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The Founders

Open Arms International was co-founded by David and Rachel Gallagher and a British couple, John and Rosemary Lancaster. Open Arms began in Clitheroe, England, over a conversation at dinner one night at the Lancaster's home while David and Rachel were living in the UK.  John and Rosemary had more than 12 years of experience in supporting numerous projects across Africa and have a heart to help poor, orphaned and sick children. They felt led to support Open Arms International from conception of the vision. Since 2004, the Lancaster Foundation has provided significant funding, which provided for the purchase of the Open Arms Village site, building construction costs and David and Rachel's salaries. This has allowed other valuable donors’ contributions to go directly to the needs of the poor whom Open Arms serves.

David and Rachel Gallagher form a uniquely inspired husband-and-wife team. Together, they feel it is their life’s purpose to reach out and work among the poorest of the poor. Their gifting and passion combine to meet the deepest needs of families and children - physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

David Gallagher, CEO, is a dynamic leader with a global vision for compassionate ministry and evangelism. David has served as a pastor and was Founder and President of Lightside, Inc., a television production company. At Lightside he hosted and produced the nationally syndicated television program ‘Night Light.’ David is a graduate of Portland State University (Business Administration), Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, and L.I.F.E. Bible College in Los Angeles.

Rachel Gallagher, President, is a registered nurse who has carried healing in her hands through a variety of medical and evangelistic experiences, including work with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India. A graduate of Oral Roberts University, Rachel has worked as a staff and charge nurse in the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units of three leading U.S. children's hospitals. She is fulfilling her life-long dream of caring for the needy and hopeless of the world.