Dorothy Boyett – Lubbok, TX
I became a Christian in the 70’s,. attended church faithfully and engaged in all the activities although I only shared my faith when asked. When I read Hell’s Best Kept Secret I understood true Biblical repentance versus false conversion. I started handing out tracts and enrolled in the school of biblical evangelism on-line. After attending the Great News Network boot camp in 2004 my life took on a new role I was now “going out of my way” to engage people in Biblical conversations.
I heard about the work Bill Adams was doing with Sports Fans Outreach and signed up for the Super Bowl outreach in Dallas. Since then I have attended several and had the opportunity to go with a team to my native England for several evangelistic events.
I am a member of Temple Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas. Each week I go to Texas Tech University to hand out tracts and do one-to one witnessing.
Alex Burt – Bethlehem, GA
My name is Alex Burt. I am married to a wonderful woman named Kim and we have two children. Kaitlyn is 21 and Luke is 16.
God found it in His mercy to save me in 1997 and I almost immediately felt the calling to take the Gospel of Jesus outside the four walls of the church. I remember hearing an old preacher say: “I hear all these young preachers complaining about not having anywhere to preach! Last time I checked, there was still a sidewalk out there!”
Although I didn’t realize it at the time, that triggered something inside me and before I knew it, I was outside our local Courthouse the first Saturday of every month preaching.
God really messed up my “normal” Christian life when I ran across Ray Comfort and his teaching, “Hell’s Best Kept Secret”. After hearing that sermon and listening to it many times I knew God was calling me to open air evangelism. My job relocated my family to Arizona in 2004 and while living there I was able to attend the Ambassadors’ Academy in California. Immediately following the academy I began going to Mill Avenue, which is right beside Arizona State University, and sharing the Gospel on Saturday nights.
In God’s providence we relocated to Bethlehem, Ga. in 2009, with the University of Georgia only 20 miles away. I am blessed to be able to share the Gospel through tracts, one on one conversations and open air preaching in downtown Athens on Friday nights and before home football games.
2 Corinthians 5:21
DJ Caswell – Gastonia, NC
D.J. Caswell being raised in the church, can recount the many ways God has called and kept him throughout his life. D.J. was called out of darkness and into His marvelous light at a young age. After answering the call to ministry, D.J. enrolled in Fruitland Baptist Bible College and obtained his Associates in Christian Ministries.
D.J. is currently pursuing his call to be a full-time evangelist, through the George Whitefield Program. D.J. is the founder and lead evangelist with How They Hear Ministries, a Charlotte, NC based street evangelism ministry.
D.J. is happily married to his high school sweet heart and God has abundantly blessed them with three daughters and one son.
Soli Deo Gloria
Matt De Jesus – Glendale, Arizona
I was introduced to the Gospel message at 10 years of age. I went forward at my church, made a profession of faith, and was baptized- not fully understanding what I was doing. My road of sanctification, like many of you can relate, has been a rocky one. As I grew to became an adult I learned intimately what God meant when He had Malachi refer to Him as “a refinerʼs fire…” (Mal 3:2) as well as the passage in Proverbs that tells us He disciplines those He loves (Prov 3:12).
God was purifying me by ripping the sin, which I was clutching to so tightly, out of my hands. No discipline at the time is pleasurable, but needed. Needed to become a useful vessel that would honor God, not bringing a reproach to His name. This is an ongoing process until Glory. After years of watching “On The Box” and “Wretched” I had the opportunity to meet Tony Miano. I helped him with several videos and I learned quite a bit about street evangelism. I was so inspired that I had to open my mouth as well to proclaim the Gospel. Iʼm now heading up a street evangelism team at my church and training others to do the same. Iʼve been married to a blessing of a wife, Roxanne, for 4 years now. I have 3 children ages 29, 19, and 17. The Lordʼs providence is constantly amazing me in how Heʼs working in my marriage and with my children. God has also blessed me with a video production business that Iʼve owned for the past 30 plus years. I produce national and regional commercials, corporate and marketing videos as well as independent feature films. I have also produced several videos for Tony Mianoʼs Cross Encounters Ministries as well as Apologia Church and others. Recently I started a faith-base division of my company called Sovereign Grace Media. It exists to bring the Gospel to a lost and dying world and to train those in the church through all forms of media.
