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Tornados and Grace

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.
In the early morning hours of March 3, 2020, a storm swept through middle Tennessee, spawning deadly tornados which killed dozens.
In 2011, another tornado mowed into Joplin, MO, where Randy Gariss ministered at College Heights Christian Church. As a mile-wide F5 tornado, there were 161 fatalities and 7,000 homes destroyed. Gariss grieved with his beloved city in their unspeakable tragedy. Yet, in this excerpt from a recent interview, you will hear Gariss reflects on the surprising good that he saw God bring out of the devastation.