F R O M Don Lough, Jr.
amping has been a strategic ministry of Word of Life over the years. Believe it or not, this summer marks our 70th season of camping. It is amazing to consider what God has done in transforming the lives of thousands of people who have attended. In this issue of The Experience, we would like to provide you with a glimpse of some of the life-changing decisions made at the campfire services held each week at Word of Life’s youth and family camps. Perhaps you made your own decision to trust Christ or to dedicate your life to Him at a Word of Life campfire service. Our prayer is that you are continuing to live out the decision you made and are serving God wherever He has strategically placed you. As we read in Romans 6:19, there is nothing quite like the joy that comes from being obedient and surrendered to what He has called you to do. It is our sincere hope that this issue will be a blessing to you as you serve our Lord. We also desire that you will sense some of what God is doing in this ministry and that you will be encouraged to engage with us in . . . Holding Forth the Word of Life.
With a grateful heart, – DON LOUGH, JR. Executive Director
ISSUE 2 / SUMMER 2017 the experience
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CAMPFIRE STORIES ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR SALT TALKER ARK ENCOUNTER EVENT WE NEED SIX COWS! ALUMNI NEWS DR. FIGART
For reprints, back issues, story ideas or other information email us at ALUMNI@WOL.ORG . The Experience is a publication of Word of Life. We want to build a community where you can find longtime friends, share testimonies of what God has been doing, encourage others with stories of change, and learn how you, too, can be involved with the mission of Word of Life. ©Copyright 2017—Word of Life Fellowship. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from Word of Life Fellowship, Inc. To obtain permission, email us at MARKETING@WOL.ORG .
major contributors WRITER, JODIE SEWALL DESIGNER, KORTNI STELTZ EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DON LOUGH, JR. ALUMNI DIRECTOR, MIKE BUSH
Campfire Stories at Word of Life
IT’S A SUMMER TRADITION
as old as three-legged races, country fairs, and picnics is an evening campfire beneath the stars. Can you remember the last campfire you were at? Were you with friends or family? Maybe scary stories or campfire songs have already started running through your head. You know...songs like Kumbayah , Pass it On or I have Decided to Follow Jesus . If they weren’t before, they probably are now. There is just something about sitting in the darkness, staring at the dancing flames of a fire, listening to the wood hiss and pop as it is consumed, and the smell of smoke that settles our hearts and evokes a sense of peace. That comfortable, relaxed atmosphere around a fire has prompted a good many stories to be shared and songs to be sung. There is something unexplainable about the shield of darkness and the mesmerizing flames that initiate a vulnerability of dropping our guard and a willingness to be introspective and honest. As a people group and culture, we love campfires and the warmth of relationships and the memories that are created as we gather around them. Word of Life Campfires Over the past 70 summers, each Word of Life camp has had a weekly campfire service. On The Island, you walk a dark, root-strewn path lit only with torches to the ‘north end’ where you sit on wooden plank benches in an amphitheater carved out of a rocky hillside. The bonfire, with flames big enough to be seen from the mainland, crackles and burns beneath century-old towering pines. Nine miles down the lake at The Ranch, the campfire lights up the night sky at the bottom of Kenya Hill. The young campers assemble in rows along benches like ants on a log. The twinkling star constellations take their places in the dark canopy overhead, while the majestic mountains trade their daytime splendor for the cloak of velvety darkness. The evening breeze rustles through the
TESTIMONIES OF THE IMPACT OF DEDICATION CAMPFIRE SERVICES AT WORD OF LIFE CAMPS
BY JODIE SEWALL
treetops, and soon the ‘song of the pines’ can be heard. The campers lift their voices in praise, and they hear from God. Each camp...The Lodge, The Pines, The Ranch, The Wild, Florida, and all the camps around the world have their own sacred spots they call ‘The Campfire.’ As campers and counselors assemble each week at these campfires, there is a sense of expectancy that hangs pregnant in the air... a patient waiting for the Spirit of God to move among the people bringing life and hope. As the first musical notes take rise and fill the air with praise to God, the active minds settle down, and campers forget the outside world, team competitions, and camp activities. The lyrics begin to speak the truth of love and forgiveness, and, within the solitude of each person’s mind, a willingness to be honest with God begins to develop. Soon guarded and wary hearts are laid bare and open before Him. When the preacher stands and opens God’s Word, the Spirit of God has complete liberty to move among the hearts of those who are willing to hear. Campers are challenged by God’s Word to examine their hearts. Many questions are asked. “Do you have unrepented sin?” “Who is the master of your life?” Personal questions are asked about holy living, sharing Jesus with others, surrendering their lives to God, and, for some, the most important question is, “Do you know God?” As the speaker brings the message to a close, he offers the opportunity for all those who made a spiritual decision to come forward and pick up a stick to throw into the fire as a symbol of dying to oneself and living for God. As the music plays, many campers respond to the cleansing, healing work the Holy Spirit has birthed in their souls. They pick up their stick and symbolically cast it in the fire. The desire borne in their hearts is to know God, to be known by Him, and to make Him known. Often with tears of joy and repentance, those encircling the fire lift their voices to sing, I Have Decided to Follow Jesus . Over the 70 years that Word of Life has held camps in the United States and around the world, countless thousands of campfire services have occurred, and hundreds of thousands of campers have had the opportunity to examine their hearts and to make lifelong decisions to follow Christ. Paul Johnson, a longtime friend of Word of Life, tells a great campfire story of a time when he had been invited by Jack Wyrtzen to attend the campfire service on The Island. On the way to The Island, he met another couple whom Jack had invited to attend the campfire. Paul recalls that as they were walking to the campfire site the man made an unusual statement as he looked around on The Island,
“This is about all I have left.” Paul thought it odd but didn’t have time to ask what he meant. Jack preached at the campfire that night, and around 200 young people came forward to dedicate their lives to Christ. It was a moving and powerful service. As Paul and the others were walking back to the boat dock, Paul asked the gentleman what he had meant when he had said, “This is about all I have left.” The man explained that at one time he had been the owner of a large trucking company and had given a contribution to Jack Wyrtzen for the purchase of the Island. Since that time, his company had experienced a significant downturn, and he only had one truck left. His ‘investment’ in The Island was the only thing he had left. Paul did some quick math. He reminded the man that around 200 young people made life-changing decisions that night. He multiplied that figure by the number of weeks of camp that summer and then multiplied that total by the number of years the camp had been open. Paul told the man that “if this was all he had left, he was still a very rich man.” The rewards would be great in heaven. But do the Decisions Last? I recently asked the Word of Life Bible Institute Alumni Group on Facebook if they had ever made a spiritual decision at a campfire service. Many shared they had and gave a word of testimony of how their lives had been forever changed. RichAndrews ( ‘92, ‘95 ): “My campfire decision happened at The Ranch during International Teens Involved week. I was 14, and I remember it like it was yesterday, sitting on Kenya Hill, listening to the speaker and being brought to the point of making a decision...what was I going to do? The way I saw it I wasn’t making a commitment to my church or Word of Life, but to the Lord and to me that was a big deal! So I walked down the hill, picked up my stick and threw it in the fire. As I stood around the fire, I had no idea what God was going to do with a 14-year-old kid who said in his heart, “All I am, all I have and all I ever hope to be, I now and forever dedicate to you, Lord Jesus... now hold me to it.” I’ve repeated those words hundreds of times over the years as a Word of Life staff member, and each time I say them, my heart is drawn back to that life- changing night.” In all fairness, speaking of telling campfire stories, some people believe that ‘over-zealous’ preachers ‘force’ emotional decisions at campfire services. A ‘forced’ decision may indeed be made by a young person who ‘responded’ to the invitation rather than feeling left out
Campfire Stories 05
How Long has it Been? Have you had a soul-searching conversation with God lately? Have you probed your heart recently with hard questions? Are you following hard after God or have you allowed yourself to follow Him from a distance? The disciple, Peter, is described on the night of Jesus’ arrest as ‘following from afar.’ The next thing we hear about Peter is he has gotten cold and is warming himself by a fire built by the enemies of Jesus. What about you? Where are you? If you couldn’t join us at Word of Life for a campfire this summer, go outside, invite your family and friends, and build a fire beneath the night sky. Enjoy the beauty of creation, lift your voices in praise, read the Word of God and begin to ask yourself and those with you some of those hard questions. Who knows, you may discover the song the pines are humming that night is I have decided to follow Jesus . Do you have a campfire story? Share your story on the Word of Life Facebook Alumni page or write and tell us how God used a campfire service in your life. It only takes a spark to get a fire going , and soon all those around will warm up in its glowing, that’s how it is with God’s love, once you’ve experienced it, you’ll spread His love to everyone, you want to pass it on. ” – Kurt Kaiser “
