My name is David. I'm here to talk to you about what God has
done in my life and in the life of my family. Let me start off by giving you a bit of background.
I was raised in the
Assemblies of God Church. My father was a Deacon and a Sunday School teacher in
a small town in Missouri.
After graduating high school
I went to College in Springfield Mo. At that time I was young and immature and
dropped out for a semester and worked on my uncles farm. After a year passed, I
enrolled in college again at a Bible College in Springfield Mo.
In 1962 I married my wife, an
Assemblies of God ministers daughter.
Prior to my wife and I
marrying we were told we would probably not have children due to a medical
condition with my wife. After four months of marriage went by we were told we
were going to be parents. I don't have to
tell you how happy and excited we were.
On July 25, 1963 our daughter was born.
During this time I was in school, my wife worked at the juvenile office
and brought home $210 a month. Our big deal then was to go to A&W Root
Beer, get a papa and a mama cheeseburger and a root beer. That was the extent
of our social life at that time. I was working 100 hours a week in the summer
for an ambulance company making $.35 an hour. $35.00 a week didn't go very far
even back then. But, I look back on that
now and am so thankful for the blessings of the Lord on our lives.
In 1966 our son was born.
When we brought him home from the hospital our daughter who knew she had a
little brother didn't expect him to be so little. Her comment when she looked
in the baby crib and heard him crying was "Take him back". We still
laugh about that and she still likes to tease him about that today. Having a
daughter and now having a son just made our lives complete.
For us we thought we had a
normal life, working all week and in church all day Sunday. My wife and I
worked with the church youth group as one of the sponsors. Our kids grew up
going to church every time the doors were open.
In 1988 we moved to Texas. I
had known prior to that move that our son was gay but was praying and trusting
God to "make it go away." In
March of 1988 our son, and a female friend of his, came to visit us and also
take a trip down to Mexico. We had only
been in Texas for about 2-3 weeks so a lot of our things were still in boxes.
Our daughter and the girl shared a bedroom. The girl told our daughter that our
son was gay and our daughter told my wife the next morning after He had left
for Mexico. About 9 am I got a call from
my daughter crying and wanting me to come home.
She told me what the problem was.
I always knew this day would come, but had hid the fact that our son was
gay as long as I could. I knew what it would do to my wife. It is normal for
parents to blame themselves when they find this type of "problem"
exists in their family. My wife did go through this blaming herself, searching
her own life for answers that did not come.
It was my intention to protect her as long as I could. At first my wife
was upset with me for not telling her.
At the time we moved from
Missouri to Texas our son was working and finishing college in Missouri. When he got back to Missouri from his trip, I
told him what had happened. My heart was
broken. My wife and daughter were afraid for him to be around our granddaughter,
because of the AIDS scare. We only knew
that the possibility of AIDS was something that happened to other families and
We went through several years
of depression, confusion, confessing the Word of God and begging God to change
him. Unbeknown to us, he was also
praying and asking God to take away the feelings he has for men. I have since learned of times he would beg
God, cry and even thought of suicide.
About a year after he moved
to Texas he was transferred to San Francisco to open a new Hotel property
there. I questioned God as to why He
would let this happen. We were praying,
believing God for his deliverance and God allowed him to be transferred to the
gay capitol of the world? I was angry
with God and felt that God had deserted me and I was mad about it. However, we continued to pray although I must
admit it was a prayer of demands rather than a prayer of love and peace. I knew
all the scripture and had beaten my son up with those scriptures.
While all this was going on,
I got a red letter Bible and searched the scripture looking for anything that
Jesus might have said on the subject. It seems this is a subject Jesus didn't
deal with. There are no scriptures on gay or homosexuality where Jesus said
anything on the subject. God through the
ministry of the Holy Spirit began to deal with me about my attitude. While searching the scripture I saw how Jesus
dealt with sinners as well as self- righteous Christians. I ran across the scripture again which talks
about the fruits of the spirit. I'm sorry to say instead of showing the fruits
of the spirit we are many times the first to show criticism etc…. The Bible
says, "The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering,
gentleness, goodness and faith, meekness and temperance against such there is
no law." At this time there was
very little love, joy or peace in our family.
It was an uncomfortable time of being together. We all tried to make it through Christmas
each year as best we could. That was the
only time we saw our son during the year.
While our son was getting
acquainted with his new church friends, I felt God gave me a dream. I dreamed that I had two grandsons in
California. I awoke the next morning
and was happy and excited and finally felt I had some hope and something to
hang on to. I was excited that I was
going to have a daughter-in-law. I thought about what she might look like, what
color her hair might be, and what my grandsons might look like. My son is a
handsome man if I do say so and I hoped they would look like him.
About two months went
by. I never told him about my dream. I
was confessing it, claiming it, and reminded God almost daily about it. One day he called and he said,
I've met someone. It’s a man.
