Foundations

 

 

Foundations are the structures we build the rest of our buildings upon. As it relates to this article, what are the beginnings, the experiences, the life happenings that our ministers have lived through that led them to be pastors or priests. Finding out what those foundations are for the ministers in our community is the focus of this article (series of articles).

 

By DALE FILLMORE

Okmulgee First Church of the Nazarene

 

Foundations are the structures we build the rest of our buildings upon. As it relates to this article, what are the beginnings, the experiences, the life happenings that our local ministers have lived through that led them to be pastors or priests?  Finding out what those foundations are for the ministers of our community is the focus of this series of articles.

Pastor Rex McDowell is the pastor of the Compass Assembly of God Church.  Pastor Rex says that he was an ornery kid when growing up.  He lived behind Clarence Davis, who was the pastor of the Nazarene Church in Kirwin, Kansas.  Pastor Davis was a school bus driver, as well as a pastor, and took an interest in the wayward Rex.  He eventually led Rex to the Lord as his Savior.  Rex was 15 years old when that took place.  Later Pastor Davis also performed Rex and his wife’s marriage ceremony.  At one point in time, Pastor Davis saw something in Rex that led him to say, “I think you might have a call to the ministry.”

Rex ignored that call and enlisted in the military.  After 20 years of service to our country, he retired and began looking for work.  Nothing seemed to work out.  The places he worked for liked Rex, but they recognized that he just wasn’t going to work out in their employment.  It seemed that he failed at everything he tried.  One time, he lost four contracts that he was working on – all at the same time.  He was fired shortly thereafter.

Pastor McDowell says, “I guess I was running from God and His call, but just wasn’t real aware of it.”  One day in frustration, he said to his wife, “Well, I guess it’s time to enter the ministry.”  And then, as if speaking the words out loud brought reality and affirmation to the words, everything began to change.  That week, at age 42, he started looking for a college to attend because he knew he wasn’t capable of doing the work of ministry without some preparation. They sold their home in two days when no one else in the area was successfully selling theirs. At the same time, he met a man in Kirwin who had a house for sale in Ellendale, North Dakota where Rex was going to attend Trinity Bible College.  He bought the house sight unseen and, interestingly, immediately found work upon arriving in Ellendale.  God provided during his college days and he graduated debt free.

“That’s the way it’s gone,” he says. “God has made sure that everything has been taken care of.”  Because of his military retirement, he has been able to pastor smaller churches like the one here in Okmulgee, where he has been pastor for the last eight years.

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