Peter Garon – Bakersfield, CA
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, lived in Santa Clarita for a long time, and now live in Bakersfield, CA where I’m a member of Crossway Baptist Church. I’m married and have two adult children; our oldest is a police officer in Texas, and our youngest is at college and preparing for a life in missions.
I faced social isolation in my neighborhood, the schools I attended, and was subject to both verbal and physical persecution because I’m a Jew. I grew away from and left Reformed Judaism for Secular Humanism when I was in college. It was after this period that friendship evangelism led me to “believe” in Jesus around May of 1982. I was baptized at a solid church, and was a member at 3 evangelical churches spanning 28 years. I was on a missions committee, an AWANA leader for 7 years, a volunteer representative for a mission agency, a faithful member of the ushering team and even took part in a mission trip to Spain. And yet during all that time, and before April 23, 2010, I was not a Christian. I was a false convert busy living out Matthew 7:21-23. The modern false gospel reassured me I was saved, and a part of the Body of Christ, because I had an intellectual belief in Jesus, prayed a prayer and was baptized. I was actually on the broad road to destruction. All those accomplishments were done in the flesh (Romans 8:7-8).
When God saved me in 2010 I certainly wasn’t looking for it because, after all, I thought I already was. By His grace and for His glory, God revealed to me who and what I was. After three days of terror at the thought of my condemnation and futile life, I told God that I had sinned against Him more than I could know, but the worst was that I had claimed to be a Christian when I wasn’t. I told God I wouldn’t blame Him if He sent me to hell, but I begged Him to save me. I truly trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior by God’s grace alone through faith alone. I’m still surprised He saved me (see Acts 8:9-24). Afterwards I remember thinking as I drove home, “So this is what Christians feel like.”
The Bible verse I used at my false baptism was Revelation 3:20 (itself revealing). At my real baptism the verse I quoted was Matthew 7:21-23.
I started going out on the street to testify to God’s saving grace not long after, but it took over a year before I met up with evangelist Tony Miano. Tony took me with him as he heralded the Gospel, and trained me in evangelism. This will be my third Super Bowl with Sports Fan Outreach International. I look forward to seeing you all there.
Jamie Hall – Myrtle Beach, SC
My name is James Hall. I’m from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I am single, never married. I am 43 years of age. I have been street evangelizing for 5 years. I currently evangelize on the street around my area as well as neighboring states, Superbowls and the Kentucky Derby.
At 16 years old I surrendered to the Lord’s will on my heart. After many months of suppressing the truth. Listening to the Pastor preach on Hell. I sat on the back row of a Southern Baptist Church and became aware that day that Hell was very real to me. I had no idea when I was gonna die, or had any control over my life.
Being brought up in a church that had man- centered beliefs, such as decisionism, works, and tradition. I was unaware and had no discernment at the time.
Through studying of the Holy Scriptures for myself and relying on the Holy Spirit for discernment. Christ continually revealed the truth to me, and continues too, even to this day. About 10 years ago I heard a sermon that completely changed my life, called “Hell’s best kept Secret” – by Ray Comfort. The one sermon sparked the fuel for the fire in my desire and the love I had for Christ to share the Gospel.
Several years after being called to assistant teaching at the church I was from. I joined an evangelist group called The 5 Solas Outreach Ministry. After learning quite a bit of reform theology I was quickly brought to my knees again in repentance to the Lord. There I truly learned how to share my faith openly, Preaching through Open-Air, and one on one evangelism. We taught each other and Truly equipped ourselves for the work of the Lord.
