The Ballestero Blog

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Archive for September 2011

Loud Pipes Save Lives

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Loud Pipes Save Lives

Most cars, trucks and SUV drivers who cause motorcycle crashes, claim they never saw the motorcycle at all. Loud pipes help bikers let the other vehicles on the road know they exist. Before the motorcycle is ever seen, it is heard. It’s loud pipes may no doubt help save the rider’s life.

Harley Davidson teaches classes to new riders. My son Bryan took such a class last year. They informed all the students of the importance of loud pipes. Telling them, it just might save their life.

If you believe, as I do, that loud pipes save lives, then maybe you know about loud pipe manufactures like :

  • Rhinehart
  • Samson Sinisters
  • Samsom Street Sweepers
  • Thunderheaders
  • Pipe Dreamz
  • Sideshots
  • Bassani
  • V&H Bigshots
  • V&H Straightshots

These are only a few of the products of companies that specialize in making motorcycles LOUD.

Let me talk about another set of pipes.A Set Of Pipes” is a figure of speech we use for someone one with a great voice. Especially, if they have a very loud voice.

Dictionary.com’s Slang Dictionary defines:

“set of pipes”

  1. n.
    a very loud voice; a singing voice.

The Psalmist said,

Ps 98:4 “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.”

Will loud worship save anyone?

I don’t plan to find out if I can afford to ignore this passage and others just like it. For some reason, God wants our worship to be energetic and very vocal. He wants us to use our set of pipes and sing with a loud voice.

I believe that Loud “Pipes” save lives, even in church! Don’t keep quiet during the worship service. The life you save may be your own.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 21, 2011 at 1:12 am

Posted in Worship

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The Sinners In The Communion Line

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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

When The Lady Of The Night Got The Holy Ghost

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When The Lady Of The Night Got The Holy Ghost

For many years, I preached annual revivals in a very small West Texas town. The town was so small that after church it was not uncommon for the pastor or saints to drive an hour and a half to Odessa or Midland just to get something to eat.

The pastor was a dear family friend. The church was one that really worshipped and was easy to preach in. They loved the Word and the loved their “Man of God.”

The church had not grown significantly in many years. The little group prayed for revival and worked hard to bring visitors to the revival.

A seventeen-year-old Foster child sought for the Holy Ghost for over an hour every night. He sought fervently and with tears. He had prayed every night of the 4 week Revival.

The last Saturday of the revival, the pastor and I talked about Home Bible Studies. He said, “When I came up in church, we’d never heard of them. I’ve been here for 30 years or so and we’ve never taught any Home Bible Studies. Not only do we not have any material, if we had some, we wouldn’t know how to go about teaching them. Could you teach our people how to teach a Home Bible Study?”

Although I said that I could and would, there wasn’t any material within 100 miles. There also wasn’t any Internet connection to download anything.

I was relieved to find a copy of Bishop Gerald Adam’s ‘Deeper Life’ Home Bible Study in my briefcase. Bro. Adam’s was kind when I called and granted permission for me to make copies of his Bible Study for the occasion.

(The Deeper Life Home Bible Study is now digitized and can be found on the Hopkinsville, KY church website.) http://www.lifetabernaclechurch.org/Life_Tabernacle_Church/Bible_Study.html

I asked the pastor what he thought about me putting a table in front of the pulpit Sunday morning and teaching a Home Bible Study to some one while everyone else watched and followed along with their copy. He agreed and said he would have the table and chairs set up right after the preliminaries.

Standing on the platform Sunday morning I noticed two new visitors. A teenage boy stood on the right side and a 20 something young woman on the left.

For a few minutes after the song service, the church family went around and personally welcomed the visitors and greeted each other.

I noticed the boy seemed very sincere and responsive during the singing, so I went over and welcomed him. The young man smiled warmly when I introduced myself. He told me his name was Billy.

I said, “I’m a visitor here too, Billy. They’ve asked me to teach what they call a ‘Home Bible Study’ this morning. It’s a thing where two people sit at a table and basically just read scriptures from the Bible.

“I really don’t know who to choose to help me out today. But whoever does, doesn’t have to say a word. All they have to do is just act like they are reading the material. Do you think maybe you can help me out today?”

“Sure,” he said.

Later when they introduced me to speak, I explained to the church that I had asked Billy to help me and invited them to make him welcome. They gave him a good round of applause.

Billy and I sat at the small table in front of the pulpit. Each person there was given a copy of the Home Bible Study. I saw the look of sincerity and interest in the young man’s face.

