Two great men of God who had a profound influence on my life receive their eternal reward this past week. I’m sure both of them, upon arriving in heaven, heard their Master say, Well done, good and faithful servant…”
Moses Vegh would come to Cornerstone Church on the Rock, where I served as an associate pastor, and impart into both the congregation and into the personal lives of many who attended there. It was Moses who spoke prophetically over the church regarding things that were about to happen. I can still remember the words clearly.
It was as though he was having trouble getting started, as Moses identified the text for his message as Isaiah 54. I’d heard him preach many times, and he was always excellent from the beginning of his message to the end. But this time, he stumbled for a few moments, then shifted into prophesy, as he prophesied, “I’m pulling up your stakes! I like your stakes; I have nothing against your stakes. But I am pulling them up to strengthen them and reposition them into the place I want them to be…” Right away, Marsha and I knew that God had spoken through his prophet, Moses Vegh, and that our days at Cornerstone were coming to an end. Our Sr. Pastor Phil Stern, Moses’ spiritual son, knew it was a word for him as well. Within months, our season at Cornerstone ended, and we were seeking God for new direction.
I had met Dr. Ken Brown in Tulsa. He was a dean at ORU, and occasionally attended some special events hosted by Cornerstone. I never imagined our lives would cross as dramatically as they did later.
Ken founded Abundant Grace Fellowship in 1993, and led the congregation for over four years, commuting from Tulsa to Rogers to serve as their pastor. He accepted a position at a Bible College in Ohio, which meant the pulpit at Abundant Grace was vacant. A mutual friend of ours, Steve Jester, was coming to Rogers to preach on Sundays. When Steve suggested I submit my name as a candidate for the open spot I declined. However, I was willing to come over on a Sunday to preach and give Steve a break.
As soon as we walked into the church that April Sunday morning in 1997, we knew we were supposed to lead that church. However, a call would have to come first. Indeed, that call came just a few days later. Elder Mark King, having met with members of the congregation, contacted me by phone to extend the invitation. However, there was one hurdle that had yet to be cleared. I had to have the approval of Dr. Ken Brown.
I met with Ken and Mark, and following that meeting Ken affirmed the call, with the stipulation that he remain on the Board of Trustees for one year. During that year I learned some very valuable lessons, the most significant of which was that people interpret your words based on those words, not base on your thoughts behind the words.
The rest, as they say, is history. I am grateful for Moses Vegh’s obedience to deliver the word of the Lord at that service in September 1996. And I’m grateful to Ken Brown for affirming our call to Rogers and for his guidance during the transition of leadership upon our arrival.
We never had the opportunity to have Moses minister in Rogers, but the pulpit was always open to Ken. Both men will be greatly missed by their families and friends. Psalm 116:15.