My name is Duane Toppin and I am the part-time Maintenance Director at Ankeny Christian Academy. I have been familiar with ACA for several years before working here because I have a granddaughter who has been in ACA since pre-school, and I have seen what a blessing this school has been to her and to my family. This job is a blessing to me as it combines two things I thoroughly enjoy. The first is working with all of the ACA staff including the administrators and the Board of Directors. The second is using tools! My family is always making fun of how many tools I have, but who do you think they come to when something breaks?
My wife, Cheryll, and I have two daughters, Heather and Robin. They both live in Ankeny. Heather is the mother of my granddaughter, Laura Rose.
After I graduated from high school, I spent four years in the Air Force and was trained as a jet engine mechanic. After the Air Force I moved back to my hometown of Clear Lake, IA where I met and married my wife, Cheryll, and together we farmed through 1985. At that time I started selling farm equipment. In 2001, I felt God was calling us to Ankeny to be closer to family. After much prayer and seeking the assurance of God’s will in this, we moved to Ankeny. Once in Ankeny, I again sold utility equipment until God led me to retire and start my own handyman business. If you see a white cargo van at the school with The Craftsman on the side, that would be me.
I accepted Christ about nine years after my wife did. At that time, we had been members of a church which now I can see was a stumbling block. I was never a regular attender, but I did feel God calling me. However, I didn’t understand what it meant or what I should do. After we left that church, we became members of a strong Bible believing church. The pastor gave an invitation each week and I would feel nervous and perspire, but I never gave in to God’s calling me. In February of 1981, during a visit by our pastor to our home, I publicly confessed my need for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
My life verse is Ephesians 2:8-9. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.” (NIV) I claimed this verse after I was saved and realized that it is ONLY by God’s grace that I was saved and not by anything I had done or would do in the future.