Meet the Founders
Rick is originally from Eastern Iowa, but was raised, in Waukegan, Illinois.
Rachel was born in Liberia, Africa when her parents served as missionaries there but was raised in Pasadena California.
Rick and Rachel met in Pasadena while they both attended L.I.F.E. Bible College in Los Angeles, California now known as LIFE Pacific College in San Dimas, California. They were married in 1987 and both graduated in 1988.
The couple moved to San Diego in 1989 and then relocated to Vinton, Iowa in November, 1992. They bought their beautiful Queen Ann Victorian in July, 1993 and opened the Bed and Breakfast known as The Lion & The Lamb, in February of 1995, after many renovations were completed.
Rachel functioned as the General Manager for the business and continued to operate the bed and breakfast business, for her parents, until its closing in 2010 upon her parents retirement from the business.
Rick and Rachel have three daughters. Stephanie was born in 1992. She graduated from Cochise College, in Arizona and now resides with her husband, Ben, in the Los Angeles area. Caitlin was born in 1995. She graduated from LIFE Pacific College in the Spring of 2016. She is currently training with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in France and will be going on to minister in Africa or Asia. The youngest daughter, Audrey, born in 2002, is currently in high school and residing at home with her parents.
Meet The Inn Keepers
Bearl Smalldridge was born June 18, 1928 in Newton, Iowa but raised in Missouri. He preached his first sermon at the tender age of ten and started in full-time traveling evangelical ministry at the age of eighteen, after a brief period of serving in the United States Navy during World War II.
Virginia Smalldridge was born in Indiana. and met Bearl in 1949 at Altersgate University in Florida where they shared a common vision of missionary work in Africa.
The Smalldridge’s first missionary endeavor was a summer ministry in the Bahamas Island in 1952. In 1962 Bearl & Virginia gathered their family of five children and went to the remote village of Poe River Beach, Liberia were they spent three and a half years building a primary mission school and establishing churches in the region. Their youngest daughter, Rachel, was born while on this mission field in Africa.
Bearl and Virginia founded World Wide Missions Secondary School Cameroon in 1969 and became the largest secondary school in West Cameroon during the five and a half years that they were the proprietors. While in Cameroon, the Smalldridges established a chain of churches in both West Cameroon and East Cameroon. Over 50 of these Churches are still ministering to this day.
They have spent many years in Southern California after an adventurous life as missionaries in West Africa. After leaving Cameroon, Bearl continued to minister in Uganda, Kenya, Philippines, India, and Russia.
After their retirement, Bearl and Virginia owned and operated a non-profit retreat/ranch in Southern California just outside of San Diego, known as Gilead Ranch. Forrest fires completely destroyed the ranch in October, 2004. Instead of rebuilding the ranch they decided to take on the challenge of the bed and breakfast and purchased The Lion & The Lamb business from their daughter Rachel and her husband, Rick.
Bearl and Virginia have six children, two boys and four girls, all are grown and have children of their own.