The Ballestero Blog

"That's what I'm talking about!"

The Sinners In The Communion Line

with 9 comments

The Sinners In The Communion Line

The place where The Apostolic Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma is now located, was originally a restaurant. It had started out as The Western Sizzler Steak House. It stood on a small hill overlooking Historic Highway 66 on the edge of town. Its four lanes of highway were closely paralleled by another four-lane road scarcely 100 yards apart.

Even with all the heavy traffic under it’s nose the old steakhouse struggled to survive and finally closed. It reopened eventually, as a Mexican restaurant. This new enterprise was not was not able to last very long either, and finally closed. The big sign overlooking the highway sadly announced that fact when the letters were removed. The restaurant then sat empty for a time.

Originally, The Apostolic Church had been closer to town and was temporarily housed in a storefront, They dreamed of the day when they would have a place of their very own.  They gave sacrificially and saved. They had fundraisers. They prayed and they looked.

A couple of years ago the Lord made way for the empty restaurant to be purchased by the church and they worked hard to remodel their new facility.

Many work nights were needed to make the transition. The normal Thursday midweek service was often cancelled or temporarily changed to “work nights” to accommodate the workers schedules.

In January of 2010 Pastor Jeff Dykes called a three-day fast.  He also announced special prayer meetings for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Communion would be served on Wednesday. This service was just for the church family. The pastor explained the sacredness of Communion and asked that no outside visitors be invited, especially… no sinners.

Unknown to anyone in the church, a stranger named Sam drove by the empty restaurant on his way to work everyday. Sam worked at a hospital a little farther west. He immediately noticed the new church name on the old restaurant sign. Something happened to him then when he drove by the church. It caught his attention and made him look toward it every time he passed by. He felt a peace in his heart when he drove by the church. He felt a peace so great he couldn’t get it off of his mind.

Sam was in pain. His memories hurt him. His heart hurt him. His conscience hurt him. He knew he needed church. He wanted to get right with God. He had been around an Apostolic Church before. Somehow, it had never worked out for him to get right with God. But now he was ready.

He drove back that night, but the service night had been changed due to the many needed work nights. Undeterred, Sam tried several more times to get there when there was church. He felt the need to be in service at this church. He felt a drawing from the Lord.

It happened, that on the night of the announced Wednesday Communion service, that Sam and his girlfriend showed up and sat in the back.

The pastor was caught off guard to see these new faces on a Communion service night. He didn’t feel he could serve Communion to those that not didn’t live for God. Almost apologetically, he explained what was getting ready to happen in the service and said that Communion was a type of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. He said it he only served communion to those that had been baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost.

Sam and his girlfriend never budged. The pastor had tried to warn them off in a nice way, but they had stayed anyway. Less determined sinners might have left. This was going to complicate things.

White cloths covered the trays that contained the Lord’s Supper. They sat on a table in front of the pulpit.

After worship and prayer, the pastor read his scriptural passages and explained that he wanted to serve communion to the church, one family at a time. He invited them to stand in line in family groups.

In so doing, he not only served them all, but personally prayed for each one of them as well.

Sam and his girl friend quietly talked. He wanted to go up and take communion. She invited him to go in front of her, thinking that if he got turned down, she wouldn’t have to wait to be turned down. She’d leave… or something.

Every one else in the building had been served except Sam and his girlfriend. Sam had stood at the back of the line. He didn’t know if anyone noticed or not, but tears were rolling down his cheeks. He was crying very hard.

It was like the floodgates of his heart had opened. The tears streamed and heavily stained his dark shirt. The whole front of his shirt was soaking wet with tears when he stood in front of the preacher to receive Communion. When the Pastor saw Sam crying, he laid his hands on his head.  Sam immediately began to speak in other tongues. What an experience he got!

The church folks all said it was the best Communion service they’d ever had. Oh yes, Sam and his girlfriend both got the Holy Ghost and got baptized. They got married too.

Here is Bro. Sam beating on the old drum during a praise service a year later. He is a good worshipper.

His precious wife is now one of the praise singers.

Oh, yes… Before the night was over, they received Communion too.

To God be the glory.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm

9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I love stories like this, when people are so hungry for God they will do anything. I’m praying God will lead me to a hungry heart today.

    Nila Marxer

    September 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm

  2. What an incredible story!

    Pastor and Sister Jeff Dykes are wonderful people and Tulsa is a better place because they and First Apostolic Church are here!

    Shane Cheek

    September 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm

  3. What a story!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Heidi

    September 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm

  4. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! God’s timing is perfect timing!

    Mary

    September 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm

  5. Thats AWESOME!

    Kelly Holland

    September 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm

  6. We just think we know what God is doing! This reminds me of our Sis. Pearly. She was hired to care for Sis. Featherstone but on her second week in the Featherstone’s home she had an encounter with Bro. Wilkins, missionary to Guadaloup and was filled with the Holy Ghost right there!

    Crystal Smith (Morris)

    September 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm

  7. Hope your happy you made me cry again!

    Scott Hall

    September 20, 2011 at 12:43 pm

  8. I got to reading this, and I started to hear a song that goes like this, “It’s shoutin’ time in Heaven, a sinner once lost is found. It’s shoutin’ time in heaven, salvation has been brought down. No wonder the angels rejoice to know my sins have been covered by the crimson flow.” It is always a blessing to receive such reports of the wonderful work that God has been doing. They are always an encouragement. I can hardly wait to discover what God is going to do next.

    Jay

    September 22, 2011 at 3:33 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: