Brief Ministry History

From the Preface of my book, A Season of Glory

Every generation should have the blessing of witnessing a Spiritual Awakening.  I believe that I have been privileged to witness just such an awakening…

In the summer of 1962 I assumed the duty as Pastor of Lott Road Baptist Church in Eight Mile, Alabama.  As a fresh graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, it was an exciting time for me, my wife and two children.  It was a time when we sensed that God had something very special for us as we began our ministry in this new field of service.  Lott Road was a small church founded under the leadership of a Blind Preacher nearly 15 years before we came.  As a matter of fact, we were  only the 3rd pastor in the history of the young church.  The congregation was made up primarily of blue collar workers, local farmers, and retired families and they were all hungry for God and anxious for Revival and Renewal.  It was the most spiritual group of people we had come in contact with in the previous 5 years of our ministry.  And we, too, were ready for God to do something in our lives as well.

A band of men, some were deacons, but others were just great family men, would gather on the grounds of this young church every Saturday Night  and pray for a Move of the Holy Spirit on the congregation and the community.  They had been faithful in doing this several years before we arrived.  They specifically asked God to “pour out His Spirit” on Lott Road Baptist Church.   And when we arrived in 1962 it was evident that God was in the process of doing Something Great on this pea patch plot located eight miles from Eight Mile, Alabama.   When we were considering the call to come there, our very first visit to the church property was marked by an awesome Presence of God.  While we were yet in the car just surveying the grounds and buildings my wife and I were so overwhelmed by the Spirit of God we wept.

The first five years proved to be foundational.  The Lord added to the church and we witnessed many conversions.  There were seasons of great fellowship… there was a great spirit of unity among the Body.  Love among the members was phenomenal.   The ground was being prepared for a great season of Outpouring.  And the hunger for God was growing in the lives of many of the members.  And then….

Things begin to happen in other churches and other denominations in other parts of the country.  There was a Mighty Move of God beginning in some of the major denominations across the United States.  The Presbyterians.  The Episcopalians.  The Methodists.  The Baptists.  And the Catholics.  They were witnessing miraculous physical healings, they were calling home and community meetings for prayer and seeking God, there was a special anointing in preaching and teaching the Word, an exponential increase of people being converted … There were awesome times of deep spiritual worship and heartfelt praise…. and all this was accompanied by Glossilalia… speaking in tongues.  This phenomenon was openly received and welcomed by many ecclesiastical leaders in most major denominations.  It was a fresh breath of the Holy Spirit sweeping across the land.  And it was wonderful.

However, not every denomination was embracing this “new thing” and, invariably, opposition began to rise.  We were among some of the first in the Southern Baptist Convention to be “caught up” in this wonderful move of the Holy Spirit.  But if we were to continue riding this wave of revival, we were asked   by the local Baptist Association to relinquish our membership.  It was the impression of some that this “practice” of “speaking in tongues” was not in keeping with the “faith and practice” of Southern Baptists.  This resulted in a special called meeting of our Lott Road Congregation to determine if we were going to pursue the Charismatic Movement or curtail it and remain in good standing with the SBC.  The unanimous vote of that brave body of believers was that we would forge ahead and see what God had in store for us.  This proved to be The One Major Decision that laid the foundation for the future growth of Lott Road Baptist Church and the later emergence of Life Church Ministries, Inc.

In those formative years, God spoke to us very clearly through His Word and by His Word.  The sermons and messages and teachings that were born in this time of Transition and Transformation are what this book is all about.  The Revelation that God gave to us prophetically, through Tongues and Interpretation, through the spoken Prophetic Word and by His anointed servants that came our way proved to be an unerring direction for us to follow as we forged ahead in those unchartered waters.   God was answering the Baptist Prayers of those Baptist men when we came under the influence of the Holy Spirit Outpouring they had sincerely asked God for.

Many things changed.  And they changed in ways that man could not change them.    A new form of Church Government was set in place.  It was a ground-breaking move from our Congregational Form of Government to an Apostolic Form of Church government.  Our name was changed.  Our Music changed.  Praise became predominant.  Joy was spontaneous and worship became real.   We were enabled to pioneer many new and innovative things in the realm of worship, drama, and media presentations.

Since this demonstration of God’s Power and Presence was so dramatic, I thought it would be profitable to research our archives and find out just what we were preaching at this time of ministry transformation.  Fortunately, our services were tape recorded in those days and there was a spoken record of what God was telling us at the time a ministry was emerging.  The contents of this work are some of the transcribed messages that were preached from 1970 through 1979.  It was during this period that the major direction changes took place in the church.  It was also the period of time when prophetic fulfillment began to manifest as we began to expand the local ministry to other nations and were guided to formulate and develop a world vision.



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