I felt like God was playing a
bad joke or at least allowed a bad joke to be played on me. He went on to say,
" and he has two
It was like getting hit in
the head with a hammer. Once again I was frustrated and upset and questioned
God. Everything I had been taught seemed to be crumbling in front of me. Why
God? Why would you allow this to happen? Where are you when I need you the
most? Don’t you care?
A few months passed and he
asked me if he could bring his family home with him for Christmas. I said no. At this time I was rebuking the
devil out of everything I could. Out of my home, behind that bush, anywhere I
thought he might be. I was hurting bad.
I know and knew how much he loves his family. I was hurting for him as well. It gives a
father joy to be able to give to his children and I couldn't give to Todd the
request he had asked for, and bring his family home for Christmas. He came home
that Christmas by himself and we all tried to make it happy and joyful but it
A year went by, my sons friend and the boys
moved in with our son in California.
Toward the end of the year we once again began making plans for
Christmas. He again asked if he could
bring his family with him. I told him
no. He told me if he couldn't bring his
family with him then he wouldn't be home for Christmas. This was like a knife and I felt like I
couldn't stand it. It was as though my body would explode with the hurt and
pain. I love my family and I could see it coming apart. I was also very angry,
with God, at him, at the world. I began to hate Christmas music. I became
depressed and my wife will tell you I was a bad person to live with. How could
we possibly make it during Christmas without the family being together? I felt
though that I had to stand up and do what I thought was right.
During this time I had
stopped praying about him and was still angry about my dream. I felt I
had no one to talk to. My father-in-law was in his 70's and still
pastoring and I couldn't go to him because of the family ties. God
prompting of the Holy Spirit began to deal with me. In desperation, I
once again turned to
God. The scripture about the fruits of
the spirit began to become more precious to me than ever before. God
began to deal with me about my
relationship with my son. How was I
going to minister to my son when there was not much "peace, love and
joy" in our relationship? Oh I loved him but there was no unconditional
love. The love I had for my son had the condition that I would love him
would "Stop being Gay".
As a Christian I would show
love and joy and peace to the men of Teen Challenge, a group for men who have
primarily been drug addicts. I would
work with them in the church but I was showing contempt, unhappiness and no
peace toward my son. I was convicted
over this. After much prayer and
discussion with my wife I called Todd and told him if he wanted to bring his
family home for Christmas he could. It
was like a weight moved off my shoulders.
I was scared, happy, afraid, and said many days, "Oh God, did I do
the right thing?" I felt the
reassurance of the Holy Spirit that I did.
On the day that our son and
his family were to come home I went to the butcher shop and got a long piece of
paper and wrote on the paper, "Welcome Home Todd, Jose, Jose Jr. and
Frankie". I taped this all across the double garage of my home. The time came and they arrived. I don’t know
who was the most nervous, the boys or us. We had been looking out the window
every few minutes when we thought it was about time for them to arrive. When
they arrived, we went out side and hugged Todd. Then we hugged Jose and the
Everything went fine. On
Saturday night I was considering taking the boys to a different church than my
own. Todd knew that was not where I went to church but I would tell him we were
going to visit another church today. Beside I had heard that that Pastor was
hard on the gay issue and he might preach on it that Sunday. At least I hoped
and had told God it would be all right with me if he wanted the pastor to
preach on that subject. God began to convict me of this for that would not be
the truth. I was concerned as to what my church would think. On Sunday morning,
we got up and away to the Assembly of God we went. Church had already started
and we marched in all five of us. The ceiling tile didn't fall off nor did any
of my fellow church members pass out. Then came the end of the service. I knew
the Pastor always stands in the middle isle and greets folks so I thought I
would head out the side door and we would be gone. Well again God began to deal
with me. So I marched all of us to the center isle and there he was, the
pastor. I just said well OK God this may be my last day here but I’m going to
be truthful. I introduced my son and his family by just those words to my
pastor. He welcomed them and didn't flinch a muscle. I know I was watching to
see what he would do to me. I have since had the opportunity to talk with him
about that day and he asked me "How did I do'? I told him he did great and
his Christian conduct made it easier for me. I am proud of him and will always
be grateful for the love and spirit he demonstrated that day. When we got to the car Jose asked me if the
pastor knew about Todd and his family. I said no. He began to cry when he
realized the love and acceptance I had shown toward them.
From that small beginning a
wonderful relationship developed. Over
the years my son and I have grown closer than ever before. Although Todd and Jose are no longer
together, my wife and I love Jose and the boys. We have enjoyed many
Christmases together. Those Christmases have been some of the happiest in our
lives. I will never forget that first Christmas. It was like we were in the
presence of the Holy Spirit all during Christmas. It was the feeling of
revival. There are a lot of things we don't understand, but have left these in
the hands of God. There are a lot of things I cannot explain but God has not
called me to give a theological explanation. He has called me to be a Christian
Dad reaching out to my hurting brothers and sisters.
