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Can Your Church Thrive in Exile? A Conversation with Randy Gariss

Photo of Randy GarissRandy Gariss | Bio

Randy Gariss

Randy, along with his wife Julie, co-directs the Life and Ministry Preparation Center, (LAMP) at Ozark Christian College, in Joplin, Mo. He spent 40 years in local church ministry, 33 of those as the Preaching Minister of the College Heights Christian Church in Joplin. In this present season, he coaches and mentors college students and emerging leaders toward wholeness, healthy relationships, and ministry. He and his wife both speak to the pleasure and delight of having 18-22 year olds as some of their closest and dearest friends. He has been married 44 years with 3 children and 9 grandchildren. As a hobby, Randy builds custom furniture. Randy is frequently speaking to churches on leadership, and college campuses on relationships and personal maturity.
Photo of Daniel McCoyDaniel McCoy | Bio

Daniel McCoy

Daniel is happily married to Susanna, and they have 3 daughters and 2 sons. He is the editorial director for Renew.org as well as an online adjunct instructor for Ozark Christian College. He has a bachelor’s in theology (Ozark Christian College), master of arts in apologetics (Veritas International University), and PhD in theology (North-West University, South Africa). He is the general editor of the Popular Handbook of World Religions, author of Mirage: 5 Things People Want From God That Don't Exist, and co-author with Norman Geisler of The Atheist's Fatal Flaw.

Randy Gariss was minister of Joplin’s College Heights Christian Church when a mile-wide F5 tornado mowed into Joplin. Randy calls the tornado the “worst thing I’ve ever gone through.” Yet, as you will hear in the interview, Randy has seen God bring great good out of even the bitterest of tragedies. Perhaps that’s why Randy isn’t intimidated by the American church’s coming season in “exile.”