He nodded as I spoke to him. I looked only at him and not at the crowd. We took less than an hour to go through the study.

The organ player began to play softly as we all stood. The table and chairs were removed. I looked to my left where Billy had stood and then I looked down. He was kneeling at the altar. All the others came forward too. Billy received the Holy Ghost in just a few minutes.

I heard shouts go up at the other end of the altar and saw that the young woman was praying and the ladies were rejoicing. She also received the Holy Ghost and excitedly thanked the Lord.

The pastor whispered in my ear, that someone had just told him, this new girl was the town’s hooker. The town’s only hooker. Her name was Sarah.

The saints were ecstatic about what God had done in the service that morning.

Sunday night’s service started.  The front doors burst open as the 17-year-old Foster kid entered the church crying and speaking in tongues. He had prayed during the day, and while taking his shower before church had received the Holy Ghost while still in the shower. He was still talking in tongues when he got to church. He couldn’t stop and he was excited. The saints rejoiced. I mean really rejoiced.

Billy and Sarah came back too. The church shouted and ran the aisles. Joy was in the camp.

The front door again opened and an unhappy faced man walked in and sat on the back row. Sarah was too lost in worship to notice that her pimp was there. He watched the worship for a while. Several were uneasy not knowing what would happen.

Testimony service had new life that night. When Sarah got done testifying and thanking the Lord, the guy on the back row got up and walked out shaking his head.

He was officially out of business. Sarah never noticed.  She started to dance before the Lord. She had been delivered.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 17, 2011 at 9:18 am

The Pentecostals At The Church Of Christ Funeral

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The Pentecostals At The Church Of Christ Funeral

The funeral chapel was jammed with about 30 Pentecostals and nearly 100 Church of Christ members.  Evidently this funeral was considered important. Six Church of Christ pastors were in attendance and each one spoke. No Pentecostal preacher had been invited to speak; yet several of us came anyway. I sat close to the back with my brother-in-law Pastor Nathan Yandris and my sister Ramona.

The large framed picture sitting on the closed casket was one of a beautiful middle-aged woman named Phyllis. She had a look of professionalism and class about her. Her brown hair was cut shoulder length. It appeared her make up had been professionally applied for the photo, and her jewelry looked very expensive.

The front row contained a grieving husband and beside him, his redheaded son and daughter-in-law. The son appeared to be the only child. No others sat near, leaving the guests to assume the mourners were alone in this crowd.

The Church of Christ preachers spoke one by one, and each said comforting things that I am sure helped. The final speaker did a superb job, actually. One could tell this was not his first funeral.

At the conclusion of his homily, the minister announced, “It is the wishes of the family that those who wish to say a few words about our beloved sister, should have an opportunity to say a public goodbye. He then walked to the front row and sat down.

One at a time, six middle-aged women walked to the podium and spoke sweet words about the loss of their friend. All of them mentioned that they had met Phyllis at either AA or Al-Anon.

They spoke of her friendship, of her church activities, her help with their lives, and her struggle with addictions and theirs.

After the last one sat down, there was a moment of quietness as all waited for someone else to stand. No one did.

Turning around and giving the crowd a swift appraising look, the redheaded son clutched a new Bible as he stepped to the small podium. His 25 years seemed much older. He was poised. He held the Bible in his left hand up close to his heart.

With a voice that never broke, he thanked everyone for coming. He thanked the ministers that spoke and he thanked his mother’s pastor as well.

With a smile to the women who had come to the front to speak, he thanked them as cherished friends.

That is where his story began!

“Almost 6 weeks ago, I first heard that my mom had cancer.  The doctor said that it was terminal and inoperable. I was shattered. Then they said she only had a few days to live. I was an immediate basket case.

“My mom was young, she was beautiful too,” He said, pointing at her picture.

“I went home that night and sat on my front porch. I was drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette, and was crying my heart out, when this man saw me and stopped.” (He pointed at a large black man on the 2nd row.) “He asked me if I was alright? I told him no.

“When he came up to the porch I told him the news about my mom. He spoke comforting words to me and asked if he could pray for me. I said yes and he did. I felt something I had never felt before.

“Then he sat down beside me and taught me what he called a short Home Bible Study. He showed me about Acts 2:38. He said that I needed to repent, and get baptized in Jesus name and that the Lord would give me the Holy Ghost. He said that Jesus would be my comforter.