by remaining in their seat. However, I find it interesting, even in those cases, the memory of walking forward and throwing a stick in the fire is still etched in their mind many years later. It may be less about being ‘forced’ by the preacher to make a decision but more the ‘force’ of hearing the Spirit of God and then resisting His invitation. A lot of things have changed over Word of Life’s years of camping...the songs, the activities, the speakers, the buildings, the staff. But, one thing has remained the same - the Gospel. Each week the campfires are lit; campers gather around, the Gospel message is preached, and the Spirit of God brings life to the hearts of those who are ready.
FIRST YEAR AT THE BI IN ‘99 AND HARRY BOLLBACK WAS SPEAKING AT A CAMPFIRE SERVICE UP FROM COUNCIL HALL. I COMMITTED MY LIFE TO FULL-TIME YOUTH MINISTRY WITH A STICK IN THE FIRE. GOD TURNED MY LIFE AROUND AT WORD OF LIFE. I’VE BEEN IN YOUTH MINISTRY FOR 15 YEARS AND WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING! ” – Sean Sallis
I DEDICATED MY LIFE TO THE LORD ON WORD OF LIFE ISLAND IN JUNE 2007 AND THEN REDEDICATED MY LIFE TO THE LORD ON THE ISLAND IN JUNE 2015. THE LORD HAS DONE AMAZING THINGS IN MY LIFE SINCE THEN. ” – Kristy Miller I DEDICATED MY LIFE TO THE LORD AT THE RANCH IN 2000, AS A 12 YEAR OLD. THE CAMPFIRE WAS RAINED OUT, SO WE WERE IN COUNCIL HALL. WE GATHERED AROUND A STAGE PROP FIRE...GLOWING ORANGE LIGHTBULB WITH A FAN BLOWING FLAME-COLORED STREAMERS. ” – Mary Miller
06 The experience summer 2017 edition
she wanted to know Him. She threw herself prostrate before God and begged Him to be real to her. Immediately after this life-altering encounter with God, Rachel began to see the fashion industry through the cleansed eyes of a newborn child of God, and it was corrupt with sin. She wanted nothing to do with it. Rachel said, “He saved me while I was in the industry, and then He saved me from the industry.” Rachel’s newfound thirst to know God sent her on a quest to study the Bible and that’s when she decided to attend the Word of Life Bible Institute. Rachel described herself as ‘standing out’ among all the other students who had lived more conservative lives, but she soon made great friends and found acceptance by the faculty and their wives. She thanked Mike and Betsi Calhoun for ‘adopting’ her as if she were their own daughter. While a student at the Bible Institute Rachel grew in her love for God and developed the daily discipline of a Quiet Time. She understood that a Christian is their strongest when they are both discipling and being discipled. She still uses the Word of Life Quiet Time Diary every day, and she has been intentional to have a spiritual mentor in her life and to mentor others. Rachel also credits her time at the Bible Institute for teaching her to avoid apathy and to be a ‘Berean...’ one who searches the scriptures. It was while Rachel was attending second year at the Bible Institute she felt the call to return to the fashion industry. At first, she thought it was the devil tempting her to go back to the way she was before her conversion, so she resisted those feelings until she heard Professor Marshall Wicks say, “God calls a light into every industry.” About that same time, she also vividly remembers Dr. Joe Jordan saying, “Every Christian is called to be a missionary; the only difference is whether or not it is IN your vocation or AS your vocation.” Both of these truths clarified her calling, and she began to see that God had saved her and had prepared her to be His light in the world of high fashion modeling. Rachel has been an international model for over 25 years... modeling for companies such as Cover Girl, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Jones New York, Perry Ellis, Nicole Miller, DKNY and many others. Her modeling career has allowed her to travel to over 30 countries. Rachel is also Co-Founder and President of “Modeling Christ.” This is a faith-based ministry that addresses the needs and issues of those in the fashion industry. Rachel radiates the true beauty of Christ, and she continues to be a bright light in the world of high fashion models. Her desire is that God receives glory for anything good that people see in her. Her hope is that we would all want to leave a legacy of being found at the foot of the cross. If the phrase “Beauty is as Beauty does” is true, Rachel Lee Carter is certainly as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.
