The Ballestero Blog

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The Best Worshipper In Pentecost Has Just Died!

with 6 comments

Most of us are thunderstruck when we read about the emotional outbursts of King David as he worshipped the Lord! David was wild in his worship!

David was well-known for dancing and clapping his hands and lifting up his voice in praise.

In one place, the King even twirled in the air as he danced, when the Ark was coming back home.

But, I’m afraid the good King David will only win the 2nd Place Award in Heaven, when the Awards are handed out for Exuberance In Worship.

The 1st Place Trophy for Exuberance in Worship will just have to go to none other than Brother Donald L. Zhiss!

I can imagine King David taking lessons on the Street of Gold from him, right about now, laughing his head off, just watching Brother Don cavort and rejoice!

I’m also sure they are joining together in worship. I can see it now. Both of them Worshipping and Praising like they never imagined they could!

Today, part of me is sad that this chapter of life has closed for Bro. Don.

But, going to Heaven and seeing Jesus was what he always longed for.

The other the side of me has a big Holy Ghost grin pasted on it.

How many nights have the dear old saints of Christ Temple in South Bend heard Brother Don Zhiss thrill us, as he rejoiced in the revelation of the mighty God Jehovah, manifested in the flesh of Jesus Christ?

I’ve lost track how many times he would quote:

Deut. 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.


1 Tim. 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

I can still hear him quoting;

Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

(And then he would proceed to tell us what His name is… Jesus!)

By the time he was finished with his scripture quoting, you could count on him to be out in the aisle. That’s when the shouting would begin. You’ve never seen such rejoicing since the days of King David.

He continually, and exuberantly, rejoiced over the revelation of one God, and knowing that his name is Jesus!

I’ve seen him run the aisles, and a time or two fall down in his running. That didn’t stop him, he would even roll on the floor.

One thing for certain, no man in his right mind would run very close behind Bro Don while he was taking a lap or two around the church, because he was known to change his mind.

Many times he would do a quick reversal a run back the other way, without giving anyone notice. Slower thinking people might be apt to get accidentally run over. How a man of his stature could be so quick on his feet was amazing!

If you don’t have a Don Zhiss story, then you never visited Christ Temple twice.

I never knew him to have an off night, when it came to praise and worship. Will we miss him? You know it!

Worshippers are the ones we miss the most. No one misses a stick in the mud.

This man was a pastor dream. Never, in the 52 years have I known him, have I been aware of him causing a pastor or a saint any problem.

He had no enemies. He was indeed, a pastor’s friend.

Every time he drove by the parsonage and saw a car, with an out-of-state license plate, he would immediately go the Kentucky Fried Chicken and pick up a big bucket of chicken to help us feed our guests.


  • Remember the night during Bro. Duke’s revival when he thought he could fly?
  • Remember the night when a table got flattened during a worship service in the basement?
  • Remember the night when he “forgot to mind the things of the flesh?”
  • Remember the night when he didn’t wear his suspenders?
  • Remember the night during Testimony service, when Casey got his head polished?
  • Remember the night when all the men were out in the aisle, and Ted Stone got run over, several times?
  • Remember the night he came home from a Youth Rally in La Porte, with Bro. Jimmy Wyant and Brother Dick Nicely and they had to stop the car several times so he could have a ‘run-away’?
  • Remember how many dead services he single-handedly brought back to life with a testimony?


That’s a little of what I’m talking about.

Stories about this dear man will make you laugh harder than you’ve laughed in ages.

When I was a Pastor, Missionaries, Pastors and Evangelists from all around America repeatedly asked me about Brother Don Zhiss.

Their comments would always go something like this:

“What’s the name of that big Jew guy that’s in your church? You know, the man who worships real good?

“What’s his name again?”

“Don Zhiss?”

“Yeah, that’s him! How’s he doing? Is he still alive? I sure did like him! Man he loved to have church!”

They never asked about anyone one else. They all loved this man, because he never had to be prompted to worship.

What Brother Don possessed was like a well of living water springing up!

He was ‘cited about name of the Lord. He never said excited, he just said that he was ‘cited about the Lord!

  • Brother Don was almost always the first one to say amen to the preacher.
  • He also had a conscious that was very tender and very careful.
  • His life was wrapped up in church.
  • When the church doors were open, you could count on him to be there.
  • As long as I’ve known him, he faithfully attended church, when his health permitted.
  • He never let the fire in his soul go out! He never lost his Joy.

Almost every church in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan has enjoyed a visit or two from Brother Don Zhiss. When he came, few ever forgot him.

Wednesday of this week, we said our final good byes to the best worshipper you could ever hope to meet.

What’s Going On In Heaven Right Now? “I Can Only Imagine!”



At The Request Of Family And Friends, Here Is His Home-going Service.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 16, 2012 at 10:25 am

Posted in God's House, Praise, Worship

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6 Responses

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  1. What an amazing testimony! The testimony of a life of a Worshiper.

    Apostolic Sister

    November 16, 2012 at 10:37 am

  2. Love it, thanks for sharing! Now, is there a “Joshua” somewhere?

    Brian Enochs

    November 16, 2012 at 10:37 pm

  3. That was beautiful! I don’t believe I’ll ever forget Bro. Don Zhiss. What a precious example he was in my life!

    Crystal Smith (Morris)

    November 17, 2012 at 3:12 am

  4. Bro. Don Zhiss was an example of consistent worship to many, young and old, church family and visitors! I still have preachers and saints from far and wide ask about that Holy Ghost filled Jew! I’m thankful for the years that I attended Christ Temple Apostolic Church in South Bend, IN. In my life and ministry he was an icon of worship! If the Smart phones had an App called “Worship”, Bro. Zhiss picture should be on it! Thank God he died in faith!

    Bro. Dennis Morris

    November 18, 2012 at 1:14 am

    • AMEN…. and thank you so much Bro. Ballestero for posting. Sure wanted to be there, and sorry I missed the service in person~. Really, someone would just have to witness Bro. Zhiss worship in person… He was such a blessing ALWAYS. Can only imagine the reunions he’s having up there.

      Ellen Gentry

      November 20, 2012 at 7:03 am

  5. How awesome!! We all will benefit by getting “Lost” in exuberant worship! It literally yanks on the heartstrings of God!

    Gerald Milstead

    February 4, 2014 at 11:33 am

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