Dear Ministry Partners,
Exceedingly and abundantly is how God has blessed Capitol Ministries in 2022, our 26th year of ministry as we launch 16 new national discipleship Bible-study based ministries to elected and appointed government leaders around the world.
I remember early on in CapMin’s history when it was a big deal to launch one new ministry in a given year; this year God enabled us to launch 16!
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, Ephesians 3:20 (KJV).
We have sought His leading and guidance every year as we work to make disciples in the political arena across the globe. His blessings have always been abundant, but this year, His affirmation has been exceptional. While most of the world was in lock down due to COVID-19 travel and meeting restrictions, we concentrated on building CapMin’s infrastructure. In that regard, the global leaders we appointed to oversee Capitol Ministries in specific geographic areas around the world have been tremendously successful in recruiting solid, biblically reliant men—nationals—who can teach the Bible to their political leaders. This year we held training conferences in Panama City, Panama and in Cape Town, South Africa where we taught these men how to establish and sustain ministries to their respective nations’ public servants.
You share in these tremendous accomplishments!
We want to bring this good news to you as we begin to prepare for the year ahead because your continued faithful support is critical to this vital work for the strategic expansion of God’s Kingdom. We have even more news to share about what is on the horizon for 2023, but first, we’d like for you to know a little about these new, stellar Bible-teaching evangelists who will be making disciples of Jesus Christ among political leaders in their nations. These are the men you have helped bring into the ministry this year through your prayers, encouragement, and resourcefulness:
Dr. Gaetano Sottile is recognized as one of the most influential Christian leaders in Italy. He has led thousands to the Lord, trained hundreds of pastors and Christian leaders, and mentored key public figures in Italy and Europe. He is a gifted speaker and has held numerous executive positions in business and ministry. He currently serves as the general secretary of the Italian Coalition of Evangelical Churches. He and his wife, Sondra, founded the Italy for Christ ministry with the mission to “pierce the Italian culture with the Christian values of the gospel.” In 2018, Dr. Sottile established the GLA-Guy Leadership Academy which is aimed at training and coaching emerging leaders. For nearly 25 years, Dr. Sottile has been involved in organizing and planning events in the Italian Parliament to promote Christian values and introduce the biblical message to those in power. Dr. Sottile was attracted to Capitol Ministries because of our strong commitment to teach God’s Word to office-holding leaders He will be launching a Bible-study based ministry in the Italian Parliament in 2023.
Brussels, Belgium and Strasbourg, France
Valeriu Ghiletchi, a seminary-trained Baptist pastor and former Moldovan Parliamentarian who has a track record of making disciples in the political arena, is the ministry leader to members of the European Union. Pastor Ghiletchi is tasked with building discipleship Bible-study ministries to members of the European Parliament (EP), the legislative branch of the EU which meets alternately in Brussels, Belgium and Strasbourg, France. He has already begun his work. When the EP is not in session, Pastor Ghiletchi is working closely CapMin’s global director for Eastern and Western Europe to plant and build ministries throughout capitols of nations across the continent. As a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Pastor Ghiletchi was the chairperson of the Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights. He was also the rapporteur of several reports adopted by PACE, one of which was: “Tackling intolerance and discrimination in Europe with a special focus on Christians.” He served as a member of the Moldova Parliament from 1998-2001 and again from 2009-2019. Valeriu and Marina, his wife, have three children and six grandchildren. He holds freedom very dear, having suffered religious persecution while growing up in Moldova, which at that time was a Soviet Bloc nation. His grandfather became the first Christian in their village and he established a strong Christian foundation upon which the family built their faith. “I believe that serving members of parliament, praying with them and for them, helping them to study the Word, and having fellowship with them will be a great encouragement and will help them grow spiritually. These efforts will also strengthen them to fulfill their mandate and to become strong leaders of their nations,” he said.
Pastor Ion Groza ran for the Moldova Parliament on the principles of accountability and integrity among public servants and was elected as an independent candidate in 2019. Throughout his pastoral ministry, Pastor Groza has taught messages on accountability and integrity from the pulpit. Pastor Groza was reelected in 2021 and is part of the Government Coalition. He has the heart of a true servant. When the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, he was seen distributing home cooked meals from the trunk of his car at the Ukraine-Moldova border. Pastor Groza learned about CapMin’s mission from Valeriu Ghiletchi who has served several terms as a Member of Moldovan Parliament. Pastor Valeriu is currently CapMin’s ministry leader to the European Union. Together with Pastor Valeriu, Pastor Groza co-chairs a Bible-study based ministry for members of Moldovan Parliament. As a next step he is working to launch a ministry and Bible study for mayors in the Cahul region.
