Question: I was raised in a Christian home and became a Christian myself as a very young age when I prayed, confessing my sin and asking Jesus to come into my heart and save me. And He did just that! I am now a 60 year old mother of 5 children grandmother of 4 – hoping for many more grandchildren.
When I was 11 or so, my father taught me to use Strong’s Concordance as an indispensable tool for Bible study. He almost always taught an adult Bible study class at our little Baptist church and my memory is filled with images of him studying — always with the open Bible, Strong’s nearby, often other translation – Amplified – occasionally books by Torrey, Ironsides, McGee, and other Godly writers. That is my most treasured legacy from my father – that he loved the Lord and sought to know Him, obey Him and share with others.
I have recently read several of your extremely well-written articles on alcohol and whether Christians should drink. This has been such a benefit and good review for me. I have been challenged to think in new & different ways on the issues through your writing. Thank you for your excellent work.
I have a question and a prayer request:
Question: Would you please detail your training for ministry including schools you attended, degrees earned and/or conferred, and any particular men who you have regarded as mentors. Thank you.
Prayer Request: One of our daughters is planning to marry a young man this Dec 28. She is 26; he is 30. He is a responsible man, owns his own home, well established in the banking community here, cares well for his widowed mother, has the greatest admiration for his father who died about 5 years ago. Here is the problem: He, in particular, and she, (I believe mis-guidedly believing it her role now, even, before she is married) to a lesser degree, are adamantly almost ordering us to have beer and wine at their reception. We are paying for the wedding – the groom says that he will pay for the beer & wine. We do not want any alcohol at the reception. We are meeting with them this evening @ 7 PM – EST in our home here in North Carolina. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated! Additionally, if you have any advice to offer, please feel free to do so.
Answer: I know that a lot of young people have bought into the idea that it is o.k. to drink alcohol. I trust that you have had an opportunity to look at some of the other articles on alcohol, beer, and wine. Also, the Welch grape company makes a very nice sparkling red or white grape juice, that can add a more festive feel to a wedding, but is non-alcoholic.
Three year Diploma program from Multnomah Bible College and
Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Majored in Bible, Minored in Christian Education
AA Degree from Yakima Valley Community College in Yakima, Washington
BA in Education from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington
Master of Education with endorsements in ESL/Bilingual from Heritage University in Toppenish, Washington
Masters in Administration from Heritage University.
I was born the first time, March 19, 1948. My testimony is really wrapped up in my father’s testimony because if he had not been saved, I do not know what would have happened to me. If you would like to read his testimony, you can read it in, “What Happened to Shorty?”
As a result of my dad’s salvation experience, I saw a difference in my dad and how he treated us. Dad no longer just sent us kids to Sunday School, he took us to church as a family. There I heard a message on hell. I knew I didn’t want to go there, but I was too afraid to go forward to receive Christ.
However, that night I went home and asked my parents how I could be saved. Right there beside my bed, I knelt down and asked Christ to forgive me for my sins, and for Jesus to come into my heart and save me. That was where I was born the second time. I was nine years old at that time, and I was so happy my sins were gone, I felt as light as a feather, I got up on the bed and started jumping up and down. The Bible tells us in, Luke 15:20, that the angels in heaven were rejoicing also.
After this Dad was getting a lot of questions at the barbershop that he couldn’t answer. Since he was a new Christian and had not studied the Bible, dad moved the family to Three Hills, Alberta, Canada, where Dad attended Prairie Bible Institute. The reason he chose this Bible School was because he didn’t have a High School diploma and Prairie was the only school that would accept him at that time.
After five years at Prairie Bible Institute, my family moved to Willingdon, Alberta, North of Edmonton. In Willingdon, Dad and Mom worked with the Romanian and the Ukrainian people. Bonnie and I attended the boarding school at Prairie while Kathy and my parents worked with the Canadian Sunday School Union. Dad opened a barbershop and on weekends the barbershop became the church building.
After two years we returned to the States. Dad became the first pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in Richland, Washington. At this time, a deacon’s daughter, Marlene Toland, caught my attention. The year I came down from Prairie High School in Canada, Marlene went up to Prairie for her Junior year. Marlene and I met at Prairie when her brother and I traveled together up to Canada to visit at Prairie.
