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Life Begins at 47 E-mail
Dr. J.A. Lovell of Fort Worth, Texas Tells How a New Life Began For Him When He was Baptized With the Holy Spirit.

Introduction by Charles A. Jennings

John A. Lovell D.D. 1907-1974


Among some of the most tireless and tenacious workers in the vineyard of the Lord, in spite of physical difficulties and opposing forces was Dr. John. A. Lovell. As a young man John Lovell was converted to a living faith in Jesus Christ. He received his B.A. degree from Harden-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. In his burning desire to work for the Lord and to serve His people, in addition to his obligations while attending University, he would drive to various small churches to minister on the week-ends. He founded and/or served several Baptist churches during the late 1920's through the 1930's.

As a young man in his mid twenties, John Lovell began to reap the physical consequences of his ceaseless activities and tireless labor of love. He developed a serious throat condition and was advised to take a period of prolonged rest. In 1934 he traveled to Miami, Florida in hopes of finding a comfortable environment in order to recover. Even in his weakened condition, while in Miami he became involved in Christian ministry and in-depth study of the Holy Scriptures. While sincerely seeking the Lord through His Word and prayer, the Holy Spirit began to reveal to him the profound truth of the Christian Israel Kingdom Covenant message of Scripture and its fulfillment in the Western European people of today.

After leaving Miami he pastored churches in Texas and had a radio program out of Dublin, Texas, and later broadcast on more than one hundred radio stations. He pastored Trinity Baptist Church in Abilene, Texas and also churches in the Los Angeles area and finally established First Covenant Church and the Kingdom Digest, a Christian family magazine in Dallas, Texas.

In 1954, after years of seeking the Lord for a deeper walk in Him, Pastor John Lovell received the experience known as the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. He received this life changing experience during a revival service at the Hemphill Heights Assembly of God Church of

Ft. Worth, Texas. His testimony was later printed in The Pentecostal Evangel, Weekly Voice of the Assemblies of God magazine of March 13, 1955 in an article entitled "Life Begins at 47."

Below is a copy of Dr. John Lovell’s personal testimony in his own words.

From The Pentecostal Evangel, March 13, 1955

LIFE BEGINS AT 47!

"It has been my pleasure to be in the ministry nearly thirty years serving the Lord as faithfully as I knew how. During this time, having held several pastorates in Texas, California and Florida, having traveled over one million and a half miles and now editing one monthly and two weekly publications, being engaged in broadcasting and many other phases of Christian work, and pastoring the First Covenant Church in Dallas, I can truly testify that the Lord has led me along the way, protecting and blessing me wonderfully.

Yet, I can honestly say that the thing I am about to relate – that is, the experience I had last year – has brought more peace, happiness, power and blessings than any other experience I have had in my spiritual life.

During my entire ministry, despite the blessings I have had and the wonderful way in which God has blessed my work, I have often felt that there was something which some others had which I did not have. I always passed off the feeling by simply thinking that perhaps I was mistaken, that everything was all right, that I had all that God had to offer. It wasn’t until recently that I became deeply concerned

about a lack in my life and ministry – a lack of power, an emptiness that should certainly be filled before I could be the minister I wanted to be in shepherding the sheep the Lord had placed under my care.

It took some heartbreaking experiences, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, and many other trials to cause me to finally stop and begin seriously to inquire what was wrong in my life and ministry, and to remedy the situation, if possible. In fact, the condition finally became so acute that I lost nearly ten pounds over a three week period. I became depressed, discouraged, and weary, not knowing exactly what I was seeking after, not knowing exactly what was wrong, but knowing, at least, that something was sorely needed in my life and ministry.

I finally, in utter desperation, asked the Lord for some signs, some evidences, some concrete happenings which would show me what was wrong, what I needed and what steps I should take. One night after I had retired, a Baptist lady, who was a member of my congregation in Abilene, Texas, many years ago, called me on the phone. She awakened me out of a sound sleep to tell me that I had been put on her heart and she was praying that I would receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I Believe she was a messenger of God. I began to consider that perhaps this was the thing that I should seek after in trying to solve my problem.

In the office two or three days later I asked the Lord to give me a verse of Scripture, and as I opened the Bible my eyes fell on this verse. "Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." That was the second sign I received. They were both definite leads that the Lord wanted me to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a gift which He had freely offered, not only to me, but to all others who would qualify, who would humble themselves, cast aside their prejudices and pride, and yield themselves fully to God.