Four years ago I defended my faith and view of the scriptures to my local church. After the confrontation I left my first church for Christ, my first love. I have attended two reformed churches since. The second Reformed Baptist church is my current church I attending now. Continuing to be edified by my Lord Jesus Christ till the day he calls me home. Soli Deo Gloria
Joe Hinson – Denton, TX
I have been married for going on 20 years to Missy. We’ve been together since high school. We have 2 sons, Seth 14 and Ben 10. We live in Denton Texas about an hour north of Dallas.
I lived as a false convert for several years until around 10 years ago when by God’s grace I came into contact with Ray Comfort’s “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” and “True and False Conversion”. The first message helped me to truly understand the Gospel and the second revealed my complete absence of Faith in said Gospel.
Currently my family and I are making preparations to relocate to the Provo Utah area to Lord willing be a part of disciples being made and see churches being planted.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Jeffery Padia – Fayetteville, GA
God mercifully saved me out of a background of cheap grace, easy believe-ism, “Americanized” Christianity. I had walked an aisle during a church “revival” and was baptized at age 16. I quickly proceeded to prove myself a false convert, succumbing to the worldliness and sin that my flesh craved. I found myself in a prolonged downward spiral, increasingly wallowing in the dregs of my wickedness and rebellion against God, all the while believing I had punched my ticket through the pearly gates! I pursued every worldly thing that I thought might make me happy.
But God, being rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4-5), opened my eyes to see how patient and kind and merciful He had been to me in preserving my life, even though His justice could have fallen on me like a hammer. In the misery of my lowest depths, I became dreadfully aware that I was not owed another day of His mercy. It was then that God granted me eyes to see His beauty, and grace to believe in Jesus as my only hope. The riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience had, indeed, led me to repentance (Romans 2:4)! By His grace alone, I’m thankful to be a servant of the one, true God!
After completing a 26 year career as an Air Traffic Controller here in Atlanta, unburdened by full time work responsibilities, I determined to make myself more available for ministry. In response, the Lord graciously and relentlessly consecrated me to His service! He guided me through a continuum of evangelistic challenges, each one further and further outside of my comfort zone! In his loving providence, I progressed from timidly and covertly placing gospel tracts…to openly handing out tracts in Christmas parades…to giving brief gospel presentations in nursing homes…to pleading for the lives of babies and preaching the gospel in front of abortion mills…to open air preaching at sporting events…to sharing the gospel with jail inmates…to…wherever He leads me next! It’s been one gospel adventure after another, all in the worship and service of my great God and Savior! If He can do such a work in me, He can do such a work in you! He is faithful! Are you willing to entrust yourself to Him, no matter the cost?
Jeff ministers under the leadership and oversight of his elders at Faith Bible Church, Sharpsburg, GA.
Jenifer Pepling is the President of Christian Collegian Network (CCN), and Campus Leader at the University of Pittsburgh and Slippery Rock University. Jenifer has been seeking and saving the lost at PITT since 2007. She has successfully trained numerous Christians how to share the gospel through evangelism courses and hands-on training, attended several mission trips in various states, designed, built and ran “witnessing booths” at local festivals, led groups to evangelize at parades and other public venues, and led large book and DVD giveaways at various colleges. Jenifer continues to lead the ministry in fulfilling the great commission on and off the college campuses.
Joshua Richards – Belle Center, Ohio
My name is Joshua Richards. I am married to Rachael and we live in Belle Center, Ohio. The goodness of God led me to repent of my sin and trust in Him alone for forgiveness at age 6. My Spiritual journey has involved many struggles with sin and self, church hopping, and understanding God’s unconditional love for me, among other things. I’m still a work in progress, but I thank God for His grace in sending Jesus to save me from the hell I deserved, and Who has sealed me unto the day of redemption for all eternity.
Frank Rollberg – Muscle Shoals, AL
In the year 2000 God saved me by his amazing grace.I was raised Catholic when I was younger but my family only went on Christmas and Easter. I was sent to catechism classes and conformation classes but it meant nothing to me. It was just what you did back then. I lived my life as a rebel and was a wicked man only living for self. But at work one day at lunch there was a young man sitting across the table who was a JW. And he asked me if I were to die would I go to heaven?
