When Capitol Ministries was founded in 1996, one of our primary goals was to plant Bible studies in State Capitols across the nation to support Public Servants with prayer in order to teach them the Word of God, and to help them grow in their faith.
“At that time we had no idea how many State Capitols already had discipleship-oriented ministries that taught the Word of God to elected leaders,” said Ralph Drollinger, founder and president of Capitol Ministries. “As we began to plant ministries, we found that three State Capitols already had good ministries going: Louisiana, Florida and Kentucky.
“Accordingly, our desire has been to serve these ministries and their leaders in every way possible: they existed long before we did.”
One of those independent ministries is the weekly Louisiana Legislators’ Bible Study/Prayer Breakfast that was founded by The Reverend Dr. Rodney Wood, founder of The Mission Foundation and former pastor of the Trinity Church in Covington, LA.
It was in 1993 that The Rev. Dr. Wood sensed that God was calling him to serve Legislators as he was driving through the state capital of Baton Rouge on a hunting trip with two of his sons. After praying for and receiving divine guidance, The Rev. Dr. Wood began his ministry by traveling to the Capitol Building several times a week where he sat in the gallery and prayed during sessions, walked the halls and met people, and made himself available for prayer and fellowship. During months when the Legislature was not in session, The Rev. Dr. Wood prayed at the Capitol every Thursday afternoon. “I did that for six-and-a-half years and along the way from the very beginning, God began to give me friendships with those who worked at the Capitol in all kinds of capacities, and over the years, he gave me friendships with Legislators,” The Rev. Dr. Wood said.
Three years after he began his ministry, the House of Representatives asked The Rev. Dr. Wood to open the session in prayer, and two years after that, the Senate made the same request. In January 2000, The Rev. Dr. Wood was invited to lead a small prayer group inside the Capitol. “And that was the birthing of the Louisiana Legislators’ Bible Study/Prayer Breakfast, and this is our 15th year,” The Rev. Dr. Wood said.
The Bible Study/Prayer breakfast has grown from its small origins and today has good participation among Public Servants, The Rev. Dr. Wood said. Here, Democrats and Republicans, Senators and Representatives, sit side by side, perhaps holding different perspectives on some political issues, but brought together in their love for Jesus Christ.
“Through our study of Scripture and through our encouragement to one another, we seek to understand and follow what our Lord teaches us, that is what we do,” The Rev. Dr. Wood said. “It has been my privilege for the past 21 years to serve at the State Capitol, serving men and women in the Legislature, as well as all others who work there. I count their friendship to be a great blessing from God.”
The Rev. Dr. Wood’s ministry is one that Capitol Ministries is proud to support.
“Rodney Wood has been faithfully ministering to elected officials in the Louisiana State Capitol for over 21 years!” Ralph said. “Here in DC we have inherited the fruits of his labor — such as Congressman Bill Cassidy, who is a Godly man who always adds so much to our Members Bible Study. We and our nation are deeply indebted to the quiet and effective ministries of men like Rodney Wood.”
The Rev. Dr. Wood wrote a chapter in the just-released book, Rulers: Gospel and Government, a collection of 10 essays by eight authors and edited by Charles M. Garriott, founder and director of Ministry to State, headquartered in Washington, D.C. The book can be purchased on Amazon.com.
On Saturday, Aug. 30, The Advocate newspaper published a feature story on The Rev. Dr. Wood’s ministry.