Our Story: A Miracle in North Idaho!
Reach America is a Christian leadership program. Our goal is to equip Christians to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, in north Idaho, America and around the world.
Gary and Cindy Brown, Founded Reach America in 2006. The Browns were born in Atlanta, and Covington, Georgia, respectively. They moved to North Idaho, from Covington, Georgia, in 2009. The Browns have been pastoring for 40 years.
Keep reading to learn how God miraculously pulled this vision together!
Part One: The Browns Move to North Idaho
The Brown’s move to north Idaho, from Covington, Georgia, in 2009 was huge. Coeur d’Alene has become the headquarters for Reach America’s training ministry. Soon after his arrival in Cd’A, Pastor Gary met Ron Vieselmeyer, the Executive Director of Highway Evangelism, Eric Redman, a local business leader and Jim Masters, a retiree from California. Together, the men formed the Reach America Board.
In 2012, the Brown’s daughter, Mindy, moved to Cd’A, assisting Pastor Gary in the development of a homeschool co-op. Mindy and her husband, Derek, have been an important part of the success of Reach America. Mindy has now accepted the position of Assistant Principal at a local Christian School.
Part Two: Highway Evangelism – Ron and Kate Vieselmeyer
Highway Evangelism was founded by Pastor C.E. Dietz, in the 1960’s, for spreading the gospel using highway billboards. Highway Evangelism, or HE, also owned a Christian bookstore. Over the decades, Highway Evangelism’s presence in Coeur d’Alene has been significant. HE owned The Sower, the only Christian bookstore in north Idaho, as well as two other buildings, all located on Interstate 90. The Vieselmeyers have been ministering in the Coeur d’Alene area for nearly 40 years. Ron and his wife, Kate, took on the leadership of HE after the passing of Pastor Dietz in the 1980’s.
Part Three: The Sower Christian Bookstore
The Sower Bible Bookstore helps build and strengthen Christian faith in north Idaho by providing resources and materials that equip followers to share the gospel, disciple others, and enrich their own walk with God.
The Sower Bible Bookstore was planted in North Idaho more than 22 years ago. To this day it remains a locally owned and operated Christian bible, book, music DVD, home décor and gift store. In 2011, Highway Evangelism (Now Reach America) purchased the Sower. We are honored to carry on the legacy of past owners who each brought their gifting to make the Sower what it is today.
The Sower name is borrowed from the parable Jesus told in Matthew 23, Mark 4 and Luke 8. In keeping with the message Jesus shared through the parable of the sower, we hope to serve as sowers to the community.
- Our Prayer is that all resources, materials, and items presented in the store are biblically sound and are used to further His kingdom and glorify His name.
- Our Passion is to create a safe place where God’s love and grace abound, where the Holy Spirit dwells, and where there is an open invitation to pray.
- Our Purpose is to understand the Christian resource needs of our community and meet those needs with a servant’s heart.
Part Four: Reach America, and Highway Evangelism Merge
After four years of prayer, Gary and Ron believed it to be God’s will for the two organizations to merge. In 2013, Highway evangelism and Reach America merged and kept the name Reach America. With Eric & Sue Redman and Jim & Marion Masters as board members, the new Reach America was on its’ way to becoming the training organization it is today, impacting north Idaho, America, and the world.
In 2016, Jim Masters resigned his position on the RA board. Although he no longer serves on the board, Jim is still a close friend and advisor. To ensure a healthy future for Reach America, Jordan and Amy Redman and Derek and Mindy Thom were added to the board.
Part Five: The Prince of Wales Island: Jeff Jones and Shannon Granger
A good friend, Jeff Jones, invited Gary to come on a mission trip to Southeast Alaska in 2002. In 2006, Jeff, his wife, Rhonda, and their six children felt God’s call to pastor a church, at Hollis, on the Prince of Wales Island. Jeff and his family served nearly 10 years on POW before relocating back to the “lower 48”, to Bonners Ferry, Idaho.
In 2016, Gary meets Shannon Granger in Cd’A. We soon discover that Shannon was a teacher on Prince of Wales, in a tiny native village, Hydaburg. Little did Shannon know that we had been making plans to minister on that very island!!
In September 2018, Shannon moves back to Hydaburg again, to teach. Only this time, she is also going there to be a Reach America missionary to the Hyda People.
In the summer of 2018, Reach America sponsors our first mission trip to Hydaburg.
Vision Realized: A Timeline of how God brought everything together.
- 1960’s: God gave a vision to Pastor Dietz, and kept faithfully by Ron and Kate Vieselmeyer.
- 1978: Gary Brown and Jeff Jones Meet.
- 2002: Gary’s and Jeff’s mission trip.
- 2006: Reach America Founded.
- 2009: Browns move to Cd’A. Gary Brown and Ron Vieselmeyer meet.
- 2012: Mindy Brown (Thom) moves to north Idaho, eventually marries Derek Thom.
- 2013: Reach America and Highway Evangelism merge. Ron, Gary, Eric, and Jim come together to form the RA board.
- 2016: Jordan & Amy Redman and Derek & Mindy Thom are added to the board, securing the board’s future for another generation.
- 2016: Shannon Granger and Gary meet. Shannon helps establish our first mission point, Hydaburg, AK.
- 2017: Mentoring curriculum – LIFE – is completed.
- 2018: Our first mission trip to Hydaburg is complete!
- 2019 & 2020: Ministry expansion on Prince of Wales and beyond!
All these people and pieces coming together – how can this be explained?
Coincidence? We believe not. We believe God has brought us all together from different parts of America to do our part in accomplishing His Kingdom objective: To make disciples – in north Idaho, America and around the world!
We believe that God is using us to complete His great commission. Come – Lord, Jesus – Come!
Could God have led you here, too? We believe that is entirely possible. Thank you for visiting our website. Click through the pages and discover what God is doing to reach the world through Reach America! Is God calling you to join us? Contact us, and let’s talk.
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