The Life and Testimony of George M. Stover Jr.

 

            I used to wonder about things like, “Where did I come from?” “Why am I here?” and “Where am I going?” It wasn’t a major thing to me but I always thought it interesting that no one that I knew really seemed to have the answers to such important questions.

            Well, I’m getting ahead of myself here and probably should go back to the beginning of my life. People seem to like to know where a person is coming from before they listen to what they have to say so bear with me and I’ll bring you up to date.

            I learned a whole lot about rejection right out of my mother’s womb. My natural mother, Wilma Charity Moody, had six other boys from different fathers. It kind of sounds like she was a pretty loose sort of person. Thank God, abortion wasn’t a popular option in 1941 and so I was born and deserted on the steps of the Ventura, California orphanage. The first 10 months of my life consisted of laying on my back in bed.

            When George and Grace Stover came along, I couldn’t even roll over. Evidently, I was born with a mild case of spinal bifida and had none of the cris-crossing muscles in my abdomen that most humans have. I couldn’t crawl, roll, or anything. Why in the world, the Stover couple decided to take me home is beyond my ability to understand. The only thing I can figure is that I must have been irresistibly cute. At any rate, they took me home and adopted me. Cecil James Hart became George Matthews Stover Jr.

            My Mom, Grace, was an avid swimmer and so took me to the ocean and would hold me in the water and get me to kick my legs and feet. As it worked out, I was able to swim before ever I crawled or walked. That may be why my feet grew so large for my body. Some would probably conclude that they were trying to evolve into flippers.

            My earliest memories of being a Stover were those of a drunk father coming home and a whole lot of yelling and tears. My dad sobered up when I was eight years old and turned out to be a really great father. Unfortunately, he developed a brain tumor from a World War I piece of shrapnel that he carried in his head. After a year or more of agony he passed away when I was twelve. He was sixty-two years old.

            Caring for him and then losing him was more than my Mom could handle. She went crazy with grief and began hanging out in bars and getting drunk every night. As happens with folks that frequent such places, she met Fred Watts, another drunk, and brought him home. He was an angry and abusive man who liked to knock his son, Fred Jr., around regularly.

            I began to defend the boy as he was quite a bit younger than I so the house was in a constant state of war. I became really angry and began fighting everyone; and I do mean everyone. I was running with a group of guys who thought nothing of stealing a car to joy ride in or starting a fight just for the fun of it. We would go to our high school football games to pick up girls and start fights. Before we would go we would inject oranges with vodka or gin so that we could get drunk without a bottle. I had a handy little business going building zip guns and pipe bombs for the neighborhood kids. For me it was just a creative outlet that satisfied my curiosity. Thank God no one got hurt. Well, no one but Tom Keating who blew a hole in his hand while showing his parents how his gun worked. It filled their living room with smoke and scared the liver out of all of them. He still has the scar and a slight bump on the back of his hand.

            A friend of mine had been fighting with his girl friend and was trying to make up when he spotted her in a Hamburger Heaven drive in as we were cruising on a Friday night in the Spring of 1957. She was with Sharon Heaton, a Rose Parade Princess, and my friend, Vern, talked Sharon into taking me for a drive while he and his girlfriend Kathy went for a drive in his car to talk out their differences. Sharon had a beautiful red Corvette so I was really impressed. I’m told that I acted so “cool” that she thought I was a stuck up jerk. So much for first impressions. I thought she was a bit snooty too; in spite of a head full of huge curlers.

            Vern arranged for he and I to work as bouncers for the girls sorority house on Balboa Island during Easter week. I made a big hit with Sharon’s Mom and even got to cruise Balboa in the Corvette. Yes, me driving a car that Mom never let anyone but family drive. It was during that week that I fell madly in love with Sharon. Amazingly enough, she reciprocated and soon we were “going steady.” Talk about “sweet sixteen.” I gave her my baby ring and she still wears it to this day. As soon as she was back in school she just had to show it off to all her friends. As she was proudly displaying her ring and telling her sorority sisters about me the Girls Vice-Principal, Ms. Hansen came along and asked who the “lucky boy was.” Well, when she heard my name she went crazy, screamed, “Oh, No!” and threw her lunch tray full of food in the air. Everything hit the floor and made quite a mess and quite a scene. Evidently, she just didn’t know the real me.

