BLog
News & Articles
Volunteer Highlight - Dodger Vaughan
April 8th, 2024  |  by

Throughout the history of CrossRoads we have had the privilege of partnering with some “rock-star” group leaders. Each of our fields has a dedicated few who come every year, and stay connected even when they are back home. Some of those become dedicated to CrossRoads as a whole, visiting multiple fields each year and promoting the ministry every chance they get.

One of those leaders is Dodger Vaughan. From his first mission trip to New Orleans in 2013 to his current role as a board member, Dodger has had a significant impact across our fields. Not only has he brought groups to New Orleans, Mexico, and Western KY, he has encouraged many students to become interns in several fields, brought in former CrossRoads interns to his own ministry, and has been a constant source of encouragement for our staff. 

Dodger and Middleport Youth Group with homeowners Bill and Jane
Leading Trips

Dodger’s first mission trip with CrossRoads was a sweltering late-July week in New Orleans. We were finishing up a house that had defective drywall installed after Katrina. The family loved having volunteers around, and Dodger jumped right into relationship building. Our staff kept up that relationship with the family. The couple helped serve meals to Dodger’s group almost 10 years later, and both sides were excited to reconnect. 

Every summer since that first trip in 2013 Dodger has brought a group to New Orleans, first as a Youth Minister then as a College Minister. (Even a job change couldn’t stop his dedication to the field!) “We love the field, we love the people we get to serve, we love the staff at CrossRoads,” Dodger explained in an interview back in 2017. “Each year we enjoy coming down and rekindling those relationships, the bonds we’ve formed in Christ. It has been a real blessing to our ministry, to our students, and everyone who has been involved in the process.”

“The group you see below represents 7 different churches, 5 different schools, and ranges in age from 13 to 50ish. But here is the crazy thing, the entire week they operated as one cohesive unit. Each individual had different skills and abilities that they shared for the good of the mission, not their own gain. You’d often catch older, more experienced members teaching the younger members and allowing them to shine. To me it was the closest representation of what the Body of Christ was meant to be that I have seen. I am blessed beyond measure to have been able to see and experience this.” – Dodger, FB post in 2017

As a Youth Minister, Dodger didn’t just bring his own church, but coordinated with other churches and schools to make sure everyone had a chance to go on a mission trip. “Something I really appreciate about Dodger is his heart for missions and outreach,” shared former student and current CrossRoads employee Noelle Moreno. “He makes it a point to make missions accessible to students every year. I went on my first mission trip while I was a student in ROC (Reach Out on Campus) and that’s how I ended up working with CrossRoads now full-time.”

Now a college minister, Dodger not only leads trips to NOLA, he regularly leads trips all over the country, to the Dominican Republic, and to our Mexico field. “Dodger is a great group leader!” shared Amanda Rodriguez, Director of Operations in our Mexico field. “He is so laid back and always up for any project that we send his way. This last trip he preached at church, and he did an incredible job!”

Dodger has built lasting relationships across all the ministries he has served with. “I’ve now known Dodger for 7 years and he has become like a father to me,” continued Noelle. “It was so great to see him again recently when he brought ROC to Mexico for their spring break mission trip. He got to meet my daughter for the first time and I got to reconnect with him and my ROC friends!”

Dodger preaching at Inglesia Betina in Piedra Angular
Building up Leaders

Noelle is not the only student that Dodger has encouraged to pursue long-term missions. Between his youth group and college ministry, Dodger has encouraged and empowered eight students to become interns, some of which have served multiple years and in multiple fields. Here is what a few of them had to say:

“I have known Dodger since I was a fifth grader and I met him through OVCA Church Camp. If I had to pick a favorite time period with Dodger, it would be from our time together at Ohio University and the years that have followed. Dodger offered me the privilege of working with him as the president of ROC for the first semester of my sophomore year. I have plenty of videos of Dodger doing silly things in the ROC house to pass time along with many heart – to – hearts where I learned more than I could have ever dreamed from his patience and perspective.  Midway through the semester, Dodger convinced me to go on a mission trip that completely changed my life. From being a volunteer and him having to take me to the hospital and pretend to be my dad, to him following every step it took to become an intern for CrossRoads, to finding family in NOLA and finding my fiancé, and making a life here. All of these moments I have had are thanks to Dodger being a role model for that young fifth grader and consistently showing up when our group needed him. Dodger’s kindness, generosity, leadership, and friendship are qualities of a truly gifted man who has a deep connection with the Lord. I am beyond lucky to have gotten to know Dodger and his family and look forward to seeing him in this next stage of our lives.” – Aerin Hemsath, NOLA 2017

