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To Raise Up Revival Leaders!
Amanda has been a student with CLI since 2016 and since then she has completed 51 credit hours and earned her Deacon Ordination.
Read her Testimony Below in Amanda's own words
Hello! My name is Amanda Lopez. I was born and raised in California, USA. I grew up in a severely broken home surrounded by drug addiction, alcoholism and abuse. Throughout my teen years and into adulthood, I formed the same type of life for myself. At 18, I had my first child with a much older man who was controlling, abusive and addicted to drugs and alcohol. I too was swallowed up in getting high and becoming an alcoholic. After 3 1/2 years, I left this relationship and entered into single parenthood. For years, I went back and forth between living sober and living high. At 25, I was again in an ungodly relationship with child number two on the way. After four years of living in a clearly broken and dysfunctional relationship with no hope for peace in sight, I had to make a choice. I took my two children and moved in with my mother--whose husband and my very near and dear stepfather was passing away with cancer. After his passing, I left my mother's house and entered into yet another ungodly relationship. However, this time we got married after 3 years of living together (both completely lost to the world, drunkenness and other sin bondage). In early 2008, the Lord began to release dreams to me that directed us to start attending a nearby Southern Baptist Church where we surrendered our lives to Jesus. It was during this time that God revealed Himself to each of us in an extremely real, supernatural way! Several months later, we moved across the country with our two children to an itty-bitty town in WV where we dwelt in the Appalachian area for four years (and baby number three joined the family). We attended a small, local church within which our foundation in the Word of God was established and we entered the world of ministry.
We knew at this point that there was no other path for our lives but to serve the true and living God! No turning back!
After our time in WV was fulfilled, we moved to OH where we were called to another rural-area church. We also gained permanent custody of our niece bringing our family to a size of six! We went through many trials in our marriage and family during this time. Sadly, instead of healing from the wounds of our marriage, we distracted ourselves with ministry and helping others. We made our first mission trip to Honduras, which was eye opening on a number of levels. Most ironically, to the great need of revival in the hearts of Americans! We also moved to the Columbus, OH area to join an urban church and continue mission work within the city of Columbus--specifically to extend love and hope to broken families, those who are homeless, impoverished and drug addicted, among a multitude of other detrimental life situations. On top of that, I spearheaded the missions program at our local church, developed a 12-week missions program and led multiple teams on mission into the heart of the Navajo Nation. To watch the power of God flow through this ministry and into the Native American population was beyond words! As amazing as the Lord showed Himself during this time, there were also major setbacks in our personal lives and marriage. After years of giving all of ourselves to the work of the ministry, our marriage crumbled. We resigned from the ministry and, unfortunately, could not endure the great trials, wounds and damage that had already been done. We both backslid into sin, our marriage dissolved and I had to spend much time healing and receiving restorative ministry.
Praise God, however, His grace is sufficient to bring us through the most devastating life events!
Today I can stand and give all praise and glory and honor to the Lord more than ever before! Through every trying event of the last several years, I can say that His mighty hand has been ever-present and His love, grace, and mercy beyond expectation! I have since remarried to an amazing Christian man and we have given ourselves to growing in the Lord together, fully understanding the desperate need for Christian marriages to prioritize the FIRST ministry in the home.
My heart burns with passion for both street ministry and world missions—with a piece of deep knowledge as well for the need for reform within what we today call "mission trips." As a "missionary" called to the city of Columbus I have seen many challenges within the urban mission field—a wide variety of opposing religious beliefs (and the accompanying hostility directed toward our outreach efforts), a heroin epidemic, alongside escalating social justice issues. By the grace of God, we are able to minister truth, hope, and reconciliation in the midst of it all!
I also see a reset in the body of Christ moving in the direction of house worship, local houses of prayer and true family/community living like the early church so clearly demonstrated for us. There is a strong need for Fathers and Mothers in the faith to arise for the next generation to come forth and take their place in the kingdom--all free from religious facades and walking in pure love for one another, secure in our identities (not our titles) as sons and daughters of the Most High! The need for transparency and vulnerability is at an all-time high and I pray to be one to keep the door wide open for true fellowship in Spirit and Truth with my kingdom family.
Amanda is willing to help serve other students at CLI!
To be used by God to make disciples who make disciples all for the Gospel of God!
John Grove lives in Florida working in ministry. He is ordained as a Deacon Minister in 2018 with the CLA.
Read John Grove's testimony below:
"I was born and raised in Baltic, Ohio, where my mom and Grandmother were the spiritual influences in my life. My mom took my siblings and I to church and by the time I was in the fourth grade I had seen two churches go through horrible splits. This caused me to become angry and confused sending me to find answers on my own. I went down the wrong path and I eventually got heavily involved in the occult.
