“ He must increase, but I must decrease.”John 3:30
M y pastor when I was in seminary became and remains my hero today. He was a man fully dedicated to Christ and the ministry God called him to, first as a missionary, then as a pastor. He went through Officer Training School after having taken the entrance exam when he enlisted in the Navy. He was smart, and he was tough. The rigorous training he endured and embraced during those days served him well when God called him into vocational ministry in his mid-thirties.
When he finished his time in the Navy, he was hired by EDS here in Dallas. He quickly began to excel and ascend the corporate ranks working for Ross Perot. While traveling and making a name for himself in his career, God began working on his and his wife’s hearts regarding vocational ministry.
By this time, they had two growing boys and leaving this career path to enter seminary for training as a missionary and moving to some unknown part of the globe was not on his radar. It certainly was not on his children’s radar. He was certain God was leading him to leave the corporate world and his career path to enroll in seminary and surrender to full time service in foreign missions.
After he graduated from seminary, God opened an opportunity for them to serve with the International Mission Board in West Africa. When they returned from their service in West Africa, God led him to pastor a church in Decatur, Texas. It was there that Nan and I were led to serve with him and his wife as a part of the staff. His wife poured into Nan and he poured into me. We learned so much from them during the time we served together.
They impacted everyone within the sound of their voice. As they made themselves available to God, He used them to disciple those of us who were young and in need of godly wisdom and counsel. He was a man’s man, and he was God’s man, who truly practiced what he preached.
He and Dr. Jeffress are of the same mind when it comes to making decisions. The question is not what do others think or say about something. The question to ask is what does God’s Word say about it? God used Gene and Janice to lay a foundation of truth in our lives that He is still building upon today at First Dallas.