lee rachel carter
achel Lee (Adcock) Carter ( ‘96 ) traveled to Word of Life from her home in North Carolina in January to share her testimony of God’s grace she talked about with the young ladies at Snowcamp the ten most important lessons she had learned from the fashion industry. Rachel told of the moment when she came face- to-face with her need of a Savior and how being a Christian has influenced her decision throughout her 20-year career as a high fashion model. Rachel also shared with the girls five practical suggestions for dressing modestly. She ended her time with a personal and engaging question and answer time. Many of the principles Rachel shared can be found in her book, Fashioned by Faith , (Thomas Nelson 2011). Rachel speaks at many youth and women’s conferences around the nation sharing godly principles about modesty, purity, and evangelism. In April, Rachel and her husband were invited to Word of Life again. This time Rachel was presented with the prestigious “Alumnus of the Year” award. Don Lough, Jr., Executive Director of Word of Life, presented Rachel with a plaque, and his wife, Darla, presented her with a bouquet of roses. Mark Strout, Executive Dean at the Bible Institute, also spoke a word of recognition and honor and prayed for Rachel, her husband, and her children. Rachel graciously accepted the award and with great humility shared her testimony and the significant contribution the Bible Institute played in her life. Rachel grew up in a Christian home but did not have a personal relationship with Christ until after she had moved to New York City at the age of 18 and began a career as a professional model. She knew about God, but the true desire of her heart was to have a successful career as a fashion model, and she pushed God right out of her life. It wasn’t long before two Christian models began to have a burden for Rachel, and they began to tell her about Jesus. Their lives were different than most of the people Rachel hung around with, and they demonstrated a genuine love of God towards her. Soon the impact of their words began to have an effect on Rachel, and she started to question what she believed about life. If God was real, she decided
alumnus of the year 07
Salt Talker BY RAY PRITCHARD
e all know that Christians are called to be the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). But where should we begin? I’ve been thinking recently about some do’s and don’ts for Christians who want to make their voices heard in the public square. Here’s my preliminary list of ideas: Start with a local focus It’s always more effective for a resident of Asheville to speak out on Asheville issues than for someone from Savannah to offer an opinion. But if you live in Asheville and pay taxes in Asheville, you have every right to speak out on those local issues that concern you. pick your spots You don’t have to join every controversy that comes down the pike. In fact, you will probably be labeled as a reactionary crank if you complain every time you open your mouth. You will find yourself far more effective if you limit the number of causes you get involved in. if you’re too angry, don’t do anything Many Christians have actually hurt their own cause by speaking without thinking. If you feel extremely upset about something that happened at your child’s school, talk to a friend and then count to ten before you call the principal. Nothing is gained by losing your temper. Be careful what you post on social media. Think before you hit the “Send” button. You can delete that Tweet but someone else has a copy. James 1:19 applies more than ever in the internet age. Be graciously persistent Very few things will change the first time you speak out. Often people will ignore your comments because they hope it will make you go away. Remember the widow and the unjust judge in Luke 18. She was rewarded because she kept coming back. Justice will often not be done until we have stated our case five or six times. Don’t demonize your enemies Don’t treat people unkindly simply because they disagree with you on a moral issue. Yelling, screaming, intimidating, and attributing bad motives to others generally won’t convince them of the error of their ways. A soft answer turns away wrath (Pr. 15:1).
CHRISTIANS ARE CALLED TO BE THE ‘SALT OF THE EARTH’ . ” – Ray Pritchard “
Be bold in god As an American citizen, you have a right to speak out; as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven, you have an obligation to openly represent God’s truth in this society. Think of yourself as a duly appointed ambassador from above. You are sent to your neighborhood, your street, your school, and your place of work to represent Jesus Christ in everything you say and do. When you speak up for the unborn, you speak on behalf of the Creator of the universe. So be bold! You have the credentials of heaven behind you. Don’t foget the main thing People need Jesus more than anything else. The battles we win in the political arena may not matter very much 10,000 years from now. But the one thing that will matter forever is the eternal destiny of the people we meet every day. Don’t forget that above everything else, people need the Lord. He’s the solution to the real problems of the world. If you want to make a better world, tell someone about Jesus. pray, pray, pray Nothing of eternal consequence happens without prayer. Pray for those with whom you strongly disagree. Pray to be controlled by the Holy Spirit in all things. We must pray before we speak out, while we speak out, and after we speak out. When God gets involved, miracles happen as the salt becomes salty and the world becomes a better place.
salt talker 09
The Ark Encounter
VISTI OUR FACEBOOK ALUMNI PAGE TO SEE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT!
MAY 6, 2017 Alumni Gathering Mike Bush D i r e c t o r o f A l umn i R e l at i o n s
shirley Richards Acad em i c O f f i c e & A l umn i C o u n c i l S e c r e tary At our Alumni Event at the Creation Museum in April 2014 I heard about the full-size Ark which would be built, so I had to revise my “Bucket List” to include a visit to the Ark Encounter! I was thrilled that the WOLBI Alumni would meet for this Creation Museum/Ark Encounter weekend in May 2017, so I designated my Tax Refund to be spent on this “Bucket List” trip! I was blessed to help with our Alumni Registration on Saturday morning and the ability to greet most of our Alumni and families before visiting the Ark. The Ark Encounter was overwhelmingly more majestic than its pictures conveyed, and every display inside was done with excellence! That evening, we gathered with Alumni from almost every WOLBI Class at our Alumni dinner and program at the Creation Museum. I had a nice reunion with five of my 1980 classmates!!! Since I’ve been on the WOLBI Staff since 1980, I’ve experienced many of our campus changes over the years. It was refreshing to hear comments from Alumni who had not visited WOLBI for many years when reports from Don Lough, Jr., Mark Strout and Mike Bush were given during the program that night. The next day, I had many more conversations with our Alumni at the Creation Museum. What a glorious weekend!
We had a great time with 170 Word of Life Bible Institute Alumni, family and friends at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky and Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The Ark is breathtaking in its magnitude, architecture, displays, attention to detail, and, most of all, the timeless story of God’s redemption and promise. At the Creation Museum the history of the Bible vividly comes to life as you walk through biblical history. We encountered exhibits, animatronics, Flood dioramas, stunning video displays and much more. Along with our time at the Ark and Creation Museum, the fellowship, stories and testimonies of our alumni was wonderful. God is still alive and doing a great work in our lives! Word of Life Executive Director, Don Lough, Jr., gave an update and broad overview of the worldwide ministries of Word of Life and challenged us to keep pressing on. We’re planning an Alumni Event at The Bible Museum, Washington, DC, in April 2018. We’ll share additional information as it is available.
