I am the new Pastor at Family Christian Center at 2036 Highway 16 N in Bandera Texas. We moved here from Modesto California. We were asked to take this assignment by God and Pastor John Hollar of John Hollar Ministries and a Professor at CFNI, whom I have known for 27 years. I started a church in California in 2006 in my living room. Back in 2002 I had a subrogation company that was severely impacted by the events of 9-11. We did damage recovery work for Car rental companies and Insurance companies. The business had a very successful run and we were doing business with Fortune 50 companies and had grown to 65 employees. In the summer of 2001 I was approached by a man, Joe Mines, who wanted to get a book published for Dr E V Hill. Dr Hill had up to that point never published a book, though he was a well known preacher and teacher. We contacted Moody Press with the idea and they were interested in the book. Then Joe suggested that we use Wendall St Clair to assist with the book. Wendell was saved through Aimee Simple Mcpherson’s church in Los Angeles and had written for Oral Roberts in the 50’s. We hired Wendell and he and Joe put the book together and I paid the bills. I received half of the upfront money for my investment. There was a young man, Tony Tubera, in my church that had a gift in the area of Holy Hip Hop. I took those funds and invested in a recording studio. We produced a CD and were looking for ways to promote the music when the local radio station KWIN/KWNN in Stockton was having a fundraising effort to send kids to camp. I purchased time on the station so we could play this music. We could not think of a better venue than the number one hip hop station in the market. I had originally only booked two hours, but ended up on air for six hours that weekend. The response to the music and the conversation we had on air was incredible. The phone lines were lit up during the whole time we were on the air. That next week the Program Director John Christian contacted my office to set up a meeting. He approached me about doing a daily piece. It was going to be similar to “Father Harry and the God squad” from the 70’s. I told him I would think about it and get back to him after a business trip I had planned. In February of 2002 I had been hired to help manage a young protege named Christopher Ballard. He had played the violin at President Bush’s inauguration in January and was playing at a pre Grammy event honoring a classical musician. During that visit I was introduced to a man named Russ Regan. After returning from the business trip I met with John again. He said that the idea had changed a bit and they wanted to offer me a one hour show every Sunday. He also invited me to lunch with he and his wife. On the way to lunch we were talking about his career and he mentioned a behind the scenes music guy who had started the careers of Elton John, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton-John and named the Beach Boys. I asked him who that was and he said, “You would not know him.” I asked him to try me and it turned out to be Russ Regan. He could not believe that I knew Russ and when I showed him Russ’s information in my PDA, he was blown away. I know it was God who brought that all together. That led to me doing the radio show, which was called “A Dose of the Ghost”. The show started in June of 2002. In April of 2003 the show got syndicated through ZEO Radio Networks. In November of 2002 I had to shut down the subrogation business and laid off the 65 employees. This began another interesting chapter as I soon developed pericarditis, then had to have umbilical hernia surgery, then gall bladder surgery, which led to a liver infection, which led to severe pain, shingles, pleurisy, pneumonia, and then adrenal gland failure and endocrine system failure. All this while trying to keep the show on the air and figure out what was next. In April of 2004 I was gray from head to toe with green and yellow highlights on my glands. The doctors had given up and sent me home with little hope of survival. The radio show had opened a door for television and I had been appearing on a local TV show called the Eleventh Hour. Because I had become so sick I had not been able to do that for a while but had maintained the relationship with Sandy Swanson the Executive Producer. One morning the Holy Spirit told me to get up and go see her. I was so sick that my wife asked what I was doing. I told her and she said how will you even drive there. She had to take the kids to school and go to work and I was spending most of my time in bed. I made it to the studio and Sandy saw me . She said I looked like death warmed over. She knew a women that practiced natural medicine and referred me to her. A little history here would make sense. In November of 2002 I had gone on a missions trip to Lagos Nigeria. During that trip I had the privilege of attending the Foursquare Churches national convention held at the National Stadium in Lagos Nigeria. I was traveling with Drs.Greg and Cyndi Romine and a small team. During the closing program for the convention Dr. Greg had been asked to speak on healing. The Nigerian people have such great faith in Jesus and in His miraculous power. Faith is all that they have and they use their faith to survive. After Dr. Greg finished speaking he invited those who wanted to be prayed for healing to come down on to the stadium grass. The team then stood in front of the stage and waited as the stadium crowd poured out onto the grass. There was an estimated attendance of 30,000 people. As the people came I extended my hand to pray for them as they came. We were there as points