Pastor

Dale Lewallen

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The word "gospel" means GOOD NEWS, and we have good news for you! The following story of my life reveals a part of why I'm so thankful to be in Payson. When you know something is missing and you want to change; when you're tired of addictions, family strife, fear, sickness, pain and confusion about religion; COME and experience the power of God for yourself.

My name is Dale Lewallen and I welcome you to a partial timeline of my life- a life that mirrors many of the moral and social ailments of our day, as well as hope, forgiveness and a new beginning.  Like faces in a crowd, some aspects of my story will seem familiar, while others will remain unknown.

I'm a baby-boomer, born in 1953 when life seemed good.  Fear of fallout didn't bother a kid with a bicycle and friends.  I had a good home and lots of family for support, until my mother died when I was just thirteen.  In this time of desperate need, the foundations of religion, family and accountability crumbled because they were built on people and not on the principles in the Bible.  Needs were measured by feel, sight and passions- not on morality, integrity and eternity.

Years and a stepmom came and went, as did any remaining innocence of a child.  Love was traded for pleasure; morality for acceptance; a sound mind for drugs; and peace for rebellion, hatred and turmoil.  Until....

Kathryn and I met on a blind date.  A rowboat on a lake.  Water reflecting the full moon.  Two faces reflecting understanding and love.  But man's love alone could not break the chains.  Later, Kathryn nearly died of an overdose, and in that darkness she had an experience with a merciful Lord that started a new direction for us both.

But that's her story.  As for me, I recognized Jesus' voice for the first time and I knew Kathryn would be my wife!  Oh, what joy and happiness.  We married on August 8, 1976.  We became one, living for more than self-centered needs.  We felt loneliness start to slip away and found a purpose in life.  But man's love alone could not meet every need and separation lay ahead.  Until....

It was a small church and a singer named Keith Green had come to minister.  I felt a power challenging me, drawing me.  As we went forward to pray, Kathryn was singled out and again our lives were changed.  The teachings of metaphysics were examined, made bare and discarded as the Word of God became alive to us.  Excitement grew with our hunger for the Word of God.  Through the understanding of the scriptures, what had seemed to be barriers to life's fulfillment now became walls of protection and guidance.  Life was truly rich, prayers were answered, friendships made.  We thought we had it all.  Until....

It was the second time I had heard the voice of God.  It would mean letting go of a dream.  Living in a tepee while building our home was all rejected to move in with a young man who needed us.  For fourteen years he had been in mental hospitals and now other arrangements must be make.  We became those arrangements.  We tried to help, we gave our all and it wasn't nearly enough!  He would stay up all night talking to himself, hitting himself, laughing strangely.  One night he attacked and bit Kathryn.  As I restrained him, he bit through my hand.  How could we take more?  The next morning the pain in my hand was so intense, yet as I read my Bible, "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy"  spoke to my heart.  Cradling my wounded hand, I envisioned a large nail and the pain it would cause.  I wept, for I had received great mercy.  We would stay longer. 

We needed power, and an example of God's power came through a lady named Nancy.  We had previously talked about the promises of God with her and she came for a visit.  Smiling, she stepped through the door, then stood, as concern etched her face.  Tears began as she knelt on the kitchen floor and cried in prayer.  Rocking gently back and forth, it seemed her heart had broken.  We joined her on the kitchen floor as we experienced intercessory prayer.  She understood our need and promised prayer.  We felt those prayers and relied on them.  Until....

Any change in life, including changing church allegiance, is difficult- but we wanted and needed more of God's power and Nancy's church family was there with truth and compassion.  The loving people of the United Pentecostal Church enfolded us.  Young and old welcomed us.  It seemed everyone knew our names and needs.

The worship was incredible!  Far beyond being seen and heard, it invited God's presence- and He came!  Some laughed, some cried.  I did both.  Others danced or jumped.  All sang.  There was a liberty there that opened my heart and stirred it ready to receive the Word of God through preaching.  And what preaching!  It revealed God's love and explained His plan.  It showed my sins and errors, then gave hope in forgiveness.  It set me free.

We were baptized that night in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins.  Kathryn received the Holy Ghost two weeks later at church.  I needed more time as I dug out years of pain and disappointment in myself, others and God.  On Tuesday, Dec. 27, 1977 at about 7:45, I also was born of the Spirit as I spoke in a heavenly language for the first time.

Time has brought joy, miracles, healings and a wonder of God's mercy and power that far outweigh life's sorrows.  Please ask me about the young man's deliverance, the healings I've witnessed, how Jesus placed us in Payson, and our wonderful family and how they also serve God.  So many experiences to tell you until.....

 Until you experience the joys of all God has in store for you, your family and friends.

The years of ministry, schooling and experience have prepared us to serve you and your family.  You are always welcome to come and experience God's power in one of the church services or we could study the Bible together in your home or ours.  The Bible is wonderful, powerful and has the answers for you today. 

Will you let Jesus rewrite your life's story?

Pastor Dale Lewallen                                                                                                                           

 

  October 2017  
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