News from GFI related to North America

DVD Seminars in South Africa

Our missionaries in South Africa, Piet and Sylvia du Toit, have recorded two of their Afrikaans Exchanged Life seminars at Baruch Media in Johannesburg. May God bless the distribution and use of these digital seminars!

Love Them to Life

Grace Fellowship Associates, Joe and Cherri Freeman, specialize in Exchanged Life Recovery ministry. They report:

We have had a very busy year, between counseling, speaking at churches and support groups, and teaching our Set Free Seminar.  Our most recent seminar was at Faith Evangelical Free Church in Acton, MA. We had a good turnout and great response from the people who attended. Joe also gave his testimony during the morning services the next day.

We are looking forward to two seminars in the month of February, one in Cape May Courthouse, NJ, at Lighthouse Church on Feb 9th and one in Egg Harbor Twp, NJ, at Friendship Bible Church on Feb 23. Check our LTTL Facebook page for further details.

If you would like us to present our seminar, testimonies, or start a support group at your church, please let us know.  You can contact us at 732-773-7747.

You can learn more about their ministry and resources at

New Staff Member: Don Steve

                                    John W. & Don S.

God is calling my wife, Leis, and myself on an exciting adventure and a very urgent mission. We have just moved from Toms River, New Jersey to the Pigeon Forge/ Knoxville, Tennessee area. The move is to answer God’s call, through the ministry of Grace Fellowship International, to respond to one of the enemy’s greatest tools of bondage, destruction, and death in our society today—substance addiction.

The need

According to statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 24 million Americans over the age of 12 used drugs in the month prior to the NIDA survey. Of those 24 million users, 19.6 million were considered to have a substance abuse problem. Addiction can start as early as the age of 8, especially in families were multi-generational drug use is present. Last year over 166,000 deaths occurred due to drug and alcohol abuse (NIDA statistics). The scope and intensity of the death and destruction grows each year. God’s call is to respond with the liberating, healing, life-giving power of the Cross and to move against this dark bondage with the same Spirit-filled truths that have brought freedom, wholeness, and light to many through GFI for decades.


God has been preparing me for this ministry since I came to know Christ as a teenager in 1979. I was not reared in a Christian home and was severely depressed my senior year in high school, the year before I met Christ. After placing my faith in Christ as my Savior my depression lifted. Four years later, while attending college, the depression returned (even as a believer) with greater intensity than ever before. I spent nearly two years with severe depression. I was counseled, medicated, and hospitalized twice during that two-year span. Nothing was helping. The medical experts were advising me to undergo Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT), a common treatment for severe, persistent depression at the time. During my depression, I used to wander through a Christian bookstore near my home for the slight relief the atmosphere gave me. During one of my trips, I saw a book, out of place and facing me on the shelf, entitled Handbook to Happiness. I did not intend to make a purchase; but, God had other plans. God used Dr. Solomon’s book to set me free. Due to the providence of God and the ministry of Dr. Charles Solomon, I found a much more effective treatment than ECT. Dr. Solomon’s Spirituotherapy® was far more effective treatment than ECT because the feeble attempts of man to produce wholeness and freedom are nothing compared to God’s glorious work through Jesus Christ. Praise God, I have been free from depression for thirty-five years.

God continued to prepare me for ministering to those in bondage through those thirty-five depression free years. God led me through relational brokenness, loss, and personal strongholds. All the growth and healing I experienced stemmed from the relevancy of the finished work of Christ to the believer who simply lives by grace through faith. This is essential to Spirituotherapy®. It is the foundation upon which I continue to grow and live victoriously and the foundation upon which I gain an experiential knowledge of Christ.

In 2006, I completed the advanced training curriculum of the Association of Exchanged Life Ministries at Grace Ministries (AELM) in Manassas, VA. Later that year, I was invited on staff of Grace Ministries as a Discipleship Counselor. I completed a master’s degree in Biblical counseling from Luther Rice University in 2013. The counseling department at Luther Rice features and promotes the Exchanged Life model of Biblical counseling pioneered by Dr. Solomon. I have been counseling men and women through ministries associated with AELM for the past 12 years. In addition, I have had two tenures as a pastor in both Virginia and in New Jersey. My wife and I moved from Virginia to New Jersey in 2013 to pastor Grace Christian Church in Freehold, NJ.

My wife, Leis, also completed advanced training in discipleship counseling at Grace Ministries in Manassas. She has a background in, and a passion for, addiction recovery having worked at a county run women’s recovery center in Virginia. God used her mightily in this secular setting after she also completed her Exchanged Life discipleship training at Grace Ministries. Since then, Leis has worked as a counselor at an AELM office and has been a staff counselor at Grace Christian Church.

While living in New Jersey, I was introduced to America’s Keswick Colony of Mercy by Joe and Cherri Freeman, GFI field staff who live near America’s Keswick. Cherri’s great grandfather founded the Colony of Mercy in 1897. Yes, the date is correct. The Colony of Mercy is the oldest addiction recovery ministry in the United States. I was hired as a counseling chaplain at the Colony of Mercy in 2015. I had no idea that God would use my time at The Colony of Mercy to redirect my life calling and ministry passion from the pastorate to addiction recovery ministry. I still love to teach, preach, and share God’s Word; but working with those in addiction, and training others to work with those in addiction, is a new-found passion. It is fascinating to watch the Spirit of God move in the life of those who know, through the addiction struggle, that they need wholesale life change, to watch Him illumine truth, and to watch Jesus bring a freeing faith in the midst of hopelessness! We at GFI intend to watch God do just that by the power of God and the truths that His cross established! I am excited and richly blessed to be taking a position as Director of Addiction Recovery Ministries at GFI. I never imagined that I would someday join the ministry that God used to so dramatically set me free from depression in 1983.


