In April 1980, I was driving on US Highway 380 going west between McKinney and Denton worshipping God, and the Lord spoke to me and said, "Go to the city of Plano, and speak to the people of Plano." My immediate response was, "Well what do I say to them?" God said, "Read the book of Acts where Paul was at Antioch and you will understand."
In Acts 11:19-26 disciples from Jerusalem had been scattered, "Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Penice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. v.19
And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. v.20
And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. v.21
Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. v.22
Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. v.23
For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. v.24
Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: v.25
And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." v.26
If we study these verses it is very clear that this group of people had received Christ and had no apostle to lay their foundation. As I studied, I was reminded of Acts 13:1 which notes that there were five prophets and teachers at Antioch, Barnabas and Saul being two of them. I had to wonder at that time what God was saying to me. Could I be a prophet and a teacher? The teaching that was prevalent in the Charismatic movement was that one person would be an apostle, another a prophet, another a teacher, another an evangelist, and another a pastor and all five of them were necessary for the saints to be perfected. I had never heard anyone refer to Paul as an apostle, prophet, and teacher. God was revealing my ministry to me as I was sent to Plano.
I came to Plano, Texas in August 1980. I brought with me Terry Mai, Jack Turquette, and Bruce Geer. We had all been members of the First United Methodist Church in McKinney, Texas, where Terry Mai served as choir director and Jack Turquette and I served as lay speakers. I had been invited by a group from the First Baptist Church in Plano, that started a fellowship called Faith Temple, to become their pastor. After visiting with them, I told them that they did not have a church. A church was established on the foundation of an apostle and prophet, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone.
Water of Life Church of Plano, Incorporated was established and received its charter on November 24, 1980. The Board of Trustees purchased a building from the Pitman Creek Church of Christ, the property located at 1621 18th Street Plano, Texas 75074. We had our first service, in the building that we had purchased, on January 4, 1981. When we purchased the property, the Board of Trustees agreed to pay $50,000 as a down payment, $50,000 on January 1, 1982, $100,000 on January 1, 1983, and the remainder of the purchase price to be paid on January 1, 1984. Monthly payments were paid on the note. When the first payment of $50,000 was due, we paid it.
During 1982, Terry Mai and myself got involved in an oil company. We had some stock in that company; some was given to us and some we paid for. By October 1982, the Oil Company had sold, the contracts had been signed, and the final sale of the Oil Company was to take place on January 10, 1983. Water of Life Church was to receive $123,000 upon the sale of the Oil Company. I had discussed with the Pitman Creek Church of Christ about our payment being paid on the 10th instead of the 1st. They gave me verbal permission to do so. The Oil Company was being purchased by a person that showed a line of credit of 7 million dollars from the First Midland Bank in Midland, Texas. Money to purchase the Oil Company, where we would receive our $123,000, was to come from a loan out of that 7 million-dollar line of credit. On January 7, 1983, First Midland Bank of Midland, Texas went into receivership. The man that was buying the Oil Company that we had shares in, lost his line of credit, and was unable to purchase that oil company. I learned a valuable lesson about living by faith at this time. Once we had been promised that we would receive the $123,000 in January, I just stopped believing for the money, because we had it. I learned from this, you don't ever stop believing until you got it in your hand. I approached the Pitman Creek Church of Christ and informed them of what had happened, and that I would believe God to pay it off. As money came into the church, I paid partial payment to the Pitman Creek Church of Christ. They told me several times, they really hated to take my money because I was going to lose the building, and they did not want me to lose both the building and the money. I was undaunted by their doubt. As we received money, we continued to pay on the $100,000 plus the monthly payment each month.
We had scheduled a Sunday through Wednesday meeting at Water of Life with Sam Whaley in January 1983. When Sam arrived I informed him of the financial conditions of the ministry, and Sam told me, "Doyle this is no time to have a meeting." I said to Sam, "The meeting will go on and you will receive good offerings." I remember giving Sam a check for $2,300.00 at the close of the meetings. I also remember Sam saying, "Doyle this is one of the best offerings I ever received." By April, we had paid some $53,000. The Pitman Creek Church of Christ believed it was necessary to file foreclosure proceedings and they did so. The property was to be foreclosed on the first Tuesday in May.
During this period of time, my heart of unbelief was certainly exposed and brought to repentance. At one point, I even tried to give this facility to another ministry because of my unbelief. I called a ministry here in town and offered to give the building to it. The pastor told me that he had so much indebtedness, that he could not accept it. I believed that I had been directed to Plano by God, but I had left behind a very lucrative veterinary practice and my heart had no problem going back to it. Seven days before the final foreclosure date, a man received an inheritance from his grandfather and he gave $50,000 to this ministry. The next day, I took the amount of money that I needed to retire the note and legal fees to a local attorney to pay on the note. At the same time, the Board of Trustees borrowed enough money from a local bank to retire the entire note. The note that the Board of Trustees acquired from the bank was retired in 1985, and we have been out of debt ever since.
In Romans 14, the apostle Paul is writing about things that we eat. In verse 4 he states, "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand." Certainly God was convincing me that he had sent me to Plano, that I was a prophet and a teacher, and that he had made me stand. Over the years, God has convinced me more and more of the book of Jude verses 24 and 25, "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, v.24 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." v.25
For many years, I have seen in Isaiah 42:1-4 talking about the Lord Jesus and how He upheld him. "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. v.1
He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. v.2
A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. v.3
He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law." v.4
During these years, I have often wondered why God did not uphold Adam. In I Corinthians 15:45-49 it states, "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. v.45
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. v.46
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. v.47
As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. v.48
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. " v.49
We see in these verses that the first man, Adam, was earthy. The second man is the Lord from heaven. I do not know why God chose to uphold the Lord and not Adam. One thing that I see in the Spirit, is the Lord is the head of the body of Christ, and not only did he hold him up, but he will also uphold the body of Christ in every tribulation and persecution. I want to point out that in Isaiah 42, Jesus is called a servant. Furthermore, I will point out to you that the body of Christ, with Jesus as the head, will walk only as servants in the earth until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Over these past 36 years following God, I have learned as stated in Isaiah 54:17, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." Furthermore, I have found God's word to be absolutely true, and everything he has spoken to me, he will most certainly bring it to pass.
God bless you,