Three generations. That's how many generations of preachers there are in my family. My grandpa was a preacher, my dad is a preacher, and I'm a preacher. My brother Chad was a preacher and my brother Daniel is studying to be a preacher (you can read about Daniel's call to the ministry here). Even one of my cousins is a preacher. To say the least there are a lot of preachers in my family. For all of us we have a hero to admire in our grandfather. He has remained a faithful expositor of the Word for many years now. Here's what he wrote about his call to the ministry many years ago:
"I knew I had some things to say [as a 19 year old young man] but the old enemy was there, fear! (oh, how the devil uses this to stop Christians in their tracks!) This was what had been holding me back and keeping me in bondage. Many time at home during testimony meetings, I wanted to say something but it was as if I were frozen in my seat! Was this relentless foe going to keep me down again? I was really fighting a battle! I came to realize that day [long ago] that God had been 'pulling' me as it were toward the ministry but I had been resisting because of fear. Could this be conquered? Right then [at a prayer meeting] I told the Lord that if I could get up and say something without being afraid, I'd know He wanted me to preach. I got up and said what was on my heart without a bit of nervousness. I have always believed it was right then that God made known to me His will for my life, the ministry!
The first sermon grandpa ever preached was from 1 Thessalonians 1. He preached the message at a small church in Novelty, Ohio on Sunday, May 14, 1950 (Mother's Day). The subject of his sermon on that day was "The Model Church." Grandpa says of that day, "I remember rehearsing this before a mirror about four or five times. I was nervous but looking forward to getting started in that which I knew God wanted me to do for Him." As Grandpa preached he said he "felt the Lord's presence." The message lasted only 20-minutes but the impact it had on my grandpa lasted for his whole lifetime. That day as grandpa preached he said, "There was no fear or nervousness! I had real liberty! I believe this was another indication that I was in the right way."
Grandpa's life and ministry has been a challenge to me personally for some time now. He has walked through many trials and still remained faithful to the God's calling on His life.
Grandpa has always been a gifted poet. Here is a poem he entitled "The Call" which focuses on God's call to the ministry. I trust it will be as much a blessing to you as it is to me.
The call came loud and clear,
On that day so long ago.
God's will for me I did hear
As this He made me to know.
Of what He would have me to do
With this redeemed life of mine;
To be heard true
Sounding forth His Word divine.
Talent had I none.
Nor able was I then,
To get the least thing done
Or speak a word to men.
How was God to use
Such a helpless one as I?
This question did I muse.
As I awaited His reply.
"My strength is yours to claim,
Through weakness it yours can be.
Seek not glory for self nor fame
And upon you my power you will see"
(II Cor. 12:9, Jer. 45:5)
These are the words I heard
So many years ago,
And I've sought to preach His Word
As onward through life I go.
Written by C. Richard Phelps Sr. grandfather of 4 preachers and father of 1 preacher
Posted by Caleb