Many times God allows things to happen like storms and trials just to add another chapter in our lives.  My life was very interesting at a young age; I grew up very quickly being raised in a tavern playing music at eleven years old, but yet God held my destiny.  At the age of sixteen my brother was killed by being electrocuted by a TV antenna that touched an electrical line. The day before his death he came to our dad’s nightclub, on a Friday night to let us know about our Sunday afternoon family Reunion.  I was playing the drums that night and kindly asked the man that was singing (Gene Lee) if we could take an intermission so I could speak to my brother.  I remember walking across the dance floor to the table where my brother was sitting, and I remember shaking his hand as he informed me of how he had gotten saved and filled with Gods spirit three day before.  He told me that he had come to let us know about the family Reunion on Sunday and that I needed to accept Jesus into my life.  Now understand I was sixteen at this time and my brother was far from being a church boy because three weeks before his transformation me and him was partying together with two girls in the back of his van.  So after talking to him, as I went back to the bandstand and set down on my drums a voice asked me why? “Why did you shake his hand”?  The first words I ever heard God speak to me were in that tavern that night.  I spoke back and said “I don't know why” and the voice said “you haven't shaken his hand since he came home from the military”.  I went on to play my music that night and the next night right before beginning our Saturday night session the police came in to the bar and asked my father to come to the police station where he was informed of my brother being killed.  That was the last night that tavern was ever opened again as a tavern.  As we were preparing for the funeral my aunt, my dad’s sister, called us to come to her home to listen to something that she felt was needed for us to hear.  This was the lady that took my brother to the spirit filled church to except Jesus into his life.  We agreed to go and she explained that the day before my brother died that he had came by her home to visit and she asked him to sing her a song and he told her he would just pray a prayer.  Since his prayer was lengthy I will just hit the highlights of it.  In his prayer he stated “Lord I'd love to use my building trade skills to build you a house and I'd love to preach the gospel but Lord I know my time is short”. He went on to say, “but Lord I'll stay here as long as you want me to but Lord above everything else see my family saved”.  That night when I heard those words I remember walking into the restroom of my aunts home holding back the tears from running down my face.  I locked the door looking in the mirror I asked myself “Where Are You Going?”,  And a voice said “you’re going to hell” and it shook me. 

          After my brothers funeral my family and I went to the church where my brother was saved that night and I accepted The Lord into my life, one year latter I was preaching the gospel.  One day coming home from work from the Burlington Northern Railroad, God laid it on my heart to go in my own business as a carpenter.  Understand I had never had any experience in this trade ever before.  God sent me an elderly man that taught me many things about the ins and outs of building, so between him and God I built a very blessed business.  One day in 1986 God told me to go full time evangelizing.  I sold my tools and closed my company and preached through the panhandle of Texas and Louisiana all the way to Chicago IL.  One night when I was preaching God unfolded to me of how that everything my brother wanted to become I had become that. The Lord spoke to me and said that the night you shook your brothers hand was the night that he passed you the mantel. 
         
          As I was on the evangelistic field God began to deal with me to go to a town called De Soto Illinois.  I thought the first time the Lord spoke to me that I might have had too much pizza the night before.  I was in Texas preaching at the time having eight years of ministry under my belt I had seen many that had got a thought and ran with it only to fall on their face, so I was very patient in trying to be sure it was God.  The dream was so real and so much bigger than myself that I couldn't make it all out so I ignored it until one day preaching in Chicago, getting ready to head to Roswell New Mexico to hold a revival for pastor Judge, God gave me a dream in my 30 ½ foot fifth wheel about going to this place of De Soto Illinois.  In my dream I was standing in the balcony of this mega church talking to a gentleman when an usher came to me and asked if I needed anything and I said I'd like to know how many do we have in the service.  When he came back after talking to the gentleman he said pastor there are so many I can't number them and I woke up.  That next day I spoke nothing to my wife until after I preached the service in Chicago.  We were out eating with the pastor and his wife, and the pastor asked me where I was going from there and I said I'm going to De Soto IL.  He said “I thought you said you were going somewhere in Mexico” and I said, “I was but God has informed me I must fulfill his will”.  The pastor of that church gave me a proposition that many of men my age would have jumped on and even he reassured me that it had to be in the will of God for me to not take his offer. 

          So I left Chicago Heights and went to De Soto where God opened the door for us to begin a work and I have been pastoring here now for twenty seven years.  I have purchased a piece of property 42.74 acres that a farmer told me that he would never sale.  One day I was driving past this piece of property when God told me to go back and ask the man to buy it again.  I told The Lord, “Lord you heard the man, he told me that his farm was family owned and operated and that it would never be for sale”.  God said to me "Stop"!!! this car and turn it around and so I did.  When I knocked on the door the man came outside and looked at me and said it's time.  I said its time for what, he said it's time for me to sale you this ground.  It was amazing how God used this man to sale us this property on contract for deed at 5% and paid his tithe to the church from the sale, a gentleman that did not know me.  What a mighty God we serve.  Not long after purchasing the ground I received a phone call from a lady that told me that she was a School Teacher and that she would like to meet with me if all possible.  So I set up a meeting to speak with her, she informed me that her husband was an architect and she had been drawing something that God had been dealing with her about that concerned me.  She said that God would wake her up and she would draw out what God was showing her and that she would ask her husband if what she was drawing made any since.  The day she came into my office she laid this yellow envelope on my desk and asked me if what she had drawn made any since to me.  At that time I pulled out of my desk a yellow envelope of the drawing that God had given me years ago and I set the two drawing side by side and it just confirmed to me what God promised me 25 years ago. I believe with all my heart that God is going to fulfil His will in the city of De Soto. 
         
Thank you for reading please keep me and this vision in your prayers, God bless.

 

All donations will go to building a sanctuary on Rt 51 DeSoto, Illinois.

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