An Open Door - The History of the Potter's House Christian Fellowship
God the Architect
The Bible is the history of God taking men beyond themselves, of His building
the church and leading men down paths they often didn't want to follow. The
tabernacle was only built by divine help and guidance and David wasn't mans'
choice for a king. The New Testament Church would have never chosen Paul for a
leader, or picked persecu- tion as the best method of growth.
The Prescott church learned to flow with what God was doing. The music group had touched a powerful response. It had evolved naturally, as a result of several young men's burdens. Pastor Mitchell didn't crank up the typical follow-up programs, camps, clubs and benefits, or Sunday schools so complex that one needed a doctorate in childology to run them. He just had church. He preached and trusted God to speak to those He wanted to use.
God began to put desires into young men's hearts that would lead them to His goal. He closed some doors and opened others. Many of the things that were happening in the early days of the Prescott revival seemed insignificant, but would later prove to be vital.
As the church experimented and Pastor Mitchell released the people, new concepts began to rise. Some ideas were good and are still in use, others have drifted into obscurity.
Jack Harris had gotten Jim Terry saved, and the two became good friends. After work one day, as Jack was playing his guitar, the front door burst open and a body came rolling in. It was Ben Terry, Jim's brother. As he picked himself up off the floor, Jim came storming in, shouting, "You're going to listen to what this guy has to say." Jack started to witness and Ben started to listen.
Later, Ben told his cousin about what had happened and asked Harris if he'd come to his house and share his testimony with some kids he knew.
Jack said, "Sure!", and showed up to find twenty young kids waiting to hear him. He brought with him some rock albums by Jimi Hendrix, King Crimson, The Doors and others which he had marked at critical spots. He played cuts from these albums that showed what the modern generation believed, and related how that was what he'd believed until recently. From there he launched into his testimony and gave an altar call. Five people got saved that night.
As a natural flow out of that experience, people began to get together to share the Word and to fellowship. This led to the founding of home Bible studies. Before long, these studies became outreach points to different areas in the Prescott Valley. Those who attended would show movies and have potlucks to reach people in their neighborhoods. It became a great tool for developing leaders and outreach. None of this came out of a programmed structure or even a book, but just naturally developed to meet the needs of people.
The whole concept of raising up preachers followed this same pattern. There was
nothing said about anyone preaching, yet in these young men's hearts was a
desire to be like Mitchell. Something rose up inside them that made them want to
share the gospel like he did. They saw his vitality and craved it just as they
had craved drugs and rock and roll. Mitchell made it clear that he wasn't just
the result of his heredity, but that his strength was from God, and that if they
sought God that same authority and purpose could be theirs. Some sought it and
eventually began to find it.
Mitchell didn't set up Wayman University. There were no special "evening Bible school" classes. These would have violated his concept of the church. He didn't believe in a special class of Christians that had mystic properties to bring redemption. To Pastor Mitchell, every believer was vital, needing time and training. The church became the Bible school. He preached sermons that challenged every member to do their absolute best. These sermons drove out the uncommitted, but it fed the hungry hearts that listened.
There wasn't a special program; he just made his life available. He believed in the "radical" concept of being an example. While many were saying, "Don't look at me, look at Jesus," he saw this as a copout used by some to escape really living the Christian life. Paul had said, "Look at me, imitate me," not to take away from Christ, but to make Christ available to those of his generation. Mitchell lived his life as a pattern, and wasn't ashamed to have these young men do as he did.
He went out of his way to help those who wanted to be helped. He stopped by people's houses, took the men to lunch, and over many a hamburger they laughed and discussed the future.
Probably his most important decision was to put his trust in these young men. From the first he handled what went on in the church itself and allowed the men around him to handle the outreaches around town. He could have done a better job than any of those inexperienced young ministers did, but he could never liberate the church by playing the dictator and holding the reins too tight. This was where young men began to get practical experience in sharing the gospel and felt the pull of God's call to make this a total lifestyle.
After outreaches, it was only natural that the conversation would drift towards the practical side of the task of reaching the city. These discussions were not from dry textbooks, but from observation of the realities of their lives. This was Jesus' method, demonstrating and explaining, answering questions that arose out of the natural flow of ministry.
Mitchell wasn't turning the church over to the congregation. He never left any doubt that God had put him there to lead and not to be led. When disciples were given responsibility he made it clear that they must do their best. He threw real responsibility onto their weak shoulders and made them carry the load. If they failed, he helped them out, but he took a pound of flesh to compensate if their failure was due to their playing games with God.