10 The experience summer 2017 edition
COMI NG TH I S FALL
1 OLYMPIANS A brand new program! You gave us feedback, and we heard you. The new Olympian program is simple and easy to use, and each lesson has been written with application in mind. It is suitable for a broader audience of kids, no matter their church background. + Bible lessons focused on application and life change
+ Improved connection with parents + New customizable awards system + Refreshed and updated Quiet Times
ug-of-war is fun for kids but not for siblings after the passing of a parent. You may have wondered how you might make decisions now that would make decisions easier for them then. Is dividing the inheritance equally among the kids the best way? Have you considered the unique opportunity to bless each child or grandchild according to their needs and abilities and to continue the work of God through a legacy gift? Through the thoughtful, orderly process of estate financial planning, Word of Life’s trusted ministry partner, PhilanthroCorp, will walk with you in making the decisions that make a difference for your family. They will help you answer questions such as: + What hopes and dreams do you have for your children? + What legacy story do you desire for your family? + What decisions you make today about your will and estate documents could make a difference in the lives of your children, grandchildren and generations to come? Word of Life is committed to helping you design a lasting legacy, one simple step at a time, and at no cost to you. An introductory phone call with a PhilanthroCorp representative will answer your questions and give you a step-by-step process to make decisions today that will relieve others from making them for you tomorrow. GET STARTED BY CALLING PHILANTHROCORP AT 800.876.7958
VISIT WOL.IS/OLYMPIANS FOR MORE INFORMATION
REVERB Coming to a city near you! The Best All-Night Evangelistic Event on the Planet! Many locations, one goal... to share the Gospel with unsaved teenagers. Join us this fall for an unforgettable evening. + Pro Sports + Gospel Message
+ Great Prizes + Tons of Food + All-Night Activities + And Much More!
VISIT WOL.IS/REVERB FOR MORE INFORMATION
THE ARK ENCOUNTER 11
Just six cows. He didn’t ask for much. Thankfully god immediately brought sponsors to meet his request!
t’s been twelve years since God led my wife, Christy and me to serve as missionaries in South Africa. He placed a love for the people and the country in our hearts, and we dreamed of what God could do in South Africa. We prayed that God would eventually open doors for us to bring the Gospel throughout all of southern Africa. Through the years we have established a Discipleship Center here in South Africa which allows us to train South African nationals as well as Christians from neighboring countries. The students are trained in doctrine, ministry, and discipleship and are encouraged to get involved in their local churches and communities. In recent years we have begun to make trips into the country of Zimbabwe, and we have asked God for wisdom in establishing a full-time work in that beautiful land. Ministry can be challenging in that country for many political and racial reasons. We knew that if we were going to expand our work into that country, we would need Zimbabwe nationals in leadership. We prayed that God would connect us with the right person who might be able to partner with us and who would even come and train in South Africa. Over the past three years, God brought a gentleman from Zimbabwe to help us on occasion with welding projects and other building projects in South Africa. As we spent more and more time with him, it became clear to us that Samson was the answer to our prayer for leadership in Zimbabwe. He’s a humbleman, withgreat integrity, andan incredible work ethic. He is committed to missions and passionate about helping others physically and spiritually. This year he has been studying at our Discipleship Training Center for three months at a time. In August we will partner with him for a youth camp and some conferences. It was after youth camp in Zimbabwe last year that Samson and his wife agreed that God was leading them to full-time missions work. I asked a lot of questions about what he would need to support his family. Samson
has a small farm in which he raises corn, goats, and chickens to feed his family. After much thought about what it would take to provide for his family, he concluded that he could work as a full-time missionary and care for his family’s needs (apart from ministry-specific expenses) if his herd of cows was increased by six. Just six cows! He didn’t ask for much. Thankfully, God immediately brought sponsors to meet his modest request. God is slowly building a team for Zimbabwe. What began as a burden and desire in our hearts has now grown to include Samson (a trade welder and humble, tender-hearted farmer) who only asked for six cows. It is exciting to imagine all the people whose lives will be changed because of the work that God is about to do in the land of Zimbabwe.
