by Jonathan Gamble, Staff Writer
Before Kevin Deibert was called to Wake Divinity to become a pastor, he had a small company which provided satellite news gathering engineering services for the European Union in the most inhospitable places on earth. Oftentimes Kevin and his crew were the only crew on-site and spent years in certain places. Here are some historic news events he has witnessed.
He saw the Communist flag change from the “hammer and sickle” to the red, white and blue in Russia today. He and his crew were living in the notorious Hotel Rossiya on Red Square, which was built by Stalin. One night they were on the hotel roof and saw a guy clambering about the roof of the Kremlin across the square. “We knew something was happening,” said Kevin. “So we fired up the cameras and the satellite dish and it turned into an epic news feed.
He also saw the war in the former Yugoslavia, a.k.a. “the Balkans” including the siege of Sarajevo. “We lived those years in the TV station ABC built for the ’84 Olympics,” said Kevin. “The station was inoperative except for our kit, but it was a fortress.”
During a marine landing in Somalia, he and his crew lived in General Aidid’s compound. Aidid was the world’s most wanted man at the time.
Here are some questions that Kevin has graciously answered:
1) What led you to decide to come to divinity school? Was there an experience or moment where it became clear?
Yes, I was accepted to the University of Bonn to get a MTS and my wife and had visited the campus and scoped out some living areas etc. Shortly before we were going to leave, a phenomenon occurred that was the culmination of a lifelong process and here we are. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that Craig Siler, who often attends chapel, was an integral person within that experience- on so many levels.
2) What have been some of your favorite classes here and why?
From a purely learning something I knew nothing about perspective – Greek. Dr. Powell was wonderfully dry witted and a merciful grader.
Otherwise I can honestly say I have received something that has led to personal (and academic) development in every class I’ve taken. I would take them all again.
3) Describe one or two formative experiences you’ve had during your time at the School of Divinity.
My spiritually formative experience at Wake Forest began when Dr. Leonard mentioned Clement of Alexandria’s process of deification in Church History. It led to a personal pursuit of Clement’s process of deification through his catechesis as described in the Protrepticus, Paedagogus and Stromateis. Clement was a Jack Kerouac kind of guy. He’d couch surf at Egyptian, Greek or Jewish philosophers/theologians/artists homes. In the Stromateis he is clear that everyone-women and slaves included- were equals on all levels and could become spiritual teachers of his catechesis. His breadth and scope were very inclusive.
4) Any words of wisdom for first and second years?
First years- the fact you are here means the Spirit knows you can handle it. Believe that. Next year you’ll have been through the angst and be in a calmer place hopefully.
Second years-You’re in a good place. There are no worries about graduating and going forth into the world and the first year angst is gone. Enjoy it.
For both-This is the place to explore your enigmatic self.
5) Who is one of your favorite theologians?
Michel Henry, a relatively obscure 20th century French mystic, theo-phenomenologist who said-“God is made known as a self-disclosure arriving inside my soul, which lies underneath the temporal flow that constitutes the field of consciousness.”