The band never forgot the night they were to play in a regular service and got the great idea of taking hands and praying before they went out. They ran and asked Mitchell to join them for this sacred moment, and he shocked their young senses when he snapped, "If you haven't prayed yet, it's too late." At first it shocked and even offended them, but they soon realized that the weight of responsibility was resting solely on them.
Though Pastor Mitchell could be explosive at times, there was no doubt in these novice exhorters' minds that they deserved ten times the abuse they actually received.
Pastor Mitchell had to have a redemptive heart. It's hard to see how Christ could have endured the young thugs, James and John, who went under the popular handle "Sons of Thunder". Who knows what inner reserves of grace He had to tap to deal with women of broken morals and disciples who were extremists? But He did, and if Jesus could, then so could Mitchell. He had to overlook much to bring confidence in these vessels of clay. There were young cocky punks just out of the local county jail, and others whose drug scarred emotions could send them from the heights of ecstasy to the depths of melancholy almost instantaneously. But Mitchell had been labeled and rejected, too. He knew how to instill a sense of worth and destiny.
At the end of the music scene an altar call was always given. Often, Pastor Mitchell would lean over to a young man and tell him to "share" that night. Nothing was said about preaching, but that's what they did. With no intention of developing pastors, it started to become obvious that God was doing that very thing. At first Mitchell followed the denominational pattern. Not long after the church started moving, two young men expressed a desire to go to Bible college. Mitchell sent them off with his blessing. When Spring break came, these two who had left on-fire for God came back infected with the "institutional disease". The fire was banked and their hearts were cold. Like a horrible flashback, he remembered his own battles in school. He had no idea what to do, but he knew school wasn't the solution.
The church had started following the same well marked trail others traveled in
the Jesus People movement, but as time went on they fi.mnd God directing them
down a more and more unique course. Just as the road toward education turned out
to be a dead end, so did the roads leading toward gospel superstars and deeper
The Jesus People movement found much of its life and force in modern music. The generation of the 70's were bred to respond to guitar and drums, and for once the gospel wasn't ten years behind the times. Kids that hated the name of Jesus and the church began to open like flowers in Spring as musicians shared their same fears, aches, and hurts in a way that spoke to them. It wasn't a message of hate, destruction, and immorality like they heard on AM radio but an answer that came with hope and spoke of a Jesus who sounded alive and modern. At first all that motivated these artists was the sincere desire to express their joy and testimony in a contemporary style, but before long it became big business.
Gospel groups were cutting albums and making tours. Something that had started simple was rapidly becoming unbelievably complex. The group, Eden, had been ready to cut an album with Electra Records just before they were saved, and their talents were as good or better than anything in the Christian music scene. As they played Christian concerts on the weekends and went on outreaches it was obvious they could be a big hit. There was life in their music. The lyrics were simple yet they uncovered the shallowness of sin. Kids were gripped by lightning speed guitar leads that gripped the hearts of every rock and roll junkie within hearing range.
Don Matison had come out from Los Angeles and heard them. His excitement about the band was contagious. He set up a tour across the country. Here was the big time. It seemed like a great opportunity. Mitchell got behind the group and sold his car to buy a van they could travel in.
The "gospel groupies" loved the guys from the start. Their hard rock beat was unique in Christian music at the time. It created a powerful forum for the message that was preached afterwards. At a concert in Illinois, they even saw a miracle. A girl was at the concert in a wheelchair, and when the last song finally died down she asked for an album. Somebody in the band casually said, "In the name of Jesus come out of the wheelchair and get it." Everyone was dumb-struck and ecstatic when she, by faith, stood up and walked over to claim her album.
The only problem was, that while the people cheered, something unclean had started to come between the members of the band. Pride started to rise up, and divisions developed. These redeemed sinners necded the constant contact of a real church to maintain there spiritual equilibrium. They knew that they had made a mistake in leaving Prescott. They returned to find the coffeehouse in Prescott limping along without them.
Mitchell made a critical decision. He took the group aside and challenged them to make a commitment to the church. He asked them if they were willing to give up their dreams of glory and dedicate their music as servants. From that point there would be no record albums or big money for playing the concert scene.
These men made the quality decision to settle in and come under the discipline they needed. Prescott became their harvest field, and out of it came a solid foundation for God's work in their lives.
