Mike's Story part 6 — Military Ministry

By Michael Pearl

Scripture: Topics: Mike's Story

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All right, here we go. Again, this is going to be some more of that story of the revivals that God brought during the 60s 70s. and into the early 80s. It was a glorious time, about 10 years there, especially God was moving in a tremendous way. Now, I told you about Schad in the military ministry there that went on, and I'm gonna be, I'm gonna be candid with you. They're reached a point in the early 70s. Somewhere along and now I'm not quite sure exactly when, when the Spirit of God just seemed to move out and just dropped. We could preach the same way. And if we got two or three converts, we're doing good. So it was like, it was kind of discouraging. We felt like it was our fault. Because I guess we thought it was our fault. Everything was happening before. So they reached a point when the guys just didn't line up to get saved anymore. It just wasn't a wholesale bringing in the sheep. We just had to work to get one or two converts, but we still worked. And if we could get two or three a week that was that was good. And it was during that time after it kind of petered out that Steve Snell got saved. And Steve's now has been on a mission field, you know, for years now went to went to Cambodia and dedicate his life to those people had a good work there. And I come back and he's working at a school teaching missionaries down in buoy Texas. So Steve Snell was one of those and some of the others that you've met or that, you know, were people that got saved during that time, Bill Bell and Don Staxx, who two board members for no greater joy I got saved during that tap. My cousin Robert got saved during that time. Just lots and lots of people, most of you would know. And so when that when it died down like that, people's lives, advanced shad moved down. He went off to Bible college, he wasn't making any money. He's in poverty. He went off to Bible college, I think somebody helped him on that. And he's developed that and he ended up going and still goes, he just came back from one, it goes to Africa and India, places like that. In the 1990s. He had over 2 million professions of faith. And these foreign countries over 2 million shad did. You know, I'd like to get him here to share with you. But he set up. He just told me that about two or three years ago, he said, All I did was preach the gospel exactly like Mike did back then and wasn't much to it. It just playing simple gospel. And so shad done, went on to have a different life. And I left the church there in good standing. And when I was 25 been married a year then. And so maybe I was 26. And when I left it, and we did some different things. We're not joined to commune in California. And that stunk. So we came back here and minister some little bit here a little bit there. And, but my heart was with those military guys. Now the big revival had tapered off. But there was still lots of guys there at the military base. So I got me a folding chair. And I went down close to the military base, and I sat down, put a two folding chairs in front of me. I don't know first of all, I just went and sat in by myself in a chair. And as a gas passed, I pray for him. I remember the kids sitting in the car and the wife watching me pray and this amount of kids that come and join me. I just prayed for him. I didn't know what I was gonna do didn't want to just, I was alone didn't have anybody backing me up at that time. wasn't part of a church or anything. I just sat there and prayed for these guys. So God moved on me to do something different. I put two chairs out there and I put a sign on the telephone pole behind me it said, Ask me about Jesus. And then I got some piece of cardboard and about six write up I drew some designs and illustrated the gospel in a very simple way to cross over the chasm taking you to heaven. And so the guys would come back and they'd look at that some and snicker. But you know, almost like it was somebody sitting in that chair almost all the time. They'd come by and they'd say, Well, how bite are one of them say, well, that's different. And they would sit down the chair and say, Okay, tell me and I would give them the gospel. Someone would just get up, walk out And then carry with some of them are deeply moved.
