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Entries in Ohio (1)

Monday
Jul012013

CBC Graduates Launch Church in Ohio

Charis Bible College graduates, and founders of Rain Ministries, Lance and Jessica Miller. (Click to enlarge)Lance Miller was four years old the first time he heard Andrew's voice. That was back in 1979, when Lance's mother, Vicki, started receiving Andrew's teaching tapes in the mail. With such an early introduction to the Gospel Truth, it's no wonder that Lance was born again and Spirit filled by age six.

Lance and Jessica met in high school. (Click to enlarge)In the early 90's, Lance met Jessica. The two were teenagers, attending the same high school in Ohio, when they began to enjoy spending time together. Lance's family welcomed Jessica with open arms, and she eventually began going to church with Lance's mom. It wasn't long before Jessica received Jesus and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Lance and Jessica were married in 1997. Shortly after their exchange of vows, Vicki introduced Jessica to Andrew's ministry, and the seeds for the Miller's future were planted. Jessica enjoyed the teachings, and her favorite message, to this day, is Knowing God. "I can listen to it over and over again," said Jessica.

Despite the Miller's spiritual foundation, over time their experience with mainstream Christianity left them sour Lance and Jessica in the cockpit of his father's plane. Lance was employed as a pilot at the time. (Click to enlarge)and disenchanted. Religion, life and everyday circumstances interrupted God's plan for their lives.

"When I was in my early twenties, a preacher gave me a prophecy that I would be very wealthy and successful. I spent the next ten years trying to force "the God prophecy," as I call it, to happen, and trying to prove something to my dad and to the world," Lance shared.

Looking back at the same decade, Jessica realized that she had learned to be religious. She said, "I knew how to pray, how to dress, how to act, and how to be extremely critical and As Lance pushed to prove something to the world, and to force-fulfill a prophecy, he lost sight of the best in life. Lance would party on the weekends to cope with the pressures he endured throughout the week. (Click to enlarge) judgmental of others. I thought I had it all figured out."

The Millers owned several businesses, and as Lance worked his way toward fulfilling the prophecy to be wealthy, he became consumed by his drive to succeed. By the world's standards, his relentless efforts were paying off, and he and Jessica were successful. In the process of building his empire however, he lost sight of what was important, and his pursuits wreaked havoc on his physical health and his marriage.

"I was a horrible person. Lying for business was not a problem, and I coped with stress by getting drunk and partying every weekend. I was a bad husband, with a great wife. At one point, I didn’t care if I lived or died, and I did things that should Lance and Jessica visiting Rampart Reservoir near their home in Woodland Park, Colorado. (Click to enlarge)have killed me numerous times," said Lance candidly.

Eventually, in 2008, unable to take the pressure any longer, Lance cried out to God. He said, "I can't do this anymore. I need a spiritual bath" (Psalm 51:10). As far as business was concerned, nothing changed in that instant, but Lance sensed God's grace in a new and powerful way. In those moments he realized that he didn't know God. Prior to this experience, Lance viewed God more as a lifeguard watching over him as he did things his own way. "I had an incredible, supernatural, God experience that lasted several weeks and totally rocked my world, and everything forever changed in my life," said Lance.

Lance and Jessica enjoyed the beaches in Florida while attending CBC in Jacksonville. (Click to enlarge)Within six months, the Millers closed down most of their business ventures, and moved to Colorado to attend Charis Bible College. After their arrival, they anticipated that they would spend the rest of their lives in Colorado. But in 2009, just six months later, God turned their attention to Jacksonville, Florida.

Conscious of the Lord's leading regarding Florida, the Millers made the most of the time they had in Colorado. From March to June of 2009, Lance's relationship with God expanded as he spent many hours just walking and talking with Him. It was in the mountains of Woodland Park that Lance learned how to hear God's voice, and it was there that God told him he would lead a church. "We had actual conversations where I would ask a question, and He would give me the answer. I would write down what He was Lance and Jessica on their second-year mission trip to the Dominican Republic. (Click to enlarge)saying as fast as I could," said Lance with a smile. The funny thing was, although Lance and Jessica were Bible college students at the time, Lance didn't like to read the Bible. He would have long conversations with God, and share with Jessica what he had heard. She in turn, would open up the Bible and show Lance the verses that the Lord was quoting to him as they spoke.

"She confirmed that I was not crazy," joked Lance. "This was the beginning of my wonderful relationship with my dad—God. It laid the foundation of everything that is good in my life today."

The Millers in their CBC graduation caps and gowns, outside the school in Jacksonville. (Click to enlarge)Jessica had her own conversations with God during her time at CBC, and she realized quickly that she had not established a true relationship with the Lord. Jessica said, "At CBC I heard people give testimonies of real relationships, with a real God. Eventually, I was extremely honest with God, and told Him that I didn’t trust Him because I didn’t know Him. He told me that He would prove himself trustworthy. That started my journey of getting to know Him. I took down all formality and got real. He slowly drew me to Himself—to the real Him. I now know a God of pure love and goodness."

After completing their first year at CBC, the Millers moved to Florida to attend CBC-Jacksonville for their second and third Jessica stands ready for Kid's church at Rain Ministries.
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years. While the relocation appeared crazy at the time, they had many confirmations that they were to finish school in Florida. Although the transfer was not without turmoil, their relationships with the Lord continued to grow over their two years in Jacksonville as they prepared for the ministry ahead of them.

When the Millers completed their studies in Florida, they returned to Ohio with a feeling of having been made over and restored. One year later, they launched Rain Ministries in the rural town of Covington. Lance said he is not interested in duplicating the traditional church model; he simply wants to introduce the God he and Jessica know, to the people of the world, by showing His kindness and His power.

Lance and Jessica know that many people are looking for the real God, and having had the same desires, they can Lance sharing a message at a Sunday morning service at Rain Ministries. (Click to enlarge)identify with those still searching. "I can relate. I was a bad person because I was misguided as to who God is," said Lance. "And out of my experiences, I want to teach people who He really is."

"We want people from absolutely any background to walk into church, the first time, and feel totally comfortable and at home. They don’t have to talk a certain way, pray a certain way, or dress a certain way. We also want to empower people to find their destiny and live it. God is most interested in their hearts, and so are we," said Jessica.

Visit the Rain Ministries website for more information about Lance and Jessica and their growing church in Covington, Ohio.