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Chapter 21. The Runaway Wife Church

February 26, 2010

The Runaway Wife Church

The town not only looked beautiful, it just felt right. It was a marvel that no one else had ever come here to start a church. What more could one ask for? Here was a large metro area with beautiful scenery and no Apostolic church.

Their thoughts of settling down and starting a church were new for them. It seemed surreal that they would not be evangelizing anymore after 14 years. Their 10 yr old daughter was excited about getting to live in a house. All her life, she’d lived in a trailer. The year was 1989.

Finally a VFW hall was secured and their first Sunday service was scheduled and paid for. They had no organizational backing. No churches had offered to support them. It was just the three of them, Steven and Linda Foster and their little girl against the world.

Linda got a job working in an office. She was able to be a big help financially. She was talented and well liked at worked and enjoyed quick promotions.

Bro. Foster with limited trade skills, had preached ever since he’s gotten out of the Army. He’d never stopped preaching long enough to get a fulltime job. Now that fact became a momentary liability.

Untiringly, they had gone to the VFW hall, and set up for church every week. The response was not overwhelming. Sometimes it was just the three of them. Visitors seemed hard to come by.

Bro. Foster was occasional invited to preach a service or two here and there. The offerings were a Godsend. Starting a church was a financial struggle. They both worked hard at trying to make this new church grow. It wasn’t easy or quick. They just took it one service at a time. A few came in and received the Holy Ghost.  After a time, the little congregation began to grow.

Bro. Foster preached great messages. His anointed ministry was the kind that could build a strong church. His wife Linda played the organ and sang her heart out every service. They pushed themselves to make this go. They sacrificed and gave of their time, their finances and their energy.

After two years, the modest sized congregation was able to rent a small Baptist church building. In another two years they were forced to move. They found another building that would seat 150 or so. Their 40 saints couldn’t make it look full no matter how much they spread out, but joy was in the camp. They now were buying their own building.

Several years into the new building, disaster came unexpectedly. One day Bro. Foster read a note from his wife that crushed his world. She wrote that she didn’t love him anymore. She was leaving him and wanted nothing to do with him or church.

She had found someone at work and was moving to another state with him. She said that their girl would do better with him than with her. She left both her husband and her daughter.

Bro. Fosters’ world came to a screeching halt. He was a basket case. His daughter felt unloved and rejected by her mom. She began to withdraw into her world and build a defensive wall.

(During this time, Dr. Dobson wrote that the ratio, over the years, of husbands leaving his wife and children was 100 to 1 compared to a wife leaving the husband and children. But during the ten-year span from 1980 to 1990 the ratio changed to 1-1.)

That first service without Linda was hard for the saints. There was no organ player and no pastor’s wife. This was unbelievable for them.  Something like this was just unheard of. How could this happen? What would he do? What’s going to happen to the church?

Pastor Foster led the worship that first night. They all cried, but they sang and worshipped. Bro. Foster preached hard. The church rallied and God blessed. They loved God and they loved their pastor. Their Pastor had shown strength and the good saints stood by him.

People around the country were supportive. Bro. Foster tried to do what he could to survive. He was a lousy cook. Fast food and eating out became common. The good saints for a while sometimes brought in meals.

Something in the daughter began to die. Instead of finding help in church and the Holy Ghost, she withdrew from God and her Dad. She seemed to hang with the wrong crowd. Her phone conversations with her Mom provided no spiritual help or encouragement. The daughter backslid and never recovered. Bro. Foster was heartsick. First he’d lost his wife, then his daughter. She moved out of the house as soon as she was 18.

Neither Linda nor their daughter ever got back in church. They both seem to hate it. They mostly have harsh things to say about Pentecost and Preachers. The pain of it all aged Bro. Foster and turned his hair gray before it’s time.

Years have gone by. The church and pastor both have weathered the storm. The church is a revival church. The building is now full. Visitors always seem to come. The church worships like it’s on steroids. He still preaches like a ‘house afire.’

Today, the congregation is thrilled with the news that they are moving to a much bigger building.

Despite the personal pain, the tears, and the loss, a church was planted, and it grew and flourished in spite of Hell.

This Too Is Home Missions!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Sis Ann permalink
    February 21, 2014 1:39 am

    Wonderful. Praise the Lord for Bro. Foster’s unwavering faith inspite his life’s storms.
    I gonna share this story. ❤

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