MY MOMMA RUNS
My dad and mom pastored a full gospel church in West Columbia, Texas for more than 50 years. The Christian Center has grown to be the largest church in West Columbia and the largest Full Gospel church in the area. When my parents first moved to West Columbia, I was only a year old and my older brother, Mike, was four. Mom was sick and mentally tormented for the first two years in West Columbia. Dad not only pastored the church, but also had the pressure of all the family responsibilities. Dad began to have heart trouble. During this same time, while playing outside with Mike, I stuck my thumb into a bicycle chain and cut off my thumb. I don’t remember ever having two thumbs. The church was small and struggling, and we were poor. It was a tough time for us.
However, in the middle of this struggle a man gave my dad some books on the authority of the believer, the integrity of God’s Word, and who you are in Christ. Dad began to read and study the material and gained a new understanding of God’s Word.
The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. - Psalm 119:130
Dad began to speak the Word to Mom and had her repeat it after him. She began to say, “I am who God says I am. I have what God says I have. I can do what God says I can do!” As my parents saw who they were in Christ and spoke the Word, faith arose in their hearts. They knew that victory belonged to them in every area of their life.
IT’S NOT NECESSARY, UNLESS IT’S NECESSARY
As I grew up in church, there were some unusual services. Sometimes while we sang, Mom would begin to praise God rather exuberantly and shout, “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” With glory and joy on her countenance, she would shout “Wooooo” and run around the church! Dad was a little more dignified. After Mom ran, Dad would say, “Now, some of you don’t think that is necessary. It’s not necessary, unless it’s necessary.” While the congregation tried to figure out what Dad had said, Mom and others who had joined her would finish their rejoicing.
He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God... Psalm 40:2-3
I did not understand the magnitude of my mother’s deliverance, until I was seventeen and running from God. I had an automobile accident coming home from a party with a backslidden friend that totaled several cars. We walked away without a scratch. My backslidden friend said, “If your mom wasn’t praying, we would have been killed.” I agreed.
SATAN HATH DESIRED TO HAVE YOU
When I got home, Mom was sitting in a rocking chair. She spoke the words that Jesus spoke to Peter, “...Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren,” Luke 22:31,32.
Although good changes had begun in my life, not long after the automobile accident, three friends and I ended up in the county jail. I called Mom from the jail and she said, “Your dad has church tonight (it was a Wednesday night), so just prop your feet up and stay a while.” Dad and four deacons came to jail after church and put up bond for me so I could go home. After that incident, I sold my ‘55 Chevrolet and that sobered me up for a while.
ARRESTED BY GOD
One Sunday God had a surprise for me. I was sitting on the back row cutting up and God “arrested” me. An unannounced guest speaker, F.E. Ward, came to church that Sunday. Brother Ward was a big, stocky preacher. You never knew when he was going to show up, and that Sunday I was not prepared for what was about to happen.
I was sitting on the back row with my backslidden friends when Brother Ward went to the platform and said he felt led to do something. He pointed to the back and said, “I want the pastor’s son to come to the front.” I was shocked! My friends made a comment, “You’re a dead duck now.” As I got up and headed down the aisle, I began to repent under my breath: “O God, forgive me of my sins. Please don’t tell that preacher what I’ve been doing. If You tell him and he tells everybody, my dad will kill me.”
All the blood drained from my face, I was afraid and embarrassed as I stood in front of the whole church. I was only seventeen, but I thought my life had come to an end. Instead, I heard the voice of F.E. Ward say, “Sit down on the altar.” As I sat down, he began to speak to me under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. As he spoke to me about God’s plan and purpose for my life, the presence and love of God overwhelmed me, and I began to cry. I surrendered my life to Jesus again, and my heart was changed by the love of God. I AM A LIVING TESTIMONY THAT THE LOVE OF GOD IS THE GREATEST FORCE ON EARTH.
I AM WHO GOD SAYS I AM
Dad’s preaching and Mom’s praying and running around the church began to make sense to me. I started studying the scriptures that showed me my redemption in Christ. I began to daily meditate on who I was in Christ. I would say, “I am who God says I am. I have what God says I have. I can do what God says I can do.” The power of God’s Word started a work in me, and I began to understand my identification with Christ.
My Mom still ran around the church up until she went to Heaven a few years back. The church was much bigger in her later years and there were a lot more educated and prosperous people in the congregation. She didn’t care she would say, “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” She would shout “Woooooo” and run around the church. The only difference is I would shout and run with her.
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Mark and Trina