Meet Stephen and Eileen Caple
For Church Army, Remembrance Sunday holds profound significance. The day encourages us to pause and acknowledge the sacrifices of brave individuals while reflecting on our shared commitment to hope. As a charity rooted in faith and service, we resonate strongly with the values of Remembrance Sunday. We remember the importance of compassion, courage and community while reflecting on Jesus’ teachings of peace, forgiveness and the sacredness of life.
This week, we are also getting to know two of our retired Evangelists, Rev and Sis Caple. This evangelistic husband and wife team are proof that evangelists never really retire from God’s call to share hope with the world.
Embarking on a journey of evangelism can be both exhilarating and challenging. It requires courage, dedication and a willingness to make sacrifices. In the 1970s, two young individuals answered God’s call to become evangelists, and their decision profoundly impacted their lives. Eileen and Stephen Caple, retired Church Army Evangelists, share their inspiring story of how Church Army training brought them together and continues to shape their lives and ministries today.
Meet Eileen & Stephen
Eileen and Stephen had different experiences at the beginning of their faith journey. After a visit from Christian Endeavour to her church, Eileen made a total commitment to the Lord and began to feel called to do full-time Christian work. She spoke to her Minister, who came to their family home and told her about Church Army. At that time, the training was only available in London, and since Eileen was the only one working then, she decided it was too difficult and tried to forget about it. However, a year later, the calling became too strong to ignore, so she applied.
Stephen was raised in South Wales and did not attend church as a child, but he joined the Life Boys and then the Boy’s Brigade. Aged 17, he made some friends at a Boy’s Brigade camping weekend who would later introduce him to the Church of Wales, where his faith grew and blossomed. Stephen’s calling from God to explore ministry came to him in very different circumstances. After a severe motorbike accident, he was hospitalised for three months with numerous broken bones and injuries. There, he felt God call him to ministry, and he applied to Church Army training a year after Eileen did, in 1978. They met at Church Army training in Blackheath.
Before tying the knot, Eileen and Stephen worked on separate projects in London and Bromley. Since then, they have collaborated on ministering in different parishes. Evangelism has been a calling for both of them, albeit in different ways, and some of it has been challenging. Eileen was involved in door-to-door evangelism through her Church Army training, known as Evangelism Explosion at the time. Initially, it was pretty scary, as not everyone wanted to talk to her. However, Church Army training provided the support and encouragement she needed. Stephen and Eileen have used the training they received from Church Army in their various ministries, even showing others how to do door-to-door evangelism and encouraging others in that ministry. They believe it is important not to be pushy and that what they share with people will touch their hearts. They trust God will do the rest. Stephen went on to train for Ordination, and they both witnessed people coming to faith over the years.
Even though they are officially retired, they believe that if you have a heart that wants to share the love of God in some way, no matter how big or small, you should go for it! For Eileen and Stephen, it has been the little things in life that they have done that have often been the biggest encouragement to others.