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Fanny’s Baby Boy

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Fanny’s Baby Boy

The tall slender woman knew she was dying. She was only 26. Her mother’s family hailed from Sevierville, Tennessee. Their family name was Ghan. She’d never met her real dad. She’d never even met her mom’s dad either. She was the product of two generations of illegitimate births in a row. Her mom had not been allowed to marry her father because of differences in their religions.

Before she was born, a respectable Irishman named Harrington married her mom and it helped give her a proper name. They named her Fanny Harrington. Baby Fanny was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on an Indian Reservation during the Harrington’s journey to California.

She grew up in the Los Angeles area. When she got older, she enjoyed visiting her older brothers in Fresno. They had migrated west too. Most of the California Ghans started attending an Assemblies of God Church pastored by Charles Price. Her brothers soon became preachers.

Fanny & Charles

Fanny met a man a few years older than her named Charles and fell in love. A major problem presented itself. Charles was Catholic. All his family was Catholic and he was determined that his children were to be raised Catholic too.

Her heart was torn. Fanny had received the Holy Ghost, but Charles was still determined to be Catholic. This may be a life long conflict, she knew. She had heard the warnings from her brothers, but still she continued to see her Charles.

Love won out, and Fanny and Charles were married in the famous Catholic Mission in Los Angeles.

Every Sunday, Charles and all his brothers went together to mass together. They were even known to crawl on their knees to church while praying the rosary. A photographer once snapped a picture of them crossing the street on their knees in front of a stopped trolley car and it was published in the newspaper. The whole family was very devout.

The second child, a son, was still a toddler when Fanny found out that she had Consumption. Her world was shattered and she was in a panic.

There was a nice Sanitarium in Fresno for the treatment of those with Tuberculosis. Fanny was admitted. The treatments didn’t seem to help much and the doctor’s finally said that they had done all they could do.

Her brothers heard Fanny’s last prayers. The very thoughts of her children growing up Catholic were now unbearable to her. She prayed aloud, “God would you save my baby boy and make him a preacher.

She prayed that prayer several times, but her baby boy was too young to know. By now he was only four.

When she died, Charles’ modest income didn’t allow for anything fancy for Fanny’s burial. Pennies were even placed on her eyes to keep them closed. The image of his mother with her eyes covered like that forever engraved itself in the young child’s mind. Fanny was laid to rest in Fresno, California in an unmarked grave.

Charles’ life immediately went downhill. He began to drink. He drank heavily and eventually drank himself into the poor house. His children soon became wards of the state.

Fanny’s baby boy got older and not only ran away from foster homes but also ran the streets. He got in trouble again and again. He ran with a gang called the Clovers and later became the leader. It was one of the oldest gangs in L.A. His life with the gang finally led him to San Quentin prison.

While visiting his mother’s folks in Fresno, he heard a gifted Assembly of God preacher named Charles Price and went to the altar. He later received the Holy Ghost.

Months later while reading a tract he received the revelation of Jesus Name Baptism. He then sought for two years until he found someone to baptize him. He also felt a call to preach the Gospel… and did. He preached it for over 50 years. He became a Jesus Name Apostolic preacher.

God had finally answered Fanny’s prayer.

He had saved Fanny’s little boy and made him a preacher.

You knew him too and enjoyed his ministry.

Only you didn’t know his mother’s name was Fanny.

Fanny had named her son, Carl.

Carl Ballestero.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 26, 2010 at 1:37 am

Posted in Family, Ministry, Mother, Prayer

14 Responses

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  1. I’m crying as I read this from Fresno. I was just talking FIVE MINUTES AGO about how two people can fall in love and religion be an issue to keep them apart….. THAT is God……………..

    Lani Ellingsworth

    June 26, 2010 at 2:32 am

  2. Bro. Ballestero, I think this is the sweetest story that you have shared yet. This is so amazing when we think of how God has everything planned from the beginning. Your dad, Bro. Carl Ballestero was such a blessing to hundreds of thousands all because his mother prayed a prayer. That sure gives me hope for my prayers today. God bless you for sharing with us all.


    June 26, 2010 at 2:42 am

  3. Thank you my brother for sharing this. it’s the mercy of GOD in all our lives that makes the differance..

    J. Brickey

    June 26, 2010 at 7:32 am

  4. incredible

    Bobby Ikerd

    June 26, 2010 at 7:44 am

  5. God hears a momma’s prayer, even after she has gone.
    I’m crying as I read this … and I even knew what the ending was going to be.
    Because of Grandma Fanny’s prayers, daddy found truth and became a preacher. He preached to us, All his children received the Holy Ghost, as did the grandchildren… and now the Great-grandchildren. What started all this was my precious Grandma Fanny’s prayer.

    Ahh… the power of prayer!

    Nila Marxer

    June 26, 2010 at 9:53 am

  6. What a story! Thanks for sharing, Bro. Ballestero.

    Charlotte Mills

    June 26, 2010 at 10:59 am

  7. Thank you for sharing your family history. The Holy Ghost fell on me as I read this and as I was crying I thought on my family background and realized what a wonderful, caring God we serve. He listens to a mothers heart and also a childs cry for truth (me).

    Rosemarie Scalf

    June 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm

  8. God has fashioned many masterpieces from what began as man’s illegitimacy. I was expecting “And now, you know the rest of the story!”

    Johnny King

    June 26, 2010 at 2:34 pm

  9. So moving. I love it when a plan comes together. Our God is an awesome God!

    Brenda Lawrence

    June 27, 2010 at 6:37 pm

  10. An absolutely amazing story! i feel so privileged to know that we actually had this great man of God in our pulpit in Beebe, Arkansas! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Dr. John Scheel

    June 28, 2010 at 1:52 am

  11. Thank you for that, Bro. Ballestero. I am so thankful for my christian heritage I have. Not speaking of my natural family, but of my church family. The Ballestero stamp is on my life and I am proud, if we can be permitted to be proud, of it. Thank you for all you invested in me. I hope I don’t disappoint you or “Dad”.

    Gene Morgan

    July 10, 2010 at 3:44 am

    • Thank you Bro. Morgan! And thank you for your many years of sacrifice for the Kingdom. I am very proud of you and your labor for the Lord. I am humbled too by the great honor you always express towards my Father and myself. God bless you richly. Love you!


      July 10, 2010 at 6:50 am

  12. Sitting here in tears! Oh how wonderful to know God does hear and answer a mama’s prayers! Thank you for sharing that incredible testimony Bro Ballestero!


    July 10, 2010 at 11:38 am

  13. Bro. Ballestero…as a child I remember many times during Elder Haymon’s Camp-meetings in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado seeing your mom and dad praying with knees in the sawdust. I can still hear your mom sing and testifying, and your Dad preaching the word. I remember hearing both of them praying in the prayer room for the lost souls of our world. Oh how I want to hear them pray again…as another generation is passing..I pray our Lord Jesus will ear my pray as he heard theirs.

    Jeff A. Sims

    November 1, 2010 at 9:37 am

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