Keith H. Pugh is a gifted Alabama pastor with more than 40 years’ experience in Bible teaching and pastoral ministry. He serves as associate pastor of First Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa. Pastor Pugh played football for coach Paul Bryant at the University of Alabama and was a member of two national championship teams. Well known in Christian and business circles, Pastor Pugh is recognized for humility and his devotion to the gospel. His life purpose statement is “To know Him and to make Him known.” He is married to Teresa Winter Pugh and the couple has three children. In the past, Pastor Pugh led a Bible teaching ministry for Alabama legislators, justices, and provided one-on-one spiritual counseling for political leaders. With a passion to serve those whom God has called to the office, Pastor Pugh is excited about partnering with Capitol Ministries. He is preparing to launch a Bible-study based ministry at Alabama’s State Capitol late this year.
Dr. Randy Covington, the executive director of the Alaska Baptist Convention, has been named CapMin’s ministry leader in the state of Alaska. He is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned a master’s degree in religious education and PhD in administration. He is also a graduate of Wayland Baptist University. Dr. Covington is skilled in strategic planning, public speaking, and leadership development. He will be leading a study that will be hosted by Governor Mike Dunleavy. Dr. Covington, Danielle, and I had the honor and privilege of meeting with Gov. Dunleavy in October of this year in his Anchorage office. The governor committed to hosting a weekly Bible study in his Juneau office conference room during the four-month legislative Session and will host the study for the remainder of the year from his beautiful Anchorage conference room through a weekly statewide Zoom call. The remote meeting will allow all legislators to participate from their home districts across the vast state. Capitol Ministries will bear the expenses for the Zoom calls and Bible study breakfasts. Dr. Covington is excited about leading an ongoing disciple making, Bible-teaching ministry to his state’s political leaders!
Ray Strauss is the senior pastor of Edmond Community Church that is near the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. He is ideally situated and uniquely gifted to reach political leaders for Christ. Pastor Strauss is entrepreneurial by nature and has a history of planting churches. His first foray into church planting took him to Buckeye, Arizona, a Phoenix suburb. There he pastored the Church at Sun Valley and made such a community impact that he was asked by the mayor to run for city council. He ran, was elected, and served from 2010 until 2016. “There was an opportunity to serve both the church and city,” he said. “Helping the city resolve challenges opened relationships that, in many cases, generated new Christians and grew the church.” Having served as a Bible teacher and pastor to political leaders, Pastor Strauss has the experience needed to minister to members of the legislature. Pastor Strauss is readying to launch a weekly discipleship Bible-study based ministry at the Capitol, as well as in the governor’s office in January of 2023. Pastor Strauss will be replacing CapMin’s Dr. Cheyne Day who will be singularly concentrating on his existing ministry in the Arkansas State Capitol with the help of governor-elect Sarah Huckabee. Before we recruited Pastor Strauss, Pastor Day led both the Arkansas and Oklahoma ministries for many years.
One of the highlights this year in both the Senate and House Member ministries is the wide distribution of my weekly written Bible studies. The studies are being distributed every week at the House and Senate caucus meetings at the invitation of Secretary of the House, U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (North Carolina, 8th District) and Senator Kevin Cramer (North Dakota), both of whom are long-time CapMin supporters. Their generous gestures have prominently placed our Bible studies before many representatives who may not otherwise have known about Capitol Ministries. Not long ago, Danielle and I walked the studies to every office every week, but we were never sure if they got to the Member. That is not the case anymore. Additionally, our objective to woo incoming newly elected Senators to our Bible study is working well. After they won their primaries, candidates received letters from 10 senators inviting them to participate in the CapMin Bible study after they were elected. We are encouraged and optimistic about our U.S. Senate Member ministry! We could be upwards to 17 sponsors in the coming year! Our freshman recruitment strategy is working.