Our mission for GFI Addiction Recovery Ministries is to teach, equip, and train individuals, ministries, and churches that are ministering to those in addiction recovery. In addition to the GFI Recovery Coach Certification track, we are developing opportunities for on-going, consistent training and support for individuals, churches, and ministries ministering to those struggling with addiction. Our vision is to teach and train utilizing the Biblically sound, Cross-focused theology that Spirituotherapy embodies. We also want to enrich those who minister to others by teaching personal helping, coaching, and counseling skills. We want to offer on-going support through critical phases of growth in the ministry process through the use of tele-conferencing technology. An additional goal, accomplished through providing on-going support, is to help identify, teach, and train leaders within the ministries we help who can then train others. Our mission will always be to build upon the rich legacy of ministering to hurting people and the theological veracity that GFI has already established. I can’t think of a better ministry to respond to the plight of addiction and bondage than Grace Fellowship International.

Pray with us. We cannot do this without you! Personally, I am praying for those that God will now call to be part of our ministry team. The only way we can accomplish this mission is together as a ministry body. We need prayer warriors! Leis and I need personal ministry supporters who will engage in this spiritual battle with us and provide the necessary personal funds. We will win by His grace. We will bring light into the darkness of addiction and we will do it together!

-Don Steve

Glimpses: Nov.-Dec. Issue



We just mailed about 4,000 copies of the Fall issue of GFI’s newsletter, Glimpses of Grace. Our thanks to the additional help from volunteers Ron, Chris, Jane, Jeff, Julie, John and William! If you would like a PDF copy to view, download and share, please visit the Newsletter page.

Conference & Workshop

We are thankful for those who came to the Conference Nov. 2,3 and the Workshop Nov. 5-8.  The groups included missionaries to Thailand, a youth pastor & wife from Florida, counselors from the Carolinas and a variety of believers desiring to grow and be equipped for Christ Centered Discipleship Counseling. We pray God will bless His truth to their lives and use them as ambassadors of the New Covenant.

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Christian Leaders’ Retreat

MainStayGrace Fellowship Int’l just sponsored a retreat for pastoral couples in Pigeon Forge, TN October 1-3. Pastors and their wives had an opportunity to get some rest, a change of scenery, and fellowship with one another. Pastor Dan Riley was host and prayer partner. Cathy Solomon organized the gift bags and arrangements, and John Woodward gave a PowerPoint talk about the importance of Christ-centered, Discipleship Counseling. We pray God’s blessing on the participants and their ministries.

Comfort and Hope

John and Linda Woodward appreciate the many prayers and expressions of sympathy since the home-going of their daughter, Sarah. Media elements from her Memorial Service of September 22nd have been posted here:

Thank you, also, to those who use GFI’s Memorial Fund for tribute giving.

Original Poetry

Where All is Right
By Dennis Newton

There are tears going up tonight,
Up to where all is right.
A cherished one has taken flight,
Up to where all is right.

There are prayers going up tonight,
Up to where all is right.
Sending up love with all our might,
Up to where all is right.

There is a child gone home tonight,
Up to where all is right.
Now dancing in the glow of God’s pure light;
Welcome home our child, where all is right.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17,18

The Blessing of Tears
by Charles Solomon

My heart goes out to you
As you have experienced great loss.
Our hearts are burdened, too;
And we’re thankful you know the cross.

The loss of a child is devastating;
You have sustained a broken heart.
Only the Holy Spirit can comfort
As the eyes with teardrops start.

The Spirit is faithful to ease your pain,
As in the depths of your heart He lives;
Only tears can vent your grief
As the Spirit His comfort gives.

Training Week


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We are thankful for those who attended the Exchanged Life Conference in Pigeon Forge, TN August 3,4. The “long distance travel award” goes to our team member, Charles Ambaka from Kenya. The Spirituotherapy Workshop took place August 6-9. The eight participants were excited to go deeper and get training and practice sessions to be equipped for Christ Centered Discipleship Counseling. The next Conference and Workshop are scheduled for November 2-8. All are welcome! See the Events Calendar for details and registration. Photos of summer ministry activities are at the online album here:

New DVD Album: How to Exchange Your Life

HTEYLFANO_2018_coverHow to Exchange Your Life for a New One by Dr. Phil Jones is an entry-level Bible study intended to reach and assimilate new church members. The booklet is available in the book store here. Grace Fellowship Int’l announces the publication of a new DVD album to accompany this booklet. These videos are about 15 minutes in length:
  • Sessions 1, 2: “Verify Your Salvation” – Dr. Phil Young
  • Sessions 3, 4: “New Life in Christ” – Dr. Dan Riley
  • Sessions 5, 6: “The Spirit-Filled Life & Victory” – Dr. Phil Jones
We pray that many small groups and churches will discover the strategic value of this outreach/initial discipleship kit. The DVD album is on sale for $39.95 at the online store or by calling 865-429-0450. Sample video sessions can be previewed at the How to Exchange Your Life for a New One resource page.

Committed Christian Conference

committedThe annual Committed Christian Conference was held July 1-3, 2018 in Sevierville, Tennessee. It was sponsored by the David Cobb Evangelistic Association.

The speakers were:

  • Preston Nix
  • Diane Nix
  • John Woodward
  • George Bellmany

Praise music sessions were led by recording artist, John Swaim.

The meetings were held in the conference room at Holiday Inn Express, 121 Nascar Dr, Sevierville, TN .

Audio recordings of the messages have been posted at: