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Charis Bible College's School of Media

AWM Media Operations Manager and Director of CBC-Colorado's School of Media, Stephen Bransford. He has been with AWM since 2000, and has been in media for 40 years. Stephen has worked with Jim Baker, Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, Reinhard Bonnke, and many others. (Click to enlarge)Regular visitors to this site know that we frequently feature the news stories and testimonies of the evangelists, missionaries and pastors that Charis Bible College equips for the work of the ministry. Today's post however, is about the people serving behind the scenes, those who come along side the people on the platform to help deliver the message the Lord has entrusted to the messenger—the media ministers.

In today's tech-driven world, ministries are able to reach more people and advance the Kingdom faster through the effective use of media. Media simply refers to the means by which a message is shared. The ever-expanding list of tools used to spread a minister's message includes email, websites, blogging, social Assistant Directors of the School of Media, Jeff and Autumn Nakkula. According to Jeff, the goal at the school is to equip the students to help other ministries to produce better communications. "I love it when gifted ministers can focus on ministering, and someone can come along side them and help communicate their vision to supporters and partners," he said. (Click to enlarge)media and online video channels, as well as the traditional outlets of print, publishing, TV and radio broadcasting. Not everyone is called to be on the platform, some are called to support and spread the messages through these means. In an effort to equip those called to media as a ministry, a ministry of helps, staff members at AWM and CBC have developed a third-year program aptly called, the School of Media.

The program, directed by AWM's Media Operations Manager, Stephen Bransford, and facilitated by Assistant Directors, Jeff and Autumn Nakkula, has its roots in Stephen's willingness to yield to the Lord's leading to serve as Andrew's television producer 12 years ago. At the time, Stephen was producing a film for Billy Graham; a promotional piece called, Amsterdam 2000. Although he was being productive, it was a tumultuous time in Stephen's life and career. As he sought the Lord's direction in prayer, Stephen submissively Original opening graphics from the early days of Andrew's Gospel Truth program. (Click to enlarge)asked for guidance, and promptly found God's reply buried in his email inbox.

"I had a conversation with God in which I resigned every project I had in motion. I just laid it all down and asked, 'Where would you like me to serve you, Lord?' Andrew’s search for a TV producer had already been sent to me via email, and I had ignored it. I hadn’t taken it seriously. One day, as I was working on the Billy Graham film, I saw the email at the bottom of my inbox. I stopped and asked God, “Am I missing something? Are you trying to give me an answer here?” recalled Stephen.

Critique time! During this class, the students newsletter projects are evaluated for the effectiveness of the design and communication of content.
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Stephen immediately made arrangements to meet with Andrew. The next day, as Stephen entered the ministry's building, then located on Robinson Street in Colorado Springs, he knew he was where God wanted him. Stephen said, "I felt the peace that passes understanding. I saw the classroom with a 15 foot ceiling, where I would one day hang a lighting grid and build the first studio. I saw the office where I would edit the programs—all in the first twenty seconds after entering the building. I hadn’t even met Andrew yet. Everything I saw came true in a matter of months. God did answer my prayer in that email."

Stephen said, "Each student will emerge from Media School with hands-on experience in the basics of website creation, branding, fundraising writing for print and electronic publication, newsletter writing, video production, and some use of social media. They will be trained in the use of a Macbook Pro and Adobe software to accomplish these goals."
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The meeting, in Stephen's words, "Turned out to be a divine appointment." The two spent about an hour together, and Stephen left with a sampling of Andrew's books and teachings. After reviewing the materials, Stephen not only had a good feel for Andrew's ministry, but he had begun a new chapter with the Lord. "Andrew’s teaching on Whose Righteousness really helped me. I was very much a performance driven Christian, and Andrew helped me begin to enjoy my inheritance in Jesus Christ," said Stephen.