            After a few brushes with the Boy’s Vice-Principle and the Chief of Police of San Gabriel, California, I took their suggestion to join the Army. It was a no brainer of a decision. I was told, “You can either go to Chino Prison or join the Army. If you decide to join the Army, we will wipe your record clean and give you a glowing recommendation.” I was a bit slow but not completely stupid and so took them up on their generous offer in 1959. They did keep their word and I wound up in the Army Security Agency with a Top Secret Crypto clearance.

            One would think that I would keep my nose clean after that but there was still a bit of working out to do. My conduct was anything but exemplary but I did manage to get through three years of service with an Honorable Discharge. After basic training and specialty school I spent twenty-one months in the Philippines. Afterward I was stationed at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, to complete my final six months before I was discharged. Sharon and I couldn’t wait to get married so we had a wonderful wedding at the Fort. Our marriage certificate reads like something out of the old west. It has a watermark of a stage coach as a background and reads, “Cochise County, Tomb Stone Territory, Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

            We took up residence in a trailer (not a mobile home) in a trailer park with an oil heater that loved to belch fire and black, sooty, smoke. The corner of the bed stuck into the bathroom in a way that you had to climb over it to get in. The shower soaked everything in the bathroom as it was quite compact. You could sit on the toilet, brush your teeth and take a shower all at once. Sharon and I had no where to go but up after spending a winter there. We had no money and no food or cigarettes for the last 10 days of each month. We would get together with others in our same situation and share. Someone would have some bread and someone would have some canned tuna. We learned to love creamed tuna on toast. A Sergeant friend of ours would give us cigarettes and so life was tolerable. Sharon was a Registered Nurse but the only work was at an abortion clinic and that was out of the question. She could have worked as a volunteer at the Fort but would have had to enlist to get paid. She did help out with the blood drive but enlistment was an unacceptable option.

            The minute I was discharged in 1962 we loaded up our 1959 Pontiac convertible and headed for home. The old Pontiac was an automatic that was missing second and reverse. It would do 95 or 100 with out straining but if you parked it front in on a down grade it would take five soldiers to push it into the street. Fortunately, Sharon was a really good looking gal, so she had no trouble getting help the time or two she forgot about not having reverse.

            It was good to get home and begin to build a life together. I returned to school with my G.E.D. only to find that the California colleges would not accept it. So, while I attended College classes at Pasadena City College, I also finished High School while working at Bullocks, Pasadena and then at Alexander Ornstein’s Furniture store. Sharon went to work for Alhambra Neuropsychiatric Hospital as their night charge nurse. I would get off work and do my homework until I could go and walk her home. The Hospital was only a few blocks from our apartment. This was the only time that we would see each other except for the weekends.

            A job offer from an old High School friend, Roger Hull, put an end to my educational aspirations and we moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in March of 1963. The thoughts of being a Hospital Administrator faded into the past as I settled in to H & S Distributing driving a Mother’s Cookie truck that serviced the grocery stores. What started out as an offer to become a partner in the company stretched into eight years of hard work but steady employment. The pay was good but the partnership never came. I did become a rout supervisor for the company but came to the realization that I was waiting on Roger’s dad to die before a partnership would even be considered. During that period of time I started a little home based welding business on the side repairing grocery store hand trucks and shopping carts. It grew and became a full blown ornamental iron shop that eventually became the largest in town. Needless to say, I eventually quite H & S and gave all my attention to building my own business.

            Before I left H & S Distributing I had made friends with a wild man by the name of Cruz Olague. He was as close to crazy wild as you could get and I really liked him. He worked as a back room man for one of the stores that I serviced. One day I pulled up to the store where he worked and he was sitting kind of cross legged with a glowing smile on his face and a book in his lap. I asked him what was going on and he replied, “I just got saved!” I wondered, “Saved from what?” He told me about receiving the book, “The Cross and the Switchblade” by Nicky Cruz and how it had brought him to a decision to accept Christ as his Savior and Lord.