After high school I joined the Navy, I served four years as a gas turbine mechanical technician. After my honorable discharge, I returned to Baltic and became a reiki master. My beliefs at that time would line up with what we now identify as "New Age".
I was introduced to a new pastor in the area who had come to Baltic from Alaska to fill the call at a local church. Larry Smithwick is an expository preacher, which was new to me at the time. He managed to lovingly expose the errors in my thinking by showing me scripture, not just telling me his opinions. Over the next five years Larry, and his wife Shari, chose to invest into the lives of me and my wife, Tanya. I am certain that the discipleship was the missing link for me as a child which allowed me to drift so far from the Truth of GOD.
I now have a burning desire to disciple those who want to know GOD for themselves. I am willing to pour my life into those that want to go that extra mile, just the same as Larry did for me.
Because God used Larry to disciple me I am now the congregational pastor at Living Hope Community Church in Ocala, FL. We have the same passion to make disciples who make disciples and this is why we are partnering with Christian Leaders Alliance in becoming a mentor center.
To preach, teach and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Matthew Leonard is married to a wonderful woman named Lisa. They live in Newcomerstown, Ohio; where they moved to raise their son. Donovan is Lisa’s biological grandson, who they both adopted after getting married in 2005. Donovan was homeschooled to ensure a proper Christian education and to put focus on studies on a one-on-one basis.
Read more about him in his own words:
"I have been active for several years with my local church here in Newcomerstown, after being Sunday school teacher, Youth Director and Youth Minister, and eventually, the Sunday school Superintendent. I now help maintain the church’s Facebook page as a ministry outreach, as I have been called to minister elsewhere.
I hold a Council level Minister's License with Churches of Christ in Christian Union. The church headquarters with CCCU and Ohio Christian University have reviewed copies of my student transcript and certificates with CLI, and they fully recognize and accept the classes I have taken, and the credit hours I have earned. I have the option of also going through their Ordination Program, with my credit hours also being accepted. I am also licensed through the State of Ohio.
For the past 5 years, I have been working for Journey’s End Ministries, which is a ministry outreach food pantry organization, and as Pastor with Wolf-Salem Church also in Newcomerstown.
The training and education I have received with CLI has prepared me for the responsibility of teaching and preaching the Word, and to help guide those in the church who seek the divine outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and to help make disciples, as we have been instructed to do by the words of Jesus."
Matthew became ordained a Commissioned Minister with CLA in 2015.
Myron Raney is a Senior Pastor of the Remnant Fellowship of Christ Ministries in Columbus, Ohio. He is also employed with Ohio Health Corporation as a Variance Analyst but has been blessed to spend more time serving in ministry on a daily basis than working for his employer. He is a single father of two children, Makayla and Mycah.
Read more of his testimony
"I grew up in church but didn't really establish a relationship with Jesus until I was nineteen. That is when I gave my life to Jesus, accepting Him as my Lord and Savior, and was baptized by full water emersion.
I am a firm believer that wisdom is key and an understanding is even more important (Proverbs 4:7). I earned my Ph.D. in 2008 and am an advocate for lifelong learning. I plan to use my training in a number of ways but in three that are of great importance and that are immediate goals. The first is to enhance my knowledge and skill sets as a pastor particularly in the areas of pastoral care, hermeneutics, and apologetics. The second is by example to encourage members of our ministry team and congregation to seek formal training and continuing education. The third is to evaluate the courses offered at Christian Leaders Institute and adopt them as requirements for our ministry trainees.
A Christian Leadership Institute scholarship will allow me to achieve my goals as aforementioned. Above all, taking these classes would allow me to continue to be a living testimony to Christ that He is our Jehovah-Jireh (The LORD our provider)."
Myron was ordained as a Small Group Minister in 2018!
My passion is to encourage, minister, mentor, and share the Gospel where God has called me to serve.
I live in Bedford which is in northeast Ohio in the United States. I was born in Lakewood, Ohio which is also in northeast Ohio. I turned 70 in 2021.
Church was not a big thing to my parents. I was raised Catholic. I became Pentecostal, was saved and baptized in 1980. I am now non-denominational.
I began taking classes at CLI in December, 2019 because I wanted more knowledge about God and it was free. I was living in a nursing home then. I am so thankful to CLI/CLC because I was able to get the education I wanted within my meager income. When covid started, we were not allowed to leave our rooms, nor were we allowed visitors for 387 days so I studied, a lot.
