Gary Thies of Mapleton, Iowa, took a leap of faith in 1994 and quit his job as Mapleton Bank president and became the first LCMS Mission Development Counselor. In that role , he visits LCMS congregations and individuals to inform and excite them about missions and to encourage them to adopt, financially and through prayer, a specific mission project or missionary. He also presents opportunities for people to become personally involved in missions through prayer support, volunteering their skills and abilities, full-time service, gifts, and offerings.
Gary has traveled to 67 countries worldwide and presented a realistic picture of how God calls men and women, even today, from all walks of life, and that God has a place for each and every person. Gary gives a personalized and interesting presentation with video, slides, and artifacts from the mission fields. There is no question about Gary?s enthusiasm and being an eyewitness who is on fire for the Lord and missions. Gary's witness and stories are part of his presentations that have been made in more than 780 churches throughout the United States.