Out Of Ashes Ministries exists to change communities by discipling, equipping, and empowering women to reach other women.
On a mission to connect women with God’s passionate love for them, speaker, teacher, and author Lori Gano founded Out of Ashes Ministries. Lori works by going into the trenches to see broken women restored and to train women leaders to lean into God and assist Him in rebuilding shattered lives.
Her heart’s desire is that all women would be equipped with God’s truth, enabling them to overcome and to lead others into overcoming. On an interdenominational mission, Lori enjoys traveling to speak and teach at women’s events in churches and organizations across the nation.
Lori has spent her career in construction as a licensed general contractor and owner of a residential design/build construction company, Heritage Homes & Designs. It is here where God implanted a passion for restoration and grew that passion into a longing to see women restored in the fullness of Christ. Now Lori’s days are filled with an unending pursuit of Christ as she remains a lifelong student of His Word, devoting herself to the study of the Old and New Testament in both modern English and the ancient text.
Lori and her husband, Jonathan, have one teenage daughter and live in the beautiful hills of East Tennessee.
Their lives have been spent building together.
It started with homes and spread to people. They have enjoyed ALMOST every minute of it.
Jonathan loves worshiping through music. His favorite times are spent in the quiet of camping and hiking.
Vyala Iris enjoys crawling up into her loft and getting lost in piles books.
They have the two sweetest dogs on the planet - Shiloh, a big beautiful yellow lab, and Daphne, a spoiled little teacup maltese. You might even catch a glimpse of the tiny 2lb Daphne traveling alongside them. Jonathan especially loves to put her in a bag and carry her over his shoulder. He is stuck in a world of women and wouldn't trade it for anything!
Questions & Answers
Q. - How would you describe your walk with God? - “The best worst! After you surrender yourself and accept His gift of salvation, you begin the long process of sanctification. It is an element of the evidence of God’s presence in the life of His people. It is also the hardest, messiest, ugliest, most beautiful, tear-inducing, screaming, transforming work. Dying to ourselves, to our ambitions, our plans, our hopes, our dreams, and instead choosing His will, is an incredible process. It requires an altar and daily sacrifice of those things you or I hold in high esteem. The best thing is seeing God work in me, and in His faithfulness He turns obedience into passion and simply choosing into craving. He is everything. I have never known a love like this outside of Him.”
Q. - What is your favorite area of study? - “Can we have a real chat? I remember encountering several years as a follower of Christ where I struggled to read God’s Word. I didn’t feel thirsty for it. I began asking God to help me have a longing for His Word and to ignite that desire in me. I am not someone who enjoys reading books. My mind is always busy, creating and going 100mph; stopping to sit still and read was at the bottom of my list. When God called me to teach His Word and share my story with women, He stirred up a deep hunger in me not only to read and study, but to DIG. He opened up an avenue within me that was not previously active. I wouldn’t just call myself a reader now, it is much more. I am a digger. My favorite area of study is currently the Hebrew language (modern and ancient) and the Old Testament. My aim is to stay active and fluent in Hebrew. Sitting with God, reading His Word, digging through Scripture, reading the original text; it is a treasure hunt for me. My deepest desire is to dig up that treasure and hand it over, hand it out, to as many women as I can. It’s not mine to keep. I cannot get enough to give enough.”
Q. - You love being transparent. Many people who hear you teach want to know more about your personal life and your personal church affiliation. Would you share a little? - “We are active in an amazing local church where we truly learned what it meant to have family. We also require every member of our board of directors with Out of Ashes to have an active and committed role within a local church. As a ministry we are here to assist the church as a whole, point people to Christ, and reinforce the need for them to be in good Bible-teaching/believing churches. Jonathan and I have very rooted history in a few different denominations. Ultimately, my pursuit is to follow and teach Scripture; not a twisted version or my own interpretation, but to uphold and teach 100% according to God’s Word. Whether my Spirit is excited or my flesh is tormented by His standards; God’s way, His desire laid out in the clear writing of His Word, is the only way. The Word of God, not my flesh, is the authority. I long to reach women of all denominations with the hope and transformation Christ offers.”