Brennan Cattani is pastor of a church plant in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. During the long COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, Pastor Cattani discovered CapMin online and contacted us to learn more about our ministry and mission. It was clear that Pastor Cattani had the gifting and passion to make disciples in the Canadian political arena, but travel and meeting restrictions made it impossible for him to attend a CapMin training conference. God, providentially, made a way for him and his wife Rhonda to attend the Panama Training Conference in October. While at the training, Pastor Cattani found the theological moorings of CapMin to be both compelling and exciting. Pastor Cattani is excited to blaze a new trail in his Provincial Capital! He is planning to launch his ministry in January of 2023.
Eduardo Magermans Zepeda is the executive director for Guatemala Prospera, a non-profit, non-partisan and non-religious association. This group is committed to strengthening service leadership and the unity of the sectors of influence to achieve a prosperous country. Positions he has held in the past include general manager for Vision Radios Corporation, general manager of Manuel y Concha Foundation, and director of IJM International Mission for Justice. Eduardo is an excellent communicator, especially on the topic of leadership. He is a radio producer and is involved in broadcasting programs in his nation. He is very well connected in political and religious circles, including mayors of major cities, legislators, and members of the executive branch of government. He was introduced to Capitol Ministries by his good friend Mario Bucaro, who is now serving as secretary of state for Guatemala. Eduardo and Mishel, his wife and ministry partner, are delighted to start CapMin Bible-study based ministries for mayors, governors, and congressmen throughout the country.
Pastor Jose Villanueva, who is well experienced in the church community as well as the political arena, is our ministry leader in Colombia. He has preached in Colombia as well as in several nations of the world and has a strong commitment to family ministry. In 2002, he became involved with a Christian political party and as a result, ran and was elected to the nation’s senate. While in office, he became committed to serve his country in keeping with biblical principles. In 2018, he was a founding member of the political party, “Colombia Justa Libres” which has supported several candidates who have been elected in local and state races. In his political work, he has also guided several public servants in their faith in God and discipled them in His Word. Some of these people are serving God and the nation. Since 2005, he has served as senior pastor of the Global Family Church in Bogotá. He and Clara, his wife of 32 years, have two adult children and a granddaughter. The couple has been recognized for their work in Colombia and several nations for strengthening families through conferences, camps, programs, and the magazine, “En Pareja” (In Couple) that is translated into English and Portuguese. After participating in the Panama City training conference, pastor Jose and Clara were very impressed by the ministry’s mission and its vision for the world. Pastor Villaneuva is eager to launch his ministry to Colombia’s national political leaders.
Pastor Emmanuel Makolo who is gifted in administration and committed to evangelism and discipleship, is the Local Government Ministries (LGM) leader for all African nations. In this role, Pastor Makolo is charged with recruiting both ministry leaders and local government public servants with the purpose of establishing weekly LGM discipleship Bible studies. Pastor Makolo serves as an administrative pastor in Eldoret, Kenya. Pastor Makolo, who speaks Swahili and English, has served in many mission fields in different parts of the world. Among them, he has worked as outreach pastor for the Sirikwa Fellowship where he prepared annual missions plans and budgets, led the outreach team, and assisted in raising missionaries, among other duties. Pastor Makolo is married to Faith Wangari and the couple has three children. Pastor Makolo said it is a privilege to work with Capitol Ministries to help fulfill the Great Commission by reaching the affinity sphere of political leaders with the gospel. “Africa is a continent that is plagued with war and poverty and this is due to bad leadership,” he said. “No one has the power to change the hearts of man, only God can do that. It is important for these leaders to know and follow Jesus who can change them and the righteous will prosper and the cities will rejoice (Proverbs 29:2).”
Republic of South Africa
Steve Flandorp is the senior pastor of the Cape Gateway International Church that he and his wife Louise planted 30 years ago. He has been named ministry leader for the Republic of South Africa. He is a graduate of Cape Bible Training College. Pastor Flandorp is also a businessman and has worked as the head of an investment initiative between the South African government and Eskom, an electric utility company. He is currently president of a growing international Fellowship of Churches and the regional hub leader of the Movement Day Africa – Southern Region and holds advisory and directorship roles with a number of entities including SCF Project Consulting, NGO’s Keep the Dream 308 Foundation, and Hope Africa Collective. Pastor Flandorp and his wife, Louise are both second generation pastors with a passion to mobilize the church to transform the communities where they live and work. He is committed to teach the Bible to political leaders in his nation. “Our Church motto for the past 25-plus years is to win the lost at any cost and to make disciples of Jesus Christ in every sphere of society,” he said. “So, CapMin enables us to achieve our goal as a ministry but more importantly as a leader and voice in our nation.” He is preparing to launch a ministry to national political leaders in his home nation.
