Just three years ago, Byron and Leesa Hamilton were living in Springfield, Missouri, when Byron began to feel a stirring in his heart to serve Andrew Wommack, in whatever capacity Andrew and his ministry needed. The desire to take a leap of faith resonated with Leesa, so the two made the decision to move to Colorado Springs and attend Charis Bible College. Neither of the Hamiltons knew what God was calling them to, or that they would eventually be the answer to prayers being prayed on the other side of the world.
Both Byron and Leesa were raised in Christian homes. Byron was born in Queensland, Australia, and after completing a Bachelors degree in Education, he served with Operation Mobilization, an Evangelical Christian missionary training organization. He traveled and served with the organization in Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East. After returning to Australia, Byron took a position as the principal of Bayside Christian Academy in Wynnum-Manly, Queensland. Two years later, he moved to the United States to continue his education. He graduated in 1989 with a Master's degree in Theology at the Assemblies of God Seminary in Springfield, Missouri.
Leesa grew up in Arlington, Texas, where she attended a Baptist church. She accepted Jesus as her Savior when she was nineteen, and she was radically transformed. After attending Arlington Baptist College and Dallas Theological Seminary, she acted in and helped produce two short films as a member of the Master-Vision Christian Artists, and then she studied acting at Casa Manana Playhouse in Ft. Worth.
After Byron and Leesa met and married, they spent two decades in Missouri, established several businesses in Springfield, raised their children, and served in various capacities within their local church body. In 2010, however, the couple stepped out of their comfort zone to pursue the stirring in Byron's heart—unaware that Colorado was just the starting point for a new faith adventure, and how their move would affect their whole family. Because of the exciting changes that took place in Byron and Leesa's lives through their studies at Charis, three of their adult children, Jeremie, Joshua, and Kelsey, moved to Colorado Springs in 2011 to join them at CBC.
Three weeks before Byron and Leesa graduated from CBC-Colorado, in May of 2012, Leesa began to feel a desire in her heart about a particular place. As she pondered what the stirring meant, she was reminded of something God had asked her back in 2006 and again in 2008. “If I called you to Australia would you go?” Both times Leesa’s response was, “If you equip me and enable me Lord—I will go.”
It was that summer, following graduation from CBC, that God led the Hamiltons to visit Australia. When partners of Andrew Wommack Ministries found out that the Hamiltons were planning a visit to Australia, the couple received multiple invitations to speak and minister in places such as Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle and the Gold Coast.
While in Australia, Byron and Leesa kept their eyes open for a good location for someone to plant a Bible college. When they made their way to Australia's Gold Coast, the Hamiltons became keenly aware of God’s presence and peace. It was in the Gold Coast that they met a man named Rod Smith. Rod, an administrator at a local church, invited the Hamiltons to his home, and there was an instant unity in spirit between Byron and Leesa and Rod and his wife, Lisa. The Hamiltons soon found out that Rod had been praying specifically for a Charis Bible College to be planted in the Gold Coast/Brisbane area.
Once they had returned to Colorado Springs, the Hamiltons came to the conclusion that they were the someones God was calling to Australia, and they were the answer to Rod’s prayer. Pieces of the Hamilton's faith puzzle, beginning with the stirring in their hearts to attend CBC, to the question God asked Leesa about Australia, finally fit together for the couple. The Hamiltons set up a Skype date with Rod to let him know of their plans to open a CBC campus in Australia. Rod was amazed. A week before Byron and Leesa called him, God told Rod his prayers for a CBC extension school in Australia had been answered. “When you question why God is leading you in ways you don’t understand—remember this story and know—understanding will come one day. You are the answer to someone’s prayers!” Leesa said.
Leesa completed a third year of ministry training in preparation to direct CBC-Gold Coast, which is set to open in February of 2014. Byron will be taking on the task of launching Andrew Wommack Ministries Australia. The Australia team, Byron and Leesa, along with CBC grads, David Carter and Jessica Sharp, left America for the Gold Coast at the beginning of August and they are filled with anticipation for what God has in store for Australia. The team looks forward to hosting the Gold Coast Gospel Truth Seminar with Andrew Wommack on October 31– November 2, 2013.
To learn more about the Hamilton's upcoming events, to follow their progress, and to sign up for their newsletter, visit their ministry page, Grace and Faith Ministries and follow them on Facebook.