Ron Jones had been running the weekly Door scene. Twice on Friday and Saturday
nights he would stand after the group played to cast the net for souls, and a
catch always came in. As the flames of revival were fanned, so was his desire to
go out and see the same thing happen in his own ministry. Jones was restless by
nature, and Mitchell didn't know what to do with him. He went to Mitchell and
told him that he felt he was called to be an evangelist. Pastor Mitchell didn't
feel real good about it, but because he had no desire to dominate Ron, he let
Jones preached a Wednesday night service, received a love offering and headed out with his family. With a pickup truck and a trailer, they started moving from revival to revival. Those first meetings offered slim pickings. The churches that let him preach were barely surviving themselves, and about all he got was gas money to reach the next town and a few cans of food to put under the car seat. God showed up in the services, though, and they were filled with energy and hope.
Jones and his family traveled like this for about six months. Then they drove into Creal Springs, Illinois. The Assembly of God church needed a pastor. It was a city that was just a dot on the Illinois road map, with a population of 900 (including cats and dogs), but Marie was expecting her second child and they figured that it was as good a place as any to stop for a few months until after she had the baby.
Jones started preaching. His stay in Prescott had shown him what God could do. He'd touched the fire of God and brought a spark of it with him, trapped in his heart. Here was the power of impartation. Potatoes breed potatoes and dead churches breed a stifled gospel, but revival births revival. After seeing real revival, Jones would never be able to settle for anything less. He knew what God could do and wasn't willing to just have "church as usual". He began to pray desperately for God to move, and it was only a matter of weeks before a tremendous revival broke out in that little hole-in-the-wall town. People began to get saved in such a frenzy that Ron ended up sleeping in the church so he could be available to help sinners who came begging to be prayed for in the middle of the night.
Outstanding things were happening. He was burdened for one old gambler who was notorious all over the area, and his feeling was that if this man could change, anyone could. Conviction was on Jones so heavy that he was unable to go to service one Sunday morning as he pleaded for this man's soul. The man was across town playing cards when all of a sudden he stumbled out from his friends and went to the house of Dion Thompson (a deacon in the church) and begged, "I've got to get saved!" The two of them went out into a field where the gambler broke down and repented.
Word about the revival began to spread. One Baptist preacher had heard about it and got so mad that he preached that Sunday night against speaking in tongues. He came home after the service and sat uncomfortably in his easy chair. Looking over at his wife, he said, "I believe I've grieved the Holy Spirit tonight."
The next morning the uneasy feeling had gotten worse, and he got a preacher friend to go with him to the church and pray. He was kneeling about three-quarters of the way back in the sanctuary when the Holy Spirit began to fill the place. He didn't know what to do, or what it was that he felt. One thought came to him; "run for the altar!" He parted the folding chairs like water. Running for his life, he dove for the front of the church, and like a baseball player stealing a base he slid into the altar speaking in tongues. His pastor friend was completely baffled. He'd never seen anything like it before. He ran up to his friend who was babbling away in what, to him, sounded like nonsense. One moment he was laughing and the next he was in tears. The other pastor did the only thing he could think of; He grabbed a glass of water and threw it in his friend's face. It never even registered on the man, he was to too gloriously soused in the Holy Ghost to notice a little water.
The Creal Springs church throbbed with life. One of the girls who had gotten saved was married to one of the town's most infamous bikers. Jones had promised Connie Campbell that he would come and witness to her husband Joe. He arrived at their house scared to death. Joe's Harley was outside, intimidatingly parked near the door. He knew that Campbell was unpredictable, and had only gotten wilder since his wife got saved. Partying day and night, Campbell had even taken to carrying a gun. Word was that he was mad that his "old lady" had gotten religion. Jones entered the house to find him still asleep at 1:30 in the afternoon after a night of debauchery. Jones was ready to leave, but Connie begged him to stay long enough to wake Joe up. Awakened from a drunken stupor, he wasn't a very receptive audience, but just before Jones left, he asked Campbell if he would mind if he prayed for him.
Joe figured that it wouldn't hurt him if this little skinny guy prayed for him over at the church and said, "Sure. I don't mind." Jones shocked both himself and Joe when he dropped to his knees and started to bombard Heaven, pleading, "God let this sinner get saved and start to love his wife!" Campbell was amazed. He couldn't forget seeing that preacher kneeling down in front of him calling out his name before God. It was a picture he couldn't shake. The next thing he knew he'd promised Jones that he would come out to church.
He came several times to different services and felt each time there was something here he needed but he wasn't sure what to do. He had a feeling that Jones wanted him to do something, but Campbell was so ignorant of the gospel that he didn't know what Jones meant when he asked the congregation, "Who wants to get saved?"
