Harry Isn’t the Only Potter You Should Know Of
The first year, Executive Director for the Center for Leadership & Ethics and BTH professor, Keith Potter, was hired in July 2014, but his roots at NCU go back much further. Potter grew up in Longview, WA and naturally attended Western Washington University to play basketball from 1980-1982. In the fall of 1982 Keith transferred to Northwest Christian College to prepare for ministry and play ball. He graduated in the spring of 1984, double majoring in communication and ministry, and two time NBCAA National Men’s Basketball Champion (1982-1983 and 1983-1984).
While at NCC Potter met the love of his life, Sue Wright, a mission’s major, who he married the summer after graduation. After the wedding the two moved to El Cajon, CA, where Keith was the head youth pastor at First Christian Church for two years (1984-1985) and then was the head pastor from (1985-1992), while he attended Fuller Seminary and graduated in 1991 with his Masters of Divinity. He was offered a head pastor position in Paradise, CA and spent seven years (1992-1999) there, until 1999 when he got a job at Saratoga Federated Church in the Silicon Valley as the head pastor position, where he served until 2010.
Potter said he, “felt called to write books, pastor pastors, lead leaders and do marriage counseling workshops,” so that is exactly what he and Sue did for four years. He has published three books, Unshakable: The Building Blocks of an Enduring Marriage (2009) which is printed in three languages, English, Japanese and Latvian. In 2010 he worked with 49ers, Ronnie Lott, to publish #SPORTS Tweets: What I Learned from Coaches about Sports and Life, and then wrote Whitewashing the Fence: Leading Leaders in a Way That Works in 2013.
In July of 2014, NCU contacted Potter about available opportunities at the university and he said, “I missed community. I missed being a part of a team, and was thrilled when NCU reached out to me.” During the thirty year span away from Northwest Christian, the Potter’s had three children, one during their time at each church in California. Sue had Kristen in 1986, who now recently gave birth to Keith’s first grandchild, Eisley, twenty months ago. In 1998, they adopted their second daughter Erin, and then their only son Luke, in 2005. Keith loves being a father, grandfather, and husband, saying, “Family lights my fire.”
Keith Potter is one of NCU’s most memorable, humble and kind-hearted alumni. After teaching at several different universities, working at 900+ weddings and funerals, pastoring churches, leading marriage and leadership workshops, and having three amazing children, Keith and his beautiful wife Sue have graciously returned to Eugene to help the youth of our campus. NCU is truly blessed to have such an inspirational professor and leader. Thank you Keith for all that you do for your fellow Beacons.