And I don't remember now, if any of them got saved during that time on the side of the road or not, but I did that for a few weeks. And I decided that what I needed was a building. For these guys to come have Bible studies give more focus time. So I had three friends that had been saved earlier, Bill Bell, Dawn stacks. Steve armor. That's right, Steve armor, had three friends that loved the Lord that lived there in the neighborhood. So I went to them and ask me tell about them. I'm gonna interrupt my story. The one night, Deb and I were there at home. And knocking on the door was one of those three guys was a Steve armour, Steve Harmon said, they put a pornography shop down in Millington. And I said, what, what are you gonna do? They said, we're gonna we're gonna we want to go and pray this about 930 at night and asleep. But these guys were zealous and young. And they didn't have any more sense than to have a lot of faith. And so I said, Okay, So Deb went with us. And we, the car was parked here. And I got out and walked over. And I said to the guys that say we're gonna go in and tell him what we're going to do. But don't look at anything in there. Keep your eyes to the floor. Just look him in the face. Because I mean, you could see from outside that the whole walls were Solly lined with pornographic material. So we walked in, I said, In the name of Jesus Christ, we're shutting this place down. This is hellish. You're damming the souls of children and men with this garbage. And we're not going to have it in Millington. We're shutting this place down in the name of Jesus Christ. We turn he starts backing up like this, and he's trying to climb the wall behind him like us reaching for the telephone. So we went outside knelt about six feet from the door. Oh, yeah, every one of us were over six foot and and a couple of them wait at least 260 and not not fat. And I was probably the littlest one among them only weighed about 220 564 and a half. But yeah, we looked like four linebackers coming in there I think. But that wasn't where the power was. So we we knelt down and began to pray. Andrew each one of took turns praying. Now my wife saw something that we were unaware of she told us when we got through. up comes a squad car really fast to cop jumped out run to the door they stopped because he about to run over us. And she sees what I'm do this
got in the car and left. That wouldn't happen today. But they had enough respect. They don't want to interrupt a prayer meeting. So they got in the car left. I figured they figured out this not too bad going on here. They're praying. And so we went home I forgot about it. Next afternoon about three o'clock one of the guys called said it's closed. I said what's closed? You know, kind of like Peter knocking at the door and woman coming in the door and saying so he said the porno shops closed. I said how? He said we pray Don't you remember? So that's, that's what inspired me. I said, let's rent that building and open it up for Jesus. And they said, Okay, we found out the rent was $400 a month. I think it was yeah, 400 hours a month. And so they said okay, so that was the porno shop was about to say 16 feet wide and about 35 feet long, might not might not even been 16 feet might have been 14 feet wide. It's concrete block walls. And the other half of the building concrete block wall was a honky tonk, and on this side was a liquor store and across the street was a long branch saloon. Now remember this is after the revival had tapered off and you didn't see it in a big way. So we went out in December and tore down a barn in the snow and took the boards off of it and land these block walls with these this barn wood I made a table as a barn wood and copper beautiful thing. We put a ping pong table in there and got coffee making thing and went down got a deal to pick up stale doughnuts free to serve the guys. And we painted the sign out front it says, liberty, you know, for military liberty is what everybody wants. The place next door was the brick, the honky tonk. So we'd go out on the street and say, Hey, guys, you can go to the break, or you got liberty, which one do you own. And they'd see us in there that got picked up a couple other guys along the way, playing the guitar and singing. So we'd be sitting in there playing and singing, and they'd walk right in. And we'd work around, tell them about Jesus. Now, we saw lots and lots of them get saved. It might not have been but two, three, or four or five a week, instead of 20, every 2025 30 every single message, but we still saw a lot of them get saved. And then we started taking them out to victory valley where we'd gone before on weekend, and we would stay out there with them play ball and my kids can remember especially Rebecca, remember racing, the Navy guys and swimming and all the different sports and things we did with him and then we preach to them afterwards and baptize them immediately in the lake those who profess to get saved. We had some baptisms at night in the wintertime, with headlights, I remember at least one shining down on the lake, frigid cold. That's when I gave up the role of baptizing and turned over to one of the younger guys. And so we, by this time Chad was going on. My I was probably 2028 2930. But then that ministry continued for about 15 years. And it continued until the military moved the guys out and no more ministry there anymore. But we had guys like Don Stax Bill Bell were with us all the time. But the musician Donnie Medill, was part of that he got saved from that ministry right there. off the street. We did some street preaching there in town. He got saved out sergeant, you know him, he got saved during that time. And are singer Allen Quinn Allen clan. Adam crumbs, no pothead.
