Rich and Geri Campbell of Hebron, KY are living a normal life raising two young children, and are doing their best to serve God with everything they have. In 2003 they started a traveling drama outreach called In-Step Ministries, and now, eight years later, they are still at it. In 2012, they logged 5,700 miles of travel with over 20 bookings! Their ministry faithfully exhibits the message of God’s love and forgiveness which reaches across denominations, ethnicity, gender, and age. Signet Ring had the pleasure of discussing with Geri the heart of In-Step Ministries.
What is In-Step Ministries?
In-Step Ministries is a drama ministry with four original programs, but one underlying theme: the message of God’s love and forgiveness. I am the actress and writer, and Rich is a behind-the-scenes tech guy, so when God called us to full time ministry, visual arts seemed the perfect way to proclaim the Gospel to a lost and dying world. We travel all over the US ministering the message of God’s love and forgiveness in churches, conferences, camps, half-way houses and prisons.
What is the vision and mission of In-Step Ministries ?
Our Mission Statement:
“Since we live by the Spirit let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Gal. 5:25
Dedicated to serving the Lord through the arts by proclaiming God’s unrelenting love and unending mercy while partnering with, unifying, and uplifting those who also heed His call, thus keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, and each other, in order that we might reach a lost and dying world with the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
How did God call you into this ministry? When? Was anyone else involved to start the ministry?
Rich grew up in church, but I have a different story. I was saved at the age of 14 but turned my back on the Lord. There were some dark years. Something happened to me in my early 20’s that broke my heart, and I felt that God didn’t care about me, that He didn’t love me. I decided to leave church and walk away from the Lord forever. I tried to forget that I ever knew Him and I returned to my sinful life.
The trouble was, I couldn’t forget Him. It was like Jesus was running after me, pursuing me. After seven years of being away from church and away from my Christian friends, God was still there, trying to get my attention. One night I was alone in my bedroom, and out of nowhere the presence of God and His love just filled the room. I remember thinking, “No Lord, go away, I don’t deserve to be in Your presence. Don’t you know what I have become? Maybe once I could have served you and loved you, maybe once when I was a good girl, maybe once when I was in Bible college, but not now. Not after all I’ve done.”
Then for the first time in my life, the only time, I literally felt the arms of Jesus wrap around me. Then, in my heart, I heard the Lord whisper the words, “You are my beautiful bride.” I wondered how He could still call me that. Yet it was that night I fell to my knees in tears and repentance, and said, “Lord, if You’ll take me back, I promise I will use my gifts and talents to tell other people that there is always a way back home to You.” It took me a whole year sitting in my car on my lunch hour, but I wrote The Story of Gomer during that time. I performed it at my home church for a ladies’ tea and word of mouth spread. I had fourteen bookings in the first year! That is how it all started.
In what ways have you seen In-Step Ministries help with an individual’s spiritual development?
We have testimonies of marriages being healed and of people experiencing unconditional love for the first time during our plays. We know a lady who told us two years of marriage counseling suddenly became real to her as she watched Hosea forgive Gomer. That is what keeps us going.
How does your ministry exemplify Christʼs love?
One of our original plays is called Eve Remembered. It shows how sin came into the world through man’s disobedience, and that sin is what hurts us, not God. The play points toward the love of a Savior, and toward the hope-filled promise of Genesis 3:15. Eve Remembered is an in-depth look at the day that Cain kills Abel, and at Eve’s reaction to the pain of sin. I wrote this play because so many people in today’s world turn away from God because they wonder how a loving God could allow such pain. I know, I’ve been there. It is only when we realize we brought suffering upon ourselves by disobeying God (Adam was the first to disobey and thus we are all sinners) that we realize God is not hurting us. He is not to blame, for through His love He kept His promise to provide a way out, to provide a way back to Him through Jesus Christ.
Of the portrayals that you have done, do you have a favorite and/or which one has impacted you the most?
The Story of Gomer, which is the love story between Hosea the prophet and Gomer the prostitute (see the book of Hosea). Of all my shows, the message of Hosea is really my heart. In this hour long, one person play, I pour out my personal testimony into the script. I can truly identify with Gomer, a woman who had to be forgiven time after time. Every time Gomer ran away, her husband Hosea was running after her, waiting for her to turn to him. That is so much like Jesus.
Where do you see the Lord leading this ministry in the next 5 years?
We had always hoped that our drama ministry would support our family at some point, but after eight years we both still work full time jobs and travel as much as we can using weekends and vacation time. Sometimes people give up because they see success as making a living at their ministry. But every time I get tired or discouraged all I can think of is that God’s heart is broken, and He wants to run after those sheep who have wandered away. Therefore, I need to be His arms, His hands, His feet- just as any disciple of Christ should be. I know He has used me and the shows that I perform to call His people back to His heart.
I have taken 2013 off from traveling to commit to writing the novel of The Story of Gomer. The book can reach people I could never reach just doing the play, so I hope the next five years finds us with the novel published and perhaps even a feature length film. Only God knows where it will take us; all I know is I’m keeping In-step with Him!
You can read more about us and watch for info on the release of the novel, The Story of Gomer, at in-stepministries.com
Rich and Geri live in Hebron, KY and in addition to running their own drama ministry, they are also both employed by Answers in Genesis, a non-profit apologetics ministry where Rich runs the print shop and Geri is in Guest Services at the Creation Museum. They have a twelve year old daughter Mercy, a nine year old son named Chris, and two cats, Big Kitty and Little Kitty. What do they do in their off time? SLEEP!