“I prayed right there on my porch and asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins. I told him I wanted to be baptized the Bible way, so he took me to his church, Apostolic Tabernacle, and the pastor came over and baptized me in Jesus name. When I came up out of the water, I was speaking in tongues. I got the Holy Ghost just like they did in the Bible!” He said, as he raised and then waved his Bible.

The Pentecostals responded with much noise and many of us stood and clapped our hands. The Church of Christ crowd went silent.

“I was thrilled! I had never been so happy in my life! That night I prayed that God would help me to share this with my mom. I knew she had to have this before she died.

“I prayed that God would help me find a way to speak to her. I knew she was wrapped up in her Church. She had been a lifetime member, and had always been involved in one department or another.

“The first thing the next morning, I prayed before I went over to mom’s house. When I got there, I was surprised to see a Bible lying open on the kitchen table.”

“I asked mom what the Bible was there for, and she said that she was close to dying and didn’t feel saved. She said she was looking for more than what she had.

“I said mom, you been a member of the Church of Christ for 45 years.”

She said, “That’s right, but I’m not ready to meet God. I need more!”

(He turned to the Church of Christ pastor and said, “Sorry sir!”)

The redheaded new convert was filled with Holy Ghost enthusiasm as he told his story. His eyes were red rimmed and watering.

I said, “Mom, let me tell you what had happened to me last night. I told her the whole story. About the beer, the Bible study, the baptism and the Holy Ghost.

“Mom started crying and said son, ‘Tell me what he told you.’

I sat down with her and showed her the same scriptures in Acts that my new friend had told me.

“She got down and began to repent like the Bible said to. When she finished, she said that she couldn’t leave the house to go to church. She was too weak and was attached to an oxygen tank.

“Mom said, maybe we could fill her big Jacuzzi tub up and baptize her in that. Dad helped me and I baptized my mom in Jesus name. She came up out of the water speaking in tongues just like I did. I was so happy, I shouted all over the room.”

(All of us Pentecostals are now on our feet, with our hands in the air, worshipping!)

“My dad said, ‘Baptize me too!’ So I did and he got the Holy Ghost too”

“I sure did,” came a strong voiced reply from the front row. The dad had his hand in the air.

The Pentecostal’s worship was so overwhelming that even some of the church of Christ people started crying by now.

They all knew that a man with an experience is never at the mercies of a man with an argument.

The worship of the small group of saints roared in the ears of opposition. For several minutes it went on. It felt unstoppable.

“All of you Church of Christ members need this Holy Ghost, he went on. “It will do for you what AA can’t. It will do for you what Al-Anon can’t. You need to be baptized in Jesus name to be saved. You need the Holy Ghost speaking with other tongues to be saved. If you want to see my mom in heaven, then obey Acts 2:38.

When he walked back to his place, the crowd stood and gave him a standing ovation.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

“She’s Just A Spoiled Brat”

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He started the church in 1993, and immediately began to have Revival. Seven were baptized the first week, and the new church continued with baptisms and Holy Ghost in-fillings weekly for well into the second year.

The young pastor was aware of the town’s reputation of being a transient town, yet he felt like that was soon to change. It was also a military town.  A revival however, broke out on the Marine base. Several top ranking men became members of the church.

After renting a building for one year they purchased their present property in November 1994. They soon had a building with an auditorium that was rated to seat 300. The church planned for revival for the next year with great expectations.

At the end of 1995 the church was running a consistent 120-125. A home missions director stated that headquarters wanted to feature the church for Christmas For Christ.

At the conclusion of 1995, there was a very unfortunate moral situation concerning 2 families in the church. The only option for their future was to leave, through a chain of unstoppable events, 5 families got caught up in the fallout and also left.

At the beginning of 1996 some of the military men shipped out. By the end of the year there were none left. In November of 1996, the pastor looked at the remaining remnant and had only solid 15 people! He was violently ill.

He and his wife, along with their infant son moved into a backroom of the church. The finances were gone. They watched night after night as the remnant of the folks would plan to go out to eat. They would make excuses why they couldn’t go.

He would lay down at night, after the lights had gone out and stare at the wall and say to himself, “Just beyond that wall is the ladies restroom.  How low do you have to be to take up residence 6 inches away from the ladies restroom?”

It was during the time of living in this “dungeon” that a woman in the church called the pastor’s wife a “spoiled brat.” Now, imagine this, they were living in a room no bigger than a Sunday School room, eating off a hot plate, using an ice chest and a small refrigerator to keep things cool. They had a very small window A/C unit to combat the insufferable desert heat.

