by | Aug 31, 2000 | Charisma Archive

TBN’s LaVerne and Edith Tripp Celebrate 25th Ministry Anniversary

If you can find it on the map, chances are LaVerne Tripp has been there. This evangelist has spent the last 25 years ministering in places such as Russia, Mexico and India, spreading the gospel. Tripp said he has seen more than 500,000 souls won to the Lord.

After 25 years on the road, Tripp is spending at least part of the silver anniversary of LaVerne Tripp Ministries in the heart of America at a hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

Tripp, who is joined in ministry by his wife, Edith, and sons Robb and Terry, said he recognized God’s calling at the age of 3, even though it took him 27 years to heed the heavenly voice. After writing and recording three No. 1 gospel songs, Tripp accepted God’s prompting into traveling ministry. “I’ll never again put a price on the gift You have given me. I will not allow tickets to be sold,” he insisted.

The 55-year-old “musicianary” hasn’t just led people to the Lord–he’s taken in some as well. The couple adopted 10 children in India after a trip there 12 years ago.

In 1999, Tripp’s ministry started four churches with four of the young men he adopted. And his ministry is the sole supporter of three children’s homes and 300 children in Tadepalligudem and Vijayawada, India. His ministry built a learning center in Vijayawada. The center consists of a vocational school to help young people learn to make a living with their own hands, a Bible school to prepare children for ministry and a church auditorium that seats 1,500 people.

Tripp is often seen on the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s “Praise the Lord” program. After more than two decades of successful ministry, he says he’s far from finished. His plans include the opening of a Christian recording studio in India, for starters.

“I plan to proclaim the gospel to the world in crusades, radio, television, Internet, CD, cassette–and every dollar I get my hands on, I plan to give it to the church in poverty-stricken nations to help them establish God’s kingdom in the earth.”

–Catherine Roberts

Jesus in Claymation: ABC Special Goes to Video

An animated film that told more than 10 million viewers on the ABC television network on Easter that Jesus is the healing Savior is to be released this month on home video in both VHS and DVD formats.

The Miracle Maker: The Story of Jesus, will be released on Sept. 12 by Artisan Entertainment’s Family Home Entertainment division, according to D Squared Entertainment.

The 91-minute full-length feature tells
the story of a family, led by a Pharisee named Jairus (William Hurt), seeking help for their sick daughter, Tamar. They cross paths with Jesus as He walks the countryside explaining the wonders of God, and
miracles occur.

Tamar becomes fascinated by the spiritual strength and leadership of Jesus, but her father and people in authority are troubled by Jesus’ ability to inspire people. The conflict between belief and authority come to a head when the great pilgrimage reaches Jerusalem in a confrontation between the power of Rome and the power of God.

In the Christian Booksellers market, the VHS version of this impressive claymation film will retail for $19.98 and $29.99
for DVD.

For more information, visit the film’s Web site at www.

–Billy Bruce

More Than A Second Chance

Diane Cisternas was a single parent of two children. She had never married and, in her words, was “quite worldly.”

The Sandusky, Ohio, resident got involved in promiscuous behavior, abused drugs and alcohol and studied New Age religion. In a weird turn of events,
a young man who moved in with Cisternas murdered the father of one of her children. He

went to prison, and Cisternas was left alone.

“My worldly friends deserted me because they believed I was involved [in the murder],” she said.

She began to seek God and read the Bible. At church people laid hands on her, and she was delivered when she received the Holy Spirit. But while serving in church ministries, she fell into an adulterous relationship and became suicidal. She was imprisoned for arson for trying to set fire to her mother’s house in a suicide attempt. But she returned to Jesus for help, and courts later declared her mentally competent.

Today Cisternas serves in a children’s ministry and has been remarried for six years. She also is a Rhema Bible School student.
“I thank God for giving me not just a second chance but a million chances if I need it,” Cisternas said.

Smithton Revival Continues Under ‘Big Top’

Four years and 1,100 services later, a Midwest revival that brought more than 250,000 people to a small town of 532 is going strong–in a new city.

The Smithton Outpouring led by pastors Steve and Kathy Gray set up shop in July under a huge tent on 62 acres purchased just off I-470 in Kansas City, Mo. The pastors said that God called them to relocate the revival from tiny Smithton, Mo.

The Kansas City Star published a story on the first night of services, which drew 700 people from all over the United States and one visitor from Egypt. Construction, meanwhile, is under way for a permanent church building on the site for World Revival Church–home of the revival. That facility should be completed in the fall.

Also in the fall, those who want to be trained in revival can attend World Revival School of Ministry on the site. Qualified, degree-holding teachers in theology and divinity as well as Oral Roberts University (Tulsa, Okla.) and Melodyland School of Theology (Anaheim, Calif.) graduates will offer courses.

Already the revival’s presence in Kansas City is bringing the desired move to the inner city, as envisioned by the Grays, who saw God pushing them away from tiny Smithton because there virtually was no one to minister to with the fire and zeal brought by God’s anointing.

Door-to-door evangelism teams have been visiting the inner city and enjoying miraculous divine appointments. Testimonies of healings and salvations continue to pour in at the new location. –Billy Bruce


After reading our cover story on “Born-Again Rock Stars” (page 44), you’ll want to pray for the many unsaved rock musicians who, like David Bowie (below), influence millions with their music.

Diane in New Age days (left), today.



No. 1 Christian hardback: Fresh Faith Jim Cymbala, (Doubleday)

No. 1 paperback: The Power of a Praying Wife, Stormie Omartian (Harvest House)

No. 1 fiction book: Left Behind, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins (Tyndale)

No. 1 CD: Thankful, Mary, Mary (Myrrh)


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