About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

GOD'S DIVINE CALL TO MINISTRY

Jer 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

“No man is to be counted a lawful pastor of the Church...save he which is called of God.” Calvin

“True pastors, do not rashly thrust themselves forward by their own judgment, but are raised up by the Lord.” Calvin. { Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;}

The question then is:
“What, however, is the divine call, which alone makes a true minister?”
“How shall I know whether or not God has called me?”

“Does God’s call entails some kind of sensational and spectacular experience - - that God will appear by vision or audible voice.” Well in my case, I did not have any kind of extravagant experience, nor did I hear a discernible voice from the Lord, and I did not see any visions.
( Jer 23:21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.)

In those early years, nine and ten years old, Don and I would go to the church, which was next door. I would be Billy Graham, and he would lead singing. Don would listen to me preach like dad, and he would get saved. The next day, we would change the roles. As I look back, the Lord was putting in our hearts at that age the call to preach.

THE NATURE OF GOD'S INWARD CALL.
I knew when I was in the 8th grade of school I had the desire to preach. I believe my father saw that desire in me to teach and preach. He asked me to take a Sunday School class and teach the young people when I was in the 10th grade. I fell in love with studying and reading the Bible. Dad had a large library of biblical books, and I was ready to read them to learn. I did a study of Galatians, ( I still have those notes today} with some depth, I might add, for a sixteen year old. I would spend hours studying and writing for my Bible lessons. The next twenty-seven months were the best times of my young life, and I am not sure, the best time of all my life. I remember going to the Baptist Tabernacle in Danville, Va. (R.J. arber pastor) to hear Dr. Mar teach the Word, over a period of a year in special classes. Early in this process I knew the knowledge of the Word of God was very important to comprehend. Learning the Word was such a priority that I could not give myself to playing sports that I also loved. When someone would come to dad’s church to preach, I couldn’t wait to get there to hear them. Dad always had the radio on for us to listen too. M.R. DeHaan, Oliver B Greene. Charles Fuller, and others.

Calvin believed (I am sure many other good men believe also) that if God called inwardly that He would provide that man with the necessary gifts to accomplish God’s calling to preach. “Those whom Christ calls to the pastoral office He likewise adorns with the necessary gifts, that they may be qualified for discharging the office.” John Calvin. {John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:}

In those early years, I did not stop to question God’s call upon my life, or how I would know if it were real or not. As I look back I can see that the desire was there, the love was there, and the gifts were there, and the results were there. I had the deepest desire to teach God’s truth to those who would listen. I was not interested in my fame, I was interested in getting young people to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. My own sense of God’s call to the ministry only came years later, the self-awareness that I have been gifted by God to teach and that others responded to my teaching.

THE NATURE OF THE EXTERNAL CALL.
Calvin also believed if God has called one into the ministry, that others would see that also. Well, my dad saw that in me. “Charles, I think you are well qualified to teach in our church.”. I was asked often to preach at the Youth Rally in Virginia and North Carolina. Then following my dad’s death, Rev Gene Arnold, pastor of the Fellowship Baptist Church, in Roanoke Virginia asked me to preach for him, and preach on the radio and teach some in Sunday School. Bro. Gene and the church saw the ability and supported me financially while I was in Bible College. Thanks Bro. Gene,who is still preaching today. God bless you.

Too often I have seen those who get caught up in the “glory” of the call of God, while they are unlearned and utterly ignorant of the Word of God which they are called to preach. The zeal is in the “glory” rather than in the zeal to engage in the biblical study and teaching.

It is said of John Calvin that “interested individuals gravitate toward him, that they would often call to consult him and were greatly struck both with his learning and his zeal, which was a gift that God had given him.

Only as I look backward and reflect on this subject of the “call of God for ministry” that I realize that I always had an audience around me listening to me teach, or talk. People have always recognized that call upon my life to preach and teach and a zeal to know the Lord, and a love for people to know the Lord.

I have struggled with this “call of God upon my life” over the last few years. The first thirty years were without any questions. Only in the last year or so have I really questioned , “Have I mistaken the call of God, or has God recalled His call?

So I have been inquiring about this subject of the “Call of God.” I asked John Hendyryx over that monergism.com for some helpful articles on this subject, and he graciously replied
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Proof Read Charity