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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 has his bachelor’s in theology (Ozark Christian College), his master of arts in apologetics (Veritas International University), and his PhD in theology (North-West University, South Africa). His master’s thesis was on apologetics to atheists, and his doctoral dissertation was on apologetics to Buddhists. In 2014, he co-authored The Atheist’s Fatal Flaw with Norman Geisler. Daniel works as editorial director for the Renew Network. His passion is to help people understand that they can totally trust Jesus. He plays guitar and piano and occasionally enjoys writing songs.daniel@renew.org

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.”