            I thought, “How nice.” What he was saying sounded great but a bit hoaky. I watched him over time and realized that he had really changed a lot and that he was a different man than the crazy wild man that I had known. Every time we saw each other he would witness to me of “the goodness of the Lord” and tell me that he was praying for me to get saved too. That was about the last thing in the world that Sharon or I had on our minds.

            My business was growing and, as I mentioned before, I made the leap, quit my job, and went full time into business for myself. It was not without challenges but it grew and thrived. Business was so good, in fact, that I invited my brother-in-law, Jerry, to leave his ulcer generating job with Titanium Metals and join me. We were “best friends” and his experience and work ethic was a perfect match with mine. We complemented each other in background, knowledge and skill sets. Everything seemed to be going well. We were on our way to unlimited success.

            Every year, when I should have been home celebrating my wedding anniversary with my wife, I was deer hunting with Jerry. We would go off to search for the illusive buck on the top of the high mountain peaks. I remember that during one of those outings a blizzard came out of no where and I totally lost my bearings. I was definitely lost and a bit undone. In the midst of my dilemma I cried out, “God, if You are really there, get me out of this, show me where camp is, and I’ll follow you for the rest of my life.” It’s amazing what a person will do when they’re hopeless. It was as if I heard a voice in my head that said, “Turn around and go up the hill.” I did exactly that and as I crested the hill I saw the lights of the search party and I heard them calling my name. I was so glad to see Jerry and his Dad! They took me back to the camp and got me dried out and warmed up by the fire. By then I had completely forgotten my promise to God.

            Remember, I told you that I ran with some guys that liked to steal cars and take joy rides? Well, after Sharon and I moved to Las Vegas we learned that one of those guys had moved here too. David Simons had come to town and married a topless dancer by the name of Sunny. He had landed a great job in one of the local casinos, met the love of his life and everything was looking good; that is, until Sunny contracted Multiple Sclerosis and became bed ridden.  The doctors couldn’t help and there seemed to be no hope. I did mention that people do interesting things when their situation looks hopeless? Sure enough, when someone suggested that David take Sunny to California to see a woman that was known as a healer, they went.  Kathryn Khulman was having one of her healing crusades in the Los Angeles area and, sure enough, Sunny was healed in the meeting. She accepted Jesus and her Lord and Savior and began to tell her story to everyone she ever knew.

            She had met us and now took us on as a project. She would not rest until we knew this Jesus that had healed her. Sharon, being a nurse, said, “She is just in remission” and we blew off her testimony. Sunny was not about to give up though so she just kept sending little cards with a heart and cross on them. Every time she could talk to us she would witness to what the Lord had done in her life. We treated her so badly, but she persevered. Sharon would blow smoke rings in her face while she was talking to us and we would try to discourage her any way that we could.

            One day Sunny called and invited us to come to her church to hear her testimony. Sharon got a brilliant idea. She said, “Sunny, we will come to hear your story but you have to promise to lose our telephone number and address. You promise to never contact us again and we’ll come.” That should put and end to that.

            We gathered the kids, by then we had adopted two, dressed up as best we could, and headed for church for what we did not know. Sunny was so thrilled that we were there in spite of our less than enthusiastic demeanor. She arranged for the kids to go to Sunday School and settled us in for the service. She gave her testimony and then talked us into staying for the rest of the meeting. Dr. Bill Sharp was the pastor of, what was then, Trinity Temple Assembly of God, and preached a wonderful sermon that we could not even remember afterward. What had arrested out attention, however, was that someone spoke in “tongues” and someone else interpreted what they had said. We were familiar with the supernatural. My mother was a witch and Sharon had her own Ouija Board. We both came to the same conclusion during that service. If there was a God, He should be accompanied with supernatural signs, wonders and miracles. There was change in the atmosphere when those people yielded to the Spirit of God. It was simply unnerving.

            We went home and that night Sharon could not sleep. She tossed and turned and cried all night. She said that all she could hear was a voice in her head saying, “Christ or Anti-Christ, you  must decide.” After two nights of this I called Sunny and said, “You started this now fix it!” and gave Sharon the phone. Sunny cast a demon out of Sharon and told her that she had put a tract in her purse and that she was to get it out, read it and do what it said. She did and received Jesus as Lord and Savior and was Baptized in the Holy Spirit immediately. Yes, now she was speaking in that same kind of language that we heard at church. She said that when Sunny commanded the demon spirit of the Ouija to leave her she could feel it go.