"Media communicates a message, and the message we want to send is the Gospel and the good reports from the people who preach the Gospel. We are helping the Gospel be preached through video, print and the Internet, and we are helping the ministers who preach it by fundraising for them," said Autumn.(Click to enlarge)Through the creation of the Gospel Truth TV program and his vision for creating series like Healing Journeys, Stephen's expertise in media communications helped to propel Andrew's ministry around the world. Today the Gospel Truth is available to more than two-billion viewers per day.

Over the years, Stephen's role has broadened to include oversight of all of Andrew's media, and he was also given the opportunity to teach a class at the Bible college. Stephen's days as an instructor began when a student asked him for assistance with a fundraising DVD he had made to raise support for a mission trip. Stephen was able to help him, and A logo design created by current Media School student, Sandra Duarte.
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in the process, realized he had a wealth of experience to share with any student who needed similar help. A short time later, Andrew asked if Stephen would teach an elective on the power of media, and that was the beginning of Stephen's course Ministry, Media and Money.

Two years ago, Stephen was given the opportunity to speak during a student chapel hour. He shared a message called, You’ve Got a Story. Stephen said, "I like to say that everyone has a story. It is the story of Christ in you, and who you are in Christ—a never-ending story with unlimited potential to change lives." Stephen saw something powerful happen as a result of his chapel teaching. The following term, more than 80 students signed up for his elective class. "Suddenly, This is a screen shot of a video production created by Media School graduate, Michael O'Malley. "No one will graduate with equal skills in all areas of communications. We want them to go with the strengths they discover during the year and let others fill out the team where they are weak. Nothing will prevent them from being useful in media ministry immediately upon graduation," Stephen said. (Click to enlarge)students began to believe that media was ministry, as much as any of the five-fold ministries. Andrew then asked that we take that momentum to start a third-year media school," said Stephen.

According to Stephen, the goal of CBC's School of Media is to identify and develop those called to the ministry of media and to see them bless and prosper those ministers they come along side. "Everyone born of God has a ministry, but ministry communicated badly results in discouragement, setbacks and burn out. Most people need help in order to tell their story effectively. Media ministers are those with the training and talent to help someone communicate their ministry effectively. Not everyone is gifted equally in this regard. It is important to focus on the gifts you’ve been given and develop them to excellence," said Stephen.

If you have a passion for media and feel called to share the Gospel through media ministry, or would like more information about Charis Bible College's School of Media, be sure to visit CBC's website to find out how you can become part of this growing segment of ministry.


CBC's School of Healing Seeing Fruit

Andrew ministers to a visitor at CBC's School of Healing during the first anniversary of the school's opening. (Click to enlarge)Earlier this year we posted a story about Charis Bible College's School of Healing. Since the time of that article, the weekly program, which trains and equips students in all things related to healing, has continued to grow and has brought forth tangible manifestations God's will to heal.

Over the past year, the staff at the School of Healing has trained more than 300 prayer ministers. To become part of the prayer ministry team, each person is required to attend weekly training sessions. These multi-faceted sessions include an eight hour course during which students learn not only how to minister healing, but about how to receive healing. Throughout the CBC staff member Carlie Terradez (SA) and Director, Daniel Amstutz keep things fun. (Click to enlarge) training, staff members monitor each student's academic work, and they also evaluate the character of each participant. It is only after the staff feels the student is comfortable and confident that they will recommend the student be allowed to minister one-on-one. The process produces effective ministers, bold in faith and confident in the Word of God, and as a result the prayer ministry teams see many miracles each week.

One example of the tangible fruit being produced at the school can be found in the story of one woman's healing. The woman's Nadine (white pants) lays hands on Jamie, and heat begins to flow.
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name is Jamie, and she visited one Thursday seeking relief from multiple issues stemming from several past accidents. She suffered from the after effects of a concussion, including difficulty reading; she also had pain in her back and jaw, and her right arm was cold and numb. Her minister, Nadine, listened carefully to what Jamie said, and then began to address the issues. First Nadine ministered the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which Jamie gladly received with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Then, the Lord showed Nadine that Jamie was suffering with condemnation as a result of her multiple accidents. Nadine shared scripture with her to free her from the condemnation (Romans 8:1), and as Nadine spoke she saw Jamie relax. Finally, Nadine, Jamie, after receiving her healing, holds up her testimony report. (Click to enlarge)led by the Lord put just her fingers on Jamie's neck, and she spoke to her body. Both Jamie and Nadine felt heat in the area Nadine's fingers touched. Jamie noticed a change in her body right away. She said, "I felt my arm warm up, numbness go away, and my body started getting warm—feeling good—now I am healed!" Nadine's ministry report about her time with Jamie reads, "No numbness, no pain, she could read, and she was feeling relaxed—Hallelujah!"