Since that time I have had
the opportunity to speak at a camp meeting in Houston conducted by Advance
Christian Ministries. Many have been kicked out of their churches. I was able
to be there for a weekend. I arrived not knowing anyone. I had met Tom Hirsch
on America On-Line and he was the only one I knew of all the people there. On
Saturday night I was asked to speak to the group. I began by confessing my
unconditional love to my son. There were men and women present that knew Todd.
I have also been a part of a panel discussion
at the T-E-N Conference in Phoenix in February 1996 and was asked to speak at a
Spiritfest meeting in Arkansas in May 1996. I accepted those invitations and
have been in those services, also.
There are a lot of things
that I don't understand in the gay community. But, there are some things I
don't understand in the religious heterosexual community. I don't understand how good Christian people
can treat their pastors the way some do.
I don't understand how people in church can gossip, run down and
sometimes spiritually kill new baby Christians.
There is one thing I do know and that is God is a God of love and
mercy. I believe that I am a spiritual
being as well as an earthly being. The Bible talks about the fruits of the
spirit. I believe those fruits will be a
part of my life if I truly am born again.
On Friday Feb. 23 1996 I flew
from San Antonio to Phoenix Arizona to attend my first TEN conference. The
service was outstanding. The music of praise and worship was wonderful. It was
during this service that the Holy Spirit began to impress me that I was to
personally minister to someone there. This is something that happens not very often
and I am scared and nervous when it happens. First I want it to be God and not
David. Second I don’t want to offend anyone. As I looked across from me the
Spirit zeroed in on a young man and the Spirit impressed me that was the one. I
was setting and the service was going on and I prayed for God to tell me at
what point. A few minutes later the pastor asked for the members of the panel
that were to speak on Saturday to come forward and pray with anyone that wanted
to be prayed for. I went to the front and the Spirit said now, so I motioned
for the boy to come to the front. He came up to the front and I took both of
his hands and began to give to him what I felt God had asked me to give him. He
began to weep and the spirit of the Lord was so strong. After a time of prayer
he went back to his seat. After the service a man came up to me and said before
church tonight I went to the altar and prayed that God would send someone to
speak to this young man as he has many needs. I didn't know this man and was
amazed at what he was telling me. Later that same night the young man I had
prayed for talked to my son and confirmed what I had told him was true. I had
never laid my eyes on this young man in my life.
This is not a special thing
nor am I special. God wants to use his children in ministry and he will do it
where there is a willing vessel.
Saturday was a good day. The
services just seemed to build with each service and the blessings and presence
of the Lord was just wonderful. Saturday afternoon was to be a panel
discussion. On the panel was Peggy Compolo, wife of noted author Tony Compolo.
Also Dennis and Evelyn Schave, Pentecostal evangelists from Phoenix, Elizabeth Storbo, who have previously been a
counselor for an ex-gay ministry in Vancouver BC, and me. Prior to the panel
discussion Peggy Compolo gave a stirring message on her life and how God had
led her to begin a ministry with gays and lesbians. Dennis and Evelyn shared
how they began to minister to the gay community and how this had affected their
lives and caused them to be removed from a mainline denomination where Dennis
was a church official.
Soon it was my time to share
the things that we had been through and of our struggle. I began by telling the
congregation that there was something I wanted to do before I began to talk. I
wanted to profess my unconditional love for my son and his family. This is
something that I feel God would have me do for He has brought me from a place
where I was very angry with my son and just asked God to "Get Him".
Well little did I know that God was going to answer that prayer so forcefully
but the “him” in that prayer would not be my son but me.
Sunday morning was to be the
crown on the trip. Jose’s mother came to the service and Jose was one of the
worship leaders during praise and worship. As I sat next to Jose’s mother I
noticed she began to cry. There was such a sweet spirit and God was all over
that place. Brothers and sisters were singing, some crying, some praising and
some just standing in awe of the mighty presence of the Lord. During the
service communion was served. Pastor Fred Pattison came up and took a loaf of
un-sliced bread and broke it into several pieces. As I sat there in that
service the spirit of God came over me and I began to weep and I was afraid I
couldn't weep quietly as the emotion was coming from deep within. Finally it
was time for the four of us, Todd, Jose, His mother and me to go up for
communion. As we approached the table I began to weep in the presence of the
Lord again. In the front of the church are 3 crosses. As the four of us stood
there, shoulder to shoulder, the presence of the Lord just became even more
real. Very few times in my life has the presence of the Lord been that strong.