of contact to agree with the people for Jesus to heal them. In the crowd there was a woman whose eyes were completely whited over. She was being led in the crowd and came toward me. I held out my hand and she walled into my hand and I laid it upon her eyes. She then fell backward on to the grass. As she got back up her eyes were no longer white but were blue and she had pupils. She hugged me and ran back into the crowd. It was amazing! God had healed her in Jesus name. On that trip I had a dream, in the dream I was in a parlor and there was a woman there whom I had not met. She sad she could help me and that she had helped many others. It was a dream within a dream. When I awoke I did not really understand it. Now we must go back to Sandy Swanson and the woman she referred me to. Her name is Kathy Flood and I had never met her. When I first went to see her she did the preliminary exam. She called in her daughter Tiffany and they asked me a very serious question. They said we can help you but do you want to live? At this point it was apparent because of the business closure that we were going to have to sell our home. My health was failing and I was emotionally, mentally and physically drained. I had told God that if it was time for me to go I was ready. It was not a cop out I was just at my end and I knew I was in serious trouble with my health. I had several million in life insurance because of the business and if something happened to me I knew my family would be taken care of. I was not mad at God, I just had become so sick that I was not even able to feel any emotions. When Kathy and her daughter asked me if I wanted to live I had to think a moment. After going to another building on their property and spending some time in prayer I came back into her office. At that point I realized that she was the one that had been in the dream God had given me in 2002. I began to get better and in 2006 after a number of requests from listeners of the show we started a small home study. One of the more amazing things that happened there was being used by God to save a life. In 2008 my friend Mike who just visited Bandera had recently started coming to the church with his family. He had invited some people from the church to his house and one of those who came was a woman who was having a real problem with some counsel I had given her. While she was at Mike’s she was saying a lot of terrible things about me and basically cursing me with death. A few hours after she left my family and I dropped by. Not very long after our arrival I went into the kitchen and Mike and his wife served me a plate of food. Before I could eat anything the spirit that the woman had released with her words started to try to choke me out. Mike was fairly new to the church but had watched us lay hands to pray for people and so he went to pray for me. As soon as he did that spirit that was attacking me turned and attacked him. He staggered backwards and collapsed on the floor of his kitchen. I heard the Holy Spirit say to get up and pray for Mike as he is no longer with you. I was still trying to recover myself and there was a real sense of urgency about the Holy Spirit’s request. I got up and went to where Mike was lying. His two daughters, 12 and 5, were bent over him along with his wife and some friends. They were unsure what was really wrong. When I placed my hand on his chest I felt nothing. No heart beat, no breathing and he felt cold. I began to pray silently not wanting to alarm his family and believing that God was going to intervene. In moments like this there is no real grasp of time. It seemed to take a while and suddenly he gasped for air. When he did he looked at me and I knew that what I thought had happened had actually happened. We did not say anything at that moment say as not to scare the kids. Two weeks later Mike shared the story in church and his mom was very shaken. See I did not know it at the time but Mike and drowned as an infant and been resuscitated and also been electrocuted as a young man. Since that time we had a woman healed from a brain tumor, another woman healed of breast cancer, another woman healed of macular degeneration, a broken bone in a boys arm healed and several more miracles. When we came here to Bandera in January I was really just coming to help Pastor John for a week and then go home to California. We had purchased a bus conversion and were planning to leave and travel. Several miracles happened during those meetings as well. When we left here were trapped in Las Cruces New Mexico because the bus broke down in Anthony, Texas and we were towed to the nearest shop. The Monday after our breakdown is when the terrible winter storm hit the US. On consecutive nights it was 3 degrees, -5 degrees and 1 degree. The water pipes in the bus froze as did the pump. It was 38 degrees inside the bus with the heaters on and we suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning as the fumes from the generator were trapped by the cold under the bus. I was updating on my Facebook throughout our trip and my friend John Christian had been watching the updates. A picture I took of a water jug that had frozen on the inside of the bus prompted him to call me and his friend Damien who is the music director at KHQT-FM (Hot 103) in Las Cruces. He connected us with his grandma who housed us for five days while we waited out the storm and waited for the part. When we finally got back to California Pastor John asked if we would consider a move to Bandera. So we sold all we had left that would not fit in a 6 X12 UHAUL and moved to Bandera Texas.
What are the names of your spouse and kids?