"God is blessing, we are growing, and people are sharing every week about how blessed they are to be a part of it! We are not only receiving practical teaching on various topics related to healing, but we are seeing the students growing in confidence as they minister the laying on of hands on a weekly basis," said Director, Daniel Amstutz.

Retired Air Force pilot, Glen came to receive healing for his foot. Prayer ministers addressed his issue, and spoke healing from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. The foot is getting better, but since the prayer his vision (top of his head) has cleared to 20/15 (better than he's ever had) and all signs of Diabetes have left his body (working down toward his feet)! Glen believes he is completely healed. (Click to enlarge)Staff member, Carlie Terradez said, "Due to the large number of students who want to help, we have prayer ministry teams and they each serve on a four-week rotation." She went on to say that many prayer ministers come each week, whether serving or not, just to take part.

The School of Healing averages between 60 and 70 outside visitors and 10-15 new people each week. Many of the new faces come from out of state or abroad; one family traveled from the UK just to attend. "Healing and miracles are happening, and the word is getting out. We have people who have come here for the Healing School, who are now enrolled in the college as a result. We have people coming from all over to have someone that really believes the Word of God minister to them, instead of what has become the accepted norm in many places of mostly unbelief with a bit of faith mixed in," said Daniel.

The school, which is free to all and open to the public, meets weekly on Thursday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. in the CBC campus auditorium on Elkton Drive. Each session opens with a time of worship, then testimonies of God's goodness are shared, followed by teaching. The program culminates with a team of students ministering healing to whoever comes forward to receive.LaDawn, was paralyzed when she came for prayer. Here, with the help of her husband, she stands. "I was moving my legs and could feel my muscles tightening!" she said excitedly. (Click to enlarge)

"Learning to walk in health is a big topic, especially in our culture today with all of the issues of medical care. We are being bombarded with all of the prescriptions that we just have to have to live a productive life, and people are really growing tired of it. They are realizing that just maybe God’s Word really did mean life more abundantly," said Daniel enthusiastically.

For more information about the School of Healing or to watch a session via live feed, be sure to visit


Charis Shatters the Grip of Legalism 

2008 Charis Bible College-Atlanta graduate, Carolyn Schrock with Andrew. (Click to enlarge)As a young girl, confusion clouded Carolyn Schrock’s mind and heart. She grew up hearing about God, and she knew He was real. She was also taught that He was the Creator of the world and that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for her sins. Carolyn believed that heaven and hell were real, and she wanted to make sure she ended up in heaven one day.

But though she knew all of these truths about God and the Bible, she was being taught many false doctrines at the same time. One such doctrine was that in order to make it to heaven, she must follow certain church rules and regulations, including a specific dress code that had to be adhered to.

So, which is it? Carolyn wondered. Was Jesus’ death enough for me to get into heaven, or do I have to obey all the church rules and do good works as well?

Carolyn being prayed for at the 2011 Gospel Truth Seminar in Atlanta, GA. (Click to enlarge)Carolyn’s genuine hunger to follow God and make it into heaven set her on a quest for truth. She had a difficult time accepting her church’s teaching that its members were the only ones who had discovered God’s “special ways” of doing things. She wondered how it could be that they were the only group who had any hope of making it to heaven, while the rest of the world went to hell because they didn’t know the “truth.”

