JoAnne Ramsay is the Founder and President of Speak the Word Ministries (STWM).
Pastor Jo accepted Jesus as Lord of her life in June 1993 in Hampton, VA. She said she knew immediately that her life would never be the same again having accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
God called her into the ministry in 1994. She knew in her spirit that she had been called, though at that time she did not know in what area He would use her. She felt that it would be in one of 3 areas - a nursing home, hospital or a prison ministry.
In 1995 she began to step out after two years of intense study and time with the Lord. During this time she evangelized in some local churches and the Lord began to place in her spirit that her calling was going to be a prison and jail ministry. He impressed on her that He wanted her to teach His Word and to speak for those who were not able to speak for themselves.
She didn’t do this right away, for she said that she had been battling with the fact that she was a woman and wasn’t sure if it was alright for her to minister. The Lord continued to confirm His calling on her life through His Word; the last scripture He gave her was Galatians 3:28. The Lord helped her see through His Word that we are all the same and one in Him.
In 1996, she began her work at the Duplin County jail in Kenansville, NC. At that time the Lord began to place in her spirit that she needed to be ordained, which she didn’t think was necessary; however; He let her know that the work He had called her to do would require her being ordained. It wasn’t long after this that the Lord brought someone across her path that could ordain her. In 1997, after fulfilling the requirements, she was ordained. She started ministering at the jail every Wednesday afternoon, beginning by ministering to the women. After two months, she began ministering to the male inmates every Friday morning, and shortly after this she began seeing both the male and female inmates every Wednesday and Friday.
A year later the Lord impressed upon her to extend her ministry to the State prison; she met with the Chaplain and the Superintendent of the prison and began her work there in 1998-99. In 1999 she became the president of the Community Resource Council (CRC) at Duplin Correction center and held that position for 8 years
In late 1999, right after becoming the president of the CRC, the Lord let her know that He wanted her to work on getting the men a place of worship (church). At that time the inmates were using the dining hall for their worship services. She began to put together a plan to raise money that would be needed to accomplish this.
Pastor Jo didn’t have much success in soliciting donations; then the Lord spoke to her and told Pastor Jo to start a praise and worship team that would go outside of the prison and minister in the local churches; The Lord let her know that it would be through the love offerings that they would build the church.
Pastor Jo met with the superintendent of the prison with a plan that the Lord had given her. She said that she would have to admit that she had doubts and could not see the state letting her take the inmates outside of the prison. However, the Lord told her to do it, so she did it. Praise the Lord, He showed them big time favor and the inmates were allowed out. The Lord provided her with a choir leader to train the men and they ministered at their first church in August of 2000. The choir was receiving invitations three and four times a month, so Pastor Jo was ministering at the jail 2 times a week, teaching and ministering at the state prison at night and going out with The Duplin Praise team to the local churches as well. She was asked to minister on several of these outings.
It took Pastor Jo and the council six years to raise the money and another year to complete the church due to the red tape encountered.
In 2002, her husband passed away, Pastor Jo was devastated so she buried herself even more in the Word and her work. She was asked to teach Wednesday night Bible studies at Joyous Praise Church in Warsaw, NC. She did this for six months doing both the prison and church on Wednesday nights.
In 2006, the Lord placed in Pastor Jo’s spirit that He wanted her to become the Chaplain of Duplin Correctional Center. She saw this as impossibility as she had no former training. However, she knew from past experiences that if the Lord wanted her there she would be there. It took her awhile to overcome her fears, but thanks be to God, she did overcome and became the Chaplin that very year. While working there, Pastor Jo ministered to the inmates and was also asked to minister to the staff as well.
She served as the Chaplain until the Lord brought her together with her soul mate David in June 2009.
Pastor Jo and her husband David both feel that the Lord has brought them together to finish their race as a couple. They both desire to finish strong and they feel that the Lord has combined their ministries to accomplish the work He has called them to do.
The Lord revealed to Pastor Jo in March 2010, what it was He wanted her to do in going forward. She truly believes that her calling is to teach the Word of God to the multitudes, to train up soldiers for these end days.
”Speak the Word Ministries (STWM) is a ministry that is anointed and given by the Holy Spirit with the purpose to teach and train God’s children to become soldiers. The Lord gave her the name of her ministry from Matthew 8:8 - "Speak the Word only.”
It is a ministry that will strive with the help of the Holy Spirit, to equip God’s Soldiers to become Warriors of the Most High God - to teach them to be proficient in wielding the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; to train His Soldiers to exercise their authority and recognize who they are in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 9:23-27 (NLT) says, "I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should… otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified."
Pastor Jo’s platform for accomplishing this is the airwaves and the internet world wide - to cover the earth with the Spoken Word of God.