I said yes I thought I was pretty good person compared to the rest of mankind, I said I did more good things than bad. He asked if I had a Bible at home and I said yes. He said read it. So I picked up the Bible never read it in my life and started reading it for the first time and GOD started to open my eye’s. I couldn’t put it down there was a hunger there that was never there before. After some months of non stop reading the Truth of His Word God was convicting me showing me that I was a wicked lost man born in sin and that I was not good at all according to His standard. In the spring of the year 2000 in my room one night broken over my sin I cried out to God to save me and forgive me of all my sin confessing and forsaking all the sin I could remember in my life repenting of all that I could remember and asking God to change my heart to love and follow Him in obedience putting my trust my faith in Him alone. From that day forward God changed my heart to seek after him and gave me such a hunger for Him and His Word. I had to tell people about Him and what He has done for me from that point on began sharing with people especially my wife Lisa who thought I was absolutely out of my mind. She was not a believer at that time it took a couple of years for God to save her also Praise His Glorious Name! Tried to find a Biblical Church in the suburb of Chicago where we lived at the time and just couldn’t find anything biblical without driving 2 hours from our house. Eventually heard Paul Washer speak in Alabama and a few years after that in 2008 we eventually moved to Alabama to get our family under the preaching of the Word we took it that seriously. Our families thought we were crazy but we moved anyway. Went to the same church that we seen Paul Washer speak and about 3 years ago my Pastor who is involved with Heart Cry planted a Church in the area and we are part of that work right now where we are members. We have the full support of our Church and Pastor for the evangelistic ministry that we do in and around the area which consists of open air preaching, college campus ministry etc. May our Great God receive All the Glory. There is No King but Christ!!
Seth Richardson – Rougemont, NC
Seth Richardson is a husband and father of 3 from Durham North Carolina. He works full time in the field of Network Security but his heart is Evangelism and he desires to make that his vocation.
Seth was raised in the umbrella of the Watchtower Society and was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1997. Seth served as a faithful teacher and Evangelist for the Watchtower for 17 years until witnessing certain events within the organization led him to question the Watchtower claim to authority among other doctrines. In December 2013, Seth stepped down from his role in the organization and formally dissociated himself. After a few months, Seth heard a full and clear presentation of the Gospel by Todd Ellis of Make Sure Ministries in a Youtube video which led him to repent and put his trust in Christ. Seth contacted Todd and Betty Ellis who conducted a Bible study with Seth and his family weekly for several months by phone until Seth and his family came under the discipleship of First Baptist Church of Durham North Carolina. Seth and his wife Linda were baptized August 10, 2014.
Seth became active in street evangelism and open air preaching in the fall 2015 and shares in this work on a weekly basis in Durham and Raleigh North Carolina. Seth is currently being discipled in Evangelism by Tommy Waltz and Gospel of God Ministries.
Tom Sadowski – Denton, TX
Although blessed to have been raised in a stable, loving, and even religious home (to some extent), there was absolutely no exposure to the Bible itself in my upbringing, and thus, to biblical (true) Christianity. It was while in the U.S. Marine Corps, as a young (18) Marine private not too long out of boot camp, that I heard the Gospel declared for the very first time —via some open-air preachers in downtown San Diego, CA. Just seemed like pretty radical stuff to me at the time, no doubt: Bible thumpers. But that unforgettable night, which I still have some pretty vivid recollection of, most surely shook the small world I was then living in, at least to some extent. Less than a month later, by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit (and human instrumentality of my two roommates in the barracks in North Carolina where I was by then stationed), I came to true, biblical repentance and saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Well, that (1975) was over 41 years ago! “Time flies,” indeed. Shortly after moving from my home state of Michigan to Texas in 1981, where I have lived ever since, I met my wife Betty at a Bible camp meeting in Louisiana, to whom I have now been married for nearly 33 years. We have six mostly grown children (31 down to 17), and two precious, delightful granddaughters. Not long after moving to TX, I was providentially brought under the teaching/preaching of the “doctrines of grace” (aka “Calvinism”) in the church I began attending in Denton, TX, which, more than anything I believe, greatly elevated my understanding of the spiritual world, and really all of life, from a mostly MAN-centered view of it all to a much more GOD-centered and GOD-exalting view of everything that pertains to our lives in this lower, temporal world.
