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Chapter 4. The Tent Church

January 14, 2010

The Tent Church

With a burden as big as Texas, the tall young preacher and a friendly neighbor or two tried to erect a small tent. It looked like it was an Army/Navy surplus reject. A lot had been made available for the new church to start. There was just no money for a building. So the next best thing was to put up a tent. It wouldn’t hold more than 3 or 4 dozen people. But since there weren’t any saints yet, that wasn’t a major concern. The tent had a sad makeshift look about it. Nevertheless, the pastor was happy. This was his first church.

He also erected a smaller tent nearby. The small army tent was to be his temporary house. His wife and two young children made themselves comfortable on the cots and pallets there for many months. An even smaller tent was found and used as a cooking room with a stove and small table. His wife never complained. She put herself into every part of the process without sparing herself.

Since there was no blackboard to use for Bible Class, the pastor wrote his 1st lesson out on an old window shade. He hadn’t been raised in church. He had been Catholic. Not only that, he’d been a gang leader whose lifestyle eventually led him to San Quentin Prison. It was there that he was given a track on Jesus Name Baptism and the Holy Ghost. He read it and God opened his eyes and given him a revelation.

He preached his 1st sermon in the “yard” at the prison. “Though thy sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow”. That was his text and title. He was released shortly and was drafted into the Army. He looked for two years to find someone to baptize him in Jesus Name.

Now he and his wife wanted to tell everyone about what God could do. Tell them about the changing power of the Holy Ghost! All they needed now was a hungry heart, just one hungry heart, it didn’t matter whose. They had to start with someone. Just anyone at all would do.

This is Home Missions!

(After it’s humble beginnings, the church in Coalinga, CA today continues to thrive and grow.)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Yolanda permalink
    January 14, 2010 10:52 am

    Now thats a living testimony of God glory!………

  2. Carlene Branham permalink
    January 14, 2010 7:14 pm

    Makes one wonder about the preacher’s wives don’t want to go with their husbands unless they have a beautiful 5th wheel trailer to live in. Love hearing of women who have as big of burden for the lost as their husbands. What a team they were!

  3. Sue Pinell permalink
    January 20, 2010 6:39 am

    I set behind my desk at our place of business feeling a little overwhelmed by life and the daily cares of the saints. I just had to bow my head and repent… My heart has been touched and challenged.

  4. Gene Morgan permalink
    July 10, 2010 5:17 am

    Makes all my challenges, efforts, and results seem pretty insignificant. Thanks for sharing that.

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