            I didn’t know what to think. I was just happy that my wife was sleeping soundly, happy and peaceful. She read the Bible from cover to cover in the first week after that experience. Life was somewhat back to normal although there was a whole lot of talk about God, Jesus, Heaven, Hell, etc. About two weeks after her “born-again” experience she came home from work and told me that she wanted to burn her Ouija board. It didn’t make much sense to me. I asked, “Why not just throw it away?” She said that she really didn’t know but she really felt that she should burn it. We got the board and pointer out of the closet and put it in the barbeque. I crumpled up some newspaper and lit it on fire. The particle board Ouija didn’t ignite so I put some new paper around it and put a little bit of charcoal lighter on it. It did begin to burn albeit not very well. Then, all of a sudden, flames jumped two stories high, taking all the leaves off of our back yard tree, and something screamed horribly. I was so shaken I went into the kitchen and poured a double Sunny Brooks whiskey. It didn’t help much so I had another. I was shaking and very aware that there was something alive connected to that Ouija board.

            I can’t remember how, exactly, it happened but we were hosting a group of believer’s at our house on Sunday’s. There were about 25 people altogether and they were starting a new church. It was at that meeting, in my den, that Cruz Brown asked if I would like to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. By then, I was ready for anything that was other than the spirit of the Ouija. I followed Cruz in prayer and felt as though the weight of the world had lifted off my shoulders. If felt the spirit named “Ki” that I had received when involved in Martial Arts leave me and I immediately began to speak with other tongues. It was a very emotional experience.

            As both Sharon and I spoke with our parents about what had happened in our lives, both families disowned us. It seems that they would rather have the alcoholic, cussing, smokers than born-again Christians for children. For me, it was just another round of rejection. Fortunately, I had read where Jesus said, “I will never leave nor forsake you,” and I was able to rest in that assurance. What people did was not near as important to me now.

            Both Sharon and I began praying for people and they were delivered, saved and healed just like we read about in the Book of Acts. It was amazing in that we were new Christians and really didn’t know much about the kingdom of God. Sharon was delivered from alcohol and cigarettes the moment she was saved. I, on the other hand, still drank and smoked. That didn’t seem to bother the Lord at all. I was used mightily in healing and deliverance and in the prophetic in spite of my addictions. It didn’t take too long for those habits to be broken and driven right out of my life. The grace of God is sufficient for all who come to Him in Christ Jesus.

            Our son, Matthew, had an extreme case of allergic reactions to the air most of us take for granted. He had to get two shots a week just to be able to survive. During one of the visits to the doctor his shots caused a severe reaction and he could not breathe. The doctor administered an antidote to the allergy drug that he had been giving Matt.  This happened again during the next visit and Sharon told the doctor, “We’re not going to get him anymore shots. These are killing him!” The doctor told her that, “If you don’t give the boy these shots he will die. You will have killed him.” In spite of those condemning words she stood her ground and said, “If he needs a shot to counteract the shots he is being given, there is something wrong. I think we’ll just trust God on this one.” Much to our delight and relief, Matt was totally healed from that day forward. He had one attack of an allergic nature after that but prayed in tongues and it left him breathing normally from then on.

            Signs, wonders and miracles became a normal part of our lives from the moment we became born-again. One of the most indelible incidents of my life took place on the Bitter Root River just out of Darby, Montana. What follows is from a brochure that I had printed to memorialize this amazing event:

            If you have ever doubted that some of the spectacular miracles found in the Old Testament could ever happen, this event might interest you. There was a time in my early Christian walk when I wasn’t exactly sure if some, or perhaps many, of the stories hadn’t been stretched in the telling. If your belief level is a little on the weak side, as mine was, then perhaps this event in the lives of my son and I will help you.

            One beautiful afternoon in July of 1977, my wife, son and I headed for the bridge near Conner in the spectacular Bitter Root Valley of Montana. We were attending a Christian Family Retreat at the Chief Joseph Ranch just out of Darby. The morning meetings over, we set out on our first river ride in two inner tubes lashed together with rope.

