Looking back 22 years ago to 1988, being a 19 year old young man. I shall never forget meeting Brother Hubert Lindsey. From an infant I was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition into my teen years. I don't ever remember missing a mass except for being on vacation. Even then we often made it because of my mothers devotion to the church. Confession, Catechism, First Communion, the Rosary were all part of my experience.
From the years of five to eleven years old I can remember having a heightened awareness and sensitivity to right and wrong. And often turned to the Rosary for intercession with God. I guess it is hard for me to relate to those who were raised in and are embittered with the Catholic Church. Maybe because I don't ever recall having a hurtful experience there. In my teen years I still attended mass faithfully but that innocence, devotion and purpose left me for a life that reflected anything but Godliness and purity. Looking back now, I should have been ashamed to even mention the name of Jesus.
Then around the years of 18 or 19 yrs old I cannot describe how or why I had a desire to know the Holy Bible and it's Author. It was not a crisis but more of a curiosity. The crisis would come later. I only remember trying to read the Bible once before as a child. It seemed like a foreign language so I put it down as quick as I picked it up. But now years later I would touch it again. The difference was, I prayed this time. I distinctly remember saying,"God I don't know anything about it, help me to know it and don't let me be deceived". I had not been exposed to any other church or even heard the Gospel preached. But God would soon answer my prayer. Looking back I can see clearly how it was all orchestrated by God. I didn't realize it but the crisis was on its way.
One night around midnight it began. Turning the radio dial I heard a gruff voice of an older man, he was bawling someone out for some kind of immorality. I couldn't change the dial. It was a live call-in program, people would call in with Bible questions he would answer them and preach. His voice was rough and distinct, he was stern and intolerant of evil. He was as direct as anyone I ever heard yet there was a tenderness about him, almost as if I could actually see the tears flowing. I continued to listed for the next month every Sunday around midnight. Every time I listened I felt like I was the one he was bawling out. This is what brought the crisis about. He helped me to see the sinner I was, the righteous man I was not and the child of God I could be by Grace. For the first time I saw Jesus presented in the Gospel and it was becoming clear. He regularly gave out his phone number and the address of the church with an invitation.So I finally decided to Pay Brother Lindsey a visit.
If I had been expecting to see a powerful looking man, extremely handsome with eloquent speech or refined in appearance I was in for a shock. He was about five foot eight, slender build, thinning red hair with freckles and blind. I wasn't disappointed , I wasn't looking for a man I was looking for God. Brother Lindsey helped me to meet Him. I now realize the lack of whom he was helped him to win multitudes of people to Christ around the world. He had a way of magnifying Christ and a reliance on the Holy Spirit. His ministry was marked by an undeniable demonstration of the Spirit and Power. He was a simple man who put on no airs. He would sit with the poor or the wealthy. There was no respect of persons.
He began preaching during the Great Depression at 15 years old. He traveled this country and witnessed the kind of revivals we read about, experienced many healing's, divine judgments and multitudes were saved as a result of the Holy Spirit moving through him.I began attending the church in a borrowed warehouse with around 60 people in attendance. It had been recently formed from a living room meeting. He had a traveling ministry for many years and now settled down just outside Detroit to teach and preach out the last years of his ministry. It became more of a shaking than a settling because as usual the Holy Spirit was present in his ministry. His method was, go where the Spirit lead and get the Word out.
If you study past revivals or awakenings you will see the similarities in Brother Lindsey's ministry. During great awakenings religious leaders have often ignorantly opposed a key figure that God sends and Brother Hubert was that key man in Detroit. I was amazed at the number of pastors that opposed his message of Entire Sanctification and Holiness. If you do your homework you will see revivals didn't come without this kind of preaching. I am amazed at how far the word spread from Detroit and the ways God used to get it out. 22 years later I am still meeting people from all over who were effected from those few years in Detroit.
Some people even advised him not to stay in Detroit. This is one person who is glad he did. I finally understood the Gospel of Christ and was immediately converted, Jesus really got a hold of me. Nothing other than my address was the same. Every one I knew thought I was crazy, I knew I wasn't. For the first time all my sins were gone and I knew it, there was not a person I didn't love or couldn't. Sounds strange but I even felt some sympathy for the devil. Things were falling off me left and right. By the outward appearance I was losing everything. But the more I lost the more I gained. I lost the girl I loved but God's love intensified, I lost my friends but I found Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, I lost hobbies that I had given myself to but my hands didn't become idle in the ministry. Like Paul said "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ"
I was drawn to Brother Lindsey's love and devotion to God and had the opportunity to get to know this simple man. Because of his blindness he needed assistance where ever he went. I counted it an honor to take him for a drive, to a restaurant or to a garage sale. He liked to be around people. He visited my home on occasion to a picnic or to talk with my parents and encourage them.
I cherish the times we gathered our chairs around him to listen. I met Brother Lindsey in the last years of his ministry, he will always hold a place dear in my heart because God used him to answer that first prayer. I look forward to see him again, to thank him for sacrificing to get the word to me.
Brother Jim Denton