What brought Reggie Douglas from his home in Baton Rouge to Jews for Jesus witnessing campaigns in cities all over the world?
It all started at Community Bible Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Reggie served as chairman of the missions board. “We were dealing with missionaries all around the world,” he says, “and I remember looking at a map and seeing a void. We had no missionaries to Israel. I wondered, ‘Who is bringing the gospel to Israel, and who is bringing the gospel to the Jewish people?’ That’s where it began.”
It became a heavy burden for Reggie to find out what his church could do to reach Jewish people, and he said it seemed like no one had any answers. Reggie officially retired from his job in 2000 to begin his second career… as a volunteer for Jewish evangelism.
“I began to look for organizations whose work was to reach Jewish people with the gospel,” Douglas explained. “A friend saw something about Jews for Jesus in a magazine and passed it on to me. I wrote a letter to them asking how I could be involved. In fact, I wrote to three Jewish missions. Jews for Jesus was the only one that answered me.”
The answer was that we needed help with our Behold Your God campaign in San Francisco. Campaigners (those who go out on the streets to witness during the outreach) are generally Jewish or have a Jewish spouse. Stewards (those who do all the behind-the-scenes work to keep the campaign going) do not need to be Jewish. Reggie Douglas was invited to come be a steward. That was in 2001.
“Susan Bragg was the chief steward,” Reggie recalls. “She was wonderful. She became my mentor when I was asked to be the chief steward for the Chicago Behold Your God campaign just a few months after the San Francisco campaign. She walked me through the entire organizational process by phone.”
Reggie is not without organizational skills of his own. With a career in industrial technology, he worked as a maintenance planner, outlining repair procedures for crews of maintenance workers. He was used to creating lists of procedures for people to follow, and that transferred well to his role as chief steward. He was the “go to” man to keep the Chicago campaign on schedule, from the meals, to the laundry, to packing the broadside bags, and troubleshooting various problems that can gum up the works.
Reggie managed the stewards in Chicago very well, it seems, because before long he was asked to be chief steward for another campaign, and another and another. Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles… all our campaign leaders wanted Reggie for their chief steward. So on to Denver Reggie went. And to St. Louis, Tampa, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. And then of course New York City, where he’s continued to be the chief steward for the annual outreaches ever since. In 14 years, Reggie has served on 42 Jews for Jesus witnessing campaigns, including 34 in the U.S., five in Israel, two in Moscow, and one in Vancouver, Canada.
Reggie has also studied the training lectures for campaigners on his own. “I felt that God called and equipped me to serve as steward, but I wanted to be prepared to witness as well. I do go on the occasional sortie (tract-passing expedition), but even when I’m just doing errands, I’m wearing a campaign T-shirt. People ask questions when they see those shirts. I’ve had many good conversations on my way to the grocery store.”
The campaigns are intense spiritually, mentally and physically. Reggie stays spiritually fit by spending the first hour of each day “meeting with the Lord.” On a campaign schedule, that means getting up at 4:30 to pray until 5:30, with half an hour remaining for him to get ready before beginning his 6 a.m. workday. As a result, he says, “I go through my day with peace. If a problem arises, I see Him [the Lord] work it out.”
It’s no wonder Reggie Douglas is a hero to many of our missionaries! Please pray for this great man of God, for health, strength, and daily blessings from the God he serves so well.
Note: We have a wide variety of opportunities for friends who would like to donate time and energy (ten or more hours a month) to our cause. Find out more about volunteering with Jews for Jesus.