Today, May 2nd 2009 at 77 years, I am beginning to understand a scripture that I have read and meditated upon many times through the years, written under divine inspiration in the Psalms, The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. However, I must say that my sorrow and labor has been minimized greatly by my precious helpmeet Wanda of near 56 years, our Pastor son Greg A, my daughter Robin and her husband Allen, and our daughter Jennifer and her husband Eric. This also includes our beautiful and highly intelligent nine grandchildren.
Many people seem to dread the thoughts of growing older, but when God has literally extended to you a gift of forty years, as He has me, each passing day is nothing but pure delight. The doctors pronounced me clinically dead - no breathing for three minutes - in ICU at St. Mary’s Hospital connected to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in the summer of 1969 as a result of complications after three major abdominal surgeries within ten days. The doctors tried to prepare my wife by telling her that if I did live, she should not be surprised if I would be no more than a vegetable for the rest of my life.
Miraculously, because of the prayers of God’s people all over the land and the skill of the Mayo doctors, not only did I live that night, but God restored me to the pulpit of the Baptist Temple in Indianapolis and a nation-wide television ministry. All Glory to God, the records show that over the next ten years the church saw over twenty-thousand first time professions of faith in Christ and grew, according to Christian Life Magazine, to the 11th largest in the nation with an average of more than 3,300 in Sunday School,.
It all started in 1936 when my mother took me into Luke’s Barber and Beauty Shop on East Harry Street in Wichita, Kansas and told me to wait on her while she went in the back to get her hair set. Luke, the one legged barber, struck up a conversation with a four year old boy they called “Buddy,” and in the course of the conversation invited me to come live with him and his family. I didn’t have a father, so my mother took him up on it and I lived there for four years until my mother married Mr. L.E. Dixon when I was eight and we moved into a new home on West Second Street that he purchased for a whopping $5,400.
When I was fourteen, this same family invited me to go to a tent revival. That night, under the weight of a box car load of sin, the Holy Ghost had me pinned down and I hit the old ‘Saw Dust Trail’ as Billy Sunday called it, and I got saved. God called me to preach that very night, and I went off to Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri after I graduated from High School.
When God led me to unregister the Baptist Temple in 1982 and leave the 501 (c) (3) IRS Non Profit Trap and begin following the Lord Jesus as a New Testament Church, the greatest members in the world willingly followed my leadership. When the IRS and U.S. Justice Department moved on us through the federal courts to seize our property and later bulldoze the 2,000 seat sanctuary down, they stood faithful during a 92-day siege without wavering under unrelenting media attacks and criticism. For five years, they wandered as nomads from place to place without murmuring or complaining until God was pleased to give them a permanent location to worship.
God has been so good to me, far more than I have deserved. Next Sunday, May 10, at 77 years of age I will launch a new nation-wide radio ministry at 7 am EST every Sunday morning on stations all across the land. “The Sound of The Trumpet” Broadcast may also be heard on the internet anywhere in the world at www.libertyworksradionetwork.com
. My prayer is the same as the Psalmist when he said, Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.