In 1982 while ministering in my local church in Amarillo Texas, I began to feel God calling me to a higher level of ministry. I had been offered to pastor a church in another part of Texas, yet I still struggled within for God's affirmation. This struggle persisted throughout my and Virginia's trip to the General Conference of the United Pentecostal Church in Salt Lake City Utah. However, during the trip God resolved my inner struggle be calling me to an unfamiliar place and people through scripture the following passage of scripture:
5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:5-9 (KJV)
Consequently during the conference, I met James Littles, Sr., the Home Missions director for the New York District of the United Penecostal Church International (UPCI), who promptly transmitted his burden for New York State for me. Shortly afterwards, God spoke to me in a dream:
"Son, I have called you to go to New York."
But I replied, "Not now."
God repeated himself in a louder tone, "Son, I have called you to go to New York"
Again, I replied, "Not now."
The third time, however God demanded my commitment, "Son, I have called you to go to New York now!"
I immediatly awoke trembling, undoubtedly knowing I had heard from the Lord.
Acting on faith, my wife and I, flew to New York the next month. Initially I felt God was leading us to Plattsburg. But after preaching in Olean, a small preaching point, I felt God wanted me to start a church there. This feeling increased as my wife, the Littles family, and myself drove further from Olean to potential cities; I, however, concealed this impression until our tour of New York ended.
On the trip back to Jamestown, God confirmed my destiny when I revealed my feelings on Olean to James Littles. He cheerfully responded: "Praise God! I knew that you were coming to Olean; after meeting you at conference and praying, I knew that God had found a man for the city of Olean."
After a sorrowful departure from Texas; Virginia, Jaye, Jené and I began a Home-Missions church in Olean. For the next two years , we held services in temporary locations. In March 1985, we aquired a permanent location: 1715 West State Street. During those years we experienced many trials and tribulations- Debilitating medical conditions, financial stresses and even persecutions. Nevertheless God granted us favor and blessed His church with consistent growth.
As the years passed, God continually blessed us. Therefore in 1995, we began construction at 1100 Homer Street. After a year of diligent labor and sacrifice, the building was completed and ready for worship. Since then, this building has served us well in our efforts to reach Olean and its surrounding areas.
In May of 2008 we celebrated out twenty-fifth anniversary in Olean. Although we feel extremely blessed that God enabled us to reach this milestone, we continue to praise God for blessing His church in Olean, New York, with people who love Him and work together for revival.