My wife and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on December 20, 2011. We have five children. Three of the children traveled with us from California. My wife is Patricia, Collyn Anne is 11, Jackie is 9 and Samuel is 4. Our two eldest are Michelle, 22 and Jonathan, 20. Michelle was just here for a week and loved it. She works with Autistic children in California and also is very active at her church, which is one of top ten fastest growing churches in America, working with the youth and young adults as a leader. She books the worship band Worth Dying For and spent a week in Dallas at CFNI as the band and her youth Pastor were the main speaker and band for the fifth week of YFN. My Son Jonathan is recently married and is pursuing his passion which is music and technology. He married a Pastor’s daughter and we are glad to welcome Gabrielle into our family.
On growing up, name one lesson you were taught as a child that sticks with you today:
As a young person I was on the verge of suicide when I was thirteen years old. My dad had a very abusive childhood and he passed on the emotional abuse to me. At that time I was introduced to Jesus Christ through the ministry of Maria Anne Hirschman, Hansi. She had been an orphan taken into one of Hitlers Youth schools and came to know Jesus after fleeing the Russians after WWII. Her story of a God who gave her value resonated with me and I gave my life to Jesus. As a young man I then remember many speakers coming to our youth group at First Covenant Church in Oakland, California. I remember wishing that I might have a testimony of what Jesus did for me. I had no idea then what I was asking for. The journey has been amazing. What I take from that is that we each have a testimony that God has given us to use for His purpose. Our testimony is what builds us and what strengthens our faith. And we all have great value to God so much so that He sent His Son to die to prove it.
Name one mentor and one way he/she has affected you:
I have been blessed to have some wonderful people in my life. I have received some very timely council on numerous occasions, but the one with whom I have spent the most time and who I have learned to listen to is the Holy Spirit. There is no other with whom I have had more conversations and that have shaped me then learning to listen to that still small voice. My understanding of life and the scriptures. All of my successes and the lessons learned in my failures are all directly linked to the influence that the Holy Spirit has had in my life.
Do you have any special projects or works on the drawing board?
I have a lot of dreams for why I believe God brought us here. The longer I am here the more the needs of the community are revealed and the deeper my desire to do something to help. The area that I would most like to help is with the youth. I would love to see a Christian Youth Center opened here, so that the young people in Bandera would have a place to go to build character, learn some great life lessons and to have something to do besides getting into stuff that happens when you are bored. I also want to see people experience God with their mind body and spirit. To have a God encounter.
What words best describe you?
Peculiar. The bible says that God’s people are peculiar. I love people and I love to share what God has done in my life. I spent twenty two years in business management, as a front line manager, Executive and as a business owner. During that time God opened many doors and I was able to use those opportunities to share my faith and the love of God. I remember sitting with my son in front of our house in California. At the time he was 12 years old and we were talking about the future. My health was beginning to be challenged and I had to close my business in November of 2002 because of the effects of 9/11. As we sat there he said to me, “Dad do you realize that everything that you said God was going to do for you He has done?” I was startled. He continued,”You said you would have a business and travel all over the world, that you were going to be on TV and that you would have a radio show.” “God has done all that He has said He would do.” My life has been one that has been directed by God. I have had great abundance and have suffered in great poverty. I hope there is enough evidence that if I were on trial I could be convicted of being a Christian in the realest and truest biblical sense of the word.
What hobbies do you have?
What was your first job out of college?
I have been working since I was thirteen years old. I have worked in restaurant, was in the Air Force, retail sales, advertising, collections, Private investigator, intellectual property security, music and radio. With each opportunity I was blessed to have successes and to learn life lessons. The biggest lesson I learned is the value of relationships and the value of people. Never promise what you can’t deliver and never deliver less than what you have promised. Communication is the key to success.
What do you like most about your job?
I love to watch people truly encounter Jesus Christ and watch their expression as they have that encounter. I am always awed by God as He touches a person and they have a look of amazement on their faces. I imagine Paul on the road to Damascus when he encountered Jesus and it changed His life. The gift God has given me is to pray for people and that by faith they experience that kind of encounter.
What do you like most about working with the Bandera business community? I have the pleasure of doing the invocation for both the County Commissioners Meetings and the City Council, so I have been a witness to some really passionate people who care about their community and want to see their vision happen here. I am meeting great people and look forward to working with them to help make Bandera Texas and the county of Bandera all that it has been called to be.