Dr. Lance Halick, a successful Christian businessman in Canton, Georgia, vividly recalls the night his life changed its course forever. It started simply enough as a night out with his family. Lance and his wife, Debi, treated their family to a performance of the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” in 2008. Sitting in the audience, as the music for the prelude began, Lance started weeping. He heard Jesus say something to him that confirmed what he had known for years: “I want you to get ready.”
Lance knew exactly what Jesus meant. “I knew I was called to be a pastor in full-time ministry, but I ran. Over years of running, the call was confirmed by numerous people, including a pastor. I told him, ‘No way, Pastor. Sheep bite!’” Now, after years of running, Lance knew he could run no longer and made the decision to walk in obedience to that call.
“As I heard the voice of Jesus, I thought I knew what He meant,” Lance said. “I felt I needed to have the piece of paper that would show I was qualified to teach the Word.” Lance had been a Christian for years and had already ministered with a Christian band, led worship, and been an elder at his church. As Lance tells the story, “I thought I knew enough, but I decided to go online to find a Bible school to get the diploma that I thought I needed.
“I found LCU and began to attend. When I took my very first course, ‘Divine Healing,’ I got so excited after the first night that I told Debi, ‘This is so good that you’ve got to do this with me!’”
Dr. Lance and Dr. Debi have now finished their Bachelor’s, their Master’s, and their Doctor of Ministry degrees at LCU, all with highest honors. In 2013, they opened The Heart of Worship Church in Canton, GA, and opened an LCU campus in 2015.
“There is no way I would have been able to be the pastor that I am without what I learned from LCU. The Biblical foundation I received exceeded anything I had learned prior to my schooling. LCU’s curriculum placed me into a position of being a qualified teacher of the Word.”
His community has been greatly impacted. “As a result of my education at LCU and the leading of the Holy Spirit, we as a church congregation are walking in the miraculous power of God’s Word. We consistently experience miracles of healing, deliverance of strongholds, and people’s lives being restored to how God designed them to live. It doesn’t matter what a person is dealing with, through the power of God’s Word, they can have victory!
“As people come to our church, they see something different. They have told us, ‘The depth of God’s Word is being taught on a regular basis here that we haven’t heard before.’ This is only possible due to the teaching I received from LCU and the Holy Spirit. LCU has given me the foundation in the Word that has equipped me to walk in the fullness of His blessings. Through our education, my wife and I have a deeper relationship with God and each other. We are passing that on to our church family and others. We consistently witness lives transformed due to the truth of God’s Word that helps people navigate through the issues in life that the enemy has thrown at them.”
Being a pastor hasn’t always been easy. “There have been many times where discouragement has tried to get me off course. The truth we have learned through LCU enables us to remain on course and continue in the call of God. Each time discouragement tried to enter in, the Word we were grounded in gave us what we needed to come out on top and be victors instead of victims.”
Through it all, Dr. Lance and Dr. Debi have an enthusiasm for the Word of God that continues to grow and grow. Dr. Lance describes it this way, “I didn’t know how much I didn’t know until I started learning. Now I understand that the Word of God is like a huge chasm that you step into. The deeper you get, the deeper it goes. There is no end to it. Thank you, LCU, for establishing me on the firm foundation of the truth.”
As an educator, you are thrilled when your students succeed in life. I felt such joy as I read a report last week from an alumnus with a Doctor of Ministry degree. She is the Director for our campus in Brooksville, a small community of about 8,000 located about 40 minutes north of Tampa. This campus, over the last 10 years, has trained 330 students who faithfully serve in their local churches as ushers, greeters, children and nursery workers, as well as in visitation and prayer.
In addition, many graduates have pursued full-time ministry. I was delighted to hear how our graduates’ LCU degrees prepared them and opened doors of opportunity for them. Our campus in this small town has equipped seven senior pastors as well as six who serve as associate, children’s or youth pastors. Four graduates serve as missionaries, three are involved as lay counselors, two teach in Christian schools, two serve non-profit ministries, and four are involved in prison and jail ministry.
As a county seat, Brooksville has several correctional institutions in its local area. The Brooksville campus has sponsored LCU campuses within the prisons. They see dramatic changes: prisoners are born-again, and then receive a solid, biblical foundation as they study the life-transforming Word of God. A total of 37 prisoners have earned a degree from LCU. Often they are the first in their family to graduate from college: it is beyond anything they had ever dreamed possible! The joy on their faces make you want to cry. I have enclosed pictures of the graduating class at the Hernando Women’s Prison so you can see for yourself.
