By Chris Moon
Not every ministry couple can boast of watching all three of their grown sons enter into full-time ministry.
But such is the case with Lewis and Lisa Captain.
“Our lives have been centered around kingdom work,” Lisa Captain said. “This world is not our home. We’re here for God’s purpose. We tried to involve [our sons] in ministry as much as possible. This is something they did as well. Growing up, this was our life.”
The Captains’ own journey has taken them to Zimbabwe, Hawaii, various spots in the Midwest, and now Utah. Their sons Brent, Timothy, and Joshua now lead churches in Minnesota, California, and Utah, respectively.
“We would encourage people to . . . be brave and go where God calls you to go even if it’s a place you never dreamed of going,” Lisa Captain said.
FROM OHIO TO AFRICA
Lewis and Lisa met at Cincinnati Christian University and were married in 1978.
They launched into ministry at Adena Road Church of Christ in Chillicothe, Ohio. After six years, they briefly moved north of New York City to help with a church plant. And then they did ministry at a church in Indiana.
At a church camp, they heard about Zimbabwe Christian College and its need for teachers. They raised support and spent the next eight years there, training up preachers for Zimbabwe and surrounding countries.
They have pictures of the family holding church services outside under a tree.
“That was probably one of the biggest influences on the boys,” Lewis Captain said, “the work we were doing and reaching out to other places in the world, and seeing people being trained for the ministry in a different culture.”
Their oldest son, Brent, recalls his dad grading papers on the floor in his home and encouraging his African students to memorize portions of the Sermon on the Mount. Brent said he even memorized parts of it.
Brent also recalled traveling into rural areas with his parents for revivals often finding interesting places to sleep or eat. He remembers going to chapel and watching dozens of men singing in their deep African voices and dancing to the Lord.
“It was pretty amazing watching that,” he said.
Brent, who now serves as lead minister with Valley Christian Church in Moorhead, Minn., said he felt his own call to ministry at age 12 after attending a convention for missionary kids. The students were encouraged to make their faith their own.
Brent said he doesn’t recall any conversations with his parents about going into ministry. But he does remember them helping him to fall in love with Jesus and to desire the same for others.
“It wasn’t really about ministry, per se,” he said. “It was seeing people’s need for Jesus.”
GOING WHERE OTHERS WON’T
After Lewis and Lisa returned to the United States, they were presented with the opportunity to teach in the Philippines. However, on the way there, Lewis preached at a couple of churches in Hawaii and ended up serving for three years at Central Maui Church of Christ in Kahului.
The Captains held outdoor services there as well. The church met for a time under a carport. The lesson for their three sons remained the same, Lisa said.
“We’ve always been interested in church where others wouldn’t go,” she said.
After returning from Hawaii, Lewis and Lisa did ministry in Ohio, Indiana, and now Layton, Utah, where they serve Salt Christian Church.
It should be noted that Salt Christian Church was founded by their oldest son, Brent, but it is now led by their youngest son, Joshua.
The Captains middle son, Timothy, serves as lead pastor of First Christian Church in National City, Calif., which is a trilingual congregation with services in English, Spanish, and Tagalog.
Brent Captain said his family’s willingness to serve in out-of-the-way places “places where there wasn’t a line of people wanting to go” is just “a very normal part” of who they are. And it is still the case, as both Utah and the Northern Plains are in need of more Christian churches.