The Ballestero Blog

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“How Old Are You, Brother Ballestero?”

with 13 comments


“How Old Are You, Brother Ballestero?”

I guess I could answer their questions in the normal way, but that would be too easy. It’s more enjoyable to watch their faces when I answer in terms of events rather than the expected number of years.


I have been known to respond something like this…


“I’m So Old That:

“I can remember when hymns and choruses actually rhymed.

“I actually heard the saints stand up and testify in a regular testimony service.

“I’ve even heard prayer rooms roar with the sounds of victorious saints bombarding Heaven while putting the devil on the run.


“I actually saw Sunday School Attendance Boards displaying things like:

  • Attendance Today
  • Offering Amount
  • Number of Visitors
  • Number of Bibles Brought


“Church Songs Were…

  • About deliverance from sin.
  • About heaven being a holy place.
  • About the Lord’s return to earth
  • About having your sins washed away.


“I actually heard preachers name sin from the pulpit.

“Wayward saints got rebuked openly from the pulpit, that others might fear.

“Hearing the phrase: ‘Holiness or Hell,’ was common.


“Holiness and modesty were expected among all Holy Ghost filled saints.

“If the pastor said it, young people obeyed without questioning his reasons or his authority.

“No saint ever chewed gum in church. It was too disrespectful.


“Expectant mothers wore loose attire that only revealed a minimum of information.

“Sword Drills were common in youth services.

“A Sunday morning service included a Bible class, a second worship service, and preaching.


“Sunday night church was always expected.

“Mid-week schedule of services included a Tuesday and Thursday or a Wednesday and Friday.

“Revivals were held every night but Monday.


“Preachers wore white shirts to church and they always wore a tie.

“Rings on a preacher were noticed by everyone.

“When the preacher announced his text, the sound of Bible pages turning would be discerned by everyone.


“The spirit of Conviction was the norm in most every service.

“Messages in tongues were not uncommon.

“The sounds of Intercessory Prayer were heard in most churches.


“The preaching wasn’t politically correct.

“No one claimed to be living for God with a TV in their house.

“When saints never went to ball games or movies.


“When Apostolic saints shunned all of Hollywood.

“When church services often went past 10 pm.

“When New Year’s Eve Watch Night Service most often included a confession service as well.


“When we bragged about carrying folks home drunk on the Holy Ghost.

“When folks who disregarded standards were called backsliders.

“When young men didn’t justify wearing shorts just because they came to the knee.


“When saintly women abhorred the wearing of any type of makeup because they didn’t want to look like a Jezebel and ruin their testimony.

“When the lights weren’t turned down low at the altar call, and everyone could see who needed to pray.

“When doctrine and standards were openly preached and wonderfully received.


“When preachers didn’t teach doctrine and standards in private classes so as not to scare any visitors.

“When Break-Out Sessions were unheard of.

“When those whose prophecies didn’t come to pass were called false prophets.


But now…

We’ve moved ‘up’ to the next level of Pentecost!!


“You didn’t actually answer my question, Brother Ballestero! You still haven’t told me how old you are. How old are you?”


Again, My Response…

“Old enough to want to hear doctrine preached and not some feel-good pop psychology type sermon.


“I’m so old that I search for churches that still have that old-time Apostolic feeling.

“I look for churches that still want to hear preaching like it used to be.

“Where testimonies have that New Jerusalem ring to them.


“I look for churches that haven’t thrown all the old songs away.

“I want to find places where holiness is still in style.

“Where ALL of the Bible is preached without apology.”


“That’s how old I am!”



Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 29, 2019 at 10:30 pm

13 Responses

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  1. There’s only a couple I don’t remember so we must be close in age. Give me the old time songs and preaching today and let the convictions convict the lost souls. Keep on preaching Bro.

