We started visiting, Margie’s former pastor, Rev. Walter Warren’s church, in Sulfur Springs. Margie and I began to sing, along with a man at the church. He played the guitar and sang very well. This was the very beginning of ministry for us.
Rev. Warren recognized the call of God on my life and he began to mentor me. He would invite me to go along with him for hospital visits, and funeral services he officiated. He also allowed me to preach some.
Healing – Beginning of Faith Ministry
God did not heal me instantly of my panic attacks. Because I had to go through His school of “Faith” to know what I would be preaching about. “Faith” teaching and living, was the ministry that God gave me.
One day, we found ourselves (our family) all eating together at the dining room table. This is something I had not been able to do, because of my nerves and ulcers. I couldn’t eat what the family could. But here we were, with a plate full of spaghetti and meatballs, salad and texas garlic toast. All of which, I was not able to eat previously. As I glazed down at my hands, I’ll saw I had finger nails. I had never had finger nails. As soon as any growth occurred, I immediately bit them down to the quick. I had bit my nails, since I was a small child.
Not only that, none of us could remember when or if we had eaten together prior to that moment. We all just noticed that moment, at the same time. I have been able to eat anything I want since that time. I like spicy hot stuff and I eat a lot of it. God truly gave me a miracle! Now I have to keep my nails trimmed. God also healed me of the nervous, fearful, panic attacks! Another great miracle!
I took correspondence bible courses from two different schools. Subsequently, I was licensed by the Pentecostal Church of God. Later, I was licensed and ordained by the International Church of Foursquare Gospel church organization. I also achieved a Doctorate certificate and designation.
Margie taught the children to sing harmony parts. We sang in church services in our local church. I started receiving invitations to preach, and our family would sing, in various churches in the area. Then, God put in my heart to pastor.
I searched for a building to start a church. I found one building on a main (busy) street. It had previously been a gas station and convenience store. The gas pumps had been removed, making for a good bit of parking space. I sought the owner about renting. She was interested, until I told her I wanted to use the building for a church. She quickly told me, No!
Then, I found a actual church building. The building had the pews, sound equipment, platform, pulpit and choir pews. Everything ready to go, except a congregation. I had to have permission from the Superintendent of the Pentecostal Church of God to start a church in the area.
The rent was $50 a month. I told the Superintendent, I would be responsible for the payment. However, he said the location was too close to one of the other churches. So, he wouldn’t allow it. Some time later, he placed his daughter and son-in-law in that very building, so they could be ordained. They never had a congregation! But God was in it all. He had a better church for me!
Beginning of Pastoral Ministry
One Christmas, on a Sunday night, my Mother and my family wanted to attend a church where we could hear preaching, instead of a program. We now know, that it was God who led us to the Tampa Foursquare church. Later, my Mother gave me a cradle roll certificate, from the Tampa Foursquare church (not this one) dated Nov. 1929, where I was enrolled, when I was only 1 month old.
Even so, that evening the church was having a children’s play, about the birth of Jesus. Sorry to say, it was a disaster! However, we met the interim pastors and they invited us to an upcoming minister’s meeting. We attended the meeting and met the State Superintendent, Rev. Loyd Post. He invited us to speak, on occasion at the Tampa church After several weeks, Rev. Post called me at midnight one night and said, “the people of the church want you to be their pastor, what do you say?” At that moment, I was so shocked, I didn’t know that I was being considered for the pastors’ position. I fully intended to say, “No”, but when the words came out of my mouth, it was “Yes”. I wanted to tell him, wait that was a mistake, but he said, “Ok” and hung up.
This is the 5th Episode of the series about My Dad’s Life Journey.
If this is the first episode you have seen, You can catch up here with the previous 4 episodes, starting with the 1st episode:
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