Do you remember the first time you heard Andrew's unmistakable voice? Whether it was on television or radio or at a live event, for most, a definite memory marker is made when encountering Andrew's teaching for the first time. Tom and Cindy Boyd, Directors of Charis Bible College-Atlanta recall their introduction clearly.
In 1996 in the midst of life as a husband, a father and a business man very involved in his North Carolina community, Tom found he was hungry for more of the Word of God, and he began listening to Christian radio. "One day, riding down the road, I heard this guy on the radio talking with a peculiar accent, and he was teaching verse-by-verse through Romans," Tom remembers. Floored by what he heard, and with tears in his eyes, Tom pulled over to the side of the road. Faith had risen in his heart as he heard Andrew's message. Though Tom was already a believer, it was one of the first times he can recall hearing the Gospel so clearly.
Tom's interest in Andrew's teaching of the word soared, and he was excited to share his revelation with his wife Cindy and others. While Cindy was supportive of her husband's desire to pursue more of what he was learning, she was also focused on raising their children. Nevertheless, as the two continued to glean from Andrew together, they felt lead to attend the February 2002 Charis Bible College (CBC) Expand Your Vision Weekend in Colorado Springs. As the Boyd's prepared to travel to Colorado, they agreed beforehand that they would journal separately whatever the Lord shared with them throughout the weekend and then compare notes back at home. After arriving in Colorado Springs and prior to journaling a single word from the Lord, they looked at each other and said, "We are home." Tom and Cindy never wrote a word in their personal journals that weekend regarding whether or not to attend CBC. The Lord had spoken to their hearts at precisely the same moment and it was a given that they would be relocating to Colorado. They returned to North Carolina, put their house on the market, accepted the first offer, closed the deal in April and moved to Colorado that summer.
Prior to that weekend neither of the Boyds had really considered leaving their hometown, but God had stirred new desires. Cindy recalls having some concerns about raising their children and being miserable in an unfamiliar place without the security of extended family and friends, but God gave her a supernatural peace about being in Colorado. The Lord was faithful to meet their every need and Cindy said it was worth the journey.
Tom graduated from CBC in 2004 and finished his apprenticeship in 2005; Cindy graduated the same year. During Cindy's second year mission trip, she had begun to feel like the Lord was leading them to Atlanta. When she returned from her trip, Cindy shared her thoughts with Tom. Although he was not initially receptive to the idea, Tom knew in his heart that she was on target. After further conversation with Cindy and close friends, they began looking at an Atlas for a place to live in Georgia. While Tom was considering the thought of heading back east, Linus LeFever, then the Director of CBC, called Tom into his office and said that the ministry wanted to start four new schools including one in Atlanta. Tom knew that he and Cindy had received a word from the Lord, and they began planning for the launch of CBC Atlanta.
Over his initial reluctance and excited to be involved in the opportunity in Atlanta, the family relocated. It was Tom's revelation and understanding of God's unconditional love that allowed him to move to Georgia with a sense of peace. Prior to attending CBC, Tom was easily swayed by circumstance and emotion, but after three years immersed in the word in Colorado, he was able to see the path the Lord had laid before him and his family. God moved in their hearts and the Boyds now happily call Atlanta home.
Tom loves directing CBC-Atlanta. He considers the work a true joy knowing that the students are being fed the life-giving word that has the capacity to change their lives forever. "My heart is excited to see how many lives we get to change and influence with the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is what charges my battery, to see lives changed, as people see for themselves that God really is good, and only good, to them individually."
Seventy-one students currently attend CBC-Atlanta, which is more than double the enrollment of the previous year. Also worthy of note is that as the Boyds wrap up their fifth year in Georgia, the school is already the same size as the Colorado school was the year they attended the Expand Your Vision Weekend.
Andrew's ministry is growing exponentially around the country and around the world. CBC extension schools like the one directed by the Boyds play a vital role in that expansion. As faithful CBC graduates continue to step out and share the Gospel truths they have learned with faithful men and women who will do the same, the heart of the ministry is perpetuated.
To learn more about the Boyd's and their work in Atlanta visit the Charis Bible College-Atlanta website.