One week all they had was 10lbs of potatoes to eat. They ate potato soup, fried potatoes, baked potatoes and potato tacos until finally their last meal was “potatoes gone rotten.”

Their infant son was very sick with fever. They took turns staying awake to watch him in his fitful sleep.

The pastor did some construction side jobs to pay the church bills. His wife bought her necessities at the Dollar Store and the Goodwill. (Do you even know what it’s like to even entertain the thought of your wife having to buy her undergarments at a thrift store?) But all this little “old biddy” in the church could say about the struggling Pastor’s wife was…”She is just a Spoiled Brat!”

The pastor received a call to preach at an established church that was over 200 miles away.  He excitedly accepted the invitation and waited for the appointed Sunday to arrive.  He got up that Sunday morning and took the last of his money and filled the little blue van with gas and hit the road..

The van made it 60 miles into the desert and had a blowout and then he realized there was no lug wrench. He did find a pair of Vice Grip Pliers. The only way he could accomplish this feat was by sheer desperation to make it to this “thriving” church and possibly receive a much-needed offering.

He rolled into the parking lot 10 minutes after the service had started, and ran into the bathroom to wash the grease and grime from his hands. He straitened his tie and went to the platform.

He remembers to this day what he preached that Sunday morning. After service the Pastor took him to a very nice meal and gave him a check.

He thanked him profusely for the offering. After the other pastor drove away, he drove around town a little while until he found a suitable spot and then pulled into the corner of the parking lot and locked the doors and tried to go to sleep.  You see, it was Sunday and the banks wouldn’t be open until 10 o’clock in the morning and the only way he could get back to the dungeon and his precious little family was to cash the $125.00 check.

In all their struggles, they never missed a church payment.

They never questioned whether he was in the will of God!!

They realized they could mope or just bite the bullet and plow!! So they bit the bullet and plowed on.The pastor would go to church and preach like there were 300 people in that building.

  • He would sing like he was a choir.
  • He would conduct every service with dignity and honor at being in the presence of God.
  • He never commented on the size of the congregation in a demoralizing light.
  • He would carry on without the crowd as if they had never gone.
  • He planned events and functions that would only be expected by a church with considerable resources.
  • He was determined not let the devil see his discouragement bleed through into the reality of the situation.
  • He never let the facility go or get run down. It may not be the best, but it would be clean and presentable.

They started a Sunday School promotion in February of 1997 and saw 116 first time visitors. From this group they made contacts that are still members of the church. In 2002, the attendance on a regular Sunday morning was about 160.

God has helped them with 13 building programs in 14 years.

Today The Pentecostal Assembly in Yuma, AZ continues to enjoy the blessings of the Lord under the wonderful leadership of their sacrificing and faithful Pastor Jerry Rowell and his precious wife.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Church Planting

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The Working Pastor

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The Working Pastor

(The story is true, the names have been changed.)

He hated working an “outside” job but the bills had to be paid. The small congregation’s offerings just didn’t go far enough. Working at a steel mill was not his calling in life. He hated most days there. He was grateful for the wonderful and consistent source of income. There just wasn’t a whole lot of day left over when he got off work. After work there wasn’t much time for church, family or personal life. He had to work to pay the bills. Carrying the financial load of the church, and his own, was not easy.

What bothered him the most was that he wasn’t winning anyone from work to the Lord. In prayer he’d told God that if he had to work and couldn’t teach Bible Studies like he’d like too, then help him to be a witness at work. He had been working there for several years now. Something needed to change. The church was not growing. It was, in fact, quite small. Things were at a stalemate!

Now, every day before work, he would stop by the church and pray. He would pray that God would help him win some of the men from work. When he got off work he again stopped by the church and prayed for a long time about the fact that if he HAD to work, that God would let his job be a place where his light could shine.

He fasted. He would fast for as many days as he could. When his strength ran out he would eat a meal or two and then go back on a fast. He was desperate to see something happen. He did this for almost two months.

At 1am one night the phone rang. “Is this Pastor Don Kelly?” a hesitant voice asked. When he received the affirmative reply he identified himself a fellow employee from work.

“We have an emergency in our family and need some help right now. My married son Roger was shopping at Wal-Mart a few minutes ago. While he was alone in the aisle, he says that he heard a voice as plain as day telling him “You need to get right with God.”