It was like I didn't know if I could stand it. When each of us had taken our
bread and drank the juice we stood there and prayed. I again was crying tears
of joy. The music was softly playing and it was like all at once the 4 of us
turned toward one another and the 4 of us stood before the cross, weeping and
embracing one another. What a beautiful time of fellowship, what a presence of
the Lord. As we began to return to our seat one of the men came to me laid his
head on my shoulder and cried. What he had just witnessed with the 4 of us at
the altar he wants to see in his family. He doesn't have that now from his
family. I felt God would have me encourage him. I told him that God is no
respecter of persons or families and what He has done in our family he is able
to do for his. The theme I feel God wants me to share is the responsibility
that the Gay person has toward their family. Its normal to get upset when we
are mistreated, but I feel God would have us show Christian love and kindness
when mistreated. The fruit of the Spirit that comes from a Christian’s life is
to be" Love and Joy and Peace..." So many Christians in their
frustration of having a child that is gay want to spiritually beat them up with
scripture. If scripture could change the feelings and desires of the homosexual
then we would see gays becoming straight over night. I have talked to young
people that have been kicked out of their Churches, relieved of their Sunday
school classes, asked to leave the choir. I have met so many wonderful
musicians that have such talent with the piano and organ only to be told they
are no longer welcome in their church. One young man told me of the time his
pastor called him into his study verbally abused him, took him by the arm and
showed him the door and as the young man was going out the door kicked him in
the seat as he left the church. That isn't God. When I got on the plane Sunday
evening to fly back home, I noticed my eyes were stinging from all the tears,
but my heart was full of love and admiration for the group of men and women
that I had spent the weekend with. What a precious bunch of friends
Mercy has become one of the most beautiful
words in the English language to me. Some time ago, I got a message over America on Line from a
Christian young man who told of the times he has prayed, begged God, confessed
it and still God never made him heterosexual. One day I felt God gave me a
thought. I didn't one day decide I was going to be heterosexual. It was natural
and the way I felt. I don't believe that
the kids in the gay community one-day wake up and decided they will be
It is our desire that you
have someone that you can talk with and will stand with you in pray while you
make your journey. You didn’t choose your orientation. It wasn’t a journey I would have chosen for
us but now that I am on the other side of the mountain I wouldn’t take anything
for what we have learned and the many people that we have met. It’s truly a
heart wrenching time and a joyful time also. There is no way someone that
hasn’t been in a parents shoes can understand all the emotions one goes through
but I want to assure you there is life after this issue if you will allow your
child to continue to be your child. To the gay or lesbian child I encourage you
be available for the time when your parent will be ready to talk. There will be
harsh things no doubt said to you but I encourage you to not return harshness
but rather pray for those that don’t understand. There were many tears but also laughs.
I would have never dreamed
that Todd and I would be traveling America speaking to churches and groups
encouraging Moms and Dads as well as their gay and lesbian children. We have
seen family’s that were separated come together. On Fathers Day 2001 Todd and I
spoke at Potters House Church in Tampa Florida pastored by Rob Morgan. What a
wonderful time of ministry we had there. Before I began this ministry of
Unconditional Love I had never been used by God with words of knowledge. This
is not a unusual happening in our services now. In this service God spoke to me
about a certain situation that someone was going through. I said what the Lord
had said to me and there was no response. Then the Lord gave me the knowledge
of something that this person and God alone knew and then a young man stood and
said that’s me. He came forward and Todd and I prayed over him and he left with
answers from God that he had searched many years for.
In July Todd and I were
invited to speak at a church dedication in Little Rock Arkansas. This church is
Open Door Community church pastured by Randy McCain. This church service was
the first service where I saw a mother and a father of a gay son in the church.
This Dad was as he said “A Arkansas Redneck” that God had changed to a father
that loved his son Unconditionally and now they all go to the same church. One
of the highlights of this weekend of ministry was to be at a restaurant after
church Saturday night. We were all at the table ordering hamburgers and cokes
and a young man approached to take my order. God spoke to me and told me to
take one of my ministry cards and give it to him. On this card is the words
Unconditional Love Ministry and down both sides are rainbow colors. This young
man was shocked that there was a church or anyone that would love him
unconditionally. You see this young man had been raised in church and had been
asked to leave because of his orientation. The next morning he and his spouse
were in church.
Recently my wife and I were
setting in a restaurant in Frisco Texas having breakfast and a young man
approached our table to take our order. The Lord spoke to me and said to give
him a card. I said ok I would leave the card with the tip at the end of the
meal. I began to pray and I said Lord is this really you telling me this or is
this me. All of a sudden the name ADAM was ringing in my mind. I said God what
does this mean. Does this mean my nephew Adam or is this something else. When
the young man brought us our check I handed him a card with the tip. I went to
the line to pay and soon I felt a tap on my shoulder and he wanted to know what
Unconditional Love Ministry was. Did I have a church? I told him what it was
and he got my email address. I introduced myself to him and asked what his name
was as he had no nametag on. He said my name is ADAM.