Campbell went to a revival Jones was preaching for Art Goddard in the nearby small town of Tams. When Ron gave the altar call, Art went to the back and practically dragged Joe to the front, where he insisted that he pray.
Joe was sitting at home the next morning, wondering if anything had really happened, when some old friends of his stopped in. They said, "We heard you got religion. Is that true?" He took a minute to answer, then said, "I guess it is." As the words left his mouth the power of God hit him. The more he spoke, the more excited he got. When his friends finally left, he felt he had to go downtown and tell everyone. He went from building to building telling the world what Jesus could do for them. He thought he'd only spent an hour at it, until he noticed the sun starting to set and realized he'd spent the whole day preaching.
It was only three days later that Joe was filled with the Holy Spirit at Ron's church. He was praying in the front when the whole chureh came to a hush waiting for God to speak. Joe began to feel a wind blowing on him. He wondered who had brought a fan into church and looked around, but couldn't see anything. He turned around to pray again and the wind began to blow harder. Everyone was waiting for one of the "old hands" to speak out a prophecy, when all of a sudden Joe's head snapped back and he shouted out, "Come out from the dead to among the living!" Jones was ecstatic that God had used this new convert. He was so excited that he jumped over the altar and ran around the building, jumping a pew as he returned to the front.
The old saints were rising up against Jones just as they had against Mitchell.
Some were mad at the revival; they felt that too many new people were coming in.
Jones took Joe's prophesy as a confirmation of God's hand of blessing. He had Mitchell's touch of revival, but he also had his knack to stir up the uncommitted. The breaking point came when he had Larry Reed come in to preach. That little midwestern town had never seen or even dreamed of anyone like Reed. He came in wearing his pink half boots, along with an orange pastel coat and long hair that made him look like an Indian. This was too much for the old religious hands. Though people were coming into the church in droves, the deacons walked out.
Jones was heartbroken. Nothing had prepared him for this, and in the confusion and hurt he quit. After loading his wife and kids on a plane, he and Larry drove back to Arizona. Jones was totally confused. He was filled with anger at these devils who couldn't see God's hand. He was thrown into despair when he realized that God had wanted him to stay and work things out. He tried to go back to Creal Springs and catch the revival again, but it was impossible. It was a heartbreaking trial. Marie, afraid for her family's future, gave Brother Mitchell a call telling him about the desperate situation they were in.
Pastor Mitchell called Ron the next day and asked him to come back and work with him as head of outreach. It was a learning experience for both Ron and the Prescott church. It was becoming obvious that these young men wouldn't be able to just slip into the religious world. God's favor was on thenj, but they needed to be in closer contact with Prescott and find situations that supported them, instead of attacking.
However hopeless it seemed, the fruit in Illinois wasn't totally lost. In future years God's plan would unfold. Joe Campbell entered the ministry, first in another organization, but finally as a part of the leadership of the fellowship. Many ministers have been touched by Campbell and brought in contact with Mitchell, and churches started all over Illinois and its neighboring states that are experiencing a tremendous move of the Spirit.
One of Mitchell's unique marks has been his redeeming of those who found themselves in impossible situations. The religious world often functioned in a heartless manner, leaving those that had failed or panieked to spiritually die. Just like the axis powers in World War II, they had no respect for life. The Germans and Japanese sent out their pilots, and if they were shot down, they left them to drown or be taken prisoner. In contrast to this, America went to extraordinary lengths to save these men. At first this seemed foolish, but over time these rescued men gained an experience that the enemy pilots could never mateh and dominated the skies.
In the same way, Mitchell saw that there was too much of an investment in these young men to just allow them to fail. He would go to extraordinary lengths to redeem a man, and over time it proved a policy of great foresight. It became a law for him; all discipline must be based in redemption.
Almost every leading man in the fellowship has at some time needed to be helped through a difficult time. That willingness to help only sealed their loyalty more solidly to what God was doing.
Jones had come back to a church that was exploding with life. Before leaving, he
had been the leader of the Door, commanding and corralling a bunch of
undisciplined new converts. He came back to find that many of those young men
had risen to become powerful preachers and leaders in their own right.
The church wasn't content to just reach Prescott. The fire of revival compelled them to make all of Arizona their harvest field. Ike Cook was a local electrician. He took some vans and hooked up generators and projectors to make rolling outreach centers that could hit campgrounds and small isolated communities. "Guerilla teams" hit the Grand Canyon in the summer and anywhere else they could find a crowd.