Gideon Phiri, the senior pastor of Christian Life Centre-Mbabane in Eswatini, is our new ministry in his home country. He received ministry training at the Assemblies of God School of Theology (Malawi) and is currently a doctoral candidate at the Pan Africa Theological Seminary (Lome-Togo). Pastor Phiri holds a master’s degree in Intercultural Studies, and two bachelor’s degrees, one in Bible and Theology and the other in Christian Education. Among professional positions he has held are adjunct lecturer at Assemblies of God School of Theology, youth and pastoral care pastor at International Christian Assembly in Malawi. He also served as principal of Eswatini College of Theology for six years. Skilled, experienced, and passionate about sharing the gospel, Pastor Phiri is dedicated to teaching God’s Word verse by verse to political leaders. He will be launching a ministry to national public servants in Eswatini. “Africa’s problem is a leadership problem,” he said. “Capitol Ministries represents God’s heart for public servants because He is the God of public servants too. The Great Commission is never complete if public servants are not given the opportunity to experience the love of Jesus Christ.”
Dr. Deogratias Ngoma is a medical doctor and the founder and overseer of Jesus Cares Churches in Tanzania, the ministry he founded under God’s grace in 2017. He also works in public health, serving as a director for Helen Keller International. Dr. Ngoma earned a master’s degree in Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in Bible and Theology. Dr. Ngoma has sensed a call to teach God’s Word to political leaders so that they may impact communities in all aspects of life. “For a nation to flourish, the world views of key decision makers in public offices should mirror God’s wisdom as revealed in the Scriptures,” he said. “The church has been celebrating politicians and those in public offices without investing in their spiritual life. It’s high time we make disciples of Christ among political leaders so in turn, they will not only make right decisions, but also make more disciples. The opportunity to work with Capitol Ministries has come at the right time and is an answer to prayers.” He is preparing to launch a ministry to Tanzania’s national leaders.
Dr. Benson Baguma, who is gifted in preaching, Bible exposition, teaching, and administration, is the new ministry leader for the federal capital of Kampala, Uganda. He currently serves as the National Team Leader of African Evangelistic Enterprise, Uganda. He is married to Zirian Kisembo Baguma, and the couple has five daughters and four grandchildren. Dr. Baguma holds a Doctor of Management degree from Swiss Management Centre, a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Management from Uganda Christian University, and a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Makerere University. He is also a professional teacher and holds a diploma in secondary education from the Institute of Teacher Education, Kyambobo. Dr. Baguma has served as a diocesan director of planning and development in South Rwenzori Diocese in Kasese, Uganda, as executive director of health sector management in the areas of service delivery and general management of health systems in a hospital setting, and planner and overseer of water and sanitation programs of Kagando Rural Development Center. With a passion to share the love of Christ and lead Bible exposition, Dr. Baguma is preparing to launch a Bible-study based ministry for the national political leaders of his nation.
Pastor Samuel Telliano is the pastor of the EPE Emmaus Church in Conakry, Guinea. He also serves as pastor of the Emmaus Protestant High School, chaplain of the Evangelical Christian Youth of the Basse-Côte Region in Guinea, and lecturer in Christian Education at the Lycée Protestant Emmaüs d’Enta. He is the founder of the “Pastoral Mission Door of Hope,” an educational structure through the media, agropastoral and social action. An accomplished speaker and lecturer, Pastor Telliano has spoken at numerous national and regional church conferences and seminars. He earned two master’s degrees in theology at the Jean Calvin Faculty of Aix-En-Provence in France. He holds a degree in theology from the Faculty of Evangelical Theology of the Christian Alliance of Abidjan (Ivory Coast), and a law degree from the Faculty of Legal Sciences and Policies of General Lansana Conté University of Sonfonia (Guinea). He is married and the father of three children. We were blessed to meet Pastor Telliano through our connections in the Africa offices of the Christian Broadcasting Network who gave Pastor Telliano their highest recommendations. He is in the process of launching a discipleship ministry and weekly Bible study to national political leaders in his home country of Guinea.