It had taken a lot of salesmanship to convince an over protective mom to let our seven year old son go along on this unknown adventure.  Matt had been so sickly most of his life that Sharon had become extremely protective and this was a difficult decision for her.  Especially since she was definitely not going along.  There was no way she was going to ride the rapids of any river with me or anyone else.

            After much preparation and a lot of prayer on shore, we finally launched our craft into the current while mom wring her hands and called, “Be careful!”.  My response was, “Don’t worry honey, God will take care of us”.

            It was a flippant, off handed, kind of response.  Just so much “Christianese” (the language that we pick up when we hang around other Christians).  I just wanted to get on with the float trip.  It was exhilarating!

            The river was pretty high that year and was flowing at a good rate of speed.  Matt squealed with glee and paddled like crazy.  I thought to myself, “this is living” as we entered the main part of the current and began to pick up momentum.

            We maneuvered our craft for the first bend in the river and it looked as though we were in perfect position.  Back on shore, Sharon had breathed a sigh of relief as she saw us round the bend.  Her last sighting of us was one of dad and son laughing and shouting and having the time of their lives.  All seemed well as she returned to the motor home to move down to our pre-determined pickup point.

            All of a sudden, everything went crazy. The little craft began to head into a boiling froth of rapids and shot straight into a tree that had fallen into the river right in the middle of the bend.  It careened sideways, catapulted up into the air, slammed down and flipped over.  When I came up I frantically looked for Matt.  He was nowhere in sight.  A fisherman on the shore was yelling but I couldn’t hear him. I clung to the tube boat that was firmly fastened upside down in the tangle of tree limbs.  Matt was gone! 

“My God, I can’t find my son!”,  I though as I tried to see in the foaming water and felt below me with arms and feet.

            I cried out, “Jesus, help me!” and the water opened before my eyes.  A wedge shaped parting of the water that grew in width and depth until at the very bottom appeared the head and shoulder of my boy.  He took his first breath of air as God held the waters open and I untangled him from the limbs that were holding him captive.  As I lifted him to the surface, the water closed and became as before.

            Yes, we continued our trip, arriving late at our destination. Sharon had become quite concerned as our estimated arrival time came and went and the afternoon sun drew near the mountain tops.  What a relief when she saw us heading in to shore.  After we related our story she wept as the revelation of God’s keeping power swept over her.  That day she released her son into the loving arms of God, realizing that she could not always protect him, but Jesus always would.

            Today, I have absolute confidence that God did indeed open the Red Sea for the Nation Israel and that the waters of the Jordan piled up and allowed the people to pass over on dry ground. There is also no doubt in my mind that He will do the same thing again today if the need arises.

            He is “the same, yesterday, today, (yes,) and forever–to the ages.” (Hebrews 13:8 amplified; Exodus 14:21; Joshua 13:13-17)

            Another major event in our family life was when we received a call from Gillian’s school. We were told that there had been a playground accident and that Gillian would need to be transported to the hospital. She was nine years old, full of life, and always running one way while looking the other. Evidently the kids in front of her fell down and she tripped over them and landed on her head. She had a concussion and could not remember anything. Her head injury had caused her to lose all of her memory. She didn’t know who Sharon and I were, she didn’t know what a dog, cat or anything was. Amazingly, she could talk but couldn’t relate to the things around her.

            The doctor called us into a private area and matter of factly told us, “Mr. And Mrs. Stover, you need to get ready to raise a vegetable.” Now that’s just the prognosis that every parent wants to hear, don’t you think? An interesting thing happened at that moment. Faith arose and said, “No! By His stripes she is healed!” Well, the doctor didn’t take that to well. He made light of our “faith” and told us that it did not change the “facts.” What he didn’t know was that Jesus is the fact and every other fact has to bow before Him.