The church tried working with other churches in the state. Weekend after weekend they would load vans up with saints and descend on cities like Williams, Needles and Cotton Wood. The results were excitmg.
Jack Harris had seen potential in the dead-end city of Bagdad. The town existed at the end of a road that led up to its rich copper mines. Harris scoped out the land and found an open door for a rock concert. As the band began to play, over 250 kids came, seemingly from nowhere, and 65 got saved that night.
Eden was returning to Prescott one night after playing a small outreach on the Colorado River. They pulled up to a light in Kingman, Arizona, when the car next to them began to honk and shout.
The driver was in a desperate state of mind. He wanted to know if they were a band. They said, "Yes," and he begged them to come and play at the Kingman Fairgrounds. A big dance had been set up, with a band from California. The problem was the band was still in California and hundreds of kids were waiting to boogie with nothing to boogie by.
Eden agreed to play and raced out to the fairgrounds, setting up in record time. By the time the promoter found out they were a Christian band it was too late. It was an unbelievable scene as some were trying to dance to the gospel, but most just got convicted. Never short on brashness, the members of the group threw in their testimonies and preached a fiery sermon at the end, complete with altar call. Only God could open doors this wide, and only those bold in the Holy Ghost would have the nerve to step through.
The small mountain city of Williams, Arizona, shut down the main street and let the band play. Kids came by the hundreds at the sound of the pounding beat and wild leads. Before the night was over dozens responded, weeping at the altar call. Afterwards, though, the sad report came back that the church didn't keep any of them. This was the maddening result that kept repeating itself in churches and cities that Mitchell knew were responsive.
People were getting saved all over the state. The young men in Prescott were learning how to move people to a real decision. Hardly a weekend went by that one of the men didn't stand before a group of sinners, numbering anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred, commanding them to make a decision for or against a living God.
During all of this Mitchell never let up in Prescott. The result was that the
Prescott Church continued to expand, with key people being added weekly. Some
who came in were out of more normal backgrounds. Gary and Helen Kelly were
attending another Pentecostal church in town, but their lives had been
spirit'lally pointless. They weren't even sure that the relationship they had
with God was real. When they came to the Potter's House, though, they knew that
the "Real Thing" had gotten them. Gary was a businessman but God was drawing him
in, to put a call to preach on his life.
The same was true of Sylver and Joan Gaddis. Sylver had pastored for several years, but in the frustration of "people pressures" and organizational infighting, he'd quit, never intending to pastor again. He was a tremendously successful engineer. His skills demanded top dollar, but as he sat in Prescott the old hunger to minister began to flame again. When a door opened to pastor, he took a 75 % cut in pay, just so he could preach again.
For Mitchell, the restoration of these men's faith in God and ministry was as important as the building of the church and the releasing of young men. He had fought his own battles with discouragement, and swore that he would not leave others to battle alone.
Prescott found most of its best material in the places that no one else was even looking. Ernie Lister was a case in point. Ernie was a Navajo Indian. Captivated by the traditions of his people, he'd begun to study to be a medicine man at 15. He learned the chants, potions, spells, and Navajo viewpoint of nature and God. In May of 1972 he wandered out to the city park, decked out in beads and moccasins. Ernie had become the Noble Savage. He sought God through chants and rituals only to find himself being more and more bound by alcohol, the curse of his people. He wondered how the teachers who told such glorious tales and supposedly had \earned the secrets of the ages could be living such small and shallow lives. These questions, though they remained unspoken, had grown to haunt him.
It was a beautiful Spring day in the park. In Prescott, winter breaks almost overnight. The snow disappears and trees leap into bloom. Spring comes with all its promise of life. That day Lister confronted another type of life, as Christ was presented to him not as a religion just for whites, but for all men. He had watched too many movies about the proud Indian to ever bow his knee to man, but that afternoon he knelt to repent and ask Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, into his broken heart.
The church had made a real impact on the local high school, and out of that came
Mike Maston. Mike was only 15 years old, but he was already moving into the drug
scene when he got saved. His parents didn't know about his drug use and were
enraged that their son would even think of leaving the old family church.
Maston's father let it be known that, "Pastor Mitchell ought to be tarred and
feathered and run out of town." The next Sunday morning Brother Mitchell used
the statement in a sermon, not realizing that Mike's dad was in the audience.