Mel Lasm is pastor of the Tabernacle Church of the Gospel in Abidjan. He and his wife work in ministry together. Pastor Lasm attended the CFBP, a biblical training center for pastors and church leaders, and earned a master’s degree in theology at the Higher Institute of Evangelical Theology. Also a businessman, Pastor Lasm is a senior marketing technician. Pastor Lasm sensed a burden to bring the Word of God to political decision makers and a few years ago began ministering to public servants “whenever God gave me the opportunity.” He was excited to find a ministry dedicated to serving public servants. “CapMin is very advanced in their methodology and through our relationship, we can become better trained to make disciples in the political arena in Cote d’Ivoire,” he said. Pastor Lasm added that the CapMin training in Cape Town, South Africa was packed with information that was imparted efficiently in a small amount of time. “I take this opportunity to salute CapMin senior management and bless God for this great initiative.” Pastor Lasm is preparing to launch a ministry to political leaders in his nation.
It is with great joy and thanksgiving to God that we tell you about these ministry launches. Can you imagine the impact they will have in the world should the Lord tarry? Ministries in capitols are like fine wine. They become better and more valuable as time goes on. So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it (Isaiah 55:11).
Already we see that this remarkable momentum will continue in 2023. Efforts to recruit additional ministry leaders to teach the Bible to political leaders at all levels – local, state, and national in the U.S. and around the world – have been so successful that we are planning a worldwide training conference in Washington, D.C., in November 2023.
In addition to all of the aforementioned, we have already recruited many new Bible teachers who will be vetted and trained for Local Government Ministries (LGM), our initiative to work with the local church to establish Bible-based discipleship ministries to city and county commissioners and other local leaders. Plus, revisions to my books, All In Authority: Reigniting the Bible’s Top-Down Missions Strategy, and Oaks in Office: Essential Bible Studies for Political Leaders are complete and the new editions will be published in early 2023.
And, after years of groundwork, organizing, and networking, in January 2023, I will lead the first weekly discipleship Bible study ever in the history of the United States to America’s governors. The study will be held on weekly Zoom calls so governors may join from wherever they are—as well as in person at the quarterly meetings the governors have together at various locations across the country. So far 14 sitting governors have committed to regularly participate. Imagine the God-centered impact on America that will result when our governors delve deeply into the Word of God every single week. The Word of God is chock-full of specific principles related to the governance of nations, states, and cities. Additionally encouraging is this: governors have already committed to help further the ministry by opening doors for CapMin with their state’s mayors and city councilmen!
We are overwhelmed and thankful to God for these results from our labors and we are so grateful to you for your continued support. You share in each of these accomplishments! From the Capitol Ministries Board of Directors, our staff, Danielle, and myself, thank you for all your help. I am eager to see what God will bring through our continued partnership in 2023!
But keep in mind that this mighty work takes many hands. I invite you to continue working with us to fulfill the Great Commission by teaching the Word of God to the political leaders of our world.
Your partnership is an investment in the hope of the gospel and the future of our nation. Would you please consider a year-end gift to Capitol Ministries and our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ in the political arena throughout the world? We are running low on funds given all that has happened this year.
I cannot think of a more strategic and influential investment of the resources God has given you.
In addition to the good news of 2022, please visit capmin.org and look at the top right where you may access the annual report for 2021, our 25th anniversary year. You will find stories that show how this year’s achievements have been built upon the work that God blessed last year. I look forward to laboring for the kingdom with you in the coming year. May our Lord continue to richly bless you.
President and Founder
PS: These vital ministries you have just read about require financial commitments. Our ministry launches this year were greatly multiplied and so, too, were our financial obligations. Would you please consider a year-end gift to help us finish 2022 in a strong financial position? Your gift will enable the ministry to begin the new year with the resources necessary to continue making disciples of Jesus Christ among the world’s political leaders.
PPS: One more request, we would be grateful if you would send the link to this letter to friends whom you believe would be interested in making disciples of Jesus Christ and in fulfilling the Great Commission. Thank you very much for your prayers and your support.