Sometimes small towns are filled with people who have hearts that are larger than life. If you drive 90 miles south of Washington D.C., you arrive in Page County, Virginia, home to a couple that fits this description. Carl and Linda Quintrell are lifelong residents of this county, which is home to less than 25,000 people and the beautiful Shenandoah National Park. In this small town filled with hospitality, Carl and Linda have raised a family, cared for their parents, and decided to make their life’s mission larger than Page County.
Five minutes apart
Carl, a retired electrical engineer, grew up seeing the Shenandoah River from his front porch in Newport. His mother stayed at home to help raise him and his older sister, while his father worked in the Page Valley hatchery and raised chickens, among other things. His father was also an avid baseball fan. “This led to many special family memories engaged with the sights and sounds of various baseball teams,” says Carl. The Quintrell home was also built on strong Christian beliefs. Carl’s dad was the church treasurer at the family’s home church, St. Paul Lutheran Church.
Linda, an accounting clerk, grew up five minutes down the road from Newport in a town called Stanley. She, her sister, and two brothers were raised in a home filled with Christian influence. They, along with their parents, were members at Leake’s Chapel Church of the Brethren—a small congregation of no more than 60 on a typical Sunday. “My parents have always been inspirational in my life. This began with us praying and reading the Bible together as a family,” says Linda. After years of deep spiritual sustenance, it was during a revival as a preteen that Linda came to know Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior.
Carl and Linda did not meet until Linda was a junior in high school. As they say, “The rest is history.” This Fall, the Quintrell’s will celebrate 38 years of marriage. Through the highs of a raising two daughters and creating memories with their three grandchildren and the lows of losing two family members in recent years, their faith remains foundational for everything in their lives.
Together, Carl and Linda have been active at Leake’s Chapel for many years. One particular memory at the church was when Carl, and their daughter, Carla, were baptized on the same Sunday. Carl has served in many roles with the congregation over the years, including webmaster, managing the church’s social media accounts, the media ministry, and serving as treasurer of the men’s group. Linda has previously served on the board at church and is heavily involved in the women’s group.
more than hotel bible men
The Quintrell’s also share another vivid church memory from their childhood—Gideons coming to share about the ministry of taking God’s Word across the globe. As children, they knew Gideons as “the hotel Bible men.” Carl and Linda got to know Gideons on a personal level later in life. They quickly realized there was more to the story, and Gideons were not only church speakers and hotel Bible men. At the same time, people saw something in the way the Quintrell’s lived their lives that maybe they didn’t see themselves. Carla, their daughter, would say, “Dad, you would make a good Gideon. You should consider joining.”
One Sunday morning, it all came together. A Gideon name Randy Clark came to Leake’s Chapel to share an update on what God was doing through The Gideons International. Yet, this Sunday was different for Carl. He approached Randy at the end of the service and started a conversation. Randy and Carl were both graduates of Virginia Tech and immediately found common ground. Randy saw and heard Carl and Linda’s passion for serving and asked them to consider joining. In 2019, the Quintrell’s did just this and quickly became active members in the Association.
a change of perspective: What is a Testament?
As engaged new members, Carl and Linda began participating in the various aspects of the ministry they had long admired. Carl went on a hotel distribution with the camp and was impressed with making sure hotels were supplied with the correct number of Bibles and ensuring they were in mint condition. Carl and some fellow Gideons were a part of a Scripture distribution at a nearby university. Before they started to distribute the Testaments, camp leadership instructed the Gideons to ask students, “Would you like a copy of God’s Word?” Most students would not be familiar with the term “Testament.” This newfound realization made a considerable impact on Carl. “Where I come from, most people know what the Old and New Testaments are—the realization that some of these college students wouldn’t recognize a term like Testament was very revealing to me,” recalls Carl. At the same time, many students were appreciative of what the Gideons were doing. He adds, “I remember some of the students thanking us for our efforts and even offering us a bottle of cold water on that hot August day.”
The Quintrell’s have found a great connection with their fellow Gideons and Auxiliary. “These brothers and sisters in Christ have become like family to us. Saturday morning prayer time is special,” says Carl. “This Association is filled with godly men who are carrying out the Great Commission together.”
“This Association is filled with godly men who are carrying out the Great Commission together.” —Carl
Linda supports Carl and the efforts of other Gideons as an Auxiliary. She looks forward to greater involvement in the Association and loves being active in prayer. She says, “Serving together as a couple shows unity. There are so many people in our world lost without Christ. I’m passionate about reaching the lost, as well. We have the chance to give someone a Testament that will change their life. It’s not just Page County we are reaching; it’s the whole world.”