Sharing the Gospel with Michigan's Legislature
Capitol Ministries began 20 years ago with the vision of planting in depth Bible studies in every capitol in our nation, Bible study programs in all three branches of our national government in Washington DC, and in the capitols of every country. That vision has unfolded in an amazing way. To see the full scope of it go to www.capmin.org for a full presentation of all that is happening in our nation and in our world as God has opened doors to each of those strategic spheres of influence. Also on the website you can view, and listen to audio recordings of the Bible studies that are delivered weekly to the elected and appointed officials in our nations' House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the President's cabinet.
Capitol Ministries Michigan was launched in 2012 under the leadership of Dr. Dean Mathis. The focus as with all Capitol Ministry affiliates is on delivering in-depth, exegetical, Bible studies to elected officials in the capitol community in Lansing. The Michigan legislature is made up of 148 members, 110 state representatives and 38 senators, sent to Lansing by the voters of their separate districts. The legislature is a full-time legislature and meets throughout the year with the exception of the months of July and August. However, special sessions can be called at any time. The calendar calls for about 32 weeks of scheduled legislative sessions. Sessions are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with exceptions for special needs. The mass of the population of the state is located with in a 1 to 2 hour drive to Lansing, therefore, most of the legislators commute from their homes on the days that sessions are scheduled. The rest who live further distances away will commute in on Monday and return at close of session on Thursday or Friday morning back to their home districts. This means that these public servants spend a great deal of time in their cars. It was this observation and the challenge of finding a scheduled time for a formal sit down Bible study that led Dr. Mathis to pioneer the " windshield Bible study" program. Bible studies of approximately 20 minutes in length are recorded, placed on CDs, and then hand-delivered to the offices of those who wish to participate in this unique approach to Bible study by making use of otherwise empty time. With this website these recorded studies are also available for download on phones and other electronic devices. The ever-expanding number of participants in Michigan's legislative branches of government plus our executive leaders now numbers 42. This does not include extra copies distributed to supporters of this ministry and those who listen to the studies that the legislators pass on to their staff, family, and friends.
The Bible is foundational to the beginning of our country. Understanding the Bible is vitally important for those who hold elected office because it and it alone gives us the counsel and absolute truth needed for moral decision-making. It is the foundation of rationality and logical thinking based upon the very mind of God Himself. It is with this awareness in mind that putting biblical truth into the hands of those who will make our laws is such a very important ministry. A careful study of the spread of Christianity in the book of Acts shows a Divinely inspired strategy of going to the capitols of the various sections of the ancient world and presenting the gospel to its leaders. That approach by the apostles revolutionized the world. This biblical strategy is at the heart of how we in the 21st century can once again begin to impact our nation at every level with the truth of God's Word.
Meet the Director:
➤ Dr. Dean Mathis
Capitol Ministries Michigan director, Dean Mathis, was born in San Diego, California, and grew up in southeastern New Mexico. His parents were devout believers and their two sons came to faith in Christ in childhood. Dean married Betty Sue Thompson in 1966 after graduating from Wayland Baptist University. They have two children and 15 grandchildren.
After college Dean completed the M.Div. and D.Min. degrees. His ministry activities included being a college Bible teacher and campus minister, an associate pastor, and serving as the senior pastor of an 1800 member congregation in southeastern New Mexico for 36 years prior to his retirement in June 2011. He also served his denomination as president of the state convention, and on state and national boards. While in the pastorate he became conviced of the importance of Christians being involved in public service. He invited speakers such as David Barton to come to the church and challenge believers to consider public service as a part of their Christian witness. This led to members of that congregation serving in local, county,and state government, and eventually in the Congress of the United States. When Dean retired from the pastorate it was Congressman Steve Pearce, 2nd. District New Mexico, who suggested to the president of Capitol Ministries and leader of the Bible study in Congress to contact the Mathises about launching the ministry in Lansing where they had moved after retirement. The interaction with the legislators in Michigan's Capitol has been an extremely rewarding experience and one that revealed that a large number of those wonderful people are there because of a desire not only to serve their constituents but also to serve their Lord. The years ahead promise to be even more exciting as the ministry expands to include more participants.
"It is a privilege and an honor to have a spiritual ministry sharing the word of God with some of the finest people I have ever met that serve in the Legislature of the state of Michigan."
Director, Capitol Ministries Michigan