The wedding was a simple one, with just family and a few friends. We were married on June 4th 1965. It was a Friday night service.
We drove the next day to Cleveland Ohio to visit some friends who had given us a 1955 Chevy, as gift, a couple months before. Once they heard that we were in town, the pastor of their church ask if I would speak that Sunday morning. You guessed it. I preached on our honeymoon. How was I to know that you weren’t supposed to work on your honeymoon? This would set the pattern for our life together in all the years to come. God first, others second and us, last. On our 25th anniversary trip to Alberta, Canada, I preached 7 times in 10 days, and there were many more anniversaries spent in the work of the Lord.
On one of our anniversaries we were in the bank on a Monday morning, somewhere in the continental United States. We were cashing a check from our offering for preaching and singing the day before. I looked at the date and said, “Something is so familiar about that date.” Then I realized once again I had preached on our anniversary and didn’t even realize it. Luckily Loretta had forgotten too! We had a good laugh, and decided to celebrate a day late.
Getting back to our honeymoon, we took the offering from preaching and went to Niagara Falls for a few days, before heading home to our little one room apartment.
Once we returned to Madison, Wisconsin, I worked at several different jobs, but couldn’t really settle into anything. We both felt a call to travel and do some preaching. After several meetings in Michigan and Ohio, our journey was cut short when we found out that Loretta was pregnant. Knowing that we had a baby coming, we settled down in Chelsea, Michigan where I went to work for Chrysler proving grounds. The next few years were spent working during the week and traveling out to preach and sing on the weekends. Paul and Sharon were born during this time.
During the course of our travels, we came in contact with a church in Lima, Ohio. They were building a new facility and starting a radio ministry. We prayed about it and felt a call to move to Lima, and be a support to their ministry. The Lord always provided jobs to be able to pay the bills, but the main focus was always working for the church, and winning souls for the kingdom.
Our son, Isaac was born while we were there in Lima. About a year and a half after he was born, we moved to Illinois and started working with a small church there. It was while we were moving into our house there, that Isaac, then 18 months old, fell out of the second story window and landed on his head, on concrete. All of a sudden, our world was turned upside down. I was working when I got the call. It was a long distance operator, who informed me that my son had fallen and was unconscious. They were taking him by ambulance, to Moline, Ill, which was about two and a half hours away from where I was at. My heart sunk, as I rehearsed those words over and over again in my mind. “My son… fallen… unconscious… ambulance…”. The brother I was working with, drove me to the hospital. All the way there, I was praying and asking God to heal my son. It was the longest trip of my life. I did not know if he was alive or dead, but I told God, I would accept His will, whatever it was. When I got to the hospital, I asked the lady at the desk, “Is my son alive?”. She said, “Yes!”, and gave me his room number. The first place I went to was the Chapel. There I knelt down and recommitted my life to God and thanked Him. And once again, I told Him , “Thy will be done”. I then went to see my son. When I walked into his room, he was setting up in the bed, and when he saw me, he reached out his hands and said, “Daddy”. Needless to say, I cried, I prayed, and yes, I shouted out, “Thank you, Jesus”. Our son was alive.
Always remember, He’s the same yesterday, today and forever.
I remain His servant and yours,