After a year-long effort that involved the work of many hands, a discipleship Bible study for Ohio Representatives, Senators, and Constitutional Officers has been launched in the Columbus Statehouse and is scheduled to begin meeting in September.
“I’m so excited about this,” said U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson, Ohio, 6th Congressional District, who was instrumental in paving the way for the study. “When Ralph came to me I spoke to my good friend Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, he is a strong faith-based partner, and he liked the idea. A lot of people got involved and the pieces fit together.”
Ralph Drollinger, President and Founder of Capitol Ministries (CM), said establishing the Ohio ministry had been an objective of Capitol Ministries for many years, and that he is grateful for the assistance and support of Congressman Johnson, Ohio Rep. Tim Derickson, District 53, and many others who worked to bring it to fruition.
“We at Capitol Ministries appreciate the help of all the Public Servants who were involved in bringing this together and we are excited by this partnership,” Drollinger said. “We will strive to further facilitate an increasingly dynamic ministry of maturing Members in Christ now and in the years ahead in Columbus.”
Congressman Johnson initiated the first meeting with Drollinger and Speaker Rosenberger.
“We met in the Speaker’s office and later we invited a group of faith-based believers who were not familiar with Capitol Ministries to come to Washington, D.C. to meet with Ralph,” Congressman Johnson said. “It was a fairly large group and they were all excited. Ralph did the footwork of finding the ministry leader to head it up. It took us well over a year and by God’s grace, He put this ministry in motion. This was a very big deal for us.”
In seeking a ministry leader to teach the study, Drollinger consulted with a number of Ohio Legislators, including Rep. Derickson.
“When Ralph asked who would be a good person to lead the Bible study, Brian Hanson immediately came to mind,” Rep. Derickson said “We have so much respect for him. We couldn’t be more pleased to have a man with his character, integrity, knowledge of Scripture, and love of the Lord to lead the study in the Ohio Statehouse.”
Rep. Derickson sees value in an in-depth weekly Bible study specifically prepared for Public Servants.
“We need a place where we can grow in the Word, foster our relationship with the Lord, and spend time with other believers in prayer so when we are all dressed up in our blue suits and working at the state Capitol, we remember why we are there.”
Hanson welcomes a partnership with Capitol Ministries. “Capitol Ministries not only brings breadth and networking opportunities, but also a lot of credibility and a world-wide platform that is bigger than any one person,” he said. Hanson will also continue his work as the Director of Gatekeepers Ministry, a chaplaincy outreach to athletes and legislators.
In addition to his own exegetical studies that will examine one book of the Bible verse by verse over the course of a year or more, Hanson intends to distribute the weekly Members Bible Studies that Drollinger prepares for U.S. Senators and Congressmen.
“My prayer is to deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ,” Hanson said. “A mix of people will be there and we want to expose every one of them to God’s Son. The whole value of having a relationship with Him is that the Bible influences every aspect of our lives.”
Congressman Johnson, who attends the Members Bible Study that Drollinger teaches on the Hill, said in-depth Bible studies allow legislators to stay in touch with what God’s Word says about current issues which makes their voting decisions less complicated. “If you know what God says, you make the right decision and you stand on it.”
“We need leaders in our state government as well as our federal government to understand that God is still on his throne,” Congressman Johnson said. “And that just like the Scriptures say, God holds the hearts and the minds of the kings in his hand and just like channels of water, he can turn them this way and that. So for us to do our jobs as lawmakers, we need spiritual guidance. I am very proud to be a part of establishing Capitol Ministries in the Ohio Statehouse.”