RUI Director’s Report – November 2, 2011

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First Annual Founder’s Friday

We are still reading and responding to the many blessings emailed to us regarding the first annual Founder’s Friday!  I want to thank each director for making this an exciting event for us and your students. We plan to begin the preparations for the second annual Founders Friday. If you have any ideas or advice for next year, please share it with me at



Some blessings from last week:

Founders Friday was awesome. We had 102 people present. We sold all 15 of the Comic books as well as all 15 of the Steve Curington Books we ordered. Seven of the Tall law books were sold as well.

All in all we had an awesome time.

 Jim Gatton

Faith Baptist Church



This was a glorious meeting. It was Spirit-led. One young man 23, said he came for the purpose of getting. Now we invited many people and had an outreach day on the 22 of  Oct. Though we didn’t see all who promised to come but we did see two receive Christ and trust Him that night. Thank you for this idea.
Ron Godinez RU Director



Bro Burk,s we had a couple get married on Founder’s Friday during our third talk. It was so good to see that RU and serving God is so important to both of them. We had a total of 32 adults with 32 challenges done, 10 Kidz Club with 6 challenges done. It was a good night. Thank RUI and the changed lives!

Eddie Holt, Director



Dear Brother Burks,

We held Founder’s Friday at our RU last night. Although we are a small group, after the film, we spent time in prayer for Lori Curington and her children, RU  and our chapter and those who have visited, but have not returned, that God would burden their hearts to come back, inparticular. Also, a couple of students shared how RU has changed their lives.

We followed with fellowship, sharing a cake decorated with the RU slogan and, of course, Chili and fries surprise.

In Christ,           

Robert Johnson



From Jay Griffin – Rockford IL:

When I left Milford, Ohio 11 months ago, the RU Chapter had been open for 6 years.

We opened June 11, 2004 – a few weeks after Steve came to train us how to bear fruit.In the 6 years we were open, we had 2,641 people visit that RU chapter.If you average that out, it is approximately 8 new people walking in the door of RU every Friday night.Did all 2,641 get saved and get victory? No – but they all heard how to and hundreds did.

 Friend – that is ONE chapter.

Under the leadership of Pastor Kingsbury and Steve Curington, Reformers Unanimous started over 800 chapters!Not every chapter is blessed with the attendance we had in Milford, but some chapters have more.And some chapters have been open 10-15 years.Completely non-scientific – but you take half the Milford numbers and multiple it by 800, you get 2,112,800.



K0001 took up an offering on Founders Friday to pay for a starter kit for a church wanting to start a new chapter.  Over $300 was raised.  Thank you K0001!  Jay also encouraged Facebook users to choose one of their favorite photos of Bro. Curington to use as there profile picture.  I had a visitor who came to the office today that was moved by the remembrance of Steve just because of that one action.  Praise the Lord. 


Hebrews 11:40 “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”


National Staff Positions filled

Immediately following the National Conference, it was Dr. Kingsbury’s desire along with mine to fill some needed positions in the National Department.  My wife, Wendy, Michie DeBerry, and these new team members are here to talk to you and assist you any way we can.  I am happy for those who have held these positions in the past and how God used them in our ministry. Some of these have moved to new ministries, with new responsibilities: 


I had the privilege to work with my last National Secretary, Kay (Niederwerfer) Sharp.  Kay is now married and the mother of two and Pastor’s wife…and she is well deserving of such honorable roles. We miss her and love her, and are so glad she serves only a few miles up the road from us! 


I also had the privilege to mentor and work with Jeremy Amster, who was our Assistant National Director.  I watched as this man grew in the Lord and was richly blessed with a wonderful wife and family. He now pastors a church 4 hours south of Rockford and is starting a chapter of RU the first of the year.  Keep him in prayer as he leads this work for our Lord. 


Also, I had the privilege to work with our last and only full-time receptionist, Jodi (Stephens) Combs.  Jodi is now married to Matt Combs, a former graduate of our homes and one of our fine full-time staff members. Matt and Jodi are expecting triplets in a few short months! Please keep them in your prayers as well. 


I am happy to report that these three positions have been filled at RUI! Jodi and Kay held important positions at RUI, and their jobs were not immediately filled upon their departures.  The jobs they held were placed on others’ plates and some of the responsibilities just simply went undone.  I trust that you will welcome these new staff people with me and give us all an opportunity to serve you for many years to come. Let me introduce you to our newest members:


Ryan Jiles

Upon graduating high school, I enrolled at West Coast Baptist College to train for full-time ministry. During my freshman year, I clearly sensed God’s call to full-time evangelism, and He gave me His burden for revival.  My major was changed to Evangelism, and I graduated four years later in May of 2006.  God directed me home to serve in the ministry at my home church and help out my pastor, while preparing for the ministry of Evangelism. 


I assumed leadership over the college and career ministry right away, but was also involved in the bus ministry, the teen ministry, and the soulwinning ministry.  Things went very well for a few months until something happened.  I became very discouraged about a situation, and responded in the wrong way. Instead of seeking counsel and taking it to the Lord in prayer, I purchased and consumed a couple of alcoholic beverages.  This single decision led me down a path of addiction that nearly took my life. Before long, I was out of the ministry, absent from church, and running from God.  My alcohol use led to marijuana use, and then to cocaine use, which landed me in jail multiple times.  I had lost literally everything and had nowhere to turn. 


Finally, someone reached out to me and told me about the Reformer’s Unanimous Men’s School of Discipleship.  I knew that God wanted me to go there, but I didn’t have any money to pay the tuition or even buy a plane ticket.  Within a week, God provided through a close friend from college, Daniel Irmler, who both paid to fly me to Illinois and sponsored me throughout my program.