Everything worked out for good, though, when at the altar call Mike's dad came
forward asking God to save him just as he'd saved his son. Mike's appearance
wasn't the image of the tall dignified man of God. He was short of stature and
looked less than fearful, but size and looks mean nothing to God. In him began
to move vision. Vision that would one day lead him to be one of the leaders in
Even the guys going to the Prescott church had trouble seeing much hope in some of the new converts. Greg Johnson was working as a carpenter. One of his co-workers was a string bean who thought of little more than guitars and music. More than once when they were supposed to be swinging hammers, Greg would look over and see Bill Coolidge with his eyes closed playing his hammer like a guitar. Greg couldn't take it anymore and went to Mitchell, telling him, "This kid's a hopeless case. There's no way he'll make it." It would have been hard to have missed the truth any farther. Today Bill is one of the most powerful speakers in the fellowship and a good (if rusty) guitar player.
Working with these developing ministers was always lively. It was a little embarrassing to find out what one overzealous group of men had done to a girl in the church. These men had read a book on demon possession and casting out devils. They were sure that most of the evils in the world could be cured by a little exorcism. They had been on the prowl for some time looking for a chance to practice their talents. There was one girl in the church who was so ugly these young gospel knights knew it could only be the result of Satan's handiwork. Mitchell was shocked when he found that they had taken this poor girl and tried to cast out a Demon of Ugly. Sadly, she left as ugly at the end of the exorcism as when they started praying.
The excitement of revival brought its own problems. After a missionary spoke about Mcxico, Hank Houghton and Greg Johnson came up to Mitchell to report they were leaving immediately. They had absolutely no doubt that God had called them South of the border that night. Mitchell questioned them a little about their call, and finally asked them, "Do either of you speak Spanish?" They had thought of everything but this, and went away sheepishly but not defeated. Their willingness of spirit would stay with them through the years, and both would eventually have impact in many nations.
The New Testament pattern of discipleship wasn't planned on some organizational
flow chart. In Prescott the pattern of discipleship naturally began to evolve
out of Mitchell's desire to help. He hadn't read any books on discipleship,
mainly because few had been written. He'd read the Bible, though, and he
believed that an impartation of God's Spirit could happen. Today discipleship
has come to have so many meanings that it's a nearly meaningless phrase. It's a
catch word that can mean anything from Jim Jones and domination to a spiritual
coverup to hide dead institutionalism. For Mitchell, "discipleship" came to mean
"the sincere desire to help another man find his destiny in God."
He was sick of the heartlessness of Christianity and sincerely wanted to help young men. Out of that simple desire has come beautiful and productive fruit. Mitchell made it clear to them that their first allegiance was to Jesus. Jesus Christ was the Head of the church, not Wayman Mitchell. Mitchell wasn't saying there didn't need to be a pastor in control. He knew that in the body there was an exercise of authority that brought a growing and maturing to those who submitted to it. The body must function in unity, and on the basis of Kingdom principles. Tasks had to be done, there must be organization for the church to function, but above all the truths of organization and loyalty there had to be Christ, and the desire to serve Him.
The pattern was as simple as the relationships developed in a healthy family. The father brings his young child, step by step to maturity; not to dominate his life, but to release that child little by little into maturity and independence. The father isn't offended that his son is independent, he's proud that his boy has made it, and that he's had a part in it. This was how Jesus developed His relationship with the twelve disciples. At first Jesus was in total control, teaching and leading them. Then they began to find release and expression. Finally He told them that they weren't servants any longer but friends, and they were tied together now in accomplishing the will of the Father.
Mitchell intuitively understood this and tried to help these men. He did one other vital thing. He lived the gospel. This was no secret hidden lifestyle masked in mysticism and cloaked in meaningless words and unexplained decision. Mitchell knew what these young shapable men needed to see and he gave them a simple and understandable guide to follow; himself. He was so dependable it bordered on boring. He never missed a prayer meeting when he was in town. He came to the outreaches and witnessed along side his disciples. Though he was years older than these young converts, he ran them into the ground with his zeal. He didn't just talk commitment; he lived it. He didn't have a TV set, because there wasn't time to waste and the taste of the world only interfered with the voice of God. His pleasure was the gospel. For him, preaching wasn't a hobby that he did between golfing and racquetball, it was his life and love. The church board offered him the typical month's vacation and he laughed at them. He was too busy, and revival was too critical to spend the summer gallavanting around the country for weeks on end. He was truly excited about serving God and these moldable pieces of human clay couldn't help but catch the "disease". None of the "look to Jesus, and don't look to me" theology for him. He pointed them to Christ first, but he knew that they would look to him, and did his best so he wouldn't be embarrassed by what they saw
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