            She was released and it did seem like she would never be normal. It didn’t take too long, with much prayer, to notice that she was making giant strides toward complete recovery. Within a matter of a few weeks she was as good as new, with one exception. He math logic, which was never real good, was completely gone. That’s when a teacher friend that attended the same church as we did came and said, “Last night the Lord woke me up and told me that if you would do . . . Gillian will get her math skills back.” We did what she said and within a week blocks of her math knowledge returned. Over the next few weeks she was back up to speed and still running forward while looking backward, laughing, eyes gleaming with joyful delight. I have asked the Lord, tongue in cheek, if it might not have been a good idea to slow her down a little bit

            Business was good, but not good enough so we started a couple of others. The Ornamental Iron - Light Structural Steel business had ups and downs that we were not satisfied with so we opened an off road after market supply and installation business along with a muffler shop called, Back Country Products. It was an instant success. After taking a real financial beating during the early ‘80's we decided to move away from the position of a sub-contractor and to move into supplying the industry we competed in. We promised all of our competitors that if they would purchase their materials from us we would close George’s Iron Art altogether. It was a good move and the perfect time.

            My brother in law was never real crazy about my Christianity. He would question why I was not stressed out like he was, why I didn’t drink anymore, and, “How do you stay so happy all the time?” My answers were never satisfying to him and he, unbeknownst to me, became more and more dissatisfied with our partnership. Sharon and I returned from our vacation expecting Jerry and his wife to leave the following week on theirs when he stormed into the office, fell against the wall, slid to the floor and blurted out, “I hate you! You are happy all the time and I am miserable! I’m going to take you for all that I can! This partnership is over! I’ve already talked to my attorney. We’re done! I don’t want anything more to do with you or your Jesus!”

            Wow! What a shock. I had given him the opportunity and this is what I get? We thought it over, prayed about it and decided to give him whatever he wanted. We met with the attorney, the same one that had done our kid’s adoptions and our supposed friend, and worked out the details. Jerry took Back Country Products and the Muffler shop and let us have Heaco Hardware, the supply business. It was not an equitable deal but it really could have been worse.

            The time came that I really felt that God was calling me into full time ministry. I didn’t know what that meant but was willing to do whatever He would lead me to do. I talked to my pastor, Dr. Bill Sharp, then pastor of Centerama Christian Center, and he said, “Well, let’s get the process started then,” and he began to train and groom me for the pastorate. I had served as one of his Elders and after a couple more years served as one of his Associate Pastors.

            Sharon and I sold the business property and the business and launched into a whole new way of life; a life in the ministry, a life of faith like we had not experienced before. Needless to say, things did not go exactly like I had envisioned. It wasn’t long before I had to get a job to help support our family. Sharon went back to work at Clark County Social Services as their Alternative Health Care Administrator and I wound up, of all things, doing weddings for Ms. Charlotte Richards. She had chapels all over town and kept me quite busy. What I thought would be a six month part time job became two years of provision. God does have a sense of humor.

            I knew I was called to plant a multi-ethnic, multi-national church in Las Vegas and set out to do just that while working in the wedding chapel business. During slow times at the chapel I taught myself to play the organ, became the Chaplain of the Imperial Palace and learned to turn lemons into lemonade. One thing the Lord went right to work on was my pride and attitude. I learned how to give a salvation message in every wedding, follow up with the people with letters that would encourage couples to seek the Lord first in their marriages and use my spare time to talk about Jesus to whoever would listen.

            Eventually, the church had grown enough that it demanded all of my time and I had to quit the chapels. The Lord still provided for our every need. We had started the church in our living room, moved into the youth chapel of the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Jones & Oakey, and eventually rented a space at 1401 N. Decatur, in the Decatur Shopping Center. We grew to over 350 people with special meetings drawing crowds of 400 to 500. Signs, wonders, and miracles were evident in every service. People got saved, healed, delivered and baptized in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. It was simply glorious!

            From the beginning Wellspring Church and Christian Center, now Wellspring Church of All Nations, was totally committed to missions. 20 to 25 percent of our gross income went to support missions. We would take short term ministry teams overseas every chance we had. Reverend Juanita Williams would spend seven months a year in Asia and harvest a great number of souls. Whole poverty stricken areas were transformed by the power of the Gospel. As the poor were taught to tithe they began to flourish. Businesses sprang up, homes were built, streets were paved with what had been open sewers neatly tucked beneath them as it should be.

