Fred Billings was my first pastor. I remember who he was, not what he said. He loved me. He baptized me. I wanted to watch Dallas Cowboy football games with him. He was different but fun. Leslie Bruce was my second pastor. He cared enough about me to say hard and unpopular things at a significant time in my life.
Carl Nelson wanted me to preach at his church (Little Doe Freewill Baptist Church, Hampton, Tn) which I did, at age 15. He told his people to put money in my hand going out the door after I preached one Sunday. And they did.
Tommy Oaks was the one I wanted to be like the most. He wore jeans and athletic shoes. He told jokes when he preached and had haunted houses in the church basement, for fun. His passion for Jesus was obvious.
Ron Herrod, Ron Owens, Jerry Davis, Terry Fields, and Bill Howard, all have had incredible influence on me as my fast moving car sped beside them. From my first memories of Fred Billings (1965) to my numerous coaching and counseling conversations with Bill Howard (2002 to the present) God sent them. All along the road, various exits and detours, the one I needed at the time was there. Sounds like God, doesn't it?
We kick them in the teeth, question their motivation, criticise their preaching, and ask why they cannot do more and be better. A huge deal is made about the few who stumble while the 1000's who get the job done are ignored. Yet they never stop appearing along the road.
Dinosaurs couldn't handle the changes of time or the abuse of man. They became extinct. Pastors keep coming . . . from the Lord. Say hello to yours today, if you have one. Let me help you find one if you don't. Pray for him. Slip him a $20.00. No kidding. He is a gift from the Lord.
John Waters is a missionary. I ate lunch with him on Daniel Island Friday. He knew waitresses (Grace and Tara) and business owners (Mike and Dana) in great detail. He told me all about them. We prayed for them and with them. None of them had ever met a man who cared for them like John. I just know it. John is a movement maker. Training planters Monday in Rock Hill. Stay tuned.