BY JOHN MARK (‘88 & ‘89) & CHRISTY PAGE (‘90) WO R D O F L I FE M I S S I O NAR I E S I N S O U T H A F R I CA
We Need Six cows! 13
1970’S Diana Joss (‘75) has been a missionary with CEF for 48 years. She has served extensively, since 1976, in Iran, throughout the Middle East, North Africa and SW Asia. Darlene (Schellenberg) Neufeld (‘79) is married to Ed and they have three adult children. She and Ed are both educators in Christian schools and serve in their church. They live in British Columbia, Canada. 1980’S John Foster (‘88) lives in Fort Worth, TX and works part- time for Christian Mission for the Deaf. He is also involved in the deaf ministry at his church. 1990’S Tim (‘90) & Kelley (Hillard) Kirschner (‘90) have five children, TJ 23 (’12), Kortney 20 (’16), Kassey 19, Kara 15, and Titus 13. Tim is a Missionary Pastor with Village Missions and is currently pastoring a church in Montville, CT. Steve (‘93) & Tracy Cole (‘93) live in Hickory, NC with their children, Caleb 21, Elizabeth 20, Ben 18 and Katherine 13. Steve is an IT Manager, and Tracy is a ministry assistant. They attend Mountain View Baptist Church. Bethany Noyes (‘93) is living in Vermont and singing and recording Gospel music. Matthias “Marty” Schubert (‘94) is married to Jennifer. He is a US Army Chaplain at the Joint Readiness Training Center where he coaches, teaches and encourages chaplains and chaplain assistants. Caroline (Johnson) Samson (‘99) is a Pastor’s wife, mom, and works part time in a public school cafeteria. She is also an Olympian leader and children’s Sunday School teacher at Rapids Bible Church, Lockport, NY, where her husband, Daniel, is the Pastor. 2000’S Nicole (Way) Newton (‘00) is married to Trevor, and they have three children. She is a Radiologic Technologist and lives in Michigan. Laura Rockwell (‘01) lives in Charlotte, NC, works at Aon Hewitt Financial and attends Newell Baptist Church.
Danielle Perricelli (‘01 & ‘02) lives in Jacksonville, FL and works as a Special Education teacher and volunteer youth leader. Nikki Perricellie McGovern (‘02) and husband, Jimmy, live in Jacksonville, FL. Marissa (Blauert) Sweitzer (‘05) is married to Mark and is working as an Accounts Payable Clerk. She is a JRNY KIDS Leader at Journey Church in Phoenixville, PA. They are adventuring their way to visiting all 50 states! Joshua (‘05 & ‘06) & Josephine Rosarie Lewis Wade (‘06 & ‘07) and their children Gracie (4) and Everly (1) live in Citrus Spring, FL. Rosarie is a third-grade teacher. They attend First Baptist Church Inglis. Amy (Hall) McConnell (‘06 & ‘07) ) is married to Elliot, and they have two children, Asher 2 and Victoria 6 months. They are currently living in Naples, Italy as her husband’s job is a civilian with the US Navy. Tiffany Brumley (‘06 & ‘07) lives in Broadalbin, NY and works at Perth Bible Christian Academy. Elainie Gonzalez (‘07) and her 3-year old son, Nicolas, live in Hawthorne, NJ. Elainie works at the Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center. 2010’S Elizabeth (Sewall) Strebel (‘10 & ‘11) is the Operations Manager at Sunwest Beach in Hudson, FL. She is married to Nick Strebel (’13) who coaches Cross Fit and also works at Sunwest Beach. Jarren (‘12) & Kiersten (Williamson) Rountree (‘13 & ‘14) live in Callahan, FL. Jarren is a Service Technician at Saxon Business Systems, and Kiersten is a nanny. They are both working in youth ministry at Lighthouse Baptist Church. Elizabeth West (‘13 & ‘14) resides in Newnan, GA where she works as a nanny and in HR at Beck Facility Services. She also serves as the Women’s Ministry Director at Mills Chapel Baptist Church. Tyler Ray (‘14 & ‘15) is finishing his Bachelor’s at Northeastern Baptist College with a Spring 2018 target. He is also serving as the Youth Pastor at Faith Foundation Church, a church plant in Poultney, VT.
