Our story actually begins 41½ years ago at Mtn High Chapel when the Lord brought us together. Even though we weren’t ministering then, Ed never even thought of such a thing, the Lord was preparing our hearts and we were learning so much about life and God’s love. For myself, the story starts when I was a little girl and knew I wanted to be a preacher’s wife, Sunday School teacher and missionary.
In the beginning of our marriage there wasn’t much thought on church and ministry. It actually looked and seemed impossible to me. Then as things happened and we reaped the crop from the bad seeds we planted we both began to see the Lord work. From about 1981-1994 we worked in the ministry, served our pastors, learned so much, grew in His ways and submitted our lives to the Lord. We worked hard at the church. We were there with our kids whenever the doors were open whether it was daily prayer at 6:30 am or late night meetings. In these 13-14 years we learned to give and serve. They were the greatest classroom we could ever have. We were faithful to the ministry every day of those years and never quit. Our pastor instilled being faithful, available and teachable (F.A.T.). To this day we can’t even imagine being anything else. It’s so embedded in our hearts to be F.A.T. and to give and serve. We are eternally grateful to the Lord for taking us on that path for all those years. Then in June 1994 we obeyed the Lord and accepted the call to be pastors at Mtn High. We NEVER thought we would pastor here let alone be here for 25 years.
BUT it hasn’t been an easy road. The first few years were tough. People came against us, left the church in groves, tries to keep us down and discouraged. We weren’t paid much or well if at all. We tried multiple times to quit, go somewhere else but knew this was where we were to be. We were young in reality but since we were 40 we thought we knew more than we did. Our kids struggled, were condemned and spoken against. We would say we had the pastor car curse because we were told we had a drive old beaters that ran by faith. We didn’t even know the love, grace and peace message as we do now. The church was not Spirit filled so when we brought the church into the things of the Spirit – there was more division. Day by day, month by month we began learning from our mentors and friends. Dave and Bonnie Duell were the first ones who believed in us and imparted faith. We then met Andrew Wommack and grew more and more. We have so many friends and family who imparted into our lives for the last 23 years or so. We were some hurting pastors with lots of fears, doubts, misconceptions, misguided information and perspectives. It’s taken many years of faithfulness from our friends and ourselves to get to 25 years. We are so thankful to ALL who sowed love into our lives.
I was thinking about what God has done in the 25 years of this ministry. The church hasn’t grown to 1000’s of people. Good thing we gave up having to have value and identity by the numbers in our church. In the world’s eyes it probably doesn’t look like much has happened but we know we have been faithful and obedient to what He has called us to do. Sometimes I wonder myself about the fruit of the ministry and the Lord shows me those I taught in Children’s Church 20 years ago that are bringing their children today. We don’t always see the fruit in the ministry of the church but we know the seeds were planted. In 25 years things change, ways change, technology changes but I am so thankful He NEVER changes or His Word! Even though we may not know all the “new” stuff we can still teach and preach His Word, love, grace and peace. That is the same yesterday, today and forever. He tells us we are never too old to minister about Him and we don’t need fancy – new gadgets to share His love. New tools can be to our advantage and we are thankful for younger folks who can minister with us.
In the last 25 years we have:
- Built orphanages in Venezuela, Honduras, Kenya and Peru
- Ministered at 100’s of funerals and weddings
- Ministered outreaches in Cowboy churches in many places
- Ministered to 100’s of marriages
- Have been with others through sickness and surgeries 100’s of times
- Have had Holy Ghost meetings on a monthly basis
- Taught classes on many different subjects
- Wrote several curriculum to teach
- Taught Children’s Church, Vacation Bible Schools and Kid’s Camps
- Ministered to other pastors
- Had a radio program here and in Oregon
- Started a church in Fairplay and now in Del Norte
- Started the Legendary Bar Church in Evergreen
- Traveled many miles to encourage someone we knew was struggling, down or sick
- We had a Young Life Home Group in our home for years
- Taught Ladies Bible Study Men’s Bible Study Marriage classes Parenting classes
- Substance Abuse classes
- We have raised up missionaries that went out from here
- The ministry has remained debt free and gives beyond what seems possible
- We have fundraisers for the orphans and mission trips
- We host, organize, serve and minister at events here at the church & other venues
- In 25 years we have traveled to and ministered in Russia, England, Scotland, Portugal, India, Nepal, Israel, Kenya, Tanzania, Venezuela, Peru, Canada and Afghanistan. Some many times. We have done minister conferences in several of these countries.
In these years we have learned more than we ever thought possible and changed even more. We are so thankful for our 5 children and their support through all the stuff that we put them through. They are amazing! And now we have our 5 children by love and 22 grandchildren who love and support us. We have missed many of our family’s events to minister to someone else and they have been very understanding. We have also made our mistakes and didn’t always put our family first which we have apologized for. We haven’t done everything to everyone’s approval and never will but we will do all we can to listen to the Lord and what He is directing us to do. We are also grateful to our extended family and our very dear friends who have stuck by us through thick and thin for these 25 years. They have encouraged us and wouldn’t let us quit when we thought we couldn’t deal with one more thing. Wow! We are so thankful we’ve never been alone in this journey!
What does the next 25 years hold? More excitement, more changed lives, tons of ministry, miles and miles of travel, fantastic times, challenging times, sad times and His times. There will be lots of change, lots of adventures, new people, new leaders, new friends and continued strong relationships with all our family and friends now. We will grow together, learn together, change together and share Him together. We will always believe and declare His Word, His Truth and His Grace in the Holy Spirit. We will see people healed, miracles, salvations, lives changed and lives restored. His love will always be the foundation of all we do.
We have many new adventures He has shown us and new ministries He will guide us to begin when the time is right. We will continue to give and plant into many good soils and except a mighty harvest. We won’t quit, we won’t give up and we will continue to encourage each person to go forward in the calling the Lord has for them. We pray you want to come along with us! There’s nothing like serving Him with all your life!!!
These are some of our life promises we clung to the last 25 years.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“All things work together for good to those who love God and those that are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
“ For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
These are the verses He has for us the next 25 years! “But those who wait for the Lord, who expect, look for, and hope in Him, Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings and rise up close to God like eagles, rising toward the sun; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.” Isaiah 40:31
“Though your beginning was small, Yet your latter end would increase abundantly.” Job 8:7
“The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, and in this place I shall give the ultimate peace and prosperity,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”