Rich Landry, better known as Captain Escape, captivates audiences with illusions, stunts, escapes and humor as he attempts to share the gospel through his creative evangelistic presentations.
Throughout his ministry, Landry has juggled a busy schedule while working full-time during the week for a software company and also performing at children’s ministry events such as camps, conferences, Upward sports award nights and other evangelistic outreach events.
When he isn’t performing stunts or illusions, Landry attends First Baptist Church in Round Rock, Texas, where he serves as a deacon and a Sunday School teacher. With the support of others in his church, he felt the Lord leading him to communicate the gospel message creatively through an itinerant ministry.
“I went to my pastor at the time, Gary Brinkley, to talk with him about life,” Landry recalled. “He said it was clear God was calling me to work more intentionally for the Lord. So, together we set about trying different roles at church for me, and that’s when I started teaching sixth graders in Sunday School. From there, I started taking kids to camp in the summer.”
Several years later, in his quest to find various ways to serve the Lord, Landry was inspired by watching Keith Coast, a children’s evangelist and illusionist, perform at a children’s camp.
“I was watching Keith on stage at camp one day with our church’s recreation director, and when I told her, ‘I can do that,’ that’s when my journey to become an ‘evangetainer’ began.
“Based on that conversation, I was immediately hired for an Upward event by that same recreation director. When I told her that I didn’t have an act yet, I was told: ‘You have 7 months. Good luck!’ And thus, Captain Escape was born. My wife and I took a walk that evening, and God gave me the ideas for my first show as we walked that evening. I was able to use that exact show for several years.”
As word began spreading, it wasn’t long before Landry started receiving requests to take his show on the road.
Inspired by testimonies
During his travels, Landry has been impacted by testimonies he has received about his ministry and the creative ways he is able to reach people with the gospel message.
“As the police arrived to do their job, the kids were scared and crying. Believe it or not, one of the kids had on a Captain Escape shirt that said, ‘Believe there is good in the world,’ and the words, ‘Be the good,’ were in bold print with the verse Galatians 6:9-10 below.
“He said because of the shirt, he was able to instantly connect with the children by saying, ‘I know Captain Escape, too.’ It still gives me goosebumps thinking about this, and I think that if everything I have done in this life was for that moment then my life was well spent.”
Whether he is on stage or off, Landry desires to use his platform to share the gospel.
“My favorite part is helping others and being helped by others,” Landry noted. “I will admit that speaking and entertaining to rooms with hundreds of people can be intimidating, and it can fill one with doubt about their own ability.
“However, every single time I doubt, God sends a small child to tell me what a great job I did that day, which is why I want to be like the children and encourage everyone I can each day. One of the ways I try to bring encouragement to people is by sharing an encouraging word and Bible verse each day on Captain Escape’s Twitter.
“I’ve learned that life is hard, but God is still good. We all need a little help, and I want to be God’s helper every day. I want to live every day for God and do all I can do to be a light for others to see him in me.
“God has taught me so much through the years, but one theme stands very clear — we are to love God, love others and tell the world about Him. We do that by loving and encouraging others in their walk with God. I don’t live to be Captain Escape. I live to do God’s will. Some days, I struggle more than I would like to, but every day I get up and live for Him again.”
EDITOR’S NOTE —This article was written by Leann Callaway, and was originally published by the Baptist Standard, newsjournal of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.