I have earned both an Associate of Divinity and a Bachelor of Divinity degree. I have also earned 3 Diplomas, 6 Certificates, 26 Awards, 5 Badges, and 17 licenses and ordinations including Life Coach Minister, Associate Chaplain Minister, and Associate Minister. I continue to add credentials. I have now become a Certified Life Coach.
This has been an amazing journey. I have had marvelous professors who are men and women of God. They have not only shared their knowledge with me but they have also demonstrated Christian love and how a Christian should live.
Currently, I am no longer in a nursing home and am now a Pastor for an Assisted Living Complex for seniors. Matthew 10:8, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." Because of CLI, I have freely received. Now it is my turn to give. I am a volunteer with CLA and I like assisting other CLI/CLC students to help them reach their goals as God leads them.
“ Called to Chaplaincy”
Chaplain, Colonel Dean Wallace, was often referred to as the miracle child. When Dean was born on the 8th of April 1978, doctor’s told his mother and father he wouldn’t make it. Dean had been born with blood on the brain, which would require surgical intervention. Colonel Dean Wallace survived the surgery and healed within weeks. This was truly a miracle performed by the hands of GOD. I remember my mom telling me this story as if it was yesterday. It still amazes me today the works of GOD. Dean grew up in the home of his grandparents whom were both Christians and belonged to the United Methodist Church. For 19 years Dean attended the United Methodist Church with his grandparents. During Dean’s teen years he discovered that he had some other underlying health issues one being Barretts Esophagus and the other being Ulcerative Colitis, these conditions weren’t discovered until Dean’s high school years, when Dean fell ill one day while in class. The school called his grandmother to come get him that he wasn’t feeling well. Dean’s grandmother took him to his primary care provided who then sent him to a gastroenterologist specialist for further evaluation of the esophagus. Upon further evaluation the specialist determined Dean needed a endoscopy and colonoscopy to diagnose the conditions. Dean underwent the procedures and was diagnosed with Barretts Esophagus and Ulcerative Colitis both of which are pre-cancerous. For almost 45 years now Dean has lived with these medical conditions, he’s had surgery to eliminate the reflux but still suffered with Barretts Esophagus, his Ulcerative Colitis is now in remission. Doctor’s have told Dean, you have more wrong with you than what you think you do. Dean always just smiles and laughs, then says to them my medical conditions do not define my life, only God can define my life. Dean has always been positive about his medical conditions, after all if GOD can heal a bleeding brain, he can surely heal these conditions as well. Colonel Dean Wallace today is the Head Chaplain of the Commemorative Air Force Buckeye Wing in Ohio. Dean had previously served with the United States Air Force Auxiliary for 12 years and as of the 19th of January 2023, he was honorably discharged. Dean had also served a few years with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary as well. Dean loves helping others and loved serving his country while helping others in disaster situations. Dean has went through some hard times in his life especially from 2011 to 2014 when he lost his job after the company went bankrupt. During those three years Dean suffered tremendously. Dean knew however the lord would pull him through and he cringed to the father and his holy name for the sake of his survival. He prayed without ceasing that GOD would give his a signal as to what he wanted him to do and where he wanted him to go. In May of 2014, GOD sent Dean to Myrtle Beach, SC. Colonel Dean Wallace was to go their and find work and find a place to live. Dean wasn’t to return to his home town except to sale out rent the current home. God had commanded Dean to start a new life. Dean went and he did find work as a security officer at a nearby condo and as a first responder in the fire department. Dean also found a condo to live in during his four years he spent in South Carolina. After 4 years in 2018, God had another plan for Dean, this time he would send Dean to Ohio. Dean was sent to Ohio for surgery of his esophagus a surgery never performed before by the Cleveland Clinic, the surgery was successful and Dean’s esophagus began to heal. In 2020 Dean heard the voice of the Holy Spirit, a voice that was calling his to ministry. Dean, though why me lord. Dean didn’t understand why the lord was calling him to ministry, however he knew he had to obey the lords command to serve him. Dean prayed that the lord would guide him to find the training he needed to fulfill the lords calling for him to ministry. In June of 2022, Dean underwent knee surgery with complications, during this time Dean began to get even closer to the lord and started reading the Bible more and doing daily devotionals. Then in July of 2022, Dean’s prayers were answered, he found Christian Leaders Institute and began his ministry and chaplaincy training. Today, Chaplain Dean Wallace is the Head Chaplain and a Commissioned Officer of the Commemorative Air Force in the Grade of Colonel. Chaplain Dean Wallace, is an Ordained Associate Chaplain Minister by the Christian Leaders Alliance and is currently studying to become a Life Coach Minister and a Commissioned Pastoral Chaplain. Dean’s, long term goal is to receive his bachelor’s degree in chaplaincy and to become an ordained commissioned chaplain.