            My wife and I traveled to various nations with our teams and held leadership training seminars during the day and city wide crusades at night. Creative miracles brought sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speaking to the dumb, deliverance to the possessed and oppressed and even life to the dead. It was one great time of Holy Ghost revival in our midst. We’ve had the privilege of winning literally thousands of people to the Lord in crusades and meetings in the Philippine Islands, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China, Hawaii, Guatemala, Mexico, Jamaica and Nigeria, West Africa as well as various locations in the United States. Life has been very exciting, to say the least!

            April 23, 2001, we left our 7500 sq. ft. sanctuary, 1250 sq. ft. Bible Institute, 1300 sq. ft. Thrift Store and our Food Bank and moved onto our current property at 8140 W. Lone Mountain Road. That’s when the fun began. It seemed that the whole community came out in full force to drive us out of their area. They didn’t want a church “like ours” in their community “that has no problems.” It took almost two years to get our special use permit from the County and then it took a miraculous move of God. When the dust cleared our congregation went off to be a blessing to many other churches in the valley and we were left with 20 hardy Christian soldiers. We rolled up our sleeves and began knocking on doors, advertising, etc. These were all the things we knew to do. The problem was, nothing worked. That’s when you pray in earnest. That’s when you question your call. That’s when you learn just how the devil can use really “good” people.

            The call of God is not a “fair weather” kind of thing. It is a life-long commitment to the work God calls us to. With our “Gideon’s Army” of 20 we sought the Lord and He met us beautifully. The whole structure of the church changed and we set out to win the lost like never before. The thing the devil meant for evil, God turned for good. Our now growing congregation is unwaveringly focused on winning souls, connecting them to Christ and the Church, discipling them until they are mature soul winners who can be sent to reap the harvest of God.

            The Lord spoke to our hearts about going back to school and earning our degrees. Both my wife, Sharon, and I have earned our Bachelors, Masters, Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), Doctor of Theology (D.Th.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. We know now that He was preparing us for ministry to the nations and equipping us to establish Wellspring Bible School in ways we had never dreamed. Many local pastors and their congregants have taken courses from our school. There are Wellspring Bible Schools in Nigeria and the Philippines and others are in the developmental stage.

            We have had supernatural visitations on our property that have encouraged us in our weakest hours and brought us great promise. Just to give you an idea of what I mean, consider the following:

            Hebrews 1:14  Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

            November 23, 2002 The most awesome thing happened as the staff here and Wellspring gathered for our daily praise and prayer time. I will write what I saw and heard as I played the guitar and we all sang in tongues and prophetic psalms.  There was a tremendous sense of the Presence as we worshiped. Dr. Sharon began to sing a song to the rhythm of the guitar and it instantly became a song that we all sang together:

Pulling down strongholds.  Pulling down strongholds.

Lifting up the Word of God. Lifting up His name.

Tearing down strongholds.  Tearing down strongholds.

Lifting up the Word of God.  Lifting up His name.

Bringing in the Harvest. Bringing in the Harvest.

Lifting up the Word of God. Lifting up His name.

            As we sang together, suddenly I saw a ladder that reached from where our altar will be to the heavens. Angels were descending and forming a circle on the ground. More and more came in increasingly rapid succession. As they reached the ground they began to form ever widening circles and they all began to dance. There was great joy and laughter. Then I said, "Lord, I thought the angels were supposed to ascend and descend, not just descend on the ladder?" He said, "They are coming down to occupy; they are coming down to help you."

            I watched as they came; more and more, faster and faster. I then saw they were warriors dancing. Laughing and dancing in an ever growing circle. Then I saw them form ranks on the outside of the circle and they were storming over the wall into Aviana. They were also grouping up and going West, North  and South; though not as many. Then I saw they were laughing and smiling and I said, "Lord, Why are they laughing and smiling? Soldiers don't go to war laughing and smiling." He said, " They are not going to war. The victory is already won. These are the occupation forces. They are occupying!" A song broke forth: 

They run on the City. They run on the walls.

                        This was repeated seven times.