This was at the time of the Vietnam War, so I would have been drafted after High School unless I enlisted in the military. I enlisted as a cook in the Army. I spent a year in Vietnam cooking as well doing 200 hours as a door gunner in a helicopter. I was in the 227th Unit of the 1st Air Cavalry Division, and stationed for a while at Camp Evans, fourteen miles from the DMZ.
Marlene and I corresponded during this time. I asked her to marry me and we were married December 21, 1968. Then we traveled back to Virginia where I was stationed at Petersburg, Virginia. Later we were transferred to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey where I served out my time as a First Cook.
I had dedicated my life to the Lord when I was ten years old. After our family was baptized we attended a church where some missionaries from Brazil visited. These missionaries had a city named after them, Port of Two Brothers. These missionaries were the Schlener. They challenged us kids to dedicate our lives to the Lord, as Romans 12:1,2 says to do. I did this. Now, as an adult, I still remembered this promise I had made to the Lord as a child.
As a result of dedicating my life to the Lord, I felt like I should go to Bible School if I was going to serve the Lord. Marlene and I packed up and went to Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Oregon. After three years at Multnomah I graduated with a major in Bible and a minor in Christian Education. There I had great teachers like Dr. Willard M. Aldrich, Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Congdon, Dr. Needham and many others.
Feeling the call of God on our lives, we went with Child Evangelism Fellowship as directors of Klamath and Lake Counties in Oregon. After a year of deputation (raising prayer and financial support), we traveled overseas to the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. There we were able, with God’s blessing, to see the work increase.
While there I also learned about Pentecostals. Since I had never gone to a Pentecostal Church up to this time, I wanted to know if this filling of the Holy Spirit and speaking in “tongues” was really of the Lord or not. I would later come to find out!
We left Trinidad and Tobago after the work had been organized with the recognition from the government. The Lord called us at that time to Mt. Vernon, Oregon, where I became the pastor of the Community Church. It was there that I was to hear more about the work the Holy Spirit is doing in our day and age.
Several times I visited the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship, Aglow, and the Assembly of God Church in John Day, Oregon. It was there at the Assembly of God Church, with Pastor Milo Frankie, that I received the filling of the Holy Spirit, and spoke in tongues. Later that night, Marlene, who had been under conviction about the Holy Spirit’s work, also received the “filling” and spoke in tongues.
What happened to us, did not please everyone, especially those Christians who did not believe God still works the same way He worked in the New Testament Church. However, we felt ready to go out with great power to preach the Gospel. We even tried to go overseas again, but it was not God’s timing to do this yet. So we moved back to Packwood, Washington, and later to Yakima, Washington. There I attended Yakima Valley Community College, and Central Washington University to become a teacher.
After graduation from Central with a major in Education and a minor in Bilingual, and ESL, I began teaching in public school. I taught for twelve years. During that time I was able to earn a Masters Degree in Education and Administration. Then too I was allowed to go overseas with Teen Missions International to the San Blas Islands off of Panama. I have made five trips to Mexico, and tried to improve my Spanish to use for the Lord.
I taught at a private Christian school in Harrah, Washington for three years. We were attending the Harrah Community Church where I helped with ministries there, including the Spanish ministry. Now I am teaching bilingual classes in the Public School System and working in a ministry with Calvary Chapel in Yakima, Washington.
Marlene also went back to school. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in teaching with a special education endorsement. She continued her education, and now has a Master’s degree. She is teaching in a self-contained special education classroom at a high school in Toppenish, WA.
The Lord has blessed us greatly with three fine children, and eight grandchildren.
Christopher, our oldest son teaches in public school in Camas, Washington. Michael would like to go back to school and get a teaching degree in music. Deborah has her teaching certificate and is teaching special education full-time in Toppenish, Washington.
Maybe you are not sure that you are going to heaven, you can know today. You need to believe first that Jesus Christ of the Bible is who He said He is. Then repent of your sin, and receive Jesus into your heart and life. When you have done this you need to find a good Bible believing church. If you will do this the Bible says:.”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31
Gary T. Panell
For more information email me.
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