The more she pondered the teachings of her church, the more she began to long for a different kind of relationship with God. She used her youthful imagination to help her escape from the rigid doctrine of her church. She wondered what it might be like not to have to obey all the dos and don’ts that constantly hung over her head, and how freeing it would be not to always wear the mandatory women’s head covering and to be free to purchase clothing instead of having to make her own dresses.

Even more importantly, she wondered what it might be like to be able to actually think for herself, making her own choices—Carolyn and her parents, Herman and Elise. (Click to enlarge)not just about clothing but about all aspects of life. So far, her parents and her church had made all her decisions for her.

She had asked her parents many times if God was really the one who gave them all the rules they had to keep. This thinking didn’t reconcile with the God of love she saw within the pages of her Bible. She wanted to know why Jesus wasn’t enough and if God really required her to follow all the “extra” rules to make Him happy. Her parents’ only response was, “The preachers know what’s best for us, dear.” But even though they gave her that answer verbally, she could sense an unrest in her parents and saw a wrenching look in their eyes. She later understood that look when she found out that they, too, were searching and crying out to God for answers and help.

Not having anyone to turn to for answers added to Carolyn’s confusion. She felt stuck in the middle of wanting to obey God but not wanting to obey all of the church’s rules. In her heart, she knew Carolyn serving at CBC-Atlanta.
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that something wasn’t right. But even thinking about fleeing from the “system” indicated that she was rebellious. She continued to conform because she was afraid to disobey the rules. So, instead of getting answers, Carolyn learned to quickly dismiss such questioning and repent for her disobedient thoughts.

But the Holy Spirit wasn’t about to leave Carolyn alone. While, in her mind, she was pursuing God for answers, the Holy Spirit was pursuing her to show her the truth. The confusion and nagging questions just wouldn’t go away, no matter how hard she tried to squelch them for fear of being in disobedience.

Then one day, at age twelve, Carolyn heard a clear message of the true, uncompromising good news of Jesus: She could be saved simply by believing in Jesus Christ, period. No extra rules. No additional work on her behalf. She could go to heaven because of Jesus alone.Carolyn, Easter 2012.
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Carolyn had found a new freedom in God. He gave her a brand-new identity in Jesus, and her relationship with the Lord had begun. Many questions about how to actually live out her Christian life remained throughout her walk with God. She often struggled because she didn’t have a clear understanding of God’s true nature and character.

Even though she had found freedom in the saving power of God’s grace, she often fell back into her old patterns of trying to please Him and get her prayers answered based on her performance. She wasn’t able to fully walk in God’s grace and live her life knowing that God accepted her despite the things she did—or didn’t do.

In the midst of her struggle, she learned of Charis Bible College (CBC) in Atlanta. As soon as she heard about it, she knew in her heart that she had to go. “I am so grateful for Charis,” says Carolyn. Carolyn with her graduating class, flanked by Andrew and Jamie to the left and CBC-Atlanta Directors Tom and Cindy Boyd. (Click to enlarge)“Coming here has been a blessing beyond words. It has given me an understanding of the nature of God, the love of God, and the grace of God like never before.”

Charis, which means “grace,” was revealed to Carolyn in a life-changing way through CBC-Atlanta. Her heart and thinking became saturated with God’s grace as the truths she learned at the school taught her how to practically walk in God’s love and freedom on a daily basis—something she had never known before.

Many of Carolyn’s questions about her relationship with God have been answered through the teachings and relationships she has developed at Charis. Through her time there, she has finally learned how to rest in the finished work of Jesus and step off the performance treadmill.

“Living in legalism and living in the freedom of a personal relationship with God that focuses on the heart are opposing ways of believing,” explains Carolyn. “Legalism doesn’t allow you to live out of your heart. But hearing truth being taught from the Word has set me free to live out of my heart.

“Thank you to everyone at CBC-Atlanta for helping to set me free. My life has been changed forever!”



Reprinted from the article Charis Shatters the Grip of Legalism, first printed in the Spring/Summer 2012 edition of the Gospel Truth Magazine.