            Then, my attention was drawn to the ladder and the dancers once more. There were so many. The property was full of dancers. Then I looked up to the top of the ladder. There was a bright light and what appeared to be a door; and in it I could see Jesus. He was clothed in a white robe like garment and the fold shadows were gold. I couldn't really see His face but could tell He was smiling. He was standing and suddenly He laughed and swirled about with joy.

            I pondered the fact that He was standing and not sitting. I wondered how that we were so greeted. He stood for Stephen when he was being stoned, but for us? The Spirit reminded me that He has the same regard for me, for each of us, as He has for Stephen. He is pleased. Glory!

            Then I saw an angel lift off above the dancers. I asked him, "Where are you going?" He said, "I go to bring in the resources." Then I saw a company rise up after him and I said, "Why are a company going?" He said, "Because there is much."

            After prayer I asked what the others had seen if anything. Their response was very exciting:

            Pastor Sharon said, "I saw angels dancing with great joy!"

            Robbie said, "I saw them dancing like this." Then she danced a powerful victory dance. Later she wrote: "Multitude of angels dancing and rejoicing with exuberance on the property. The ground was over full and yet none bumped into each other as they lifted their feet and pounded the ground while swinging their arms overhead and around their bodies. It appeared that they were wearing robes that floated as they moved and yet it appeared as though that was part of their person. The garments were creamy looking and the angels had all different color of hair, not male nor female.

            On the property at the place where the sanctuary will be, the angels were swarming over a building as though they were working on the construction. the building appeared to be transparent. The angels walked up and down the walls by their feet, and yet they were still standing straight up as they moved about to complete their preparation."

            Becky "saw a building, the church on fire, but not consumed. the fire was coming out from under the building; flowing up the walls and peaking over the roof. The flames got brighter and brighter and the top of the flame was blue.”

            The following Sunday I read Genesis 28:12-22 and was stirred in my spirit at the promises made. I know that the Lord has give the same promise to Sharon and Me and the Wellspring Church of All Nations family.

 

                And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

                And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee. (Genesis 28:12-22)

            We have returned the tithe to God and found Him to be more than faithful to meet all of our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. All of our money is blessed and we have had supernatural infusions of finance at critical times in our lives and ministry. Money has come from overseas and from out-of-state business men, local business men and women, house wives, retired folks, laborers and executives. God has touched peoples hearts that don’t go to Wellspring and have never even met us. You see: Our Source is God not man. If we are faithful with what He gives us, He will give us more. It is a law of Scripture. During our building project, one out-of-state business man sent us a check for $100,000.00 and then turned around and sent us another check the following year in the amount of $200,000.00.

            We saw this kind of thing back when we were in business as well as now that we are in ministry. Our money and what we do is blessed by our faithful God.

            Our lives are blessed as we win the lost, connect them to Christ and His church, train them to live powerful lives of integrity and purpose, and send them into the place of their calling in Christ Jesus. Everything we do is for this purpose: Win, Connect, Train (Disciple) & Send. That’s it! Nothing else really matters.

            So much has happened in my walk with God in Christ that it would take volumes to tell it all.

            My suggestions to anyone who has just responded to the gospel message and received Jesus the Christ as Lord and Savior is:

                        1)         Share your testimony (What you experienced). Immediately begin to win others to Christ (This will take care of any unhealthy relationships).

                        2)         Drive the person who led you to the Lord crazy by asking questions and studying the Bible with them. Spend lots of time with them.

                        3)         Plug in to a Bible preaching and teaching church (It should be the one that your were saved in or where the person who led you to the Lord goes regularly).

                        4)         Read the Book of Mark (action) or the Book of John (love). Then start a Bible reading program that will take you through the Scripture once a year.

                        5)         Spend time praying every day. Remember, It’s just talking to and listening to God  (Listen at least as much as you talk). Have the person that led you to the Lord pray with you (men with men, women with women).

                        6)         Reevaluate what you are listening to (music), what you are watching (videos, movies, internet & TV). There is a wealth of Christian stuff out there.

                        7)         Be a doer, not just a hearer:

            James 1:22 (KJV) But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

            May God richly bless you and keep you. May He prosper you and keep you in good health, even as your soul prospers.

 

George 

 

 

           

 

 

 

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