    Betty J Hayes

    June 29, 2019 at 10:45 pm

  2. I must close your age I can remember all the same things, I don’t ever want to conform to this new way.

    Carolyn Lyle

    June 29, 2019 at 11:40 pm

  3. Thank God, I too am that old! I still believe it takes it all to be genuine Holiness Apostolic Pentecostal Saints! Thank you to all pastors that “Ask for the old path!”
    Keep writing Eld. Ballestero, you are the voice that is crying in the modern wilderness!

    Morris Dennis

    June 29, 2019 at 11:55 pm

  4. I’m almost as old as you! My heart grieves for the loss of so many that you named. I’m grateful to God to be in a church that still believes and teaches this truth straight!! Thank you for still loving and preaching the way you were raised. I’m so proud to be your sister!!!


    June 30, 2019 at 6:29 am

  5. I’m only 45 but can still remember many of those things. Thankfully, I am still in a strong, balanced, old time Apostolic church that still does a lot of those things.


    June 30, 2019 at 7:56 am

  6. Amen Bishop Ballestero! I long for the old days too! Our church’s name is Sounds of Pentecost, The Lord has been blessing us with those old time services here recently and I LOVE it! If we pray and fast for those days He will bring them back.

    We need those kinds of services in these last days for strength to get through anything that the devil throws our way .

    I met you in Denver CO in 1989 at CAC and now I am in Northwest Arkansas, and I am still feeling after the Lord. 30 years later, and it gets better everyday. I wish you could come down to this area sometime I would love to hear you preach again. So would my Pastor 🙂 God bless from Sister Laura from Prairie Grove AR

    Laura Sealock

    June 30, 2019 at 9:19 am

  7. Thank you Jesus for holiness, I appreciate the pastors and men & women of god that have kept these standards. Gives us all holy examples to strive for.

    Christina Kidney

    June 30, 2019 at 7:26 pm

  8. Keep preaching! I love the old paths wherein is the good way! We love you! We are thankful you were with us this year to celebrate your birthday. We know how old you are, but it’s nobody else’s business. 🙂

    Keith Herion

    June 30, 2019 at 8:06 pm

  9. Hello, Bro. Ballestero; I enjoyed this post. I was in the church for 5 yrs. in the ’70’s – but not ‘strong’ at all so on Palm Sunday of ’79 I backslid for 35 yrs. I tried to ‘drown’ God in more than one bottle of alcohol; didn’t work.It’s amazing that He kept through all that – so He could bring me back five yrs. ago. I cry at EVERY service now. I can never forget His mercy!!
    I well remember the things in the church you spoke of. We still have MANY of them; some of the ones we don’t have we SHOULD have still. BUT — I am praying, PRAYING about them. I have found a few others that are praying too, Thank God!! I would never leave my church because of the way it has changed. God put me here – to stay, not run from it. It wasn’t my choice.


    July 1, 2019 at 11:35 am

  10. I love your post… you spoke volumes of truth. I remember the “old time” sound doctrine. As you so adequately reminded us, “Holiness or He’ll” was the word of the day.

    Sharon Upshaw

    July 2, 2019 at 9:51 pm

  11. Amen!


    July 13, 2019 at 5:33 pm

  12. Appreciate your blog very much.
    I’m a 35 year old mother of 3,converted out of charismatica …love the old time church.
    River City Apostolic in Sacramento!
    Old time Holiness🙌


    September 18, 2019 at 12:43 am

  13. Elder, you again have stirred a longing for the days that I to remember well. Days without electronic interferences that even interrupts church services and prayer meetings. Where family time around the dinner table or family devotions weren’t stopped or even interrupted by a ringing phone (on the the wall or table tethered by a cord). I’m trying to still have a church with old time values and ways. I want powerful prayer time and anointed testimony services to be more than a fond memory of the old folks for the church of today, God help Pentecost if someone doesn’t fight to keep the “Old Paths” well defined in our churches today! Thank you again for a reminder that things are changing and not for the better.
    Bro. Denny Morris

    Dennis Morris

    September 20, 2019 at 9:02 am

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