It was under such a theological framework of “religious instruction,” if you will, that I first began to be burdened for the lost souls of people, mostly young kids/teenagers at the time, and first open-air preached, on the “main drag” here in Denton where they congregated in droves in those days, in the summer of 1984, with one, another dear brother (and later, with another brother for perhaps a few years or so) from the local church we all faithfully attended. Approximately five or so years after the initial evangelistic experience, I first began preaching at the main local university here in Denton, from which I had graduated, as an English major, a year or two before. (Preaching at university campuses especially intimidated me in the earliest years of such evangelism . . . not that doing it elsewhere was “a piece of cake,” by any means.)
Nearly twenty years later (with lots of M-F/9-to-5 sort of employment, intensive child rearing, learning to be a better husband, and a number of years spent in “Dungeon Seminary” [long story] in between), in the amazing providence of God, I met some solid brothers in Christ in downtown Dallas in October 2008, independently doing street evangelism there (I was there with one other man). This was a truly noteworthy encounter, as it began to open up a whole new world of evangelistic opportunities that I never even knew existed: big sporting events like the Super Bowl, the summer Olympics, and the World Series; organized “campus tours” to preach and minister at multiple universities in close (or relatively close) geographical proximity; evangelism at foreign countries such as Jamaica, the United Kingdom, and Ireland; as well as at other venues such as at abortion clinics, “gay pride” parades, etc.
Specifically with Sports Fan Outreach International, I have been blessed to participate at seven out of the last eight Super Bowls (in order: Tampa, Miami, Dallas-Ft. Worth, (Indianapolis—missed), New Orleans, New York City, Phoenix, and San Francisco); the rugby World Cup in New Zealand nearly five years ago; the Olympics in London (summer of 2012); and other events, plus, God willing, the summer Olympics coming up here in a few more months in Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil. Also hoping to preach some outdoors in Israel in less than a month with a brother in the Lord, as he and I and our wives will travel there as part of a big tour group.
I hope it goes without saying (but I will indeed say it nonetheless) that all such evangelism is not “an end” in itself. Rather, CHRIST, and our need—EVERYONE’s desperate and urgent need of Him in His atoning, saving work upon the Cross—is the end. May the Gospel of Christ, our merciful and great Redeemer, be continuously advanced, while we have breath in our lungs. And to GOD alone be all of the glory, honor, and praise, for evermore.
Jeff Sauriki – Summerville, SC
My name is Jeff Sauricki. I have lived in Grayson GA for the last 15 years and before that in Northeast Ohio. I will be married 42 year in August to my High School sweetheart Susan. My daughters Amy and Marianne live here in GA as well. I have 10 grandchildren. Amy is mother to two of my granddaughters and Marianne is mother to two granddaughters and 6 grandsons. I am a member of Lilburn Alliance Church in Tucker.
God called me to be an evangelist in 2009 and that same year I attended Living Waters Ambassador Academy #11. Some of my service to God has included going weekly to a Youth Detention Center for 5 years, the last 4 Super Bowl outreaches, Fall for Greenville, Dogwood Festival, monthly trips to minister in Charleston SC and other various ministries in Atlanta. These 6 years have taught me a lot about what I don’t know when it come to God and his word.
My prayer SFOI would honor the Lord, that everyone would be safe, that we would see God at work through us, that the lost would see and hear our compassion for the them and that brothers and sisters in Christ would demonstrate the same love that made 1st century people marvel.
