Pastor's Testimony

Mark 5:19-20

Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

My name is Tim Ellis and like the passage that is listed above, the Lord found me in a sad sinful condition. I was born to honest, hard working parents in rural North Mississippi and I had the blessing of a good home. My folks lived by honor and always tried to do the right things. As a child, we were as religious as most are in the deep south and went to church regularly, but the soft message of the gospel that was being preached had no effect on the heart of a wild child who would rather be in the woods or anyplace other than church.

This attitude soon lead to open rebellion and sin began to take its toll . I was married to the love of my life at the age of seventeen and we had our first child at the age of eighteen. With a head full of ideas and a heart full of sin, there was no way it seemed this young family could survive. My wife's family were real Christians that lived at that time in Memphis, TN. They loved the Lord openly and were true at home to their beliefs.

Their preacher hollered and snorted and cried and plead from the pulpit and the power of God began to draw my soul to Him. My wife's mother would openly praise the Lord during services with a little shout or waving her hand. At first, this seemed of great amusement to me but I soon realized these people had something I did not. Then tragedy hit; my wife's mother was found to have cancer and at age 42 she was called home to her Savior. Oh, what a strain this put on my reasoning ability. There I was, as worldly as a goat, mean as a snake, and this dear lady was a victim of cancer. Death must be faced now. God must be considered.

My wife, though brought up in a real Christian home, was yet unconverted and just as rebellious as I was. Over the course of the next year or so, she began to change. The Lord was working on the both of us. My dear wife had enough spiritual teaching to look for the Lord Jesus; but, me, on the other hand had begun to get religious, at least on the outside. I started everything and stopped everything else, but no peace was to be found.

Then one Sunday in February of 1981, my wife found herself at an altar crying out to the sweet Lord for redemption and He was to be found. She was changed and now her life and her countenance looked like what I had seen in her mother. As a result of her prayers, in March that year, I met the dearest friend I've ever known, and he saved my retched religious soul. Within two months, I had surrendered to preach the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

By this time, the Lord had given us a second son, and very soon there would be our first daughter on the way. So I was financially unable to attend Bible College. This was a cause of much struggle, but soon the Lord somehow let me know that He was fully capable of training His young preacher. He would use a pastor, a Bible, His local church and the precious Holy Spirit to do it. We then set about working in our church. Soon there were regular preaching opportunities in prisons, rescue missions, nursing homes, and job sight fire barrels. This may sound glorious now, but this training lasted 12 years. In l991 there was trouble again , such as that cannot be totally spoken of.

The church where I was saved was weighed in the balances and found wanting. Soon the church was shattered and by God's grace, I was left there to pastor this old ship in such ill condition. We did our best there, but we even encountered rough water there as well. After eighteen years of service in one capacity or another, we left this church. I had a call of God turning in my soul that was to go home and tell what great things God has done for you.

So in 1997, we packed up four children and all we had and moved back to rural North Mississippi. We served five years with a good pastor who kept me busy preaching out of his work most Sundays but God still had a plan. In January of 2001 we started Bethany Independent Baptist Church in the farming and ranching community known as Eureka, Mississippi. We borrowed an 800 square foot block building and began to visit. We were sent out by my pastor, there was no church split involved.

After one month of visiting, we opened the first Wednesday night of January, 2001. We had 17 in attendance that night. Since that day in 2001 until now in 2004, three years later, God has miraculously grown us to a full-fledged ministry. We have built two buildings so far, and are about to start another building for the glory of the Sweet Lord. Our congregation at present is around 200 people and on the move. We thank the Lord for His blessing and any success here belongs to the Master. By now, my children are grown and all serve the Lord with us here at Bethany. My good parents are faithful Christians and serve here at Bethany also.

This little church was built within 2 miles of where I was raised and the pulpit I stand in each Sunday is in the location where as a child, I hunted and played. Our God truly is wonderful. His salvation is complete and His hand is open to you. Why not call or e-mail me? I would love to introduce my Jesus to you.

Lord Bless:

Bro Tim Ellis