Q. - What is your favorite verse, book of the Bible, or translation?- “There are some key verses that I have anchored myself to over the years, but honestly they all stir something in the depth of my soul. Don’t make me pick just one! My personal Bible that I have used for the past 19 years is a KJV Bible. I have a deep respect and love for a conservative approach to study. I certainly reference other translations as I explore areas of Scripture in my studies because it can challenge and bring fresh perspective where I might be stuck due to familiarity with a well-known verse. More than that, all of my word study is done in the original language, so any English translation is not my final landing place for study. I am also very sensitive and respectful to the culture of different churches and honor requests for teaching to be from specific versions.”
Q. - What is your favorite thing to do?- “My favorite thing to do is still to reimagine broken-down homes and bring new life and purpose into them. It is as easy and fulfilling as breathing is to me. It is also something I have laid on the altar time and time again.”
Q. - Your story is one of those that makes people stop and view the power of God. Have you always freely shared your story?- “No. In fact, when God called me to teach and speak, He clearly told me to share my testimony with women. At that time I was on this unstoppable personal mission of surrender to Him. Everything in me was ‘YES! YES, GOD! YES! Let me serve You, not myself. Don’t let me waste my life on me. God, I will do anything!’ Then came the call to teach and speak…and the clear instruction to share my story…I responded, ‘NO! NO, God! Not that! I can’t!’ I still laugh at my ridculous response when I think back on it. I quickly reflected and repented, and have since continued to walk out in obedience what God has called me to do. God was so faithful in showing me the power of His presence the first time I went out to share my story and teach a group of ladies. He really does so much with our simple acts of obedience and the eternal value is so much more than anything we ourselves can accomplish in this place.”
Q. - Is that call from God what led you into women’s ministry?- “Yes, God and only God. Never would I have routed myself in this direction. It was never a desire. I loved serving in my community in many different areas, but teaching God’s Word was not even on my radar. To be completely honest, I had to ask, and keep asking God to grow a love and passion in me for teaching. My long-standing career was my dream job. I had some unbelievable mountaintop experiences in my career. Leaving my job and skills behind to teach and minister to women was excruciating. I went through a long and intense season of dying to myself. Please don’t hear what I am not saying! I love teaching and ministering to women now. I would not abandon this calling for any construction job on the planet, but it is most definitely not a chapter I would have written in the book of my life if I were still holding the pen. Now my complete focus is staying as close to God as I possibly can, and soaking in His Word through intense and constant study, so that I can remain ever-ready to be used as an instrument. I love and crave every moment of serving Him in new places.”
Q. - If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?- “!ישראל”
Q. - How do you determine what you teach on at each event?- “Prayerfully! I teach in a lot of different environments. I teach in classrooms for adult Christian-based organizations, churches, conferences, small groups, large events, small retreat settings, and even corporate conference rooms. What a blessing that is! We have a couple of corporations in my local city that offer a Bible study to employees who would like to stay on the clock and participate. It is so encouraging to me to teach in that environment! I always follow God’s lead through prayer on what He is leading me to speak and teach on in Scripture no matter the setting. Sometimes I am asked directly to teach from a particular area of Scripture or topic of Christian study, either way I wait patiently on direction from God.”
