Get to Know Mr. McBride, Part 2
Mr. Denis McBride has taught thousands of students, but many of them are people he has never met—they watch him via Abeka Academy video classes. Learn about how he got involved with the videos, about his heart for students, and about his unusual variety of summer jobs.
For Part 1 of the interview, click here.
Q: When students are asked, “Who’s your favorite teacher?” so many of them say, “Mr. McBride! Mr. McBride!” What do you think about all the response from students?
My response is that I’m grateful. My other response is that I don’t understand it. I work with great faculty, and I don’t understand why they single me out. They’re very kind. The fact that God has allowed me to be a blessing I will never take for granted, and I appreciate it.
Q: How did you start doing the ABeka videos?
I’d been here 3 years. Dr. Petermeyer [the former Academy principal] said, “We want you to videotape the government class.” I told her, “You’ve got the wrong man. I talk too fast. I move around too much. I am not a video guy.” And she said, “We’ll just see how it goes.”
I went in and videotaped the second half in the spring, and then the first half of the course when I came back in the fall. So that probably looked funny to those watching: the teacher was more nervous the second semester then he had been the first semester!
Since then, there have been very few years when I wasn’t videotaping something.
Q: What advice would you give to high school students thinking about college?
Understand that you become what you are going to be after 18 years of age. Don’t assume that because you have attended a Christian high school that you are set, you are formed, you don’t need anymore. You will be a very different person at 21 than you are at 18. And the people that influence you between 18 and 21 will do more to establish who and what you are than anybody else in any other time in your life. Never give your heart and your mind to people that do not love your Savior.
Q: Besides teacher and youth pastor, what other jobs have you had?
When you’re a teacher, you’re looking for summer employment all the time. Here at PCC, we have things to do, but when I was teaching in other schools, I worked in an insurance agency doing filing, I built swimming pools, bagged groceries, sold fire alarms—you name it, I’ve done it.
Q: What’s your favorite place on campus?
The Commons, because it’s where I get to talk with my students informally, sit down with them and ask, “Where are you from? Tell me about Mom and Dad. How’d you come to PCC?” The Commons is where I’ve gotten to know my students more than the classroom.
Q: What do you like best about the PCC student body?
They are eager to learn. They want to serve the Lord, and it’s just a joy to work with people who say, “God’s called me. Please help!” It’s an honor and a joy to work with them. They’re friendly, they’re open, they’re eager, and a lot of fun to be around. A lot of them have a good sense of humor, and I enjoy being around them.
Q: Has there been a student who has really inspired you?
A young lady who was a sophomore at the Academy—sweet girl, a born cheerleader. A few weeks after the end of the school year, I got a phone call: “Did you hear about Becky? She has bone cancer.” I went to visit her several times, and finally, she was taken to Houston for a transplant. It did not go well, and Becky passed away.
The Lord really burdened my heart for young people and to never take for granted the opportunity that you have. Kids come through your life sometimes for a very short time. The Lord touched my heart to never take for granted the faces He puts in front of you—give them your best and give them your all, because you don’t know how long they are going to be there.
Mr. McBride became the pastor of Campus Church on August 14, 2011. Due to the illness of his wife, Mrs. Connie, he retired from the position in June of 2018 and we welcomed Pastor Redlin to the position soon after. Mrs. Connie McBride passed away January 18, 2019.15