OPAL Ministries USA
OPAL Ministries Directors
The OPAL story
OPAL was founded in 2003 by Geoff Ruston and John Lewis. Both were at the time extensively involved in Christian book selling in the UK and USA. They became aware of the desperate need, and hunger for, affordable Bibles and good-quality Christian literature in the Majority World (Africa, Asia, Latin America). Here the church is growing fast, there is a passion for evangelism, and there are many training programmes. Those involved in church planting, training and discipleship, desperately need resources. Some struggle to be able to find Bibles and Literature that are accessible in local languages. The vision of OPAL Trust (Overseas Publishing And Literature) is to help address these needs.
“Our goal is to use the resources God provides us to impact the lives of so many in our broken world.“
- Neville Goodhew
- Neville Goodhew
Since its beginning, the work has steadily grown. OPAL has been able to send Bibles and literature to over 80 countries worldwide. Through partnership with Christian publishers and local Bible Societies we have been able to obtain Bibles and suitable books at special prices, which makes them accessible to Christian leaders and churches in the Majority World. In 2005 a distribution hub was established in Chingola, Zambia, from which books are accessed from across Central and Southern Africa. We also work closely with leaders in Asia, Latin America, and other parts of East and West Africa, regularly shipping materials to all these locations in response to their requests for Bibles and Christian literature.
In 2013 OPAL Ministries USA was established in order to expand the work across America, with a warehouse for storage and preparation for distribution of books and Bibles. OPAL works closely with fellowships and mission partners in the Majority World, especially assemblies in the Christian Brethren tradition, supporting and facilitating their mission work.
Meet Our Team
Joel became Executive Director of OPAL Ministries in 2022, and heads up OPAL's work in the USA. He grew up in Mexico, a son of missionary parents. He graduated from Emmaus Bible College and Dallas Seminary before working in pastoral and outreach ministries with churches in California and Texas, including ministry among Hispanic people. Joel then spent 8 years church planting in Mexico, as well as working with a church-based Bible institute. From 2007-2022 he was lecturer at Emmaus Bible College, Dubuque, Iowa. Joel is married to Amy who supports him in administrative aspects of his ministry. They live near Greenville, SC. Alongside his role with OPAL, Joel also works with CMML. He helps promote OPAL's work in the USA, leads the OPAL USA team, and works closely with the OPAL Trust CEO in developing the international vision of OPAL. Joel has a particular interest in how OPAL can resource the churches and theological training in Latin America.
Neville and Dee Goodhew
Neville and Dee met while they were serving together on the Operation Mobilisation ship the MV Logos. After they married they transferred to the MV Doulos, where Neville ran the large Book Exhibition. They then worked with OM in Italy before in 1997 returning to the USA to work with OM Literature. This work involved supplying OPAL with books, and when Neville and Dee retired from OM they began working with Opal Ministries USA. They run OPAL's warehouse in Greer, near Greenville, South Carolina, and oversee the distribution of Bibles and Christian books from there. Neville is Vice-President of OPAL Ministries, and Dee is a Director.
Paul and Angela Lewis
Over the last 20 years Paul and Angela have been involved in creative services for the publishing industry. They run their own graphic design agency and live in south Atlanta, USA, with their 3 young children. They have been with OPAL Ministries since its foundation in 2013 where they play a financial, administrative, and design role. Recently, Paul and Angela have worked on getting the translations of OPAL's book Knowing and Doing in the Ukrainian and Shona languages to print. Angela is President of OPAL Ministries, and Paul is a Director.
Harley grew up on a farm in Georgia, where he came to know Christ as his Savior at the age of 13. Harley's interest in Christian literature distribution developed when he sold Bibles door to door during two summers. In 1970 he married Deborah, and they spent 19 years of service with Operation Mobilization, in various capacities, distributing Christian literature in the U.K., working on the OM ship MV Logos, and in the USA. In 1989, Harley started Rollins Pilot, focusing on Christian literature distribution and publishing for the Caribbean, Africa, India, and Asia, and is involved with several organizations supporting world missions, alongside his role with OPAL Trust. Harley is a Director of OPAL Ministries.
John Lewis and Ian Shaw of OPAL Trust (UK) also serve as directors of OPAL Ministries.