2023 “O” Award: Angel Colón ’90
When Angel Colón ’90 arrived at Olivet Nazarene University in 1986, he spoke limited English and didn’t know Jesus Christ as his Savior. When he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he spoke English fluently and was living as a follower of Jesus.
Angel lived out one of his childhood dreams when he came to ONU from Puerto Rico on a baseball scholarship. He was far from his family and carried an English-Spanish dictionary with him nearly everywhere he went. Many people he met weren’t sure how to relate with a person from another culture, another religion, another country.
“One of my New Testament professors spent 2 ½ hours with me one day, teaching me the differences between being a Roman Catholic and being a Christian,” he says. “Students, teammates and ONU leaders loved and cared for me as I learned to adjust to a new culture. Being a student at ONU radically transformed my life. ONU gave me the foundation and tools I needed to succeed personally and professionally.”
While at ONU, Angel met Naomi (Ritchie) ’88/’18 M.S.N., a nursing major from Kentucky. They have now been married for 34 years and are the parents of three adult children.
“While we were students, Naomi invited me to attend a campus revival with her,” he recalls. “I accepted Christ that night. That decision transformed my life from being all about me to being all about serving others. Naomi discipled and mentored me, and she still does today.”
Angel’s career path has taken him from ONU to jobs with Goya Foods in Chicago, Kellogg Company in Michigan, The Kroger Company in Cincinnati, and now to his position as head of diversity, equity and inclusion with Designer Brands in Columbus, Ohio. His Christian faith and education continue to influence how he carries himself at work, interacts with others and lives his life.
“To succeed in the business world, you have to have a great balance of integrity, resilience and education,” Angel says. “ONU made a huge difference in my life in all these areas.”
Continuing his commitment to serve others, Angel currently helps teach English as a second language classes to immigrants in Cincinnati. He also finds opportunities to share Jesus with them. In 2019 the state of Ohio presented its Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan Award to Angel in recognition of the ways he helps Hispanics in his community.
Roberto Clemente, a Puerto Rican who had a stellar Major League Baseball career, is one of Angel’s heroes. Clemente’s life was cut short at age 38 when he died in a plane crash. He was known for his many acts of service to those less fortunate than he was. Angel recalls this wisdom that Clemente often shared: “Anytime you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth.” Inspired by him, in 2019 Angel established an ONU baseball scholarship for Puerto Rican students.
Psalm 37:23 (NLT) continues to guide and inspire Angel as he answers God’s call to serve: “The Lord directs the steps of the Godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” God has surprised Angel in every area of his life with extraordinary friendships, an exciting career and the gift of evangelism. He has witnessed God’s turning everything around in order to build His Kingdom.
Angel accepted Christ on Oct. 15, 1987. He accepted ONU’s “O” Award on Oct. 19, 2023. As he looks back over his life, he can summarize his story in two words: “Only God. Solo Dios in Spanish.”
2023 “O” Award: Raechel (Pennington) Myers ’05
A reluctant writer but lover of story, Raechel (Pennington) Myers ’05 loves God’s Word. She delights in the evidence of God’s beauty, goodness and truth in everyday life. She is the founder and chief operating officer of She Reads Truth, a worldwide community of women committed to reading the Bible together every day.
She Reads Truth began in 2012 out of Raechel’s simple desire for her life and habits to reflect what she believed to be true about Scripture. Over the past 11 years, God has blessed and used that simple passion to invite millions of women, men and children to His Word.
Raechel is a general editor of the She Reads Truth Bible and He Reads Truth Bible as well as the co-author of She Reads Truth: Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That’s Passing Away, Open Your Bible: God’s Word Is For You and For Now, a LifeWay Bible study. She also hosts the She Reads Truth podcast.
The Reads Truth family of brands has published more than 250 Bible study books, legacy books, and children’s books and resources in pursuit of “Biblical literacy between Sundays.” The most recent release is Advent 2023: He Alone Is Worthy, a Bible reading plan that uses Scripture to explore the various capacities in which Jesus fulfills our needs and promises complete restoration and fullness in His future return.
Raechel graduated from ONU with a degree in housing and environmental design. She and her husband, Ryan ’05, live in Nashville, Tennessee, with their two children, Oli and Hazel. Ryan serves as the CEO of She Reads Truth. Together, they love to travel, cook, eat delicious food and meander through art galleries.
From Olivet The Magazine, On Purpose – Winter 2024. Read the full issue HERE.