Why I'm a Gideon: Danny Woolman

The Gideons International is an Association of Christian business and professional men and their wives who seek to win others to Christ through associating together for service, personal work and testimony, and placing and distributing Scriptures.

As Men of God who pursue Christ-centered integrity, Gideons build mentoring relationships with one another. Through membership in The Gideons for over 25 years, Danny Woolman has experienced the blessing of being mentored by leaders in this ministry, and he has extended the blessing by mentoring others while striving side by side for the faith of the Gospel.

Danny and his wife, Shanda, are members of First Baptist Church in Frostproof, Florida. They have three grown children: Amanda, Chase, and their oldest, Heath, who was recently appointed as chief of staff for the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Their seventh grandchild was born in December 2021 to their daughter, Amanda.

Danny joined The Gideons in 1995 after being invited to a new member event. The table host who signed Danny up at that meeting 27 years ago was a Gideon named Guy Sanders. Danny and Guy were actually members at the same church.

Using God-Given Talents to Help Build God's Kingdom


Guy mentored Danny in the various responsibilities of leading a camp. “The neat thing was, Guy didn’t just tell us what we were supposed to do. He also told us the ‘why’ behind what we were doing.” That kind of relationship helped Danny to grow in his service and impact.

Guy emphasized to Danny that the promise of Isaiah 55:11 is key to keep in mind when doing the work of the ministry. Knowing that God’s Word “will not return void” is an encouraging reminder that the copies of God’s Word shared by Gideons have purpose, which God ultimately honors in His own way.

Today, Danny mentors other Gideons who serve with him in the Lake Wales Camp in Florida. He has recently been mentoring a retired dentist, training him to set up the GideonCard displays in churches and keep them stocked.

Danny has spent his career in sales. Serving in The Gideons, he has leveraged opportunities to further develop his God-given talent of communication to be a church speaker, sharing the story of The Gideons with church congregations who partner with the Association. “While I always communicate the key points, I speak from my heart.” He says sharing testimonies of lives changed as a result of the ministry of The Gideons always brings a tear of joy to his eyes.

Gideons also go into their communities sharing God’s Word and giving witness to Its truths. Danny has helped get God’s Word placed in hotels and jails, as well as distributed Scriptures on school sidewalks. 

He recalls one instance when he was a guest at a hotel in Venice, Florida. There wasn’t a Bible in his suite, so he let the hotel manager know he could help them get Scriptures through The Gideons. While the manager was grateful for his offer, she responded, “We don’t have Bibles because people steal them and we have to pay to replace them.”

Danny responded, “No, ma’am. You don’t have to pay to replace them. In fact, hotels don’t pay for them in the first place. Bibles are placed by The Gideons at no charge to the hotel. And if they are stolen by guests, Gideons simply replace them at no charge, as well.” The manager was delighted to hear this news and accepted the offer.

Danny reached out to a local camp to let them know they could place Bibles at the hotel. The camp officer he contacted was astonished. “Praise God. We’ve been praying for that opportunity as that is the only local hotel we’ve not been able to get into with Scriptures.” 

The memory stirs Danny’s heart to this day. It showed him how the Lord can move through circumstances to open doors that seem permanently shut. “It truly was a work of the Holy Spirit.”

Danny is both humbled and inspired by the passion he sees other Gideons demonstrate in serving the Lord. Being around other Gideons also helped Danny become bold in personal witnessing. He frequently shares copies of God’s Word along with a personal word of witness as he encounters others in his work and travels.

Being around other Gideons also helped Danny become bold in personal witnessing.

An Invitation to tour the History of The Gideons

Recently, Danny received a call from the International Headquarters of The Gideons. The timing of the call was providential—it turned out Danny was preparing to leave out the next day for Nashville, Tennessee, where the Headquarters is located. “International Headquarters never calls me,” he says. Only the Lord could have arranged this kind of incredible timing. The staff member invited Danny to visit the Headquarters and tour the newly opened Heritage Center while he was in town. Danny accepted the invitation.

Upon arriving at International Headquarters, Danny was greeted and personally guided through the Heritage Center by a staff member. Seeing the collection of artifacts, photographs, and other antiquities exclusive to The Gideons left a very strong impression on him.

You feel like you’re walking through history. The way it’s laid out, it’s almost like you’re experiencing all the stories.”

In the middle of the tour, Danny came upon a multi-media exhibit that featured an image of a familiar face—it was a picture of his mentor, Guy Sanders. “It was a total joy to see Guy’s image,” says Danny. Guy had presented a Scripture to President Ronald Reagan on December 22, 1983. Seeing the image brought back many cherished memories. “I do remember Guy telling me about getting to give President Reagan a copy of God’s Word.” After Guy passed away, Danny met with his widow. She gave Danny a commemorative edition Scripture from Guy’s office library celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Gideons International.

Guy Sanders and Gideons presenting a Bible to President Ronald Reagan


“That personal tour of the Heritage Center and the rest of the Headquarters will be embedded in my memory as one of my favorite experiences as a Gideon,” says Danny.  He encourages people to schedule a tour of the center and experience what it is like to walk chronologically through the history of The Gideons, and to see actual relics from the ministry.

Danny says seeing the Heritage Center’s displays featuring key milestones of the ministry over the past decades was a reminder to him of the different milestones in his own experience as a Gideon and of the Lord’s faithfulness. “When you see how far this ministry has spread over the years, it makes you realize that God had to totally be involved.” 

“As a body of believers working for the same ultimate purpose, we can all do what we can,” says Danny, reflecting on the legacy of so many Gideons. “Even if you can only occasionally attend monthly meetings or prayer breakfasts; or can only occasionally speak in a church or participate in a Scripture distribution­—we all have to do what we can. Together, we make up The Gideons and complete the Association as a whole..” 

“When you see how far this ministry has spread over the years, it makes you realize that God had to totally be involved.”
—Danny Woolman

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