Bill ‘DOC’ Shank – South Saint Paul, MN
I was raised in the Catholic religion. Less than 2 month’s after Graduating High School in 1982 I enlisted in the United States Air Force. On the evening of Resurrection Sunday (April of 1989, while I was working in the Emergency Room as an Emergency Medical Technian, at Ramstein Air Base West Germany), Chaplain Richard Spearman came in to visit us. While we were talking briefly, he said, “SGT. Schank, if you ever want to talk, Please call me and we can set up an appointment”. I made an appointment with Chaplain Richard Spearman (and we met once a week) for 4 week’s. During those appointments, Chaplain Spearman “took me through” the 10 Commandments. I experienced, exactly what GOD says in Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. I truly experienced Godly sorrow, as I sat in Chaplain Spearman’s office: and I wept over all of the sin in my life. Praise The LORD, that GOD granted me the gift of Repentance and I was born again on 26th of May 1989. Four month’s later, I went through a very similar experience just like Job experienced in the Bible. (I was Medically Retired from the United States Air Force for post traumatic stress. Due to the Air Show Disaster that happened at Ramstein Air Base on 28 August 1988. 3 Italian Fighter Jets collided while performing a Very Dangerous “Heart Shaped Maneuver”. The 1 Jet, “clipped” 2 other Jet’s on the tail of their Aircraft, and that Fighter Jet Tumbled right through the Crowd of Spectators: Wounding 500 people and killing 70 other Spectators. I was 1 of MANY Medical Personnel who worked on all of the wounded and dealt with many of the dead bodies. ***GOD IS GOOD, and he has brought me a Very Long Way in “healing” from dealing with all of that Trauma.
Praise The LORD, in 1993 GOD brought Ginny into my life and we were Married on 29 July 1995. She TRULY Is My Proverbs 31 Bride/Wife, & 7 day’s ago and Thanks to GOD: We Celebrated our 22nd Wedding Anniversary!!! We have 5 Adult Children: Sabrina (35), Eric (34), Aeron (33), Alyx (28), and Ana (27). And, GOD has Blessed us with 9 Beautiful Grandchildren!! During the Spring, Summer and Fall of 1993 & 1994 I did evangelism on the Street’s of Saint Paul: handing out Gospel Tract’s and 1:1 witnessing.
The very 1st time that I Preached in the Open Air, in St.Paul Minnesota, I experienced physical persecution from the Police; Unfortunately, I ran from doing evangelism on the Street’s, until 2005. The Spring of 2005 I started evangelizing on the Street’s of Downtown Minneapolis with other Believer’s. (2005- 2008 we handed out Gospel Tract’s and did 1:1 witnessing). 2009 is the 1st year that I started Preaching The Gospel in the Open Air, and by GOD’S GRACE I’m still Preaching The Gospel in Downtown Minneapolis and sometimes in other States. Praise GOD, I have been to the Super Bowl Outreach 6 times, the Fall for Greenville Outreach 3 times (when they used to have it), and I have been to a few Outreaches in New York City. Also, by GOD’S Grace and Strength, I have been to the Ukraine (during the Summer) on Short-Term Mission’s Trips 2009, 2010 & 2011. And, 3 year’s ago I was in Guatemala for a Short-Term Mission’s Trip. LORD Willing, this coming February, I will be 1 of the Team Leader’s @ Super Bowl Outreach ’18. ***I Love to Preach The Gospel and “Lift Up” The Name That Is ABOVE Every name. To plead with all of the lost soul’s to be Reconciled to GOD. And to warn/let ALL of them know, that one day Every Knee Shall Bow, and Every Tongue Confess That JESUS Christ Is LORD, To The GLORY Of GOD The Father!!
This past May 17th – May 30th: I was in Israel with 6 other Brother’s Preaching The Gospel. (6 of us were from the United States & Brother Desmond Smyth came from Dublin, Ireland). Praise The LORD, we Preached in Jerusalem, Caparneum, Eliat (I don’t know if I spelled that correctly; It’s the Southernmost City in Israel), and in Tel Aviv. The Gospel was FAITHFULLY Preached, we gave away MANY Bibles that were in the Hebrew language and Many Ingil’s (That means New Testament’s that were in Arabic). SOLO DEO GLORIA!!!
