Why A Preacher?
I have been asked on different occasions why that I am a preacher. I wanted to take some time to explain this. I have met many who claim to be preachers. I am in no position to say whether they are or not; however, I have no doubts concerning my status as a preacher. I hope that the following lines will serve as clarification on this point. Preaching is something that I take very serious. I know good intentioned people have aspired to preach; however, I don’t find that this task is something that one can appoint their selves to do. All who know the Lord should be glad to declare their own testimony when the opportunity affords itself, yet that does NOT make them a preacher.
This is my story. I had lived a long time the way that I wanted to live. I was of the same attitude as those children of Israel who dwelt in the land of Israel immediately after Joshua and his generation passed into eternity. I lived according to that which was right in my own eyes. This led to many hard times in my life. I will not go into any details here. Let it be said, that I didn’t let my light shine as I should have. Anyway, I came to the season where I had to reap some of what I had sowed. When that occasion came along, I found myself down on my knees in prayer to God my heavenly Father. I confessed that I had lived years the way that I wanted to live, but now I wanted to learn how He wanted me to live. The first thing that I did was hunt for a Bible to study. I didn’t want a Bible that had any references in it because I felt that those were from men. I realized what doing things man’s way could lead too. I had enough of that to suit me for a lifetime. So, I sought out a KJV of the Bible without anything but scriptures in it. I found that at a small bookstore in Warner Robins Georgia. Then, I started in the book of Matthew, reading every word for myself.
After I had read for many days, taking time before work and time after work to do so, I ask myself what I had read. I had spent a lot of time in college and realized that I should be able to recall some of the things that I had read if I was really taking time as I should. It was at that time that I realized that I was reading with too much haste. So, I picked up a notebook and pen to write down every verse that I read. This continued until I got to the book of James. That slowed me down and got me to considering what every verse meant. This didn’t mean that I understood all that I was reading, but it did slow me down to the point that I was considering what I was reading.
I started this process in January of 1994. In March of that year, while sitting at my kitchen table studying, the Lord impressed me that I should carry His word by way of preaching. This totally shocked me. I thought that I had finally lost what remained of my sanity. I had lived out in the world for a long time. I had done things that I found plainly condemned in the pages that I was studying. When this impression came, I thought that surely my mind was playing tricks on me, so I pushed those thoughts aside. I continued with my studies.
I was raised by a preacher. As long as I can remember, my dad has preached. I never stopped to consider why he preached while others didn’t. When I was young, I remember being out on the mission field along with my dad. I did a lot of school-work in the back seat of a car during a trip to a distant place where dad was to preach. One day after I was thus impressed, I asked dad why he was a preacher. He related to me the occasion that the Lord impressed him to preach. As he told me about this, I recall hearing others who I was raised around relating similar stories concerning when the Lord impressed them to preach. Some how, all of that didn’t sink in when I heard that as a boy, but now that it happened to me it all made sense.
I went on after this occurred without telling anyone. I didn’t even share this with my dad right away. I was attending a church at that time as a visitor. My membership was where it had always been, up in the hills of Tennessee. As I visited this other church, there were certain things that the preacher said that didn’t seem to coincide with what I had found while studying the Bible for myself. I recall one time, while he preached, that I thought to myself, “He must not know that the Bible speaks different to what he is saying”. At that moment, I felt like the Lord impressed me that I should tell them what the Bible taught. Again, I thought to myself, I can’t do that. I listened some more and thought, “This other thing he is saying is wrong too”. Again, I felt the Lord impress me to tell them. I managed to get through the service without saying anything at that time; however, the need to share the truth burned within me.
I remember what I was reading when the Lord first impressed me to preach. I was reading the passage of scripture that refers to the time when the Lord passed by Peter, James, and John. He called them saying, “Come follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”. This really spoke to me. I remember looking around to see if someone was in the room with me. That is when I thought that my mind was failing me. This passage is repeated again in the Gospel of Luke. When I read that verse, again, the verse spoke to me. I am not saying that I heard an audible voice. What I heard was that still small voice that the children of God hear when they are being led to do a thing. I began to consider that perhaps the Lord wanted me to preach His word.
At this time, I began to meditate on what I was reading. I tried to conduct my life according to the teachings of the Bible. I had to relearn how to do a lot of things. As I prepared for the day, I would meditate on the Word. I found myself preaching as I thought about passages. My neighbors heard a lot of sermons in those days. When I drove to work, meditating on the Word, I again found myself preaching. The people I passed really got a show. One day while in a Christian bookstore, I was looking through the books and wondering to myself if I really was suppose to be a preacher. As I looked around, I was doing more praying than I was looking. It was then that I say a little picture across the room. That picture held my attention so that I crossed the room to take a closer look at it. When I got to it, I found a small fishing lure attached to it with a passage written underneath it saying, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”. When I read this, it was as a strong gentle hand touched me down within. I was made to understand that indeed the Lord wanted me to preach His word and that I was bond to do it.
When this happened, any doubt of the Lord’s will concerning me becoming a preacher was relieved. It was so plain to me that it would have been easier for me to deny my own parents than it would be for me to deny what the Lord wanted me to do. I bought that little picture and it hangs in my living room today. On my way home that day, I had a great fear come over me. I realized from studying the Word that there was so much that I didn’t understand. I submitted to preach, but I ask for time to study. I asked the Lord to help me study so that I would NOT be guilty of preaching a lie. He gave me time too study until July of that year rolled around. That was when revival began at my home Church.
When revival started, I came realizing that I had been called to preach. I had not announced that to my home Church. As far as I know, no one there knew that I had been called. On Monday night, I openly told the Church what had happened to me. The Pastor asked me to preach on Wednesday night of the meeting. I was very glad to have the opportunity. I prepared the next day and did declare the Word of the Lord Wednesday night as requested. I had great help from on high with much clarity of thought. I received such a great blessing that night as I spoke on the rich man and Lazarus.
Years have passed since that first time I preached in July of 1994. In September of 1998 I was ordained to the full work of the ministry. I have been the pastor of Churches, assisted in organizing Churches, assisted in ordinations, conducted Bible Studies, written on several topics and done radio work. Currently I’m involved in Mission Work. Much time has been given to study and I plan to continue on the same course. I have been blessed to witness lost persons come to find the Lord as they humbled themselves under the power of heartfelt conviction. I do NOT consider myself to be a great man of God. I only desire to help people come to know the One Who has so abundantly blessed my life. As far as the things of this world goes, I can NOT claim to have many possessions. Furthermore, I do NOT desire many things. I desire to see godliness abound and the Kingdom of the Lord to be extended on every hand. I pray that I may see this occur in the time that the Lord allows me to be a co-laborer with Him among men.