Prisoners Graduate from Life Christian University
Together, We Are Making a Difference!
“I was in prison and you came to Me” (Matthew 25:36).
The 2018 Graduating Class at the Hernando Correctional Institute
Our LCU campus, inside the prison walls, has transformed the lives of these ladies forever.
A Time To Celebrate!
Attending college…and graduating… is beyond anything these ladies had ever dreamed possible!
In the past 10 years, our Brooksville Campus has awarded the following degrees:
for a total of 167 degrees awarded.
Almost all our students are active in helping in their local churches. In addition, others have pursued the full-time ministries, for which their degree prepared them and opened the door of opportunity.
As there are several prisons in the area, our Brooksville Campus has also sponsored campuses in both men’s and women’s prisons, and awarded these degrees:
15 AA in Hernando Correctional Institute
13 BA in Sumter County Correctional Institute
6 BA in Hernando Correctional Institute
3 MA in Hernando Correctional Institute
for a total of 37 prisoners who now have a college degree.
These prisoners are now a living testimony of how Jesus Christ can change a life. Many of our graduates are now leading Bible studies for their fellow inmates within the prison walls.
In October 1998, Russ Montgomery carried into Cuba a leather bound Life Application Bible for Fidel Castro. In November, Russ received word that Fidel had read the Gospel of Luke and the study notes, which gave him a new understanding of the meaning of Christmas. Russ was delighted – and even more so in December 1998, when Fidel declared Christmas a legal holiday in Cuba for the first time in thirty years!
Russ’ adventures in Cuba began 1995, in the middle of the U.S. embargo, when he visited as a guest of the Cuban United Methodist Church. At the end of his missionary visit, Russ found himself on the shores of that island nation, looking toward the United States. Suddenly he heard the Lord say, “Your back is turned against Cuba. Which way will you face?” He turned around to face Cuba and said, “Here I am, Lord.”
This was at a time when there were virtually no Americans in Cuba.
Russ began to take steps of faith to bring help to a country plunged into deep poverty when the collapse of the U.S.S.R. left them without foreign aid. Beginning in 1998, he sent containers of humanitarian goods to the church in Cuba. In 2001, he sent the first container of humanitarian goods to be sent directly from the United States in decades. In 2003, Russ arranged for the first private ship in 42 years to legally deliver food, medicine, and clothing to Cuba since the embargo started. Flying the American flag, the Cuban flag, and the Christian flag, the ship was quite a sight to see entering Havana harbor.
A friend from Russ’ church started attending Life Christian University and talked Russ into taking a class. He did and then took another and another and another. Russ has completed his Masters degree in Theology at LCU with highest honors and is now working on his dissertation for a Doctor of Ministry degree.
Russ’ faith kept growing, as did his ministry in Cuba. Over the years, he developed relationships with Cuban pastors, working together to meet both spiritual and physical needs. Since Russ’ first history-making journey, he has made trip after trip to bring supplies to this isolated country. He has expanded this to include prenatal vitamins, eyeglasses, and water purification systems. On the spiritual side, Russ has also supplied the churches in Cuba with Bibles. Seeing the need to offset the atheist mindset of the Communist culture, Russ found appropriate discipleship training material, translated it, and trained facilitators as needed. Russ has mentored a number of young church leaders in Cuba to reach the next generation. And Russ does not visit these countries alone. He assembles teams of American Christians to “go into all the world,” activating their hearts to see beyond their own doorsteps and fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus. They return to the U.S. different people – touched forever as they experience the compassion of Jesus flowing through them to meet the needs of those so much less fortunate.
Expanding into Haiti, Russ has established many of the same programs there: discipleship, clean water, prenatal care, and eyeglasses. In Haiti, opportunities opened to have an actual vision clinic. Russ himself trained to be an optometrist to fit Haitians with glasses. This work has expanded - and Russ has recently been taking teams of eye surgeons and other professionals, doing week-long eye clinics for cataract surgery – literally healing the blind!
Recently, eye surgeons who have gone with Russ to Haiti have been donating equipment to furnish the eye clinic there. It is recognized as one of the best eye clinics in Haiti. Patients feel the presence of the Lord in that clinic and experience the love of Christ. Now Russ is looking at building an eye institute to train Haitian doctors and technicians. God is certainly blessing this work!
“Living in Faith” is the name of Russ’ ministry – and it is a great description of Russ’ life!