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 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.

 

By Dale Fillmore

First Church of the Nazarene

 

Gregory Richardson

“What are you praying for?” asked Gregory.  “I’m praying for you,” was his aunt’s response.  At the time, Gregory Richardson was using drugs and living a life of carelessness.  Gregory is the pastor of Conversion Ministries Church, a church he and his wife started in December of 1991.

After his conversation with his aunt, Gregory moved to Tulsa to try to get away from his aunt’s prayers.  It didn’t work.  God’s presence still followed him.

One day while feeling under conviction about his life, he went to pray.  The restroom was the only really private place he had, so he went there.  While praying, there was a bright light that came into the room and a cross came down before him.  “Suddenly a shiny object came through the window and into my body.  I was crying and my uncle - hearing that - tried to come into the room, but he couldn’t get in – at least not until the light went away.”

The next day, Gregory went to church.  “All through the service, I just kept crying,” he said. “While the pastor was preaching, I fell down before him - grabbing his ankles.  Some people said that I had lost my mind, but I just kept remembering the Bible verse, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” (Romans 10:15).  That was Gregory’s conversion experience.

It was during the summer of 1978 that Gregory felt the desire for ministry.  He had a hunger for God and wanted change in his life.  Every day, he was reading a little Gideon’s Bible that he had been given.  Gregory says, “I had - sort of a - vision at that time. God told me, ‘I want you to preach the word.’  I said, ‘I’m scared of people’s faces in front of me.’  ‘I’ll take that away’, said God. I replied, ‘I don’t know the words to say.’  God said, ‘I’ll give you the words. Go preach!’”

So, Gregory went and told Pastor Manuel  he had been called to the ministry.  From there till now, Pastor Gregory has been serving the Lord.  God told him, “One day your voice will go around the world.”  Sure enough, while preaching on the radio at KOKL, he found out his message that day had been broadcast beyond the local area.  It had gone out to other stations - all around the world.

Today Gregory and his church, besides their normal church services, has a ministry to a nursing home.  He started a prayer band in Okmulgee and, on the Lord’s direction, he started a Prayer Before the Bell ministry for school students in 1998 that is still going today.

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