And, but he was an evangelist. I mean, he could evangelize better than any of us. He led a lot of people to the Lord and could play and sing. And so he always led us in singing and worship. Now, tell you this last story on this segment. Across the street was the Long Branch saloon. And there was a most of the military guys walked on that side of the street, because there was no sidewalk on this other side. On our side, except started right there where we were, but it wasn't for the half mile to the base. So they'd walk on the other side of the street. Well, we had to go over there to invite them across. And so the, the guy at the longbranch saloon, his name was Phil Holland, big pot gutted guy with a big beard, long hair stuck out like this. And he came out and he says, You guys can't be here in my parking lot. You got to get out over on your own side of the road. I said, Well, we're within our rights here. We're on the sidewalk, the passage with no real sidewalk, that parking lot, but we were in the space, it'd be reserved for the sidewalk. So he called the law law came out said no, you can't stand over here. This is their business. I said yesterday we can. And I handed him a sheet of paper. And I had a one of my lawyer friends draw up that said we could. So he said, Okay, but you can't block the traffic. I said, we don't block any traffic. And thereafter we work that side of the street at will, which was every day, this thing was open every night. Now, it was not one time on the weekend. This was something we did every single night. And but then we had about 40 people who'd gotten saved like Donnie Medina, and different ones from the community who come in and they were evangelists. They helped us out. So not everyone I was I didn't, I wasn't there every night, I'd be there 234 nights a week, and some of the guys will be there just one or two nights a week, but to different ones would come more often some last but it's always four or five guys and some gals managing the thing at any given time. So Phil would come out and cusses when we're that mentioned, we witnessed his bands, the bands getting out we'd witness to them. And then the people going in and out the drunks we'd witness to them. And someone getting mad at us. Well, that went on about two years failed threatening us and we had opportunity, oh, maybe 10 or 15 Time to give him just two minutes or a minute half of gospel. And in the process, some of his drunks got saved some of the people Well that were there every night drunk. We're now on our side of the street, preaching Jesus. That must affected him pretty good. Because once we started having church meeting there on Sunday morning, just packed out man. Great, glorious time. We really were there having a church meeting one Sunday morning. And the front door opened about two thirds of the way through the meeting. And in walk, Phil Hollen had never been in there. And he had this habit just kind of rubbing his belly when he talked about this, you know, and I mean, so big you had there so and so. He walked in and, and were crowded, I mean, like, were knee to knee, shoulder to shoulder were packed in, there's no aisle, there's no center space. There's no, nothing. I mean, it's just like, packing sardines in a can. So failed, kind of pushes his way between everybody. And he gets into the middle of the room. And he looks around pauses, and we thought, Man, he's gonna roll it all up. He pauses and he said, I want to commit my life to Jesus. He did. Within two weeks, he had his business sold. He ran the alcohol and the women and everything else and into town. He had his business sold and he was in poverty. His wife had a baby. Few months later, we went out to the house there on insulated house, he had to move into cheap rent didn't have any way. I didn't know anything, but it lists it. We're making a living. I taught him how to route signs in cedar wood, and sell them and he ended up getting in the Liberty weather someplace fairgrounds, every night. And every day, he'd sit there and he make these signs and sell them. So you get back on his feet. And then eventually you inherited a business. And I saw Phil Hollen. After we left there years that I saw him several times. And Phil Hollen has ministered the gospel and go known and serve the Lord all this time. So that's God was still moving. And any, you know, you might move the same way right now like that if a bunch of young people got together in a place and what attracted the guys
to us was not my preaching, or the one of the other guys preaching. What attracted them was a group of at any given time, maybe a minimum eight or 10, but larger gatherings of 5075 people that all love God, and just saying and praise God and worshipped now, we weren't nerds. We, we? We did crazy stuff like riding fast jet boats and swimming across the Mississippi River and swinging on grapevines and fishing and hunting and wrestling. I love to wrestle those guys did to arm wrestling. I tried to arm wrestle every Navy and seal that came through there. And so we were we were right in the middle doing what they do we were we played ball was done we played football played tackle
remember something my wife did? One of the guys one of the guys split his pants open playing football. I mean split the whole bottom open. And so he had to go find some more pants to wear and she depths and we'll we'll sew him up for you this Randy Sinclair. So the girls got together and they took some silky feminine polka dotted material and sewed it inside but put fabric inside where you couldn't see it and outside where you couldn't see it. It was like and just barely stitch the outside. So the next week he got he got to play in football with his repaired short zone. And when he did he split the whole bottom out and outfalls is big so keep
don't ever trust my wife to do your repair sewing? I wasn't married to her. Then I thought well, you buy that cool, you probably oughta marry. Alright, we'll stop there with that one. That'll be more next

Bible teaching with Michael Pearl.
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