No Secrets: God's Provision and Our Responsibility
Since I was not able to finish my ministerial training at Trevecca Nazarene College, I had to complete the home study program to become an ordained minister. We both would sit in the middle of the bed each night and study. Doris would read and I would write.
Those first years were hard. One lesson I learned early is when you are in the center of God's will, He always provides. It is true, "When God guides, God provides." My pastor's salary was $15 a week. Sometimes I got it, sometimes I didn't. One time the church got behind and owed me $225. The cotton patch that was planted beside the church helped meet the needs of the church. Our church treasurer was married to a man who was not a member of our church. In the beginning, he was not a Christian but he was a good man. When the soles of my shoes wore out or I needed a new shirt, he would take me to town and buy what I needed. I learned humility and dependence on a gracious God to supply my every need.
I really believed that it was important to develop relationships. I often took men fishing and never once talked to them about the Lord. The friendships that grew from relationships allowed me the opportunity to share Jesus and they were saved. Doris fashioned her ministry from the same philosophy. She once said, "Where I grew up, we couldn't have a get-together without someone having to preach." We would invite the children and youth over for a good time of fun and fellowship and never have a devotional. Yet, many came to know the Lord from her ministry. She served the youth of the church until all of our children left home.
Reflections from Doris
As his partner, I felt that God had called me to into ministry. One of my duties as a pastors wife was to take care of the pastor and the home. Emory was on call 24 hours a day. He worked three jobs at times to make ends meet. He was maintenance supervisor for the City Housing Authority. He did odd painting jobs on the side. It was not unusual to get a call during the meal, to unstop a toilet, screw in a light bulb, or fix a leaking faucet.
After seven years of marriage and ministry, God gave us a son, Bruce Earl Lindsey. He was a beautiful boy with black hair. On the 5th day of my hospital stay, our perfect baby boy got sick. Born at 7 pounds and 8 ounces, he had lost down to 5 pounds and was very sick. He was vomiting profusely. I did not want to go home without my baby so I stayed another day. However when we got home, he was no better. We sat up with him around the clock. The men of the church met together and prayed for him. Several time during the first year, we called the church to prayer. He was a sick baby and I didn't go back to work until he was 2 years old. Again, God always provided the resources for our needs to be met. Prayer works.
Three years later, God gave us a little girl, Bonnie Anne Lindsey. She was perfect with no health problems at all. Bruce loved her and our family was complete.
A couple of years later, Bruce started to school. Emory was spending too much time on "the field." Being a mother first, I sat him down. My words went something like this, "You can work yourself to death, but what does it matter if you win the whole world and lose your own children."
Bruce at three, taking care of his baby sister.
I bought a sewing machine after Bruce was born.
I made every thing they wore, including
Sunday suits for Bruce
and lacy dresses for Bonnie.