In the late nineteen nineties Danon Winter was self admittedly, "head-over-heels-in-love with Jesus," and busy about his heavenly Father's business. Danon was an area representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in northeast Florida. Through FCA, the largest Christian sports organization in America, he shared the Gospel with coaches and athletes on the middle school, high school and college levels in the Jacksonville area. He was also running his own multifaceted ministry called 3 Fins Out (3FO), ministering to the surfing and beach culture in the same region.
It was during this time that he first heard Andrew's program on the radio. He enjoyed the messages and ordered several of Andrew's teaching tapes. As he listened to the tapes, Danon was blown away by Andrew's depth of revelation and the simplicity of his delivery of the Word. As he continued to listen, the desire to deepen his relationship with God and solidify his foundation in the Word grew within him. He began to have a knowing in his spirit that the Lord had some changes in store for him.
During a phone conversation with a friend, Danon shared that he sensed God was shifting him in a new direction, but that he wasn't sure what was next. He told his friend that he had been listening to an awesome Bible teacher, and that if he (Andrew) was affiliated with a Bible school, he would be interested in checking it out. As soon as Danon finished his conversation, he began to listen to another of Andrew's teachings. At the beginning of the tape Andrew said, "Before I get into the teaching tonight, I'm going to have one of our Bible College students give a testimony." When Danon heard him say that, he sat straight up in bed, and the Holy Spirit said to him, "You are going to this school!" A short time later, Danon began his Charis Bible College (CBC) journey.
Danon saw the scenario play out in his mind; he would put his growing ministry on hold, head out to Colorado for the deepening and equipping he knew he needed, and head back to Florida a better prepared minister of the Word. However, God had a different plan.
At the end of Danon's second year at CBC, the Lord spoke to him and said, "I want you to do one of these schools in Jacksonville." Having been so transformed by the Word during his time at CBC, this excited Danon; he wanted to see others transformed as well.
Aware that there weren't any official extension schools in the States at the time, Danon approached Andrew and said, "I want to do one of these schools in Jacksonville—the whole two-year deal, with the mission trip and everything." Andrew said he was open to discussing the idea.
In 2002 after graduation, Danon went back to Florida eager to share the Word. Right away, he began holding classes in his parent's home. The first term began with six students, but after the term ended, three of the students dropped out; two entered minstry and Danon's wife, Amanda had their first child. Knowing in his heart that the school was God's idea, Danon sought the Lord for His plan. He laid aside his own vision for the school and waited on God's timing. While he waited, Danon worked in the Real Estate field and continued to minister to the people of Florida.
Danon's time came several years later, when leadership at CBC-Colorado contacted Danon and shared their desire to be involved in extension school planting and support. AWM and CBC had grown to a point where the extension campus idea had become a more viable option. Linus LeFever, Director of CBC Colorado at the time, encouraged Danon to come back to Colorado to be part of a new CBC apprenticeship program that would prepare him to successfully launch CBC-Jacksonville. After Danon and his wife Amanda prayerfully considered the idea, and determined that this was God's plan, they moved their family back to Colorado Springs. Danon completed his apprenticeship in 2006, returned to Florida and re-launched the school in Jacksonville in September of the same year.
The extra preparation, coupled with the growth of Andrew's ministry, enabled Danon to get the school off the ground. Currently CBC-Jacksonville has thirty-five students and enrollment continues to increase. As the school grows Danon's vision and passion for reaching Florida with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is growing as well. Taking the time to cultivate his relationship with the Lord, and establish a firm foundation in the Word, has made all the difference in the world.
Are you in the Jacksonville area? Visit the CBC-Jacksonville website to learn more about the Charis Bible College near you.