Steven Stanley – Morehead, KY
My name is Steven Stanley and I live in Morehead KY with my wife and two sons.
I am currently the Pastor of Clearfield Baptist Church. I also have worked in healthcare as a nurse/nurse practitioner for 20 years.
I lived the majority of my adult life as a non-believer, then was a false convert for about 2 years before God granted me genuine repentance and faith in His precious Son. He immediately placed a burden on my heart for the lost that resulted in active street evangelism. I have attended the Super Bowl Outreaches in New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Houston and also the last five KY Derby Outreaches. I live in a college town so when school is in session I enjoy going to campus to open air preach and hand out Gospel tracts. I have been active in abortion clinic ministry in Lexington and Louisville, KY for last 5 years
I am also attempting to be a seminary student at Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary in Owensboro, KY seeking my Masters in Pastoral Studies and ultimately my MDiv.
It is a privilege and honor to preach Christ and Him crucified and I look forward to laboring with my brothers and sisters in the Lord! SDG!
Joseph R. Toy, Jr. – Folcroft, PA
Joe grew up in Shillington, PA and attended First EC Church of Reading. He is a 1978 graduate of Governor Mifflin High School. In 1982, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Millersville University. In the spring of 1982 as a senior in college, Joe committed his life to Jesus Christ. Upon graduation, Joe began his career as an accountant in Trenton, NJ. During this time, he attended Newtown Community Church in Newtown, PA. While attending this church, Joe felt the call to full time ministry. He left his job to attend Moody Bible Institute for a 3-week seminar on Urban Evangelism with plans to attend Evangelical Seminary in the fall of 1984. When Joe returned from Moody, he began a street ministry in the city of Reading called Inner City Campaigners. From this street ministry, an outreach to children and teens began at First EC of Reading called The Source. This ministry continued from 1984 to 1988 when Joe moved to Philadelphia, PA. Joe began his theological studies at Evangelical in 1984 and ended in 1987. During this time, Joe became a commissioned missionary and a licensed preacher in the Evangelical Congregational Church in May of 1985.
In 1985, Joe and Wendy met at Evangelical Seminary while working on his Masters of Divinity studies. They were married at the chapel at Evangelical on March 22, 1986. Joe and Wendy have five sons. Jared(1987), Seth(1989), Ethan(1989), Aaron(1991) and Adam(1984). The boys were primarily home schooled from 1991 to 2013. Both Jared and Seth serve in The U.S. Coast Guard. Ethan is a career firefighter/paramedic in Currituck County, North Carolina. Aaron is employed at Wellesley Assisted care Facility as a food services manager. Adam serves in the U.S. Air Force. Joe and Wendy have been blessed with six grandchildren named: Forest, Joseph Conner, Morgan, Savannah and Jackson.
In 1988, Joe and Wendy moved to Philadelphia to begin an association With Open Air Campaigners. During this time, they worked in an internship status with this mission board. The ministry of Open Air Campaigners is to do the work of Evangelism and to train others in Evangelism in an urban setting. This association lasted until 1992 when Joe resigned because of doctrinal issues that conflicted with the EC Church. Upon resolution of the proposed doctrinal changes within OAC, Joe served as an associate evangelist with them until 2000. Joe now serves on the board of directors of OAC, Inc. At this point Joe became one of the few Evangelical Congregational Church Denominational missionaries, which is a status that continued until 2008. In 1993, Joe established a ministry called Open Air Ministries-Philadelphia. Now Joe has formed his own 501c non-profit corporation called Open Air Ministries, Inc from 2009 until the present day.