Q. - You are sometimes known as the Song of Solomon girl. What made you choose to write about a book of the Bible that so few people even open?- “The Song of Solomon is by far my favorite book of the Bible. I am a bit apprehensive to jump into this question with too much excitement because most of us do not know what that book of poetic Scripture is truly about. It is often twisted and perverted or simply overlooked. Many of us are intimidated by it and dismiss any notion of clarity that is offered. Years ago I attended an all day workshop that a Senior Pastor was doing on the Song of Solomon. It was captivating. It is always so vital to our walk as followers of Christ to sift what we are taught through the filter of His Word, and that’s exactly what I did. I took every detailed note from that teaching and was so intensely compelled to sit with God and His Word and begin a years-long process of unpacking every chapter, line, verse, and word bit-by-bit in the Hebrew. I studied the poetry. I cross-referenced verses throughout the Old and New Testament. I studied the history. What I discovered was so life-changing for me, so overwhelming, so powerful, intimate and precious that I knew it had to be shared. I would sit with God, and time and time again as my fingers moved across the keyboard furiously typing I would have to stop, my vision so blurred from the tears and my spirit so moved by the revelation that I needed to just be still in the moment. I wrote the book to help women understand God’s affection for His people, but by far the most impactful encounter and understanding of this teaching content is gathered by attending the Be Loved event we strive to host every 12-24 months. The power of God’s Word, His presence, and His love consistently undoes us at the Be Loved event, and to stand as a witness to His work is almost more than my physical body can take. It is indescribable.”
Q. - What are your hopes and dreams? Where do you see yourself in the future?- “It’s funny how different my answer to this question is today, and not because I am now an all-in lover of Christ. Several years ago I was madly in love with God and completely devoted to Him, but I hadn’t reached the moment of being called to teach and speak. I would have answered this much differently then! Now…my hopes and dreams are in His will. Nothing less than His purpose for my life will do. I don’t know where that will land me or what my future might look like, but whether I am sitting on a dirt floor sharing the hope of Christ with three or four women, or I have encountered the fulfillment of some type of wild and impossibly ambitious goal; the vision I have for success and my future rests in the hard and simple obedience and surrender of pursuing only His plan for me.”
Statement of Faith
Curious about what we believe?
View our ministry statement of faith below.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
“When I think of what Out of Ashes Ministries represents, I think of this verse. When Lori Gano speaks, people can feel the Holy Spirit speaking through her. She meets people where they are, and everyone who has met her says they can completely be themselves with no fear of being judged. She is transparent, genuine, talented, but most of all she is a woman of Christ who loves all women. She is so selfless and has given up so much to minister full time to help other women know they are loved, worthy, and redeemed in Christ no matter what they have done. Her testimony gives hope to those who feel hopeless and faith to those who are worried about their future. She has opened my eyes through her testimony, that God will and can do what we think is impossible. When we accept Jesus in our life, change will happen. Lori’s testimony expresses what the love of Jesus radically can do in someone’s life when they accept him as their personal savior. She is all about Jesus, and it is illustrated in her actions, and how deeply she loves and gives from her heart. I want to be a part of her ministry. This ministry does so much for others. Lori knows the word of God and uses it in a way people can really understand and comprehend, in order to share with others. She is a blessing to many, and I am so blessed to call her my friend after attending her conference. Thank you for everything!”
Assistant to the Pastor,
Good Samaritan Center of Hope
When working with broken women I have found that transparency is a key factor, along with “agape” love, in which Lori Gano has shown. My name is Temecka Smith and I am the founder of Real Life Real Issues, a home base ministry that meets monthly and believes in getting to the root of issues, dropping the mask. I was so moved by the class Lori Gano taught through a program in my area that I continued with that program to be able to take her class. She is called and chosen by God to lead and guide you to be healthy, honest, and whole. She is a true example of Christ-likeness. I found myself being accountable and searching myself to make sure I wasn’t leading and hiding behind my own pain. Lori is a gift to the body of Christ and has the ability to teach anyone on any level. To God be the glory!
AWUFW Board President
Lori is a gifted Bible teacher. I have participated in classes she was teaching, and have observed how she creates a climate of trust by being open about her own struggles and unconditionally loving toward those she is teaching. She shows commitment to study and preparation and is a faithful servant “rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” The women she teaches are prone to share their deep prayer needs with her, and I have seen numerous ladies in her classes grow in faith and flourish in their walk with God.