After knowing Dan Elsaesser for only 5 minutes, you quickly arrive at the conclusion that he’s no “shrinking violet.” His bold witness for Christ and passion for the authority of His Word beginning in Genesis hardly seem to wane. His recent wedding proved to be no different.
Earlier this year in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, with a “captive” wedding audience of 275, Dan and his bride Lynne-Ann used “creation evangelism” in a unique way to present the Gospel to their many unsaved friends and family (and there were many of the latter—Dan is one of 17 children in a well-known catering and hotel family in Cincinnati).
About 12 years ago, Dan’s sister, Donna, targeted him for a well-tried “creation evangelism” strategy. She gave Dan the video series featuring Ken Ham, AiG-US president, and Dr Gary Parker, part-time AiG speaker, (Answers…with Ken Ham) that revealed the bankruptcy of evolution and the reliability of the Bible. The videos so profoundly moved Dan as to the truth of the Bible and its Gospel message, that he soon became a Christian. Taking a page out of his sister’s witnessing effort, Dan has been “on fire” ever since, using creation evangelism as often as he can.
During the marriage ceremony, the pastor made mention of Dan’s passion for Biblical Creation, and many heads nodded in agreement throughout the sanctuary. The pastor himself affirmed Dan’s belief that the Book of Genesis is foundational to all Christian doctrine, and he used the doctrine of the origin of marriage—found in Genesis chapter 3—to be the springboard for his wedding message to the couple. When the pastor gave the cue for Dan to kiss his bride, the unabashed Dan turned and happily announced to the audience that this was the first time they had kissed since meeting 13 months ago.
At the banquet facility down the road which the family owns (and is managed by Dan), wedding guests walked through a lobby that featured two long divs filled with AiG materials! As the boss and ultimate planner, Dan ensured that hundreds of copies of Answers to the Big 4 Questions, a widely used evangelistic tool (e.g. at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games) and the hugely popular Refuting Evolution (350,000 copies in print) were prominently displayed.
Dan had told AiG earlier that he and Lynne-Ann did not want their reception to be focused on them and their receiving of wedding gifts; instead, they desired that both their wedding and reception would give glory and honor to our Lord Jesus and, in a nice twist, to offer presents to their guests (i.e. the AiG witnessing materials).
In a confident voice that filled the large reception hall, Dan gave a loving but convicting 15-minute Gospel presentation.
He started with Colossians 1 and its reference to Christ being the Creator as well as Savior. He mentioned AiG in his mini-sermon and urged everyone to avail themselves of the free AiG materials in the lobby so that they could discover that the Bible can be trusted from the very first verse, especially what it says about eternal life.
In his conclusion, Dan, in a poignant moment, mentioned his older sister who had just passed away, and then he prayed that all of those assembled there on his special day would one day join him and his sister in heaven. He also recounted his recent bout with a virulent form of cancer (he is now in remission, praise God), and how he knows why bad things such as this happen in this sin-cursed world (a theme he is familiar with, having read Ken Ham’s booklet Why Is There Death & Suffering?).
During the evening, he talked to some of his guests about AiG. He could be heard telling them that because he became a Christian through the Lord using an AiG video series, he believed that “AiG is the most important ministry in America.”
Dan’s and Lynne-Ann’s honeymoon included time in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. They not only want to enjoy the better weather afforded them there, but also to sit under the teaching of Dr D. James Kennedy, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (also the national honorary chairperson for the Creation Museum project near Cincinnati, Ohio).
Please pray that this delightful couple will continue to be active witnesses for our Lord and that the AiG materials picked up at their wedding will be read by their many friends and family.