Joe’s ministry is primarily evangelistic by nature. Outreach is conducted at bus stops, subways, college campuses, center city, parades, events, neighborhoods, parks and other areas in and around the Metro Philadelphia Area. Joe does weekly outreach in Camden, NJ and in the summer conducts outreach at the New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware beach resorts. Through the years, Joe has been involved in the Philadelphia Port Ministry from 1988 to 2001. Also, much outreach has been done in inner city neighborhoods with children. Joe was a co-pastor for Metro Kids an outdoor kid’s church in various locations in Philadelphia from 2007 to 2011. Many times a year Joe travels to national events such as Mardi Gras, Indy 500, Spring Break Florida, Senior Week in Ocean City, MD and others to share the gospel. Another large part of Joe’s work is training others in evangelism. Joe spends a number of weeks each year training youth groups, college students, missionary candidates and others in evangelism. Some of these groups spend time with in Philly for a day or a week. The summer is especially busy with hosting these teams, including a number of EC Church youth groups. Joe and Wendy and Aaron live in Folcroft, which is in Delaware County, PA. Folcroft is located very close to the Philadelphia Airport. They attend Crossroads Community Church, which is in Upper Darby.
Dennis Vance – Springfield, MO
Dennis is married to Polly, his wonderful wife and they live in Springfield, MO and have four grown children. When Dennis was only six months old, he played baby Jesus during a church live nativity and his parents were Joseph and Mary. At age 11, he said the sinner’s prayer and asked Jesus into his heart.
It bothered Dennis that through high school and college that he didn’t look any different than his non-Christian friends, but that didn’t stop him from living for the flesh. He used to have a really bad temper, cussed, got drunk and committed other sins. Dennis used to cry out to God “How can I be a Christian and act like this?” But he asked God to forgive him each night and repeated the process the next day.
But in 2007 Dennis called his brother and confessed that he didn’t feel very close to God. His brother asked him if he was reading the Bible every day, to which he replied, no, I take my Bible to church every Sunday. His brother said, no, it’s God’s word, you have to feed on it daily. So Dennis picked up the Bible and started with Genesis 1 and read through the Bible that year.
In the fall, God convicted him with Matthew 7:21-23 that he was lost. Then with Romans 8:1, God converted Dennis. For the first time, he realized that during those 33 years of professing to be a Christian, he had lived after the flesh and not after the Spirit. Dennis cried out for God to save him and the Lord did!
He spent the next year reading the Bible fervently and reading many Christian books. But beginning in 2009, God started convicting him that he needed to share his faith in Jesus with others. Dennis had no clue how to do that. So he asked a godly co-worker about witnessing to others and the co-worker loaned him the first two seasons of Way of The Master. After episode 2, Dennis was on the phone to Living Waters ordering tracts. At first, he was afraid to hand a tract to someone, so he just left them with tips and hid them in stores, left them on the floor at the mall and various places. After a couple months, he started handing them to people. Then in the summer of 2009, Dennis went through the School of Biblical Evangelism.
Before the end of 2009, he gave the good person test on the box at Missouri State University and the following month he gave a Christmas message outside of Borders Bookstore where people were lined up for a Sarah Palin book signing. He was so nervous that he thought he was going to pass out. But the Lord helped him through it and the crowd actually clapped when he finished. Now he appreciates “good” hecklers, but if someone would have heckled him that first time, he may not have ever preached again.
Dennis has attended many Super Bowl Outreaches as well as Kentucky Derby Outreaches. He looks forward to witnessing at these outreaches, fellowshipping with other evangelists and the teaching that’s provided at the Sports Fan Outreach International events. It’s great catching up with old friends as well as making new friends at these outreaches. Dennis founded Seek and Save the Lost (www.seekandsavethelost.com) in December 2009. He typically posts open-air messages and ministry updates on the website weekly. Dennis firmly believes that there is no greater honor in the world than lifting up the precious name of Jesus in the open-air. He believes it is God-honoring and a true form of worship. Plus, it’s biblical and much needed in our secular society. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).
Dennis attends Crossway Baptist Church in Springfield, MO and he has the church’s blessing for the street witnessing ministry. Several people from his church participate in outreaches at the MSU football
games in the fall as well as various parades. Dennis witnesses at Missouri State University on Wednesdays and then downtown on Friday nights with other evangelists. May Jesus Christ continue being lifted up and may God be glorified by the proclamation of the Gospel. You can reach Dennis at the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org.