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December 29, 2011

The Story of Word For the World: from the beginning.

Filed under: Bible Passages — Dr Earl @ 6:30 am

In order to start from the beginning you must bear with me as I tell you about my younger days. Our family was very committed, dedicated, and serious about thier faith. Church during the year and church camps during the summer were regular fare. And that was OK, that is, until I reached the fifth grade where I met another kid that knew how to get into trouble and seemed good at getting out of it easily.

Let me back up a bit and explain that because of moving often (I was in 7 schools in 7 years) did not make for a confident outlook. I was always trying to make friends; most times trying too hard. That is until I met Fred. We seemed to be two peas in a pod except that he had a background of being in trouble and I didn’t. It didn’t take long for that to change.

Without going into my early life of crime, just know that if I had been caught for some of the things we did, Word For the World may have never been born. Even though I was constantly in trouble there was still a soft spot for the things  of a spiritual nature. While a young teenager attending a church camp I had an experience that was to change my life – but not right away.

One afternoon, alone in what was called “the prayer tent”, I definitly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit quoting what I now know was the “Great Commission”, Go ye into all the world and make disciples of all nations.” My first thought was that God was calling me to be a preacher, a pastor. However, I had other plans and wasn’t ready to give them up.

Since 5th grade I studied music and played the trombone. A young man from the Navy Band in Newport, RI took me under his wing and gave me lessons until he was shipped out. In fact, my first trombone I bought from him for $2.50 a week. My lesson was also $2.50 a week. So, I started delivering papers in the wee hours of the morning to earn money for my lessons and trombone. I lived to practice and as a result, I got pretty good; good enough to attain first solo chair in the “All New England Band”. I turned down a full music schlarship to Michigan State because I thought I had the world by the tail, making more money than my father, playing in niteclubs three nights a week.

I moved into the Boston jazz scene for a couple years playing with some of the big bands. The problems started when the lifestyle I was living took its toll physically. That’s when I packed up all my belongings and moved back home.

One Sunday, after playing a job on the Naval Base, I was picked up for DWI. Because of a friend I was released from jail and found myself hitch-hiking on the main road of the island. A man picked me up and said, “I’ll take you as far as I’m going.”  In the Providence of God, he let me out about one block from a Camp Meeting that was in session right down the road. My mom and dad were there, no doubt praying for me.

I walked down the hill, went into that big tabernacle and sat in the very last seat in the back. Just as I sat down, my father turned around and saw me. I was still half drunk but it made no difference to him; he got up, walked back to where I was and sat with me.

That was the beginning to what ultimately would be a world-wide radio ministry. In between there were many valleys and mountain tops. I hope you’ll check back each week to hear the full story of how God used a nobody to reach millions for Christ

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