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Entries in Indiana (1)

Thursday
Jul292010

Freely You Have Received, Freely Give

Gail (left of center) with Andrew and fellow graduates during a CBC Weekend event in 2007 in Chicago. (Click to enlarge)

In February of 2000, Gail Coleman found herself living in new and unfamiliar life circumstances. She had recently lost her husband to cancer, had just begun her own breast cancer treatment, and was entering a new season of life as a single parent raising three daughters, ages eighteen, fourteen and ten. It was during this time that Gail first encountered Andrew's teaching. He and several other ministers spoke at a conference hosted by the church she attended, Christian Life Center in Tinley Park, Illinois.

Gail was blessed by Andrew's teaching as well as the introduction to Andrew Wommack Ministries. Over the course of the conference she also became aware of Charis Bible College (CBC), and she had an immediate desire to attend. Gail had always sensed a call to ministry, but in her situation, still settling her husband’s affairs, and being a single mother, she could not imagine how it would work.

Gail ministers to children during a mission trip to Nicaragua with Ambassadors to the Nations. (Click to enlarge)In 2001, Gail attended the Summer Family Bible Conference in Colorado Springs. Once again she was blessed by what she heard, and while there she received healing of severe lower back pain. She knew, beyond a doubt, that the Lord was calling her to attend CBC, but was still unsure about how that would happen. All she was able to do was “be still and know" (Psalm 46:10).

It was not until 2003, when Gail attended a Gospel Truth Seminar in Chicago, that it became clear how she would be able to attend CBC. She found out that graduates from CBC in Colorado Springs were planning to launch the first CBC extension school in the United States, in nearby Chicago. The new school would be located slightly less than an hour from her home; Gail signed up immediately.

Gail's friend and fellow CBC graduate, Sharon Tarzon, serves as CBC-Indiana administrator. (Click to enlarge)Despite the long drive Gail made it to class every day, even through rough winter weather and constant road construction. "I was so impressed with the teaching and the integrity of the ministry; I could not imagine being anywhere else." Her time at CBC provided her with the validation of her call
to ministry.

After graduating from the two-year course of study and completing her one-year apprenticeship, Gail's future direction in ministry was still uncertain. She shared her uncertainty with Andrew when he asked her what she thought was next. He encouraged Gail, and assured her God would continue to lead her. Three months later the Lord began speaking to her about starting a CBC extension school in northwest Indiana. Although she still lived in Illinois, Gail had been attending a church in Indiana for some time. She brought the idea to her leadership at CBC and they agreed she was on the right path.

CBC-Indiana students in class.
(Click to enlarge)
Unbeknownst to Gail, the very same day she had been discussing the idea of a launching a Bible College in Indiana, her pastor had been expressing the desire to have a bible college in their church. This was a major confirmation for Gail, and it gave her the confidence to continue to plan Charis Bible College-Indiana.

Gail’s friend and fellow CBC graduate, Sharon Tarzon, agreed to come on board as the CBC-Indiana administrator. The two women determined that they wanted to have at least five students to kick-off the start of the school—blessed, they launched with twelve. Today the school operates as a part-time night school to meet the needs of those attending. There are twenty-five students presently enrolled, and Gail is expecting between thirty-five and forty-five students next year. Because the school operates on a part-time basis, it takes four years to complete the curriculum. CBC-Indiana will hold its first graduation ceremony in the spring of 2011.

Gail ministers to a teacher on the Nicaragua mission trip in 2009. (Click to enlarge)Andrew's simple delivery of the Gospel truth changed Gail's life, and brought about a relationship with God that she had not known was possible. Freely she received from the Lord, and now she shares her revelation with her students (Matthew 10:8).

"Now I have the opportunity to give back. I love what God has allowed me to be a part of at CBC!" Gail exclaimed.

To learn more about Gail's growing school visit, Charis Bible College-Indiana.