Another sign came –a letter from one of my good friends and contributors, telling me that she was sorry she had written me a letter

saying that she didn’t believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. She told me of her pastor, a Baptist minister, receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. She said that she too had received this precious gift and she now believed that it was a blessing every child of God should seek and receive.

Later I received word that several of my other friends (including Baptist, Presbyterians and Methodists, some of whom were ministers, others teachers) had begun to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a solution to their spiritual problems.

I decided these were all the "signs" I needed. I knew it was the baptism of the Holy Spirit I should seek after. I felt the need of humbling myself, putting aside any misunderstanding, surrendering myself completely to the Lord and giving up anything and everything that might keep me from receiving this precious gift of the Holy Spirit. This I did, preparing my heart and mind for nearly two weeks, sleeping and eating very little, praying and meditating much.

Finally, one night, I visited Hemphill Heights Assembly of God in Fort Worth, Texas (E.R. Anderson, Pastor). I went for the purpose of going to the altar and seeking the blessing of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Upon entering the building, I noticed a smell of fresh paint, which was quite strong. Having been allergic to it, such smell making me sick quickly, I thought I would enjoy the song service and then leave. A friend began to pray that I would be blessed, and that I would not be affected by the paint. I can honestly say the paint did not bother me that night, and it didn’t bother me afterwards. (My own church has been painted also, and for three Sundays I have had to endure the strong smell of paint, yet it still hasn’t bothered me – a miracle from God!)

Evangelist Paul McGechie delivered an earnest, Spirit-filled message from the Word of God, and then invited people to come to the altar who wanted to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I immediately went to the front, and there I knelt, humbly, at the old-fashioned altar. I began to ask the Lord to keep His promise. Having already made the preparation necessary, I asked Him to fill me with His Holy Spirit, to give me the gift that He has offered so freely to anyone who would qualify. Tender, understanding, sympathetic altar workers suggested that I lift my hands toward Heaven, and simply begin to praise the Lord for the gift He was going to give me that night. That I did, and after a few moments the blessing came. Having yielded myself completely to the Holy Spirit and having put out of my life everything that would hinder, I received the precious gift which I was seeking–the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Lord gave the evidence by performing a miracle and making it possible for me to speak to Him in another language! Praise the Lord! This was His evidence that He had baptized me with the Holy Spirit! It was a glorious moment, a sacred hour–one that I shall never forget.

As I got up from my knees, I felt as if I weighed no more than a feather! I felt emptied of everything in me that should not be in a child of God. I was given a spirit of humility, a greater spirit of love, and a forgiving spirit, such as I never had. I was joyous. My mind was tranquil. I was happy in the Lord. My appetite returned. That night I had the first sound sleep in several weeks!

I had had a fear of going through certain downtown sections late at night, lest the "chain gangers" attack me. That night it was late when I drove through those sections of the city, but I was praising the Lord and enjoying my Christian experience, wholly unconscious of any fear whatsoever!

I can truthfully say that the baptism of the Holy Spirit has made a great difference in my spiritual life. It has made my home life richer, sweeter, and more complete. Our office is now heaven on earth. Our ten o’clock devotionals each morning with our staff are nothing short of an old-fashioned revival meeting! At our church in Dallas, which I have pastored for more than eight years, I told the congregation about my experience and eighty-one people, most of whom were adults, came forward showing their willingness to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The next night I saw forty-three of these people on their knees before God, praying for the same blessing their pastor had received.

The Bible class I am teaching has been rejuvenated and revived. We have seen many souls saved. We are having the greatest revival in our church we have ever had. People are coming to my office to seek God. Some are seeking His Spirit; others come for healing. It is simply marvelous what a difference the baptism of the Holy Spirit makes in one’s life.

I beg you, if you have not received the fullness of His Spirit, to seek this gift of God, this blessed baptism at once. God’s Spirit being the life of God and the power of God, you will need this power, this divine life, this precious experience in the days that lie ahead. Prepare yourself. Wait upon the Lord! Praise Him until you have received the gift of the Holy Spirit and until your life is saturated, baptized, immersed and filled with this precious life and power of God – His Holy Spirit. You will be fortified and equipped for a closer walk with God and you will be able to touch and help more lives!

(Since I am now 47 years of age, and life means so much more to me than ever before in my Christian experience, it was suggested to me, as I prayed, that I make the title of this article, "Life Begins at 47!)"

 
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Quotes

"TO SERVE THE PRESENT AGE,
MY CALLING TO FULFIL,
O MAY IT ALL MY POWERS ENGAGE,
TO DO MY MASTER'S WILL!"

MAYNARD G. JAMES
(1902-1988)
HOLINESS EVANGELIST

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