Diane and Paul Mitchell

Cedarville Stories Podcast: Toolbox Is His Altar

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by Clem Boyd, Communication Content Manager

For 19 years, Paul Mitchell kept the water at Cedarville flowing to residence halls, academic and administrative buildings, and everywhere else on campus when he served as supervisor of water systems.  

As much as he loves tapping into his plumbing expertise, Paul’s heart ultimately is for living water, seeing people touched by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul has an undergraduate Bible degree and at one point planned on a career in the pastorate. But the Lord had other plans for this man of God, whom He has used, along with his wife, Diane, to reach people through missions and U.S.-based service projects.

Most recently, that happened in Austin, Texas, where Diane and Paul traveled to serve those whose pipes had ruptured during a record-breaking cold snap that hit the Lone Star State in February.

While his gifts as a plumber were undeniable, Paul still battled with the notion that this is how God wanted to use him in this world. Then a teaching by his pastor, Tedd Tripp, in Hazelton, Pennsylvania on Romans 12:1-2 helped him see the way the Lord wanted his life to flow.

“For years I had struggled with being a plumber, but still wanting to be in ministry,” he admits during the podcast. “He got to those verses (Romans 12:1-2) and he said, ‘Whatever you put your hands to is your offering to God. You men who are in trades, what are you doing with your hands? As a living sacrifice, you are offering that.’

“I realized at that point, my tool bag, my toolbox, that was the altar over which I worked and offered myself to God every day as a living sacrifice. I had embraced my work as God’s calling for me.”

For more Cedarville Stories podcasts, click on the link below:

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More to the Story

Paul’s service in Texas made headlines around the United States, including this story in the Dayton Daily News

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu