My Early Beginnings
Born and raised on a small family farm near Burt, Michigan, I attended, somewhat sporadically, a small country Methodist church located in the small town of Burt. Early on, I remember our pastor being a woman, Mrs. Shaw, who was replaced by Rev. Floyd Burlingame, who pastored there until after my graduation from high school in 1964.
Following my graduation from high school, while serving in the U.S. Navy, I continued my sporadic church attendance, either in Protestant services on base or at a local Methodist Church, as had been my childhood experience.
Early in 1972, a young woman I had been dating invited me to church one Wednesday evening and I went. It was my first encounter with the Church of the Nazarene and I enjoyed the service. I want back the following Sunday and continued attending every Sunday and Wednesday evening. After about six weeks, I responded to a Sunday night altar call, at which time I acknowledged Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. My new life's adventure had just begun.
My First Miracle
Prior to my encounter with Jesus Christ, my focus had been on being the nastiest, foulest, most vulgar I could be and took great pride in standing out as one of the very nastiest people I knew of.
The night that I had encountered Jesus Christ and recognized Him as my Lord and Savior, as I went to bed, but before I went to sleep, I prayed, "Lord, if I am going to be a Christian, I simply cannot go on as I have been for so long. I need to give up being so foul and vulgar, I need to clean up my act. But I've been this way for too long, I can change on my own, I need Your help -- I need a miracle".
The next morning, I got up and went to work as usual, not aware of anything different about myself, but with memories of the previous night fresh in my mind. I worked at a mobile home factory that had converted to manufacturing double-wide homes and I constructed interior walls used in their production. I had always been very high profile and my vile nature was no secret -- as mentioned previously, it was my claim to fame. However, within two or three hours of my starting work that Monday morning, the entire plant was buzzing and I was the topic of discussion. All who saw and heard me marveled at the sudden change in me; no more cursing and swearing, I had suddenly become polite, my vocabulary without its foul expletives.
That was early in 1972, March or April. As I continued my church attendance I grew more and more aware of what I perceived as a call to the ministry. I was so excited about my new life's experience, I wanted to share with everyone. In November, 1972, I moved to Bourbonnais, IL, to begin my preparation for the ministry.
More Miracles Ahead
I left my home in Michigan with all I could pack into my Volkswagen beetle (it was pea green, with a sun roof that leaked) and barely enough gas money to get me to Illinois. Upon arrival in Bourbonnais, IL that night, with no place to go, I stopped in to the college and informed the attendant at the Information Desk of my mission. I was put into a guest room for the night and the next day I had a student meal card, my own dorm room and a part time job on campus. Since the end of that term was so close, I could not enroll in classes until Spring term, so I stayed on campus, worked part time and learned my way around the campus and my new community.
I enrolled in classes in January, 1983, with all intents and purposes of pursing a Major in Theology and a Minor in Sociology, in order to prepare for my dream to become a preacher of the Gospel. All this was funded through student loans and my part time job on campus, which meant no immediate financial burden on my part.
Then Along Came Ellen
In the course of attending classes and making new friends, this charming young lass, Ellen, came into my life. With the combination of my disillusion with college life and my falling for her charms, I dropped out of college the end of the Spring term 1974 and married Ellen in January 1975.
The Dream Never Died
Over the years, while I have continued to read and study the Bible, my dream of preaching the Gospel has never died. Even when I moved my family to Tulsa, OK in February, 1986, I entertained thoughts of attending Oral Roberts University in the pursuit of that dream. That, however, never happened.
Today, although I have yet to complete a formal education, my reading the book of Jeremiah in the Bible has opened my eyes to the spiritual needs of my home country today. I have come to recognize that the deterioration of our system of government is due mostly to the growing apostasy and moral depravity of the American people.
Birth of a New Ministry
I maintain that politics will not save our nation without God and the Bible. I believe our nation is facing a time of severe Divine judgement, that God is about to turn this nation upside down and shake it. I believe very strongly that until "we the people" turn back to God and the Bible, that things will only continue to get worse, until, ultimately, we, as a nation, self-destruct as a result of our own apostasy.
Only God Can Save Us
The Bible says, "Blessed is the nation, whose god is the LORD". On the flip side, what does that say of a nation whose god is someone or something other than the God of our Fathers? Only God can save us and it is my mission to preach that message to anyone that will hear until my dying day.