Bob and Lois Gillespie spent the first 25 years of their married life in Northeast Ohio near their home church, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church , Smithville. They have 2 grown children, David and Gina. David is an attorney in Columbus, Ohio, and is married to Amy, the creative founder owner of The Campfire Experience; Gina is a curriculum specialist and makes her home in Butler, Ohio, with her husband, Brian, who is a middle school assistant principal. Brian and Gina are the parents of two of their granddaughters, Summer and Hannah; Dave and Amy are parents to their third granddaughter, Madeleine.
Bob and Lois taught in Christian schools in Ohio for 14 years. Through missions conferences at their church and because of their experiences in teaching, the Lord led them to teach missionary kids in West Africa. In 2001, they moved to Bouaké, Cote d'Ivoire, to teach at International Christian Academy (ICA). After the November 2004 evacuation from and subsequent closing of ICA, God redirected their ministry to Sahel Academy in Niamey, Niger, where they ministered for three years. In 2009, God redirected the Gillespies to continue their ministry of Training the Next Generation in the states through Worldview Discipleship Ministries, and ultimately with Answers in Genesis. Bob is an apologetics speaker with Answers in Genesis with over 30 years experience teaching Bible, history, and science in Christians schools and churches both here in the US and in West Africa.
Bob’s goal today is to teach the teachers (i.e., parents, Sunday school teachers, youth directors, and pastors) the same things he has taught his students in schools for many years: to uphold the authority of God's Word beginning in Genesis 1, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to confront the forces of secular humanism that are taking over our culture.
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Bob - Having been raised in a Baptist pastor’s home, I knew the plan of salvation from a small child. However I had never applied it to myself. When I was eight years old, after an evangelistic meeting, I realized that I needed to receive Jesus Christ as my very own personal savior. At home in my room, I asked God to save me. I knew that Jesus died in my place and I needed to place my trust in Him and I would be saved. After praying, I did not feel saved. So I prayed again, and I still did not feel saved. I thought that the third time ought to do it, but then a verse of scripture came to mind that I had memorized. I know now that it was the Holy Spirit Who reminded me of John 3:16. I simply believed what the Bible said and I knew that I was saved, not because I felt that way, but because the Bible said so. From that time on, I knew that God wanted me to do something for him even though I did not know what that was. I went to Cedarville College and to Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary. From there God led Lois and me into teaching in Christian schools. We raised two children while we were teachers in Ohio. When they were grown, we followed the Lord’s leading to teach missionary kids. Following one step at a time, He led us to a school in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. We have learned to trust God even more as He has led us through the unexpected, and have grown in faith as we have seen the hand of God guide and protect us. We know that the safest place that we can be is right where God wants us to be.
Lois - I also grew up in a Baptist pastor’s home. One Sunday night when I was 5, my mommy had to talk to me about being bad in church. It was that night, as she again told me about Jesus Who could help little girls be good, when I placed my trust in Him. I don’t remember much about that time, but I do remember wanting to share my special news with my big brother David. During my teen years, I struggled with being sure I was saved. One time when I was 17, I even asked the Lord to save me again – just to make sure. It was during my quiet times when I was 22, after coming across so many of the ‘believe’ verses, that I finally took God at His Word. I know that Satan was using doubt to keep me from being all that God wants me to be.