14 The experience summer 2017 edition
John (‘14) & Carolyn (Sewall) Ogilvie (‘15) live in Mary Esther, FL where John is stationed with the U.S. Air Force. Emily Robinson (‘15) will be graduating from Lancaster Bible College this year and will be starting her own business. Asher Rabquer (‘15 & ‘16) is continuing his education at Northeastern Baptist College and is currently doing a church counseling internship and is studying church planting and entrepreneurial leadership. Emily Parrish (‘16) lives in Resaca, GA where she works at a restaurant. Emily is a Middle School Sunday School teacher, teen youth leader and continues her schooling through Liberty University online.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK! LOOK FOR WORD OF LIFE BIBLE INSTITUTE ALUMNI AND WORD OF LIFE FELLOWSHIP UPDATE YOUR ALUMNI PROFILE ONLINE AT WORDOFLIFE.EDU/ALUMNI WHAT IS GOD DOING IN YOUR LIFE? HOW HAS HE LED, HELPED, OR COMFORTED YOU? IF YOU HAVE A TESTIMONY TO GIVE, A STORY TIP TO PASS ON, A ‘REMEMBER WHEN,’ OR MINISTRY UPDATE, WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR ABOUT IT! WE CAN ACCEPT HIGH-QUALITY PHOTOS, 300DPI OR HIGHER. E-MAIL US AT ALUMNI@WOL.ORG
remembering dr. figart F
91 years of age July 1925 – January 2017
ormer faithful Word of Life Bible Institute guest lecturer, Dr. Thomas Orlando Figart, graduated to glory on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at 91 years of age. He was born July 28, 1925, in Altoona, PA, the last of 11 children. His wife, Edna, was a great asset to his ministry in a marriage that spanned 62 years. She preceded him in death by ten years. Together they raised four children and had nine grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. Dr. Figart was short in stature but “big” in impact as he taught, preached and sang in a clear tenor voice. He graduated from Cairn University (then Philadelphia School of the Bible), Dallas Theological Seminary and earned his Doctorate at Grace Theological Seminary under Dr. John Whitcomb. His doctoral thesis was later edited into a book, A Biblical Perspective on the Race Problem (Baker Books). He pastored the Second Congregational Church in Baltimore, MD, for seven years while also teaching at a lay Institute, Baltimore School of the Bible. In 1961 Dr. Figart moved to Lancaster Bible College where he was Academic Dean and Professor of Theology for 30 years. Over a span of 20 years (Classes of 1972, 1974-1983, 1989- 1992) Dr. Figart taught at Word of Life Bible Institute as an adjunct professor covering topics such as the Minor Prophets and John in the freshman year and Contemporary Issues and the Charismatic Movement in the sophomore year. Dr. Figart authored several books including a Commentary
on Matthew, a devotional book, a history of Lancaster Bible College and a moving account of the life of Dr. Ralph H. Stoll, his pastor in Altoona, PA, who influenced him to enter the ministry. Dr. Figart was my reason for attending Lancaster Bible College after being impressed with his teaching at WOLBI in 1972. He influenced my wife-to-be and later my daughter and her husband who also attended Lancaster Bible College. Dr. Figart encouraged me to study under his mentor, Dr. John Whitcomb, at Grace Theological Seminary. Once I joined the WOLBI staff in 1978, we had many enjoyable visits with Dr. Figart as he came to teach. In my notes from one of his classes at Lancaster Bible College I lifted this quote and have used it for many years in my Theology course, “Thus it will be that sin will have run its course. Eternity future will be more glorious than eternity past, for the infinite accomplishment of salvation, bringing many sons into glory, and the final, complete victory over sin as it has been brought out into the open and destroyed once for all; these two great works will be in the past, and God will be all in all!!”
BY DR. TOM DAVIS (‘72) N EW YO RK CAMP U S P R O F E S S O R
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