“When I think of Dodger, I always think of how welcoming he is to all he comes in contact with. He is truly an amazing person and I’m glad I got the opportunity to get to know him!” – Jaela Young, New Orleans 2024

“Dodger knows how to make anyone feel welcome to be a part of the Kingdom of God. His love for Jesus is evident in his enthusiasm and servitude. He is also exceptionally humble in his achievements and charisma.” – Noah Rohrer, NOLA 2019

Dodger visiting Noelle when she was an Appalachia intern in 2018

“Dodger has been such a great spiritual mentor to me since I met him. I didn’t realize how much I needed Christian community with people my age until I started going to ROC during my Sophomore year of college… I was also a part of the ROC leaders team and my first job out of college was working with ROC to start a new chapter of the ministry at another nearby college. While I loved my job I realized during that time how hard it is to work in college ministry. It made me realize how perfectly God wired Dodger for that line of ministry.” – Noelle Moreno, Appalachia 2018, NOLA 2019, Mexico 2022 – present

“Dodger has been a great leader and has helped me through a lot of tough patches. He’s helped many students with his time at Reach Out on Campus to grow closer to Christ, including me. He’s like a second dad!” – Maggie Hoover, NOLA 2022

Dodger with former Youth Group student Aerin and Sara when they were both NOLA interns in 2017

“Dodger has been in my life since before I can even remember! I’m so thankful for his influence on my life, especially throughout my time in his youth group through middle and highschool. As a high school student, like many, I worried about where I should go to college. I remember having a conversation with Dodger, worrying I’d make the wrong decision when he gave me some of the best advice. He told me two important things that day. One, God could work in and through my life at any college I choose. And two, he encouraged me to think about how I could leverage my faith at a secular college. How I could use my college years to show people the love of Jesus. This advice has followed me through every life decision and has continued to challenge me in how I live out my faith in each facet of my life.” – Sara Fredricks, NOLA 2017 and 18

Not only does Dodger encourage his students to go on mission, he offers internships with his college ministry, Reach out on Campus (ROC). There have even been CrossRoads interns that have gone on to intern with ROC. One such individual is Noah Mulvaney. Starting off as a New Orleans intern, then interning in Mexico, Dodger offered for Noah to continue his ministry journey by becoming a ROC intern. “I think Dodger has led more people to Christ than anyone I’ve ever met,” praised Noah. “His passion for people is truly special and I’m very grateful to not only have met him but gotten to work alongside him.”

Noah with Dodger and his son Trey
Leading Behind the Scenes

“When the home office asked us to recommend new board members a few years ago, Dodger was the first name we gave,” recollects Allie Copeland, Group Coordinator in our New Orleans Field. “Dodger has not only been a great group leader, he has become a close friend that we can go to for advice or a good laugh. His dedication to the ministry of CrossRoads as a whole has only grown over the years.” 

As a member of the board Dodger keeps updated on the ministry as a whole, and advises our directors on important decisions. He also has been a valuable fundraiser during our annual campaigns. But most importantly, Dodger keeps up his relationships with our field leaders and regularly sends groups to serve across multiple fields. 

“It is the relationships with our leaders in New Orleans and Mexico that makes Dodger a great leader and board member,” complimented Rob Minton, Executive Director of CrossRoads Missions. “We are extremely thankful for his service across our fields as well as on our board.”

Dodger with NOLA staff Allie, and past interns Noah Rohrer (NOLA 2018) and Trey Vaughan (Mex 2021, NOLA 2022)

 

As Dodger’s service shows, there are many ways to support the ministry of CrossRoads Missions:

  • Donate to CrossRoads as a whole, or a specific field
  • Lead a trip!
  • Ask our field leaders what their specific needs are
  • Tell college students about our intern program
5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rachel Smith
Rachel Smith
1 month ago

WAY TO GO DODGER!!!! I worked with Dodger and Crossroads in 2015 (I think?) I also hung out with Dodger during my college career!

Mark and Jenny Smith
Mark and Jenny Smith
1 month ago

We are proud to call you one of our own, Dodger!

  • CATEGORIES

  • RECENT POST

  • ARCHIVE
  • 0
    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
    ()
    x