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I was ordained and licensed as a Baptist preacher in the American Baptist denomination.  I was introduced to Dr. John R. Rice and Dr. Jack Hyles at a SWORD CONFERENCE in 1972 in South Bend Indiana at the GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH.  I sat on the front row.  

Dr. Rice preached first and oh how my heart was stirred and I found myself crying and laughing almost at the same time.   Then came Dr. Hyles preaching “SEEING HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE.”  WOW, I couldn’t wait to hit the altar.  I immediately was aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit of God.  

I had been warned by my denominational brethren to avoid these men.  Our denominational churches were dead with smoke breaks between Sunday school and preaching.  Deacon run and dead results.  At the insistence of a woman in the church they voted to put the baptistry in the basement, because it did not fit the decor of the auditorium. Silly! I was longing for and begging God for help as a young preacher.  I LONGED to know God and His Holy Spirit.

This SWORD CONFERENCE began a spiritual journey I am still on and hopefully my children and grandchildren will be able to continue to travel on for their life times as well.  I shutter to think where Mrs. G and I would be today, as well as our children, if it had not been for a SWORD CONFERENCE in 1972.

I hear of the attacks on independent Baptist churches and it bothers me that so many young preachers listen and believe what the critics say.  Critics are good in that they will help us correct that which is wrong, but never should they cause us to leave our heritage.  

I had a church member for 20 years who once a year would come in and point out all my mistakes for the previous year.  One year my secretary in tears said to me, “Everyone knows this man is trouble. You don’t have to put yourself through this.”   My answer was as usual, “Send him in.”

He would came in and had his usual list of my mistakes. I would, as usual, take out a pad and list them.  This is the good part.  He eventually would say something that the Holy Spirit would use to prick my heart and spirit with.  I would list that along with the others, but I would circle this one.  Of course, I didn’t want him to know he hit me between the eyes, I still had pride you know. HA!

When he would leave I would fall on my face before God and say, “God, please if you will just let me live I will correct this one thing, I promise you!”  This was a good thing for me for it helped me grow as pastor.  

However, 99% of what he said was not correct.  He did not like the standards and the soul winning emphasis, which resulted in the growth of LBT. He wanted his small church back.

Now, my son Bob II, is pastor of that great church and he just keeps it going in the right direction of a separated, soul winning, KJB only, Sunday school emphasis, and family atmosphere bathed in fundamentalism. AMEN!

  • Soul winning night
  • Sunday school hour
  • Sunday night preaching
  • Spirit filled services
  • Personal fellowship with God
  • Fellowshipping with the saints
  • Spirit fullness
  • Eating-Amen!
  • Old fashioned leather lunged Bible preaching
  • Spiritual schedule
  • All night prayer 
  • Bible study
  • Family altar
  • Church altar
  • Standards
  • Humor
  • Bus ministry
  • Old time hymns
  • King James Bible only
  • Wednesday night Bible study
  • Amens
  • Smiles
  • Reaching every one black, white, or purple dotted
  • Banana pudding
  • Strong Bible preaching at Bible Conferences
  • Heroes of the faith
  • Missions
  • Pastoral leadership
  • Deacon boards who serve 
  • Separated Sunday school teachers
  • Soul winning Sunday school teachers
  • Soul winning pastors
  • Soul winning staff
  • Altar calls
  • Baptisms
  • Feeding the poor
  • Clothing the poor
  • Independence
  • Caring for shut-ins
  • Nursing home ministries
  • Growth both spiritual and numerical
  • Dressing up for church and not down
  • Going to the church altars regularly
  • Love for churches of like faith and order
  • Love for men of God
  • Family oriented
  • Clubs for the children
  • Children choirs
  • Ladies who look like ladies
  • Men who look like men
  • Sunday school campaigns
  • Big days
  • Tithes and Offerings


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