As 2019 came to a close, so did the 27-year long career of our most-treasured and loved, Bud Vowell. All who frequent CSM know Bud as “Macgyver,” the fixer of all things, and as a kind and caring man. As Bud officially retires, CSM reflects on his incredible service and servant-hearted life throughout the years.

Born in Illinois, Bud grew up assisting his father, working on cars and working with his hands, remembering how “he would take apart everything just to put it back in reverse order.” At the age of ten, Bud moved with his family to Birmingham, Alabama, for his father’s job. After high school, he spent four years in the Air Force learning mechanics, and then eventually entered a job where accounting became a necessary skill. Bud found a niche with accounting and worked in finance for the next 25 years until his company transferred to Wisconsin. Not wanting to leave his family or the life he knew in Birmingham, Bud’s job search led him to an accounting position at the Christian Service Mission, July 2nd, 1992.

The most notable part of his career is the perplexing and awe-inspiring fact that 'God has always provided more than enough. It seems like the more we get rid of, the more we get in.'

During this time, CSM, according to Bud, was “run more like a business, rather than a ministry,” and Bud had a tough job keeping track of everything. He remembers frequently running his printer for eight continuous hours to print off all of his analytics. Bud saw many changes in the Christian Service Mission, watching God move every day. Bud would say the most notable part of his career is the perplexing and awe-inspiring fact that “God has always provided more than enough. It seems like the more we share into the community, the more we get in.” When Tracy Hipps became Executive Director 10 years ago, Bud remarked, “ the work became more about God’s business instead of just business.” Bud’s handyman skills finally came to light with the new director, and he was repositioned as the Warehouse Manager, as we know him today. Since then, Bud has laid eyes on just about everything that has come into the warehouse, saying, “We never have a chance to write anything down, because it is in and out so quickly. If you aren’t here to watch it move, you’ll miss it.”

Aside from the daily maintenance and daily distribution that Bud manages, Bud has been the mastermind behind the design and construction of CSM’s two greenhouses. He has also developed key systems for resource management, especially for one of CSM’s most significant events of the year, the Thanksgiving Baskets of Kindness event, and countless other contributions. Bud’s service and leadership have truly reflected the servant-hearted life we are called to live as Christians, and he has inspired many. Bud’s service will continue past CSM, as he has many plans ahead of him, and we send him out with prayer, love, and honor.

Thank you for your dedication to God’s mission here at CSM, Bud. You will be missed.