“ He said he look up and down the aisle and didn’t see anyone.  He looked around the corners even checked the adjacent aisles but he saw no one. He quickly moved to another part of the store and again heard the same voice telling him he needed to get right with God. My son left his cart and ran out of the store. He called me saying, ‘Dad, I’m hearing voices. I think I am losing my mind.’

“I said son, meet me at the Hospital. They have a great Psych Ward there, and the Doctors can check you out and give you some medication. My son said, ‘Dad, maybe I don’t need medication, maybe I just need a preacher. I don’t even know any preachers. You never took me to church when I was a kid.’ I told him I knew a preacher that worked with me named Don Kelly and that he was a man of God and I would call him right now. Is there anyway you could meet with me and my son, now?”

The pastor looked at the clock, and assured the caller he could. He invited them to meet him at the church as soon as possible. They arrived before 2am. The Father, his son and both of their wives came. Bro. Kelly listened to the son’s story. Tears were in the son’s eyes. When he finished, Bro. Kelly taught them a Home Bible Study. The boy cried all the way though it.

When the Bible Study was finished, they prayed and repented. The son wanted to be baptized. He came up out of the water speaking in tongues. The wife asked to be baptized, as did the mother. The father said, “You’re not getting baptized without baptizing me.”

The next Sunday morning all four sat in service on the 2nd row. The Holy Ghost fell! In 3 weeks there were 18 people from work (counting family members) filled with the Holy Ghost. His life had been more of a witness than he’d ever realized. Revival had come.

REVIVAL COMES WHEREVER IT’S WANTED!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 12, 2011 at 12:12 am

Posted in Witness

Tagged with

When Pentecost Was Off The Charts.

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When Pentecost Was Off The Charts.

Remember when Pentecostal teaching was off the charts? Today, Bible Teachers have become a rare commodity.

My Father told me, “If you have a choice between being a ‘feeder” or an “exhorter” be a “feeder” and you’ll build a church.”

An exhorter will lift our spirits high for the moment, but a feeder will give you something to last a lifetime.

Pentecost has such a rich and full heritage. Today we are blessed with technology and electronics. A generation ago, there were no overhead projectors like we use today.

No one ever heard of a computer much less a  PowerPoint. Chalk boards and Charts were common. Old time traveling Bible teachers often carried their charts with them. In numerous churches one could often see a wire running from wall to wall on the platform. Those wires were put in place to hang charts.

Most of the men either hand painted their own charts or had someone else do it for them. Each was an original and unique.

I got to hear Brother A.W. Buie, Bro. Clyde Haney, Bro. Curts, my Father, Bro. Carl Ballestero and others teach from charts. While I am glad for the modern-day advancements, part of me misses the old school.

Made by Bro. A.W. Buie Sr.
Bro. Clyde Haney
Bro. Frank Curts

Brother Curts was the author of the widely distributed book “The Tabernacle In The Wilderness”. This book described the foundation of the Tabernacle that God directed the Children of Israel to build as they journeyed though the wilderness on the way to their new home in Palestine. This book clearly showed the similarities between the Tabernacles and Jesus’ plan of salvation.
Brother Curts also became district superintendent for the state of Ohio as well as serving on the executive board of the International United Pentecostal Church with headquarters in St Louis Missouri.
In those early days of our church there were 13 members in the congregation that were full of enthusiasm but they had very little solid knowledge of the Bible. Then Brother Curts came and became their pastor he began to instill in the congregation a solid Bible teaching and knowledge. With this solid Bible knowledge, the church began to grow and reach out for other people who were seeking a way to reach God. By the time the church moved to 4828 Vine Street some members were going out to other communities to teach what thus says the word of God.
Through the teaching of His ministers, God was shaping and remodeling his people as quickly as we were remodeling buildings using Bible knowledge in accordance with 2 Timothy 2:15. Times change the appearance and purpose of many structures just as it changes people but the church held fast to its ideals and doctrines as described throughout the New Testament. The Message we preach today is still the same basic doctrine that the pioneers of our local church assembly preached under the direction of Brother Curts. This message is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the soon coming of Jesus again to catch his bride “The Church” away to meet him in the air so shall we for ever be with him. This message is described in 1 Thes. 4:14-18. Upon this Bible belief the church in Cincinnati was born and remains firm today in its beliefs.”

(Copied from their website. To read more, click on the link.)
http://www.firstap.org/history.shtml

Bro. Carl Ballestero

These were the days when Pentecostal teaching was off the charts. Literally. Would I like to go back and visit some old-time Bible classes taught from a chart? In a heart beat!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 11, 2011 at 12:35 am