his job may be.
RMC Ministerial Director, Mickey Mallory, led out in the ordination prayer, where all the ordained ministers attending encircled around Reeder and his wife Donna, and prayed for a special blessing on their ministry.
Reeder’s faith journey began when he was inspired by his dad, Merlin, to seek to know God as a friend, and by his mom, Arlene, to live a life of service to others.
Pastor Martinsen was one of Reeder’s teachers while he was in academy in Salt Lake City, Utah, where Reeder also began his career in youth ministry after graduation. While working there, Reeder helped to author the “Jesus” play and traveled extensively with Martinsen and others, performing the play throughout Utah and Colorado, as well as the Pacific Northwest while Reeder attended Walla Walla University. Donna Reedy (now Reeder) also attended WWU at the time and became one of the cast members of the play. Throughout the play’s tours, Reeder and Donna got to know each other better and were married in August of 1982.
After graduation, they moved to Colorado where Reeder worked in communications in Fort Collins. Providentially, Pastor Martinsen had also moved and become the chaplain at Campion Academy. Knowing Reeder’s love for youth, Martinsen asked him to help out with vespers. He was introduced to the boys’ dean, Don Kanen, and that introduction planted a seed in Reeder’s heart for the boys’ dorm. A few months later, Reeder was working at Campion as a part-time teacher and as the assistant boys’ dean. After two years as assistant, he became the head dean for the next 29 years. After 31 years in the dorm, in July of 2015, Reeder became principal of Campion Academy.
The Reeders have a daughter, Jessica, who has followed in her parents’ footsteps and has been teaching in Adventist education for the last six years – five years at Mile High Academy and this last year at Fort Collins Christian School.
When not immersed in the daily activities of academy life, Reeder enjoys golfing, camping, reading, running, and team sports. He spends as much time as possible in the Rocky Mountains.
Jill Harlow with Donna Reeder
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