July 11, 2012 : By BJ Williams/Liberty University News Service
Liberty University alumni and brothers Rick (’98) and Rodney (’88) Gage have been impacting lives through ministry across the country, taking to heart the mission of their alma mater, Training Champions for Christ.
Rick Gage, the third of four brothers, served as running backs coach at Liberty University (then Liberty Baptist College) from 1984-1985. He received his Master of Arts in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in 1998.
Starting out as a football player, Rick Gage played two years at Blinn Junior College in Texas before transferring to Cameron University in Lawton, Okla., where he received his B.S. in Health and Physical Education in 1981. He committed his life to Christ in 1984, while serving as an assistant coach at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. It was after traveling with his father, evangelist Freddie Gage, that he accepted the position at Liberty. In January of 1986, Gage left his coaching career to answer the call to full-time ministry. He traveled with former Liberty trustee Bailey Smith before launching his own organization, Go Tell Ministries, in 1990. Go Tell’s crusade ministry began a year later. He now leads crusades across the country, including a recent meeting in Anderson County, S.C., where more than 10,000 people gathered over four days and more than 1,300 people made commitments to Christ.
Go Tell’s student camps, started in 1989 in Toccoa, Ga., have shown great success as well. The camp also came to Lynchburg starting in 1995 at the invitation of late Liberty University founder Dr. Jerry Falwell, and saw a 15-year run on Liberty Mountain until 2010. Next year will mark the 25th year for the camp ministry, which has served thousands of youth every summer.
Seven Liberty University students intern with Go Tell every summer, assisting with the camps as well as the crusades. This summer is particularly meaningful for Rick as his daughter Sara, a rising sophomore at Liberty, is one of the interns.
Rick, his wife Lynne, and their two daughters live near Atlanta, Ga.
Rodney Gage was a student at Liberty the same time his brother Rick was a football coach. He received his Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication, with a minor in psychology, in 1988. He also spent time traveling with his father, during the summer before his junior year at Liberty, where he and Rick would both help out at their father’s evangelistic crusades. Rodney entered full-time ministry himself after graduation.
Rodney has a word of advice for anyone struggling with whether or not they are called to full-time ministry: “When you are called, you are miserable anywhere else,” he said.
He began as an itinerant youth evangelist, traveling across the country speaking in schools as well as churches before God called him and wife Michelle to plant a church in the Orlando, Fla., area. With the support of First Baptist Church in Orlando and (former) pastor Dr. Jim Henry, the Gages founded Fellowship of Orlando in 2001. Since then, Fellowship has rapidly become one of the fastest growing churches in Central Florida.
Rodney Gage and his wife Michelle live in Orlando, Fla., with their three children Rebecca, Ashlyn and Luke. The couple recently finished their first book together, titled “ReThink Life: How To Live Different From The Norm,” (Crossbooks Publishing, a division of Lifeway). This book will be the center piece for a “40 Day ReThinkLife Experiment” designed for churches. The campaign resources will be available FREE for churches in September. You can download these resources through their website, ReThinkLife.com. You can purchase the book now at any online retailer or the ReThinkLife website.
The Gage brothers are both thankful for what Liberty and its mission have meant to them and to their respective ministries.
“Those four years (at Liberty) changed my life,” Rodney Gage said. “Those were the greatest four years as far as my spiritual life and the development of my character as well as my leadership skills.”
Rick Gage said he wouldn’t be the man he is today, or have the ministry he has today “if it were not for Jerry Falwell and Liberty University. To see the heart that he had for people had a major impact on my life.”