Beth Grant (’71): Cross-cultural educator and co-founder of Project Rescue
July 25, 2013
When Beth Grant and her husband, David, came face-to-face with tens of thousands of sexually enslaved women and children in Mumbai, India, it was an eye-opening event. As cross-cultural educators to India for the past 20 years, the couple suddenly realized there was a dark world within India’s cities and beyond that they had no knowledge of before.
Out of that experience, the Grants co-founded Project Rescue, a ministry that works to rescue and restore those affected by sexual slavery. In the past 16 years, Project Rescue has grown from one aftercare home with 37 girls in Mumbai to what is now a network of 13 initiatives in six countries.
Beth Grant grew up in suburban Washington, D.C. In her early teens, she sensed God’s call to study education. She attended a secular college for two years and says that during that time God broke her heart for those who had not had the same opportunity as she had to know and love Him.
Experience at Central Bible College
After taking a monthlong missions trip, Grant clearly felt God guiding her to enroll at Central Bible College (CBC) to prepare for vocational ministry. She transferred to CBC and attended for the next two years, graduating in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education.
During her time at CBC, Grant joined a traveling choir, which she says helped her grow spiritually in many ways.
“It was a time of learning to minister as a team, be led of the Spirit to pray, speak and do some serious spiritual warfare in several situations during altar services,” she says. “It was definitely an opportunity to learn to depend on the guidance and anointing of the Holy Spirit in ministry as we traveled to diverse churches and settings.”
Grant says the integration of theology into the practical side of her education was invaluable. She says she was particularly impacted by Dr. Opal Reddin, a female Assemblies of God minister and faculty member at CBC.
“Although I did not see myself called to preach,” Grant says, “I knew God had called me to be available to Him in whatever time and place He would choose. When those moments came, I knew I desperately needed the kind of anointing I saw on Dr. Reddin.”
Beth would go on to earn her master’s degree from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS) and her Ph.D. from Biola University. In 1976, she married her husband, David Grant. Together, they began serving together internationally.
Ministry to India and sexual trafficking victims
As the couple has ministered in Europe and Eurasia for the past 36 years, Grant has had several opportunities to use her education background to teach in Bible schools and seminaries. She says that over the years she has been blessed to work with many great women.
“God has opened doors for me to walk with wonderful women of God in different cultures – women called of God who deserve all the encouragement and equipping that we could give them.”
For the past 16 years, Project Rescue has been one of the main ways Grant has had the opportunity to work with women. She says that while her husband has been the main visionary and fundraiser, her role has been to train people within the local churches to help sexually exploited women and children.
“My background in education has been God’s design in my life so that I could serve in facilitating curriculum development and training for the community of faith and staff internationally,” she says. “It’s God’s assignment for this season.”
Impact of consolidation
Grant has been an executive presbyter of the Assemblies of God since 2009 and also serves as an adjunct professor at Evangel University and AGTS. CBC, AGTS and Evangel consolidated in 2013 to combine resources and better equip students for ministry in whatever field to which God has called them.
Grant says her experience at CBC was instrumental in helping her integrate faith with her career, something that she says is still true at Evangel today and will be a key feature of the consolidated university.
“That is what sets Evangel apart,” she says. “It develops a sense of spiritual responsibility in students that whatever our official degree program – whether considered secular or vocational ministry – we all as followers of Jesus have the awesome responsibility and privilege of being Jesus incarnate wherever God places us.”
As an alumna of both CBC and AGTS and an adjunct faculty member at Evangel, Grant sees expanded opportunities for students because of the consolidation.
“I have had the privilege of working with new missionaries, ministers and other professionals graduating from all three schools,” she says. “There have been pivotal moments overseas when I wished my young colleagues could have had the advantage of experiencing the strengths of all three great institutions. Now the consolidated university will have the unprecedented opportunity to bring these distinct strengths together for the sake of the mission – to prepare students with the powerful combination of excellence in academic knowledge based on God’s truth integrated with the empowerment of a practical Pentecostal theology in global perspective.”
Grant advises future students to choose their college prayerfully and intentionally. “Your college education is more than a classroom or body of knowledge,” she says. “It’s a community with a particular worldview that shapes how you will view yourself, others, the world and God for the rest of your life.”
The Grants’ daughters, Rebecca and Jennifer, are also graduates of Evangel University and involved with Project Rescue.