“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:” (Eph. 2:21)
I let the President of our Ministry Fellowship know that I believed God was calling me to hold revivals in other churches.
Not long after, I was working to help build a Christian School building on the Fellowship property when a pastor from Red River County near Oklahoma, who had come to see the Fellowship President, came in where I was working to see me.
We talked for a few moments, and I sensed from God that this was not a chance meeting. I told him that I would love to come and preach a revival at his church.
He said that he would love to have me come, but that his church was a very poor church near the Red River; that some of his people did not even have shoes to wear to church. He said that they didn’t have the money to pay an evangelist, and that whatever offerings they received, would probably not be enough to supply our needs.
I told him that money would not even be mentioned, and that I had learned if I would just do the will of God, then God would supply all of our needs. He said, “Well, I know that you’ll be fed well. The ladies in our church sure know how to cook.”
He agreed to have me come for a weeklong revival. In the meantime, the Pastor of a small church in Mt. Vernon, Texas had heard me preach at a Fellowship meeting, and had asked me to come and hold a weeklong revival there also.
We scheduled for us to come to his church first, and then straight to Oklahoma. God was beginning to open doors.
We started the revival meetings in Mt. Vernon, and God gave us a tremendous outpouring of His Holy Spirit. I found out that this pastor had been praying for some time for a spiritual breakthrough.
There were some individuals in the church that had undergone abuse in their lives and needed the Lord to heal their hearts and minds.
The Lord did a great work that week and the altars were filled each night. People heard of the work God was doing and came even from other towns. Many were healed, saved, and filled with the Holy Ghost.
There was also a man in the church who had been praying that God would send someone to show them how to win souls to Christ. While I was there, he and I were able to go to the local jail and minister to the prisoners. He went on to have a great ministry winning souls to Jesus in the Texas prisons.
I would hold more revivals for this pastor in the future and would eventually return to start and principal a Christian School.
We finished that week of services by preaching the Sunday morning service, and left that afternoon to begin the revival in Red River County with their Sunday evening service.
My wife was exhausted, but I assured her that we would arrive early enough to freshen up at the church. As we pulled into the parking lot, my wife pointed over to a little building.
“Is that what I think it is?” she said. She was right: it was an outhouse. There was no running water in the church.
The Pastor arrived and suggested that I take off my coat and tie because I might feel uncomfortable being the only one there with one on. No one that attended his congregation could afford a coat and tie. Many of them lived in the woods along the Red River.
The people began to arrive, and by the time the service started, there was standing room only.
This church made me think of the Church in Smyrna written about in the Book of Revelation chapter 2. The Lord said that he knew their works, and tribulation, and poverty, but they were rich.
What this church by the Red River lacked in finances, they more than made up for in Spirit and in love. I don’t believe that I have ever been in a church that loved the Lord more than the people of this church.
When the preaching was over, and the people lined up for prayer, the line stretched out the back door. Again, the Lord poured out His Spirit, and we saw many accept Christ and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
People began to come from all over, and the Pastor asked if we could extend the revival for another week. We returned home to get fresh clothes and then came back.
By the way, the Pastor was right: those ladies could cook. They fed us and treated us like kings. It was there that I first tasted fried rabbit (tastes like chicken).
We would return there also and hold future revivals. After their building burned down from an electrical fire, we held a revival under a brush arbor in a field by the Red River. What the devil meant for evil, God turned around for good.
These precious saints of God would not give up, and they rebuilt their Church building. This time it was a beautiful building made of brick with some fine indoor restrooms.
We went on to hold revival services in churches throughout east Texas and southeast Oklahoma. We would also return and help pastors to start three Christian schools and ourselves to pastor two churches.
God fulfilled the vision that He had given me: He used me as a tool in building His house in many different areas, and then returned me to the shelf.