I was born in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-three. Wait...too formal?
I certainly can't expect all of you to complete your "About" section without me doing the same, so here's a little of my formal background for those who may not know.
I was born into a Christian home in Goldsmith (next to Tetersburg, IN...and yes, it's a real town) and I remember attending a Foursquare church at a young age. The Foursquare church is a lesser known denomination these days, but founded by Aimee Semple McPherson, a powerful pioneer of the faith.
We moved to Constantine, Michigan when I was four and we began attending Dr. Lester Sumrall's church in South Bend. I grew up in that church, with the Sumrall family and my parents were Elders. Spiritually, a lot was put into me as my parents grew in the Word and as we attended church...a LOT. Dr. Sumrall would frequently lay hands on us kids when the church was smaller...he knew the eternal value of impartation.
We left Christian Center when I was 18 after my parent's divorce in 1991. That was a dark period of time. It was a year or more before i started New Creation Fellowship where the healing began. I served in many ways over the years from scrubbing toilets to planning grand holiday events, but most of my time was spent on the platform in Praise & Worship.
in 1995, I felt the call of God on my life more strongly than ever before. It was time to go to Bible College. I left with the intention of going into Praise and Worship, and I completed that 2 year program, but knew I was to stay in Columbus, OH. There I joined the church choir and was asked to be on the WHBC Vocal Ensemble. I was employed by the church's Ministerial Fellowship where I did most of the administrative work, but best of all, I got to interact with Pastors and Ministers across the globe and pray for them one-on-one.
Then the pull to a different branch of ministry began. It was during one of our conferences of 20,000 people, when Dr. Juanita Bynum took the pulpit and preached a message sent from Jesus Himself. My life was forever changed. The glory in that house was so thick that night you could barely breathe. The sight of multitudes of people laid out on the floor...afraid to move...the glory was there and you dared not. It was then that I gave Him my "yes." I promised to give Him it all...my life for ministry and kingdom. It was later that year, as I sat in a random church service on a Wednesday night, that the anointing fell upon me and my left hand felt as if it would ignite. I was clueless as to what was happening, but the Holy Spirit was handing out anointings that day. It would take me years to understand and operate in it.
Third year at WHBC, I began my studies in Pastoral Leadership. I was employed by another department when they discovered I had a degree in Journalism. I was hired as a junior copywriter for Pastor Rod Parsley where I was able to use my writing skills and began to write some of his sermons for Breakthrough Television, Partner announcements, etc., and wrote portions of his books.
God was moving very quickly in my life. I did that for about a year, then was advanced from copywriter to Breakthrough Television's Administrator as Pastor Parsley and his mother, Ellen Parsley, took a liking to me. It was here that I learned the most before I faced the "real-life" trials. I worked long hours, was entrusted to help manage a $23 million television budget, booked travel, planned conferences, and worked side-by-side with the Parsleys in various situations.
I was privy to the not-so-lovely and practical side of ministry as I was involved in closed-door executive meetings. I would work from 8 AM well into the next morning. I would get calls at 4 AM to handle ministry business and get up two hours later to go to class. It was rough working for a global ministry, but it was rewarding on so many countless levels I cannot even begin to tell you here. It took discipline and backbone and a whole lot of Holy Ghost!
It came time for me to leave World Harvest. I had a meeting with Pastor Parsley...he prayerfully and reluctantly agreed, but said to me "before you leave, I'm going to put my hands on you and set you into the ministry."
Now there have been many beautiful and unforgettable times in my life, but there are two that stand out as the most powerful. My water baptism as a teenager and my ordination. Leading up to the ordination ceremony, my mother, staff and other ministers had been praying that it would be an unforgettable one; that it certainly was! I've never felt so much power enter my body than in that moment.
It was a powerful moment, but also a teachable one. I watched Him closely...passing me several times and lines of people being cleared out. He waited. He didn't just lay hands and leave...he waited. He was skillful with the anointing and He waited until the Holy Ghost said "now." I believe we move too quickly as ministers sometimes. You have to spend time with the anointing and time imparting that into them, while staying so very tuned into the Holy Spirit. But I digress...
I felt as if my teeth would chatter and shake right out of my head. I had to be drug up the aisle to a pew. My legs failed me. Speech was impossible and the only sound I heard was the convulsing of my body. Forever changed. Forever His.
Much has happened since that time. Some day I'll be able to share it with you as a whole. If you have a chance, listen to Kathryn Kuhlman on the true cost of ministry. Each student should hear it...and I will likely post it.
Though I have legacy and spiritual genealogy; I am gratefully reminded every day as I deal with my own humanity, that without Him and His precious Holy Spirit, I would be absolutely nothing. But I said "yes."
That's what NCBI is about. For those of you who have a "yes" burning in your belly...it's time to feed that. It's time to grow in knowledge and anointing. Do not quit. Do not give up. This world needs you and this generation isn't going to listen to the regurgitated pablum of religion. They need to experience the tangible Holy Ghost and fire for themselves! They need to see a demonstration of the Holy Ghost that will bring them to repentance and know their need of Him.
Yes, it's going to get hard and it's not for the weak. You will be challenged. You will deal with flesh...mostly your own! BUT, if you stay the course, if you pay the price, if you will run your race and not quit, you will receive unspeakable rewards!
Be teachable. Receive correction. Submit to authority with gladness. Know that we are here to take you through the refiner's fire to the Glory of God and further establishment of His Kingdom, for His glory!