Well, another Labor Day Weekend and I love the month of September because it seems to always represent the “new and fresh”, new things and new beginnings! Many thanks again to all the love shown on our anniversary as Pam and I were actually married on Labor Day, Sept. 3, 1983! My dear sweet mother whose been gone a little over 2 years, would have been “90” this coming Monday, Labor Day, Sept. 7!!!
Yet, another milestone is occuring this Sept. because it was just after Labor Day Weekend, 1975, “40 “years ago, as an “18” year old, that I moved to Ft. Worth, Texas to begin attending the inaugural year of “Wide World Ministries” Bible School and training center! The school was located in the beautiful facility and one of the first “mega” churches in the nation, TRUTH CHURCH, (A “Wide World of Truth”), under the direction of Dr. Mark Hanby!
The Mid-70’s were a “hot-bed” of activity in the Pentecostal World with many controversies but a spirit of intense restoration revival going on and Ft. Worth was one of the hotspots! The General conference of the group we belonged to at that time was also in Ft. Worth in the fall of 1975 and on that Sunday morning of the conference, thousands were gathered at the “First Pentecostal Church” (the former name of Truth Church)!
Dr. Hanby preached that morning on “Apostolic Attitudes” with the text being Matt. 10:16 where Jesus said, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of the wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Wow, what a beginning of an awesome ride, many times turbulent and not without many heartaches and hardships, but the Father has always been with us these past forty years!
Just a year after my life-changing car accident and right out of High School, my life was drastically changed and molded in an atmosphere that rang out, “GIVE US APOSTOLIC RESTORATION OR WE DIE!” This, of course, taken from the passage in Genesis 30 where Jacob’s barren wife Rachel, said to him, “Give me children, or else I die!” It was in those next two years that we were taught in the school subjects like “The Renewing of the Holy Ghost”, Love for the word of God, Spiritual Sensitivity, and the “Doors of Prayer”, etc!
This is also where Pastor Mark Hanby became Papa Mark to me, as the cry for restoration also resounded in the voice of Elisha to Elijah when he was being taken up to heaven, “My Father, My Father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” (2 Kings 2:12) Of course, every great truth in scripture being restored is “tested by fire” and the message of having “fathers in the faith” was something only a few knew. It took almost twenty years when Dr. Hanby’s classic book, You have not many Fathers, was released, and quickly became the book that most leadership began using to train young leaders.
I bring this up because “40” years represents a great generational shift, especially among ministry leaders, like Moses to Joshua! It is a time of the “changing of the guard”, the passing of the baton, but not in the old order sense of the dying off of leadership being replaced by the new leaders. It is more than “apostolic succession”, it should be now, as we’re just coming into the “fullness” of this apostolic restoration, a great “apostolic synergy!” This is what our national, even international “Father’s Heart Family” with Papa Mark Hanby, has been raised up now in these last 20 years, to impart and enhance and encourage the “mandate, message, ministry, and mission” of the Fathers Heart!
It has been a joy and journey in walking this out, as this great classic preacher that many still preach his sermons, Papa Mark has become the “patriarch” and father, not just of a man’s ministry, but of a message, a lineage and legacy being lived ( not just left) in a family, that can perpetuate the generations into fulfilling the mandate and mission of the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!” I’m a living witness, that as Elijah poured into Elisha, and Paul into Timothy, that spiritual impartation from “father to son” is still the order of the kingdom of God that will bring full restoration to the church of Jesus Christ!
The day after Labor Day, Tuesday Sept. 8, I will fly to Albany , NY to be with Dr. Hanby and a host of ministry sons, to meet in the Schenectady, NY area for three wonderful days of present truth to “continue stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread, and in prayers…” (Acts 2:42) I believe that in this juncture and highly pivotal time in the kingdom, as nations trembles, and the church is shaken to awaken out of sleep and shake off the dust of religious systems and traditions, we will see that the only thing that cannot be shaken, is the KINGDOM OF GOD!
There is no ending or Amen to the book of Acts, as we must continue in what the last verse in the book reads, Ac. 28:31, talking about apostle Paul, “preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him…” This is why I’m excited about this gathering of the family of the Fathers Heart, because we will search out with Papa Mark and “pioneer and trail-blaze” to this new generation of Jesus Christ that is being raised up with a mighty voice in this hour! May the Lord Jesus bless you and keep you continually in His grace!
Blessed and Happy LABOR DAY WEEKEND!