God delivered me from every addiction that I was bound with when I came to Rockford.  More than that, He burdened my heart for the Reformer’s Unanimous ministry.  Within a few months of my stay in the residential program, God clearly showed me that He wanted me to stay and serve in the ministry after graduation. 


He has granted an opportunity to serve in the jail ministry every Saturday.  He has allowed me to answer the 866-REFORMU crisis helpline for many months now.  Recently he has opened a door to serve in the National Ministry under Bro. Ben Burks, our International Director.  Bro. Burks has had great influence on my life and has been a great personal friend and mentor to me. 


As a member of the team on National Staff, my areas of service include: Putting together Starter Kits, Presenting the ministry on the road to interested churches, Training future directors both here and on the road, Development and advancement of more Reformer’s Unanimous chapters, and anything else God would allow me to do by His grace and for His glory.


I am excited and humbled to have the opportunity to serve in such a dynamic ministry that has touched millions of lives, including mine.  Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns.  If there is ever anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.  


Ryan Jiles

815- 209-2824



Mandee Thomas – National Secretary

My name is Mandee Thomas, and I have been in Rockford, Illinois since February 16th, 2011.  I am originally from the city of Ocala, Florida. I was brought up in a broken home and went to church on holidays such as Christmas and Easter.  Through some rebellious teenage years, my mom decided that I be brought up by my aunt on my father’s side, since my father was an alcoholic and drug addict, and she couldn’t control me anymore. So, at the age of 15, I moved to Wharton, New Jersey.


Upon graduating high school in 2000, I enrolled at a local Community College, and began to work full-time as a pharmacy tech at the local Rite-Aid. Upon getting my A.S. degree in Liberal Arts in 2002, I decided that I would move back to Florida to regain a relationship with my mom. When I did not receive her warm welcome, I began to gain my acceptance through my work.  I started working for Chili’s as a busser, and through my hard-work and perseverance, I quickly moved up the chain and became a corporate trainer, traveling around the nation and opening up new restaurants.


There was always a void in my heart, but I kept myself so busy that I just kept pushing it back down. In year 2006, I relocated back up to NJ and started working for JP Morgan Chase as a personal banker. I thought that it was easier to run from my problems than deal with them head on. I continued to work for them for about a year, and again the same empty feeling came over me, “There has to be more to life than this!”, so I again quit my job and began working for Chili’s again, and quickly became a manager.  Making a decent amount of money, I relocated back to Florida and purchased a house and a vehicle. But again the emptiness was there, so I started dabbling around with different drugs that my friends would give me, I thought that I would not become addicted, however I soon found out how easy it was to become addicted to pain killers. They not only kept me addicted but they also removed all of the hurt I had been running from my entire life. As long as I remained high, I didn’t have to deal with the pain inside. It became my temporary solution to my permanent pain.  I slowly began to lose everything I worked so hard for, my career, my house, and eventually my car.  My godly sister saw that I needed help and when searching for a place for me, a friend of hers told her about Reformer’s Unanimous. She called and got the information; and a week later, I was on a greyhound from Florida to Rockford, Illinois.


Since coming to Rockford, the good Lord has not only taken away all of my addictions, but he has healed all of the hurt I was running from. It is only through Him that I found my purpose in life. After graduating from the Woman’s home of Discipleship in September 2011, he has laid it on my heart to continue to help the lost and addicted.


As a member of the team on National Staff, my areas of service include: Organize and manage all 830 Chapters of Reformer’s Unanimous, update Chapter information, assist in responding to incoming letters, sending out mailers and answering any questions a Director or Pastor may have. I am excited and humbled to have the opportunity to serve in such a dynamic ministry that has touched millions of lives, including mine.  Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns. If there is ever anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.  






Julie Folsom – National Receptionist / Student  Growth and Skills Manager

My name is Julie Folsom, but I answer the phone at the Reformers Unanimous Headquarters with, “Good Morning, this is Jules, how may I help you?”


I am from Denver, Colorado, and I had worked as an American Airlines flight attendant for 22 years. Over all that time, I had many adventures, but ultimately, the world held nothing of importance and fulfillment. I became depressed and used alcohol as a deadly crutch in dealing with life. Being raised in a Christian home, I knew that Jesus Christ was the answer, but Satan’s tool of addiction seemed to be an “easier” path. Years and years of various secular treatments proved void, and I was in all certainty, headed towards an eminent death.


The Reformers Unanimous Discipleship for Women was my last hope. In February of 2011, I became a student, where I was given the spiritual direction to lead me into a dynamic Christian life and victory over the stronghold of sin.


After graduating from the program, I knew I wanted to be involved in this ministry… but how? In God’s endless possibilities and enduring mercy, I am now able to use my 22 years of customer service to help others who call our office, often in desperate search for a solution.  How blessed I am to know that I have the answer for them! That Jesus Christ can and will save them from the stronghold of sin!


As the National Receptionist, I assist and oversee female students from the Discipleship program who work at the Headquarter office. I desire to help them in growth and skill development while in our program. I also assist Mrs. Wendy Burks, who is Director of First Impressions here at RUI.  I have the privilege to assist Mr. Burks in typing, scheduling and calling.  It’s a great honor to be a part of the National Staff, and I am so excited to see even more of the promised miracles God has in store for this ministry.


Please know that we here at Reformers Unanimous, are only a phone call away! 



(815) 209-2811



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God led Ben and his family (wife, Wendy; and three children, Josh, Caleb, and Hannah) to Rockford, Illinois in 2003 to become the International Director of the fastest growing addiction ministry in the United States. Bro. Burks is now privileged to travel and train others how to help the addicted within their communities.

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